Local News

Perdue to honor those who saved historic home

Posted May 13, 2009

— Gov. Beverly Perdue will honor the volunteer firefighters and law enforcement officers who saved the 19th century family home of Gov. Charles B. Aycock from a fire that was intentionally set more than a year ago.

Perdue will present them with a proclamation of appreciation Wednesday for saving the house, which is a state historic site located near Fremont in Wayne County. The ceremony will be held in the Governor's Office in the State Capitol Building in Raleigh.

The fire broke out Jan. 24, 2008. Officials said at the time that the alarm system and rapid response of local fire departments and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department kept the fire confined to the main house's parlor, back porch and loft.

A Victorian turntable was the only original Aycock family piece lost. Damage was estimated at more than $200,000.

James Sean Suggs, 37, was charged with burning state or local government property. He was already serving time in the Pender County Correctional Facility for a separate offense.

Durwood Eugene Smith III, 17, of 502 Wooten St. in Fremont, was arrested on a similar charge.

Aycock was born in the house near Fremont in 1859. He was elected governor in 1900 and focused on improving public education in North Carolina. Critics have claimed he promoted segregation and white supremacy.


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  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 13, 2009

    I think I missed the point, everybody agrees that volunteers and law enforcement deserve to be thanked for a job well done. She seems to be REALLY reaching for these public support events.

    Funny how the former teacher didn't remember that May 3-9th was already Teacher Appreciation Week and then made the large blunder of sending out a memo proclaiming it as such on May 7th. I guess she was busy working with the state school board on the 3rd for the teacher furlough policy they announced on the 6th. Gee, thanks for the show of appreciation, on the other hand it is probably a good thing though that she didn't have a ceremony for teachers that week.

  • Doctor Dataclerk May 13, 2009

    I think she should be honored for honoring them. After all, that's what she's doing this for. Selfagrandisement (sp?).

  • ToTheBeach May 13, 2009

    I think she should be honoring ALL the volunteer firefighters and law enforcement officers who save all structures and homes, not just the historic ones.

  • beachboater May 13, 2009

    "OK...we have budget restraints and we can honor these firemen? Don't get me wrong, what they did was noble, but it was also their job" ThatsWhatIThought

    Actually ThatsWhatIthought, their job is probably farming, mechanic, lawyer, accountant, maybe insurance sales, but their job is not firefighting. Granted, volunteer firefighters take an oath to protect lives and property, but that is not their job.

    A job pays cash, a volunteer job pays off in personal satisfaction of helping others.

  • capitolcafe May 13, 2009

    it is a n.c historic site not just wayne co site

  • ThatsWhatIThought May 13, 2009

    OK...we have budget restraints and we can honor these firemen? Don't get me wrong, what they did was noble, but it was also their job. A year later and they're just now getting recognized. I think that should have been left up to Wayne County.

  • sunneyone May 13, 2009

    A historic site is a historic site. I understand that some of you probably buy into the notion that we should just raze anything more than 20 years old and build something new, but history is important.

    Also, our state's funds were in trouble way before she took office. We were having money issues back when HUNT was governor. Let's not blame Perdue for a mess she walked into.

  • aintbackingdwn May 13, 2009

    Are the law enforcement officers volunteer too? duh.....
    Can't see the forest for the trees

  • capitolcafe May 13, 2009

    gov aycock was the first gov to get education starter in nc for all race .to bad phrostbite din't get any . all vol firemen work to save lives and property i bet all the neg coments on here do not vol for anything that they don't get for

  • affirmativediversity May 13, 2009

    "After their award Bev will announce they will all be getting a paycut and reduction in benefits."

    The firemen are all volunteers.


    Then Wonder Gov will TAX them for their honor.