Collecto-Con is Coming to Hillsborough, NC


By Laurie Paolicelli

Few know exactly what to call the collection of Americana that fills Steven Burke and Randy Campbell’s Greek Revival compound. Mr. Burke prefers the term American folk art buildings.

You’ve got to hand it to Hillsborough. They may be on the National Register of Historic Places but they’re always coming up with new and engaging ways to stay vibrant and fetching, for visitors and residents alike.

Enter Collecto-Con, a two-day extravaganza being produced by the Orange County Historical Museum to complement their Treasure Hunters exhibit. On September 29th and 30th, citizen collectors from around Orange County will present more items from their collections in a variety of entertaining ways. Activities include Collecto-Couture: a vintage jewelry and fashion show with mocktails; various fascinating presentations; an informal collector Meet-and-Greet, and Collecto-Crawl: a treasure map tour of Hillsborough’s food and beverage establishments.

Vintage jewelry generally refers to any piece of jewelry that is at least 20 years old. Typically, it ranges from pieces that are just shy of 100 years old to pieces from the 1990s.

Event Schedule:

Friday, September 29

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Adventures in Metal Detecting, with Richard Von Furstenburg

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Collecto-Couture, a Vintage Jewelry and Clothing Fashion Show by collectors Lindsley Bowen and Alyssa Javadi – dress for the occasion!

8:00 pm – Collecto-Crawl, kicking off of the Treasure Map Tour

Nancy Esperson, collector of teapots.

Saturday, September 30

9:00 am – 10:00 am – One Step at a Time, Wade Allen, Collector of Medieval European Armor

10:30 am – 11:15 am – Making Connections, Nancy Haines, Collector of Quaker Artifacts

11:30 am – 12:15 pm – In the Field, Laurel Kilgore, Collector of Chewa Art of Malawi

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch at Local Establishments

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm – The Wealth of the World in Your Hands, Loren Hintz Collector of Rocks, Gems and Minerals

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Speed Dating with a Collector, well, not actually dating but a Collector Meet-and-Greet

Jacquelyn Gibbs: “Cruets and Science”
Cliff Younger: “Records: the Soundtracks to Life”
Nancy Espersen: “ Tempest in a Teapot: How I Ended up Collecting Over 400 Teapots”
Tom Jepsen: “More than Dots and Dashes: Telegraphs and Radios”
Rachel and Gabi Bergman: “Happy Trails: the Art of Breyer Horses”
Richard Fitzpatrick: “Bonzo, the Dog that Made the World Smile”
Leandra Bedini: “Keeping it Together: the Allure of Staplers”

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm – “From the Ground Up,” Steven Burke and Randy Campbell, nationally-recognized collectors of American Folk Art Buildings. Includes a tour of their home, nearby on Tryon Street

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Closing Reception at the Museum

Although developed initially for military purposes, so-called “suits of armor” took on different roles in society. Indeed, armor became a staple of social life and came to be viewed as a status symbol.

Except where noted, programs will be held at the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church on West Tryon Street, neighbor to the Museum. Tickets for Collecto-Con are $10 for each day. Registration is not required but strongly suggested. Space is limited. Register at

The Orange County Historical Museum presents the rich cultural history of the county. It was founded in 1952 and continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community. Visits to the Museum are always free and open to all. The Museum is located at 201 North Churton Street in Hillsborough. For more information about Collecto-Con or to learn more about the Museum and its offerings, visit or call (919) 732-2201.

By transmitting information quickly over long distances, the telegraph facilitated the growth in the railroads, consolidated financial and commodity markets, and reduced information costs within and between firms.

One of Hillsborough’s great virtues — one among many — is its talent for reinvention while fiercely guarding its historical roots.

Hillsborough, NC.

Laurie Paolicelli is executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2005. Laurie has worked in tourism and marketing for twenty-five years, having served in leadership roles in Houston and California convention and visitor bureaus. She is a native of the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communications from the University Wisconsin-Superior and graduate certification in Technology In Marketing from the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

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