Lattimore, Bush invited to North Carolina Governors mansion

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, August 12, 2010

An invitation to speak at the North Carolina Executive Mansion August 7 and 8 gave historian and author Robin S. Lattimore of Rutherfordton an opportunity to share his knowledge of the venerable home with guests from all across the nation.

Lattimore, who currently serves as the 2009-2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year, was asked by First Gentleman Robert Bob Eaves to assist in entertaining more than 150 of his relatives who came to Raleigh on Saturday, August 7, for the national Eaves Family Reunion and to meet North Carolinas First Family. The visit included tours of the mansion followed by a dinner of North Carolina barbecue.

The Eaves family has historic ties to both Rutherford and Polk counties. The family once owned a plantation that encompassed more than a thousand acres near the present-day town of Spindale.

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North Carolina Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue joined her husband in greeting each guest as they entered the mansion. Lattimore then served as a docent guiding guests through the State Floor pointing out architectural features, art and antiques found in the north and south parlors, state dining room, ballroom, library and morning room. He presented a 30-minute program on the history of the mansion earlier in the day.

Lesley M. Bush, a native of Polk County, joined Lattimore at the mansion. Bush has served as research assistant and principal photographer for more than 15 books and historical publications written by Lattimore. While in Raleigh, Lattimore and Bush spent hours scouring the historical collections at the North Carolina Archives building for information needed for Lattimores forthcoming book on the history of Forest City, N.C.

During the past 10 months, Lattimore and Bush have visited more than 70 of North Carolinas 100 counties and have toured 35 historic sites across the state. Many of the visits have included presentations of North Carolinas history to civic clubs, service organizations and elementary schools.

Lattimore will hold the title of N.C. Historian of the Year until October 9, 2010. At that time the North Carolina Society of Historians will recognize another individual for their contribution to preserving and promoting the history and diverse heritage of the state.

Lattimore currently serves as the official Historian of Rutherford County, president of the Rutherford County Historical Society, chairman of the Rutherford County Historic Preservation Commission, chairman of the Rutherford County Library Board of Trustees, and first vice president of the Capt. George Dickey Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is also a board member of the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County and the Cliffside Historical Society.

Lattimore is a former staff member of The Tryon Daily Bulletin. During the past 20 years he has received many awards for his writing including the North Carolina History Book Award, the D.T. Smithwick Award for Historical Journalism, The Old North State Award for History, the 2008 First Place Historical Writing Award from the N.C. Baptist State Convention, and five writing awards from the N.C. Press Association.

For more information visit Lattimore on the web at