Public History Exhibit to Feature GWU Student’s Research of Boiling Springs, Gardner-Webb

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Boiling Springs Museum to Feature Work of Senior Sarah Lynch on April 18-22

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—When Sarah Lynch enrolled at Gardner-Webb University, she already carried a love and curiosity for history and museums. Her professors at GWU have deepened that interest through engaging classes, connections with local historians and internships in multiple museums near campus.

As part of her studies, Lynch has explored the history of Gardner-Webb and the Town of Boiling Springs, through documents, artifacts and storytellers who have offered insight into the community’s formation and growth, local churches and businesses, artisans and the University. She will present her research, a portion of her GWU senior thesis and project, in a free exhibit April 18-22 from 1-5 p.m. each day at the Boiling Springs Museum on South Main Street. The display will also be open for viewing during the town’s Crossroads Festival on Saturday, May 21.

The exhibit will include artifacts like this incorporation document for the Town of Boiling Springs.

“Visitors will see different aspects of the community’s past, present and future and how they connect,” Lynch shared. “There are objects relating to the town and the University, including local artwork and historical pieces to read, as well as interactive parts of the exhibit.”

Lynch’s interest in the area’s past was originally sparked through discussion of the town’s namesake boiling springs and the University’s history in a freshman orientation course taught by GWU Professor of Philosophy Dr. Perry Hildreth. That initial interest was strengthened by Gardner-Webb’s Department of Social Sciences faculty.

During an introduction to historical studies course with Professor of History Dr. David Yelton, Lynch learned about museums as a career option for students with a history degree. Dr. Joseph Moore, assistant professor of history, then connected Lynch with internships at the Kings Mountain Historical Museum in Kings Mountain, N.C., and the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, N.C. Through a partnership between GWU and the Scruggs Center, Lynch also participated in a class specifically focused on museum collections management.

GWU senior Sarah Lynch has discussed Boiling Springs and Gardner-Webb history with a variety of local residents. She presented a program highlighting her research at Boiling Springs Baptist Church on April 11.

“Dr. Moore has been an advocate for helping me find places and ways to do what I enjoy and to get the experience I need to be prepared for a career after I graduate,” Lynch explained. “Professors at Gardner-Webb care and want to be involved in helping students succeed.”

Lynch, a senior history major from Niceville, Fla., will continue her exploration of museum studies following her graduation from Gardner-Webb in May. She will enter a graduate program at the University of Leicester in England, where she plans to continue to grow her knowledge of museum collections and curation.

“History has so much purpose and importance for our lives,” Lynch explained. “Working in a museum is a way to talk about history in an interesting and exciting way.”

The Boiling Springs Museum, located in the historic post office building on South Main Street, offers a collection of original artifacts from the region, recreations and displays, as well as a photographic history of the Town and its residents. For more information about the museum and exhibits, contact Betsy Beason at 704-434-6244 or

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.