In 1955, Frances Lloyd Shetley's first impression of Carrboro was a town dominated by Carrboro Woolen Mills, a soon-to-be-defunct cotton mill.
Weaver Street Market was nowhere to be seen, nor were the bike lanes or bus routes that now crisscross the town.
Since she moved to Carrboro as a young woman, Shetley has played a leading role in transforming the old mill town into a bustling center of commerce and culture.
On Aug. 20, Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils joined N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Caswell, Orange in presenting Shetley, now 95, with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award granted by the North Carolina governor for service to the state.
Seils said that Shetley's decades of service to the community is the reason she won the award.
In a Twitter thread announcing the event on Aug. 20, Seils commended Shetley for her many contributions to Carrboro, including serving for eight years on the Board of Aldermen, which is now the Carrboro Town Council.
She said she first ran for the board in 1987 because she wanted to improve the local government that she felt was unresponsive to the community.
“I went to the town manager with a question about Carrboro, and the town manager was standing there in the hall,” Shetley said. “I addressed him and he said, ‘I’m busy! Can’t you see I’m busy?’”
As a Carrboro taxpayer, Shetley said she believed she had a right to talk to him. After being brushed off, she decided to get involved in Town affairs.