Fact Verses Fake: How to Navigate the World Around Us
by Travis Sherrill, Library Staff, Mooresville Public Library
Have you heard the term fake news? Do you know what fake news is? The better question might be can you go a day without hearing the term fake news? Many people believe that fake news has been around since the current POTUS. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fake news has been around for decades, since the invention of the Internet, and you could even say centuries- although back then, it was not called fake news, it was either called libel or slander. Over the next several months, we are going to look at different aspects of fake news, including some definitions, how to determine whether something you are watching or reading is fake news, and some tips that could help you potentially avoid reading or listening to fake news.
So, what exactly is fake news? Fake news itself comes in a variety of flavors. Pure fake news sites use fabricated stories to lure traffic, encourage clicks, and influence or profit using intentionally deceptive, but highly intriguing, often sensational information. Hoax sites also share false information with the intention of tricking readers/viewers. Satirical sites present news with a comical, often exaggerated spin. Born digital images and edited images alter and often misrepresent visual reality. In addition, sometimes journalists just get things wrong. The sources they choose to interview may not offer the truth or a full picture. Stories reported in process lack the wisdom and hindsight, and may be missing full context.
Be sure to join us next month as we discuss determining the validity of a source.
The Southern Railways Train Depot
The Southern Railways Train Depot has been the center of life and the community for the Town of Mooresville since the construction of the first depot built in the 1870’s by Mr. John Franklin Moore. The depot stands in the exact center of town with the original town limits being a mile radius from the depot. Originally standing in the center of what is now Broad Street, the first depot was torn down, as a newer, larger one was constructed for reconnection of the railroad after the Civil War. The second depot burned in 1925 when a stove was left unattended on a windy night, causing ash to be blown out into the floor. Fortunately, only part of the depot burned, due to the close proximity of the fire department to the depot and the department’s new 1921 La France fire truck. The railroad company decided to build a fire proof building and use what was left of the older building to construct the former depot. The train tracks were originally in front of the depot where the sidewalk and Main Street are today. The tracks were taken up in 1865 to keep the Danville, Virginia line open. The tracks did not return until 1882 when Southern Railroad brought the tracks back through. We know this because Mr. H.M. Johnston, who was a member of the town board spent three meetings complaining that the train depot was taking up 14 feet of his front yard. The depot was expanded and the buildings behind the depot on Main Street were built as the freight warehouse. The tracks as well as several sides (tracks beside the main line where railroad cars could be pulled safely to load or unload) were laid down behind the depot. The second building was built on the current spot, moving the building to a more central location between the two streets. The main entrance into the depot originally faced Center Avenue. The former ticket office is now the main entrance into the artist guild which is located on Main Street. The doors were still left on Center Street with the office door in the middle. Due to segregation at the time, one door—to the right of the middle door was for white passengers and the one to the left was for black passengers. The current main door that faces Main Street was left in place as it was used for people coming in to conduct other business such as sending or receiving telegrams. When you come in today, you enter through what is the first gallery for the artist guild and the former waiting room for the white passengers. The hardwood floors and walls are original to the building and you will notice on the wall in front of you, the original drinking fountain. The depot was built with restrooms inside and today the restrooms for this waiting area are located where the gift shop is currently. The middle section of the depot with the skylight was where the office was for the depot. The stairs at the back lead to the freight area which we will talk about in a moment. The next room, or lower room was the black waiting room. The restroom and water fountain were located at the back of the room. In both waiting areas, benches would have lined the walls as well as run down the center of the room. If you go back to the middle of the room and up the stairs at the back, you will be in the freight warehouse. This room was part of the second depot and survived the fire. The walls and doors are all original along with the exposed roof and beams. Tung and grove boards were used for the floor and walls. The large room, as you enter to the left was the freight master’s office where items were weighed. In front of the door, you’ll find the scales that were utilized to weigh items coming into the freight warehouse.