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About this collection

Bill Reaves was born on June 3, 1934, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of the late Marion William Whitford Reaves and Florence Belle Lynk Reaves. His grandfather, Richard Martin Van Buren Reaves, was a Confederate Veteran. In 1968, Mr. Reaves became a resident of Wilmington, his father's childhood home.

  • During the 1970s, he worked both as a librarian and reporter for the Wilmington Star-News, where he wrote the popular local columns, "Inside Old Wilmington" and "Looking Back." In 1976, during the United States' Bicentennial, he wrote an award-winning series of articles on the history of the Lower Cape Fear.
  • Working with the Historic Wilmington Foundation, he was actively involved in Wilmington's historic preservation movement.
  • In the 1980s, he helped catalog the artifact and image collection of the Cape Fear Museum.
  • He also worked for North Carolina State Historic Sites at Brunswick Town, Fort Fisher and the Town Creek Indian Mound.
  • A popular lecturer, he taught local history at Cape Fear Community College and the New Hanover Public Library.

Although not images taken by Reaves, this collection includes a selection of images that he collected and which help to document the history of Wilmington, New Hanover County, and the lower Cape Fear Region.

 
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