The High Point Museum’s newest exhibit, “New Deal in High Point” will be on display until mid-February.
“New Deal in High Point” showcases the lasting impact of the various New Deal projects on the physical landscape of High Point that we can still see today. The exhibit highlights several New Deal building projects and their legacy in High Point. A few of the projects included High Point City Lake Park and Washington Terrace Park, Allen Jay Rock Gym and Clara Cox and Daniel Brooks Housing Developments.
The exhibit explains the various organizations and agencies that worked in the community during this time. Each New Deal agency had specific goals and guidelines for projects and programs it could fund. Some provided loans, others gave outright grants, while still others funded only parts of larger projects. One of the agencies working in High Point included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) with a camp located at the corner of Eastchester and Bridges Drives. It is estimated that over three million trees were planted to help with erosion.
One of the largest projects was the lowering of the railroad tracks through downtown. Construction began in late 1939 and was completed in 1947 with a total estimated cost of $1,500,000. It stretched for over two miles and had seven bridges. The lowering of the tracks is explored more in-depth with a photographic exhibit in the lecture gallery.
“The lowering of the tracks had a tremendous impact on both the look and functionality of the intersection of the railroad and Main Street,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “As we travel over the tracks through downtown High Point today, most of us are unaware of all that went into making it happen. It was quite an undertaking. I think people will enjoy learning some of the stories and afterwards may even better appreciate how the intersection works today.”
A plaque dedicated to the three African American men, Sam Camp, James Palmer, and Grover Sutton, who died over the course of the project, is located at the Train Depot.
Charles C. Bolton, Associate Dean and Professor of History at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will lead a discussion “The New Deal and the South,” Saturday, January 27, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the High Point Museum. Bolton will discuss how the New Deal brought relief to the South and how it also initiated fundamental changes that led to the creation of the modern South, most notably by reshaping its economy and, to a lesser extent, the region’s racial status quo.
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community.
The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov