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Clyde seeks historic status

Senior staff writer

Shook House is the key to recognition

CLYDE — The oldest house in the county is located in Clyde, so it was just a matter of time before the town petitioned for historic designation for that important landmark.

Town aldermen have taken the first step in the process by creating a historic preservation commission.

The commission consists of five members, appointed to four-year terms by the board of aldermen, who have demonstrated special interest, experience or education in history, architecture, archaeology or related fields. The historic preservation commission will help direct the town’s next step of applying to the Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the National Park Service for historic landmark designation of the Shook House. A public hearing to discuss the proposed historic district will be held at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday; Dec. 14 at Clyde’s town hall.

The Shook House has traditionally been recognized as the key to Methodism’s history in Haywood County as a stop for traveling Methodist preachers, including Francis Asbury. Asbury was the first bishop of the Methodist Church of America.

Joseph Hall of Washington, D.C.,, a descendant of the builder of the house Joseph Shook, purchased the house last year and converted it into a museum. “Mr. Hall petitioned the town about applying for historic status for the Shook House before the floods hit in the fall of 2004. We’re just now getting around to it,” said Town Administrator Joy Garland.

The role of the historic preservation commission will include preparing an inventory of properties of historical, architectural and/or cultural significance within the planning and zoning jurisdiction of Clyde. “I anticipate that the historic commission will look at other places within the town that could qualify for historic designation,” Garland said.

Peggy Manning can be reached at 452-0661, ext. 127, or at peggy@themountaineer.com.

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