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The Best Artifact

What is the best artifact of History Museum?


Among the several thousand objects in the collection of the Robeson County History Museum, what is the very best of the best?


Ed Allen’s bicycle is a visitor favorite. A local character, he was much loved by Lumberton residents, and his bicycle is memorable. It was loaned by Layton Britt.


Wally Gator, the stuffed alligator, is a favorite of children visitors. Other native wildlife, contributed by Jan Tedder, adorn the walls.


A favorite of Museum volunteers is an early 20thcentury oil painting of Lumberton along the Lumber River from the perspective of the West 5th Street bridge. It was donated by the family of the late John Wishart Campbell.


However, the best artifact is the Museum building itself. The Southern Express building was constructed more than 100 years ago at Elm and 1st streets beside the Carolina Central railroad tracks (now CSX).


Imagine men in suits and women in full-length dresses dining at the Southern Express restaurant. Travelers may have relaxed in the shade around an artesian well as they waited for the next train.