KANNAPOLIS Museum / Hinson History Room
Museum History
 HINSON HISTORY ROOM In April 1987 an organizational meeting resulted in the birth of "Kannapolis History Associates." At the first meeting, and several times since, a wish for a Kannapolis History House was put forth. Since then the organization has been adding to its storehouse of Kannapolis treasure, looking for the day it could be properly displayed. Archives of the former Cannon Mills Company and the Cannon family were deemed superfluous by the management of FieldCrest Cannon and a general house cleaning of the corporate headquarters began. Some of the materials went to Duke University, some to the University of North Carolina - Charlotte and some to the Kannapolis History Associates. The organization asked Cabarrus County government for help. And so at a meeting of the Cabarrus County Commission on May 26, 1992 it was agreed to permit the use of space in the C. A. Cannon Memorial Library, Kannapolis Branch, for a History Room. The Kannapolis History Associates agreed to be the sponsor of the History Room. Before it could be realized however, many other things had to happen. Funds had to be raised, a separate room had to be partitioned off, and staff hired to properly catalog and preserve the items. With membership funds and various grants to the Associates, money was raised to finance the building of the wall that was to separate a part of the library for the History Room. A Building Permit #7187 was issued on October 16, 1992 for the construction of the wall at a cost of about $4,000.00. In the meantime plans were being made to search for a local history professional to be employed to catalogue and set up all of the materials donated by Fieldcrest Cannon Company. While the search was going on Paul Kerns used the materials extensively for writing his book"Weavers of Dreams". An enthusiastic group of well-wishers crowded the reading room of the Kannapolis Branch of the Cannon Memorial Library on Nov 30,1992 to dedicate the Local History Room and to celebrate the birthday anniversary of the late Charles A. Cannon. Clarence Horton, president of the Kannapolis History Associates, presided.
The Kannapolis History Associates met July 6, 1995, with Helen Beaver presiding. It was revealed that a grant of $6,500.00 from the Department of Cultural Resources had been received. Also announced was, an anonymous donor (later revealed to be Gertrude Hinson) had given the Association $50,000.00 for the History Room. Discussion was then focused on the needs of the History Room. Staffing and equipment needs were discussed at length. Tom Dillard, who headed the county library system, was very helpful in the decision making. Kevin Cherry, an employee of the Rowan County Public Library, was contracted in July 1995 to select supplies, set up an accession system, do basic preservation and write a description for cataloging the materials. Some equipment from the Library system was installed. Funds from the History associates was used to buy other equipment and to pay Cherry. The vision of the room was �Preserving Kannapolis Local History�. Cherry announced the completion of his work in March 1997. June 20, 1998 a ceremony was held to officially open the History room with a ribbon cutting. Martha Macon president of the History Associates presided. A brief history of the History Room was given by Norris Dearmon, Chairman of the History Room Committee. Tom Dillard, director of the County Library System , made remarks about the Cooperation of Cannon Memorial Library, Ray Moss, Mayor of Kannapolis, spoke on the Impact on Kannapolis. The first Saturday in August 1998 saw the beginning of the opening of the Kannapolis History Room with Norris Dearmon volunteering his services. A lot of work was put forth getting the room ready. Since its opening many more books, pictures and articles were donated by many individuals. The room was opened only on Saturday by Dearmon until November 2001. During the budget year for 2002 the County Commissioners agreed to hire a part time employee for 25 hours weekly for the History Room. The room was then opened each week day afternoon for five hours under the direction of Larry Hayer, a professional genealogist. Occasionally a volunteer opened it during the morning or evening. Due to the generosity of the Hinson family to the history room, the Cabarrus County Commissioners named the west wing of the Kannapolis Branch Library "The Foy and Gertrude Hinson History Room". In February 2010, as a budgetary measure, all part-time employees of the county library system were terminated, resulting in no professional staff in the history room. Volunteers staffed the room, but only Saturday hours were observed on a consistent basis. In November 2010 the county library director announced that the history room would be closed and the space utilized for library sponsored meetings. In 2011 most of the material in the history room was transferred from Cabarrus County ownership to that of Kannapolis History Associates. The Kannapolis Rotary Club offered space in the back of their meeting hall. The Foy and Gertrude Hinson History Room was relocated to 207 West Avenue in downtown Kannapolis. A few months later the Kannapolis City Schools superintendent offered space in A L Brown High School. The history room moved once again, in August 2012, to A L Brown High School, Suite 113A. In 2015 there are about 1200 books on the shelves and thousands of folders in the vertical files. About 40,000 envelopes containing one or more negatives are in the Daily Independent Picture Files cabinets. We have videos of recent programs at monthly meetings. Audio and video recordings of Kannapolis residents are part of our effort to preserve local history Family histories and local records are available for those interested in genealogical research. Books and records from areas that our ancestors migrated from have also been donated to the library.