A friend of a friend-Blake Tyner-Richard Monroe-December 4

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 4, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

Last night my wife and I joined a number of other families across Robeson County NC by hosting a dinner for the Robeson County Historical Society.


The dinner’s  purpose was to raise money to put a new roof on the Proctor Law Office located down the street from our home on Elm Street in Lumberton, NC.

proctor law office

The Proctor Law building’s history stretches back to 1787 when Jacob Rhodes, who surveyed and designed the basic grid for the city of Lumberton, was given a lot at the corner of Elm and Sixth streets as compensation for his work. The surveyor had a home for his son, Richard Clinton Rhodes, built on the parcel.

In 1869, E. Knox Proctor purchased the building and his family lived there while their home was constructed directly behind it. Proctor’s son ran his law office inside the building from the 1880s until the late 1930s. Residents visiting the law office of E. Knox Proctor Jr. during this period were captivated by the first landline telephone in Robeson County.

At various points during the next four decades, the space was used as a post office, hardware store, baby clothing store, art studio and military recruitment station.

The building now serves as a meeting place for the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the Confederacy and Historic Robeson Inc. — the preservation group that purchased the landmark in 1974.

The Proctor Law Office is an important piece of Robeson County and Lumberton’s history and my wife and I were glad to host the fundraising dinner to repair its roof.

To pull this “Raise the Roof” event off it took a lot of volunteers and one person who stands out is Richard Monroe.

When you think of some of the signature events in our community over the past two decades Richard has been involved. He has been an active supporter and volunteer with projects that support the local school, part of the Christmas Tour of Homes, Communities in Schools, and of course the Robeson County Historical Society.

Richard is a retired educator having served the Public Schools of Robeson. Richard like me lives on Elm Street in Lumberton, NC. He has an incredible home and makes sure its exterior and grounds are always perfect. He brings great curb appeal to our neighborhood.

Richard as President of the Robeson County History Museum also gets to work closely with Blake Tyner the Curator of the Museum.

The Friend-RICHARD MONROE shown with Helen Sharpe

richard Monroe


The Friend of the Friend-BLAKE TYNER

Blake Tyner Administrative Support Associate Art Phone: 910-521-6216 Email: blake.tyner@uncp.edu


The Historian

Blake Tyner used to work at UNC Pembroke as an Administrative Support Associate in the UNC Pembroke Art Department. That was his job when I met him but it was not his passion. His passion was history.

The man loves history especially our local story. He has put together a number of books including Images of Robeson County.

He also has a website


Images of Robeson County

It should come as no surprise that Blake  was a history major at UNCP with a long interest in local history that includes a book of historic photographs.  See the photo above

Blake took over as curator of the museum in July 2003 and immediately brought an expanded vision and energy, and with increased display space, the museum has begun to reach heights only dreamed about since opening in 1987.

Glad there are people in Lumberton that care about preserving our history and telling its story. Richard and Blake are two individuals that do it well.




One comment

  1. Thank you very much for those kind words. I am only part of some very hardworking teams who have made the Robeson County History Museum an active and vital part of our community. Many good things are happening in and around Lumberton. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful process.

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