TownTalk: Around Old Granville: Granville Street Library Gets Historical Marker


The Granville Street Library got its own historical marker last week, distinguishing the 40-foot-by-25 foot building as the first library for African Americans. There were about 100 guests in attendance for the unveiling, performed by the library’s second librarian, Helen Amis.

Amis, now 93, took over from Maude Lassiter, who was the first person to hold the librarian’s position when the doors opened in 1942.

“She kind of made Granville Street the center of the African American community – and really Granville County,” said Mark Pace about Lassiter.

Not only is Pace the North Carolina Room specialist at Thornton Library, he also is president of the Granville County Historical Society. He spoke with WIZS’s Bill Harris on Thursday’s regular history segment of TownTalk about the significance of the library and more.

Pace said Granville County was ahead of its time regarding the library system. “It was the first library to get county funding when it was established in 1936,” he said. Shortly thereafter, a group of prominent African American citizens pushed for a library to serve the Black community. And in 1941, Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration approved $2,200 to build the library.

The city of Oxford donated the land on Granville Street and the building went up. Pace said the building has not undergone any alterations since it opened in 1942.

First Baptist Church owns the property, and has plans to restore it, Pace said.

According to Pace, the library is the third oldest building still standing that once was owned by the county.

Once the library opened, Lassiter – from the Oak Hill community in northern Granville County – got to work to get books. By 1950, there were about 23,000 volumes. A few years later, a bookmobile was taking books to patrons out in the county. The little library averaged 3,000 borrowers a year.

Lassiter got Howard University President Mordecai Johnson to visit the library, as well as historian John Hope Franklin and poet Langston Hughes, Pace said.

“Hughes stayed at Ms. Lassiter’s house and gave readings at the library,” he said, “and at Shaw High School out at Stovall.”

By the time the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum in 1965, the current Thornton Library in Oxford was ready to open and county officials decided to integrate the library system. The Granville Street Library remained open, but saw fewer patrons. It closed in 1975.

Placement of the marker was a joint effort of the county library system and First Baptist Church, with fund paid from donations made to the North Carolina Room.

“I was just really amazed” at the attendance for the unveiling ceremony, Pace said. “I’m pleased that that many people care.”




The Local Skinny! Pop The Hood Change Your Oil

For our sponsor, Advance Auto Parts, as part of a paid radio sponsorship on WIZS.

These days, our vehicles do a good job of telling us when it’s time to change the oil. Most vehicle experts agree that changing the oil in a timely manner is one of the best things a car or truck owner can do to extend the life of a vehicle’s engine.

If you’re the type of vehicle owner who likes to tackle this task yourself, trust the folks at Advance Auto Parts to help you choose the proper type of oil – there are so many options!

Manufacturers may recommend synthetic oil for newer models, but that sweet ’65 Mustang parked in the garage may need a conventional oil.

Remember, think safety first when changing the oil yourself. Even if you don’t need to jack the vehicle, it may be a good idea to put a jack in place, just in case.

And chock the wheels for good measure.

Use a drain pan to catch the oil once the plug is removed – and make sure that the old gasket comes off the block when you remove the oil filter!

Give the oil 15 minutes or so to drain and then you can install the new filter.

DIY’ers know to rub a little fresh oil around the seal, take care not to cross thread or overtighten.

Advance Auto Parts is a great place to bring that reclaimed oil for proper disposal.

Tune in to this week’s Pop the Hood segment for a step-by-step “how-to” for changing the oil in your car or truck.

The information contained in this post is not advice from Advance Auto Parts or WIZS.  Safety First!  Always seek proper help.  This is presented for its informational value on and is part of a paid advertising sponsorship.




The Local Skinny! Relay For Life To Take Place September 30th

The Vance County Relay for Life is resuming its efforts after several years of reduced activity because of pandemic restrictions. The entire community is invited to the Henderson Family YMCA on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to participate, honor and remember.

Freddie Harris and Donald Matthews shared details about the event on Wednesday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

“I believe this will be great start for Relay for Life coming back to Vance County, said Harris, one of the organizers from St. James Missionary Baptist Church that is sponsoring the event. There will be an opening ceremony and luminaria lining the track, with lots of activities in between.

The theme is Uniting in Hope, Empowering Together, she said. The main word is hope, Harris said.

Hope is the key word, Harris said. “I’m hoping that hope will inspire people and that people will feel hopeful from this event,” she said.
“Not just cancer survivors, but the city and the county. We really need to come together.”

Donald Matthews remembers the Relay events of some years ago when thousands of people would gather to participate. He was in charge of logistics, and it was challenging to organize 75 or more teams and have them in the right place at the right time.

There are currently nine teams signed up to participate, but the event can accommodate more.

The event is open to the whole community, and Matthews invites other churches, businesses and individuals to take part.

“Just because COVID stopped (us), cancer didn’t stop,” he said. “Our goal is, one day, to work ourselves out of a job. I’d like to see (cancer) eradicated, if I’ve got anything to do with it,” he said.

Harris invites the community to come out and show support for cancer survivors.

Cancer survivors like herself, a two-time cancer survivor.

“We want everybody to come out and be a part of it,” she said.

To register a team, call the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 or visit  to find out more, make a donation or purchase a luminary.

Luminary bags are $10 each, 3 for $25 or $25 for one gold luminary.










The Local Skinny! Home And Garden Show 09-20-23

On the Home and Garden Show with Vance Co. Cooperative Ext.

  • When reseeding your cool season lawn buying poor quality seed is asking for disappointment.Check your seed tags purchase certified seed. Check for the blue certification tag.Certified seed is free of noxious weed seed and contains low amounts of other crop seed.b  Good seed helps in having a good lawn.
  • Start controlling fire ants.
  • Check cole crops for insects. Ex Loopers, cabbage worms, Harlequin bugs.
  • Start planning for any trees and shrubs you may want to plant in your landscape this fall.
  • Control weeds in the garden. One weed left to seed out can produce 1000’s of weeds in your garden next year.

Click Play!


The Local Skinny! Gavin’s Groupies 5K Run To Benefit CFF

If you’re looking for a new spot to get your Saturday run in this weekend, Tanya Darrow invites you to come out to Henderson Point for a 5K Fun Run fundraiser. In addition to getting some exercise yourself, you’ll be helping a group called Gavin’s Groupies – Loping For Lungs at the same time.

Gavin is Darrow’s 13-year-old son, himself a cross country runner, who also lives with a chronic condition called cystic fibrosis.

This is the first time Darrow has organized a major event like a 5K Fun Run, and she said she’s excited to host it at such a pretty location. “It’s a really nice course, it’s paved – right along the lake,” she said on Tuesday’s segment of The Local Skinny!

Runners can sign up online at, and she said she plans to be able to have same-day registration as well – cash and Venmo for sure, and payment by card, depending on internet reception. The run begins at 9 a.m., but participants should plan to arrive between 8 a.m. and 8:30, she said.

Darrow said she has a memory of doing a fun run with Gavin when he was younger than 5 years old. “He ran a lot of it, but I ended up carrying him on my shoulders the last mile or so.”

“Running is very important for maintaining lung function,” she added. With CF, a genetic mutation causes a malfunction of sodium and chloride levels, causing mucus to be thick and sticky instead of a smooth, lubricating fluid.

The fun run is a way for Darrow to help raise money for research to find treatments and one day, a cure for CF.

The CF Foundation supports research into the disease, and helps families with a wide range of programs and services, from scholarships and housing programs to helping to defray the costs of expensive medications.

Sign up for the run at

Learn more about other programs and fundraisers at and follow Darrow’s efforts with Gavin’s Groupies on Facebook at



The Local Skinny! Rehab at Maria Parham

Lori Murphy has been a physical therapist for 29 years, and as a physical therapist and clinical liaison for LifePoint at Maria Parham Health, she wants to make sure that the community knows about the services available for those who need inpatient rehab.

This week is National Rehabilitation Awareness Week and Murphy was a guest on The Local Skinny! Monday to focus on specific needs of those who have acute rehab needs.

The week’s theme is “the power of medical rehabilitation,” Murphy said, which she describes as rehabilitation that involves a physician and other therapists to address a patient’s needs through regular, frequent sessions while in a hospital setting.

Whether a patient is recovering from a car accident, spinal injury, or learning to live independently again after an illness or injury, Murphy said inpatient rehab could be a good choice.

A stroke victim may need speech therapy to recover abilities, she said. Or someone who’s endured a long hospital stay and is now in a debilitated state may need respiratory, occupational or other forms of therapy to regain strength.

No matter the reason, inpatient rehab helps patients “reach their potential to function more independently,” she said, motivating them to attain goals that will allow them to live on their own with little to no assistance.

The reasons vary, she said, but Murphy said it’s important to listen to the patients to learn what’s important to them. Whether it’s getting out of the house to go to church or being able to stand up at a child’s wedding, Murphy said the therapy is different for each person.

The MPH inpatient rehab has 11 private rooms to accommodate patients.

“The vast majority of our patients feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when they reach their goals and are ready to go home,” she said.

“They are grateful for the time they’ve spent here,” she said.

Call inpatient rehab admissions at 252.436.1276 to learn more or to arrange a tour of the facility.

Visit to learn more.

(MPH is an advertiser with WIZS. This is not a paid ad.)


Chick-fil-A Henderson

Business Spotlight: Chick-fil-A of Henderson

Sometimes there is more to a restaurant than its signature item, and sometimes that means the restaurant spills out into the community in a unique way.

For Chick-fil-A of Henderson or anywhere else that could mean seeing the beloved Chick-fil-A cow at a ballgame or even the restaurant handing out cards for free signature items to the first 250 appearing at a game, such as Friday night, Sept. 15, 2023 in Henderson for the Vance County High School Vipers vs. Southern Durham.

And while great restaurants normally receive their guests in a manner that promotes that greatness, isn’t it likely true that the greatness of the restaurant may be produced by the restaurant’s employees because of how the owner/operator/corporation receives those valuable employee team members?

For one possible answer to the question above, as it pertains to Chick-fil-A of Henderson anyway, enjoy the audio link below as Josh Towne, local owner/operator, describes incentives for employment at Chick-fil-A of Henderson including food, opportunities to attend college and more.

(Chick-fil-A of Henderson advertises on WIZS.  This text and audio is not a paid ad.)



The Local Skinny! Home And Garden Show 09-13-23

On the Home and Garden Show with Vance Co. Cooperative Ext.

  • When purchasing grass seed check tag for Germination %of that lot of seed. Use a mixture of 3 varieties.Check Carolina Lawns Publication.
  • Scout for fire ants
  • Check transplants for insects. Ex Loopers, cabbage worms, Harlequin bugs.
  • Late summer can be a good time to work on managing tough to control invasive plants. Use a broad spectrum systemic herbicide such as glyphosate or a brushy killer product.
  • We are in full hurricane season, Prepare or check your Emergency Kit. review your emergency weather plan.
  • Don’t be too quick to cut back perennials and ornamental grasses. The standing stems and foliage can provide habitat and cover for beneficial insects and birds over the winter.

Click Play!


Perry Memorial Library

The Local Skinny! Upcoming Events At Perry Memorial Library

Come out to Perry Memorial Library on Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to experience a celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.

There will be activities in the library, as well as in the gallery shared with McGregor Hall, according to Melody Peters, youth services director at the library.

It’s a chance to learn more about the Hispanic culture and will include dancing, music, face painting and much more.

It’s a chance for the community to come to the library, but sometimes the library gets to go to the community.

Peters said library representatives will be out on Garnett Street on Saturday for the Smart Smart Ducky Derby.

“When we go beyond the doors,” Peters said, “it brings people in the doors.”

She said she had paid a recent visit to the Salvation Army and had a nice story time there. The Boys & Girls Club brought children in throughout the summer to take part in programs offered by the library.

So whether the library staff goes out into the community or individuals from the community visit the library, Peters said it’s all a matter of being visible.

“You have to get out and be visible in the community,” she said. “That brings people into your building.”



The Local Skinny! Voter Registration

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming municipal elections is fast approaching – Henderson residents have until Friday at 5 p.m. to register, if they are not already registered to do so.

The Henderson municipal elections, during which the next mayor will be elected, take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Early voting begins Sept. 21 at the Andrea L. Harris Operations Center on Beckford Drive.

Remember that a photo ID is required or voting. Early voting ends on Saturday, Oct. 7.

In addition to the mayor, voters will choose City Council members for Ward 1 and Ward 2 and at-large seats for Wards 3 and 4.

The deadline is Friday, Oct. 13 to register for the Nov. 7 Kittrell and Middleburg elections.

Contact the Vance County Board of Elections to learn more at 252.492.3730.