North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office staff located and recorded marked and unmarked graves within Simeon-Gower Cemetery, averting litigation and grave disturbance. The Historic Preservation Office statewide inventory contains information on over some 340 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in Johnston County.
Three comprehensive surveys have been conducted in Johnston County: Smithfield in 1976, Selma in 1979, and the rest of the county in 1980-1986. Surveys are cooperative local-state projects accomplished with grants and staff assistance from the Historic Preservation Office.
State grants totaling $115,000 assisted restorations of Union Station in Selma, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly, Johnston Central High School, and the Benson Municipal Building. Federal grants of $3,800 assisted architectural survey work in Selma and a $2,096 federal grant assisted restoration of the Boyette Slave House near Kenly.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
Twenty-two listings include historic districts in Benson and Smithfield and twenty individual listings of plantations, farms, churches, schools, railroad stations, and a bank building. Bentonville Battleground also is a National Historic Landmark.
PRESERVATION TAX CREDITS
Six income-producing tax credit projects have been completed in Johnston County at a total construction investment of $3,035,500, including the Austin Building in Smithfield. The Historic Preservation Office reviews and provides restoration technical services for all preservation tax credit projects.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND PUBLICATIONS
The Historic Preservation Office assisted the town of Smithfield in publishing the results of the architectural survey in An Inventory of Historic Architecture, Smithfield, North Carolina in 1977, and in 1980 assisted the town of Selma in publishing Historical Architecture of Selma, North Carolina. Preparation of a manuscript for the publication of the county survey began in 1998.
The Historic Preservation Office has provided technical restoration services to many projects in the county, including several commercial buildings in Smithfield, Benson, and Selma, the Boyette Slave House, Union Station in Selma, the Watson-Sanders House, (former) Clayton High School, and the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly.