Mae Woods Bell was born in England, but has spent the past 60 years in Rocky Mount. She came here in 1951 and began the Children’s Museum which grew from a few exhibits to a major community program. She began in the Library with a small collection…much of it her own… that expanded to the Museum in Sunset Park. As founder, Mae served as museum director for over 30 years often visiting community organizations to raise funds and support for the museum. One Kiwanis Club member once commented, “Mae is the most expensive free speaker we’ve ever had.” Her lifetime dedication to the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum earned her the Southeastern Museum’s Distinguished Service Award in 1978. Mae has been active with the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America, served as Vice President of the Cub Scout program, helped train Den mothers, and earned the Compass Award, the highest honor given to non-scouts. She was also honored with the Silver Fawn Medal for distinguished service to the Boy Scouts of America. Mae is an accomplished writer of both prose and poetry. Her poetry book Wrymes won the Sam Ragan Award for Poetry. She has written book reviews and articles for the local Rocky Mount Telegram for MANY years. Her works have also been published in the Wall Street Journal and she was recognized by the NC Press Club as Communicator of the Year in 1989. Mae is a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rocky Mount and teaches Sunday School and serves as delegate to the Unitarian National Convention. She is also a founding member of the Tar River Archaeological Society. Active in numerous community organizations, Mae is a member of the Friends of the Braswell Library, the Rocky Mount Luncheon Pilot Club, the American Red Cross Rocky Mount Chapter, the NC Press Club and the NC Archeological Society. Bell received the Daughters of American Revolution National Americanism Medal, a national award for service, leadership and patriotism in 1987.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2010