Friday, November 17, 2023

The Historic Port of Washington Project to Receive Award for Excellence in Local History

Nov 17, 2023

A project to restore faded historical murals and create new exterior artworks will receive an award from the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies.

The Historic Port of Washington Project in Washington, N.C., will receive the 2023 Newsome Award, which recognizes excellence in local history projects.

Leesa Jones, a member of the Federation’s advisory board and founding director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, will present the award at the North Carolina Literary & Historical Association’s annual awards banquet in the Archives & History Building at 109 E. Jones St., in Raleigh on Friday, Dec. 8.

For the past two years, the Historic Port of Washington Project has worked to restore faded advertising signs and to create new murals showcasing local history in downtown Washington. The ongoing “Historic Ghost Sign & Mural Project” raises awareness of Washington’s past and engages the public with local history.

The Federation is a 501C3 nonprofit, operating under the auspices of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Each year the Federation selects a local history project for the Newsome Award. Past winners have included exhibits, programs, and publications. Recipients receive a $250 cash prize and a framed certificate. Awards are announced at the annual North Carolina Literary and Historical Association’s awards ceremony.

Albert Ray Newsome served as secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission 1926-35 and as professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was a strong advocate for the study and preservation of local history. The award named in his honor recognizes outstanding achievements in preserving local history by member organizations. The award generally recognizes work accomplished during the previous 12-18 months.

For more information, contact Federation Coordinator Adrienne Berney at or see

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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