North Carolina Students Study Turkey Creek

A high school leadership group from North Carolina is digging into coast history. Students from Chapel Hill are learning about the Turkey Creek community.

The "hands on" project involves listening to stories and uncovering antiques.

"This is Turkey Creek right here, if you can make it out," said Derrick Evans, as he held up a map of his neighborhood.

He is passionate about sharing the heritage of Turkey Creek. North Carolina visitors learn the unique history of this African-American community.

"This is an American, human story. This is all of our stories. This is our history. That's why I've invited you here today," said Evans.

He also invited 96-year-old Eva Skinner, who recalled stories of working at a neighborhood laundry, along with community trips to the water front.

"And we girls would go on what you call hay riding. We'd go on the beach and they'd throw nets and his grandmother and all of them, they would cook," she explained.

Along with the firsthand oral history the students dig through the remains of an old neighborhood gas station and commercial laundromat.

"Oh, what's this?" said one student, as she pulled something unfamiliar from the rubble.

They find assorted antiques and relics among the ruins.

"This is so cool! An old Pepsi bottle," said another student.

"I enjoy being able to see what things used to be like and how things have changed over the years," said Alex Poole.

Deryle Daniels enjoys this treasure hunt. History has long been a favorite subject.

"If you don't know about your history, you'll have no way of knowing where you're going in the future. You have to know about your past in order to plan for your future and learn from other people's successes and mistakes," said Daniels.

People promoting Turkey Creek are confident those who learn about the community's rich history will also want to preserve it.