For 27 years, she used a notebook as a Times-News reporter to record the stories of the county and its people. Today, Jenny Jones Giles is still telling Henderson County’s story, but she’s doing it as the director of the Henderson County Heritage Museum.
“I love all history. I’m just a history nut,” Giles said. “I specifically love the people here because all of my ancestors on both my mom’s and dad’s side were the original settlers in this county. My parents both loved history, and my grandparents, so I was immersed in this culture from childhood.”
It was that love of the county’s history that prompted Giles to leave the newspaper and become the fledgling museum’s first director. She came on board and helped lead the museum as it prepared for its 2007 opening. She also helped organize the inaugural exhibit, “Let Freedom Ring,” which features many military artifacts loaned by Judge David Fox.
Her work as a reporter prepared her for her role at the museum.
“I’d already done a lot of that (history) research,” she says. “I’d already done stories where we discovered early on there was no black history written in this county. So I’d already done some of that research, like the cemetery series, the World War II series. I just wanted to get our history right and get the majority of the people’s story told.”