Mrs. Molly Grogan Rawls was presented the Davis Award in 2015 in recognition for all she has done to promote and preserve history through her scholarship and writings and because of her involvement in many other worthwhile causes.
Molly is a native of Winston-Salem and attended local public schools. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in English. Continuing her studies, Molly also received a Master’s Degree in Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. She additionally completed graduate courses at UNC Greensboro for School Library Media Certification. While at Carolina, Molly also was a teaching assistant in the Library Sciences Department. She is married to Jeffrey D. Rawls. They have 3 Sons and one precious, just-born granddaughter.
Molly began her work at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a Marketing Research Librarian and was later promoted to Manager of Management Information Services. In 1990, she joined the Forsyth County Public Library as the Photographic Collection Librarian and shortly thereafter began publishing books about Winston-Salem and its history.
Molly’s first publication was in 2004 and was titled “Winston-Salem in Vintage Postcards.” The postcards shown in the book, along with the narratives about each card, tell a lot about what was important to our community, our Moravian beginnings, our public buildings, businesses, industry, houses of worship, and recreation.
Her next publication was in 2006, “Winston-Salem From the Collection of Frank B Jones, Jr.”. Molly has been the researcher and curator of this collection of photographs and has done extensive research pertaining to each picture from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. There are also some “then and now” pictures in this book that are fascinating.
In 2008, her publication of “Winston-Salem Then and Now” shows our town in photographs and narratives and how sites have changed from the old to the new. It is a fascinating book that brings back memories for many of us. At our Annual Meeting in 2008, Molly also presented to Wachovia Historical Society Membership a PowerPoint presentation of this book. Her presentation received many acclaims, and our attendees could be heard saying, “I remember this” and “I remember that”. She also presented to the Wachovia Historical Membership at our Annual Meeting in 1990.
Molly continued her research and publication in 2010 with her book “Old Salem and Salem College (Postcard History).” This has been a delight to so many of us who love this wonderful school.
She has also started a website, “winstonsalemtimetraveler.com” You must take a look at it. It is fascinating.
Now I have just one more thing I want to say about Molly’s publications. She will have a new one coming out in the Spring of 2016. I am sworn to secrecy but will say that it will tell another fascinating story about Winston-Salem and our local history. I can’t wait to read it!
Besides her research and historical publications, Molly has given back much to our community in volunteer activities. Just to name a few, she has been President and a Board member of the Friends of Lewisville Library, a charter member of Preserve Historic Forsyth, a public speaker to schools, reunion groups, historical societies, retirement homes, community clubs, etc. on historical matters. Additionally, she is a regular contributing writer to the “Winston-Salem Monthly” magazine.
Molly also served on the Board of the Wachovia Historical Society from 2006 to 2012. She was an Executive Officer as its Secretary from 2009-2012. As a personal note, as President of the Society in 2009 and 2010, I knew Molly to be one of the finest and most capable people I have ever worked with, not only on this Board but also in my entire working career.
To our membership, it is my joy, privilege, and honor to present the 2015 Wachovia Historical Society Archie K Davis Award to Mrs. Molly Grogan Rawls. Please join me in applause for her.