The Wilson Historical Society plans to celebrate their 20th anniversary by remembering their past.
The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Cafe Alley in Ardmore. The event is open to the public and everyone besides honored guests will be paying for themselves. Reservations for the event are due by noon on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Wilson Historical Society President Carole Pinches said this year’s dinner is a tribute to the society’s founding members and others who’ve been integral to the organization.
 “This is a yearly celebration that we have and each year we focus on something different,” Pinches said. “We had never really remembered our founders and we finally decided, 20 years later, we really need to recognize them.”
The society and its volunteers are best known for founding the Wilson Historical Museum, a collection of exhibits and records documenting the history of Wilson and its surrounding communities. Pinches’ family is from Wilson, and she spent her childhood visiting her grandparents frequently in the city.
“I got to know people and it got to be a really special place for me, just like it was for my parents,” Pinches said. “They would always tell me, ‘You know, what Wilson needs is to preserve its history.’”
Pinches, along with the other 17 original founders, worked for three years to raise funds and collect
exhibits, eventually opening the museum on Nov. 3, 2001.
“We didn’t want anything from, for instance, Ardmore or Healdton,” Pinches said. “We wanted it from Wilson and the surrounding oil field communities that were here all those years ago.”
The museum is home to antique appliances, furniture, displays, military uniforms, fashion magazines, clothes and the second TV ever sold in Wilson.
“We had to start out bare bones,” Pinches said. “Then, as we were able to get grants, we had capital campaigns, we had everything you could imagine.”
Most of the items were donated, and the museum keeps records of who has donated what over the years.
“We change our displays about once every year, although every once in a while something will come in and we’ll say ‘Oh, we need to have that on display now’,” Pinches said.
The building housing the museum is itself an antique. Built in 1926 by a prominent doctor in Wilson, it required extensive renovations before the museum could open.  
“When we redid the building I said I really wanted to keep it in its original form,” Pinches said.
The museum is home to meticulous records of old phone books, newspapers, genealogy records and school photo albums. Pinches said guests can spend hours poring over the information, searching for distant relatives or records of historical events.
Reservations for the dinner can be made by calling Carole or George Pinches at (580) 504-4076 or (580) 504-4077.