The purpose of this exhibit is to show museum visitors the clothing, shoes, and accessories of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Because early photographs often show very stoic black-and-white images of people, a vibrant and multidimensional view of the people’s fashion over time allow visitors, especially younger people, to associate more humanity with the colors and patterns (red paisley scarf), the trends (pannier hoops – bustles on the sides instead of on the backs of dresses), the unexpected (early 19th century brassiere that looks like a loose-fitting silk camisole, a stark difference to the tight-fitting corsets) and the gaudiness (bird-adorned hat). Some local stories are included in the exhibit – Jennie Cloyd Wysor’s beaded purse; Sarah Jackson McGavock’s wedding shoes, wedding photo, and calling card; and crudely stitched garters from niece Gertrude to aunt Gertrude from Eagle Rock, VA.
I’m Katelyn Crispino, a new intern at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. I’ve grown to love history because of the different people that have had a large influence in my life. I remember Grandbobby, my grandpa, watching the history channel almost every time I visited, my dad reading books on Abraham Lincoln, and my mom taking me on adventures on the paths around the Manassas Battle Field. All these things influenced my decision to enter the field of history. As museum intern, I intend to write informative biweekly articles on the artifacts found in the museum. [Read more…]
Please join us for the New River Historical Society’s annual Genealogy Workshop at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
Melinda Bollar Wagner, “Gathering Our Stories“
Everyone agrees that the STORIES are the most important part of our family histories. Some of us lament that we don’t remember the stories we heard our elders tell. How can we capture stories? This workshop will offer advice on how to go about oral history interviewing – whether with family, neighbors, friends, or strangers. Wagner is a professor of anthropology and Appalachian Studies at Radford University.
Tom McGohey, “Writing Your Family Story in History“
McGohey, a regular volunteer at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum and retired Writing Center Director at Wake Forest University, will speak about some of the possibilities of working with genealogical knowledge. McGohey will offer strategies and approaches for shaping research into a story.
Tal Stanley, “Newbern Project”
Since the summer of 2013, Stanley and his students at Emory and Henry College have been working with the Wilderness Road Regional Museum’s archives. Stanley has presented to the museum a Master Registry of Documents and Records as well a Master Index of Names, containing names of over 20,000 early residents of Southwest Virginia. This session will explore Stanley’s findings and show participants the range of primary documents soon to be available for research at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
A registration fee of $20 includes coffee and donuts beginning at 8:30 a.m., and a lunch of soup and sandwiches. Guests can register by calling the museum at (540) 674-4835 during its hours of operation (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.) You can download event flyer here.
Board member Ann Bolt will host and organize the July 20 NRHS Cold Harbor Dinner at her historic home, gardens, and farm, Hillcrest Farms. This dinner is one of the major fundraisers organized by museum volunteers to meet the basic needs of the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. In the past it has been held in the Museum, but thanks to Ann Bolt, beautiful Hillcrest Farms is the new and very perfect venue for this summer dinner
The buffet-style dinner will be held Saturday July 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 at Hillcrest Farms. It will be al-fresco in and around the house and gardens. There will also be musical groups performing. Reservations for this dinner can be made by calling the museum at 540-674-4385, by emailing [email protected] or by visiting the museum and signing up. The cost is a suggested donation of $20 per person.
One of the great hidden treasures of the Wilderness Road Regional Museum are boxes and boxes of ledgers, books, old newspapers, and family documents stored under the eaves in the archival section of the museum. While they are in air-conditioned space, they are not in any special order nor are they being properly stored in archival boxes. Dr. Tal Stanley of Emory and Henry College and a group of his students operating under a special grant have started work to scan and digitize these items and then organize them in labeled archival boxes. This is a monumental task that could only be accomplished for the Museum with this level of expertise and financial support. This is a cooperative effort with Gene Hyde and the Radford University library that will make some records available free to the public via the Radford University web site.
The reorganized documents will remain on site at the Museum and the intellectual property online belongs to the Museum and Historical Society. In the next few years funds will need to be found to renovate the Old Jail and have these items along with the current archives organized in their own building and more available for research.
We are currently undergoing a technology upgrade to our onsite Gift Shop & Book Store and beginning in September we will be able to accept credit card payments, in addition to cash. In addition to this change we have a new sales and inventory management system to enable us to gauge our most popular items and keep them in stock for our visitors.
Later this fall there will new items making their debut in our Gift Shop.
Have you wanted to discover more about your ancestors? This workshop gives you the tools and ideas to dig in and find the information. Join us on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum to learn from some of the best.
9:00am – Registration and Welcome
9:30am – Al McLean, Researching the Civil War
10:15am – Dr. Tal Stanley, WRRM Archives
11:00am – Brenda King, Parke Bogle Research
11:45am – Lunch
12:30pm – Kathy Calvert, Internet Research
1:15pm – Marsha Dubose, DNA Research
2:00pm – Andrew Hamblin, “Find A Grave”
2:30pm – Questions and Comments
Please register by May 11, 2013 so we can plan properly for the number of participants.
Ricky Cox was in fine form and voice for the March 16 Music at the Museum event. His ballads and folk songs were mixed with information about the song form and origins, as well as some very good jokes. What started to be a 60 minute program ran to close to two hours as a most appreciative audience laughed, sighed, and applauded as he sang and introduced instruments from the fiddle and banjo to the guitar. Finally, Ricky was exhausted, and the audience reluctantly let him off the hook and went off to enjoy punch and cookies. It was a splendid afternoon in the newly reorganized museum. More Music at the Museum events are planned.