Our Summer 2019 Exhibit “American Evolution along the Wilderness Road: Democracy, Diversity, and Opportunity” shows Newbern and the New River Valley as models of the evolutionary process that allowed Virginia to influence the direction of American culture. Our exhibit highlights this important truth: What happened in the New River Valley along the Wilderness Road happened throughout Virginia and throughout the country as a whole.
Viewers of our exhibit are invited to consider how the American Evolution themes–Democracy, Diversity, and Opportunity–intersect, overlap, and feed each other as we tell the local stories of American Evolution.
One such story involves Mathias Vogl, one of the thousands of European immigrants who traveled the Wilderness Road, some of whom settled in the New River Valley. In search of new opportunities and freedoms, many of these immigrants took trades and skills from the Old World and brought them here. Mathias Vogl used his skills as a tailor to make a living in Newbern.
Vogl was a part of the second wave of Prussian immigrants in the early 19th century. He first appeared in Newbern in 1848. On exhibit at the museum now are his detailed tailor’s patterns, as well as a small handbook of tailoring procedures he patented and left to his son. Most of the instructions were written in Vogl’s native language of German. His shop would have been located on Lot #11 in the Village of Newbern, as it was laid out in 1810.
To learn more about American Evolution, click here<>