Spotlight On: Johnston County Heritage Center

Todd-Johnston-FIBy Laura Crosio

The county’s Heritage Center is all about preserving and sharing the area’s unique history.

Director Todd Johnson spoke before the Johnston County Commissioners on August 3rd and highlighted the various ways the center tells the story of the people and places around the county.

The center houses a treasure trove of information for historical and research purposes including marriage records, obituaries, census information, soldier records, yearbooks, slave records and newspapers. They serve family historians, genealogists, students, town historians, local organizations and even curious tourists.

“There’s no other place like Johnston County,” said Johnson. “We’re very grateful to have a place where we can use our efforts to develop and preserve our unique story.”

The Heritage Center maintains an image archive of over 50,000 photographs and hours of oral recordings from local families and veterans. They also work towards preserving abandoned cemeteries.

Johnson said their website offers half a million accessible records and receives about 500 hits per day.

The Heritage Center stands on the corner of Market (US 70 Business) and Third streets in Smithfield and is located in the former First Citizens Bank home office. Admission is free and the hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday –Saturday.