Colonial weights and measuresColonial weights and measuresColonial weights and measures


Complete set of Weights and Measures, c. 1755



About the Historical Foundation of Hillsborough and Orange County

Job Posting: Seeking Permanent Part-Time Museum Coordinator

The Orange County Historical Museum is seeking a part-time museum coordinator to work approximately 25-30 hours per week to meet workload requirements, Wed– Fri with some evening and weekend hours required. Compensation: $10.00 per hour.

  • The museum coordinator is responsible for ensuring that daily museum operations tasks are completed. These include opening the museum, greeting and providing visitor services, ensuring the museum is clean, answering visitor and researcher inquiries, managing gift shop sales and inventory and closing the museum.
  • The museum coordinator assists the executive director in creating, updating and maintaining museum publicity, marketing, and social media efforts.
  • The museum coordinator will assist in identifying viable resources for new grant funding, and take primary responsibility for the development and completion of grant applications
  • The museum coordinator will be asked to provide assistance to the executive director for other tasks and projects on an as-needed basis.
  • The museum coordinator works with the executive director and committees to coordinate details for special events and public programming.
  • The museum coordinator recruits, schedules, and assists in oversight and training of volunteers to complete museum projects and maintain daily museum operations.

To be successful in this position the candidate should be self-motivated, organized, possess excellent communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, and social networking sites, and should have a working knowledge of American social and cultural history.

Knowledge of database software (PastPerfect and LittleGreenLight, for example) a plus. Teaching experience with K-12 students is desirable.

A successful candidate for this position must be comfortable and enjoy interacting with the public and speaking to small and large groups.

The Orange County Historical Museum, located in Hillsborough, NC, enlightens and engages its diverse community of Orange County students and visitors from around the world by preserving and interpreting the history of Hillsborough and Orange County. The museum houses and displays unique Orange County artifacts and documents, provides hands-on history programs for children, and offers a variety of events, exhibits, and family activities.

To learn more about the museum, visit our site at and our blog, .

To be considered for this positions, please send a resume, cover letter, and three references to Candace Midgett at <>. Deadline: December 18, 2015.

Email questions to

Our Mission
The mission of the Historical Foundation of Hillsborough and Orange County is to enlighten and engage our community and visitors from around the world by preserving and interpreting the history of Hillsborough and Orange County.

Our Goals

  • Operate the Orange County Historical Museum.
  • Collect, preserve, catalog, and house historic artifacts and documents relevant to Hillsborough and Orange County history, applying professional techniques towards this end.
  • Use the foundation’s collections as a tool for educating the public about our history through exhibits, in-house and outreach programs, public lectures, publications, and special events.
  • Make historic documents, artifacts, photographs, and other records available to those researching Hillsborough and Orange County history.
  • Provide support and assistance for historic preservation efforts in Hillsborough and Orange County.

Governance and Operation
The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors.

The foundation operates the Orange County Historical Museum, and employs a paid Executive Director and Historic Interpreters to operate the facility.

The Story of the Orange County Historical Museum

Hillsboro Garden Club ca. 1955

In 1952, the residents of Orange County celebrated the 200th anniversary of the County at its seat in Hillsborough. People in Hillsborough displayed family heirlooms and sewed old-fashioned costumes for the celebration, which peaked with the production of an outdoor play, “The Road to Orange.”

From this event, the Hillsboro Garden Club developed the idea of having a permanent location to exhibit artifacts and educate the public on the county’s history. Supported by their mission “To promote civic improvement, to foster civil pride and to create an awareness and appreciation of the Beauty and Charm of our Town," they formed the Orange County Historical Museum.

The Museum was chartered in 1956, and local families donated domestic goods, military relics, costumes, and furniture from their homes, largely from the 18th and 19th centuries, to create the collection. The Museum officially opened on November 10, 1957. The Museum was located in the second floor courtroom of the 1845 courthouse. Displays included the “homespun room” and a colonial kitchen. In 1966, the Museum contracted artist Kenneth Whitsett to paint large murals depicting events of the 18th century in Orange County.

In 1983, the Museum moved out of the courthouse into the Confederate Memorial Building at the corner of Tryon and Churton Streets. Built in 1934, the building had served as the town library since 1935. In the CMB the Museum shared space with the Hillsborough Crafters, a quilting guild. In addition to historic exhibits, the Museum began exhibiting the artwork of local artists in the second floor gallery.

In 2000, the Museum Board of Directors revamped the mission statement and expanded its collecting scope. In 2007, the Museum's Board of Directors merged with the Hillsborough Historical Society to form the Historical Foundation of Hillsborough and Orange County, which continues the operation of the Museum to this day.

The Story of the Hillsborough Historical Society

The Hillsborough Historical Society was founded in 1962. From a letter dated March 21, 1962 from Mrs. Marion B. Roberts, Secretary of the Hillsborough Historical Society to Mr. G. A. Brown, Principal, Hillsborough High School:

“On March 2, 1962, a constitution was adopted. This formal action brought into being the Hillsborough Historical Society.

“This society’s announced intention is to collect and preserve accurate information, to encourage the preservation of historic sites and buildings, and to encourage the restoration of colonial atmosphere in Hillsborough insofar as it is reasonable and compatible with the times.”

The early days of the Society appear to be the very busiest and most productive of its entire 45-year history. The Society lost no time in becoming incorporated as a non-profit organization. Its Articles of Incorporation were stamped August 2, 1962, when Thad Eure was Secretary of State.

The Society published a newsletter from its founding in 1962 until 1995, when it turned over that responsibility to the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough. It became a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in its first year of existence.

Also in the Society’s first year, it sponsored the creation of the Historic Hillsborough Commission, which owns and operates the Burwell School Historic Site. Here is an excerpt from Hillsborough Historical Society Newsletter Number 11, dated October 1963:

“RELATIONSHIP OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO THE COMMISSION – The Historical Society has in general sponsored the Commission: its members wrote the Commission Bill, arranged for its introduction at the General Assembly, and screened the names submitted to Governor [Terry] Sanford. Its Executive Board sent a special letter to Dr. Murphy [who had just become the first chairman of the Commission], welcoming the Commission and offering to aid its work in any way possible.”

Among the many activities the Hillsborough Historical Society sponsored over the years are the Historic Home and Garden Tour, an annual Spring dinner and an annual October business meeting, public programs on historical topics, the Historical Society Journal, and the Engstrom Award for Meritorious Service to the Community. In addition to its own activities, the Society has a long history of assisting other organizations. There are numerous references in the Historical Society newsletters to generous monetary donations made to other organizations over the years, including the Orange County Historical Museum, the Historic Hillsborough Commission, the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, the Preservation Fund of Hillsborough, the Town of Hillsborough, and the Eno River Association, among others. On February 15, 2007, the Society made its largest donation ever – $16,000 to the Historic Hillsborough Commission.

The Historical Society merged with the Orange County Historical Museum on May 24, 2007 to become the Historical Foundation of Hillsborough and Orange County. The new organization celebrated this noteworthy accomplishment on June 23, 2007, with a reception and program at Ayr Mount Historic Site. Now the foundation operates the Museum and continues many of the programs previously undertaken by both former organizations

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