Sunday, September 17, 2017, 2 PM–“The Extraordinary Life of Zacharia Carr”
Dr. Daniel B. Thorp, Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Virginia Tech, will be discussing “The Extraordinary Life of Zacharia Carr.” Dr. Thorp writes the following about his talk: “Recent histories of the New River Valley have finally begun to include stories of slaves in the region, but they rarely mention its free black residents. Known officially as ‘free people of color,’ these men and women occupied a legal and social middle-ground in Virginia. Though black or of mixed ancestry, they were not slaves, and in many cases had never been slaves. They were free, but they were never equal in the eyes of the law or in the eyes of their white neighbors. The life of one free man of color, Zacharia Carr, demonstrates both the challenges faced by free people of color and their ability to successfully navigate those challenges.”
Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Join the Wilderness Road Regional Museum for August Celebration at Rockwood. The evening will include the Museum’s signature heavy hors d’oeuvres (including crab cakes in slider rolls, meatballs, iced shrimp, chicken salad croissants, pork marbella on crostini, and more), as well as homemade desserts. A cash beer/wine bar (first drink complimentary) will be provided. Music and a silent auction will round out the evening. Locally renowned singer-songwriter Ron Ireland will provide traditional folk, country, blues, and gospel music. Tours of the historic home will bring the past alive. The 10,000 square foot home sits on 68-acres of land in Pulaski County, Virginia, and is registered as a National Historic Landmark. All proceeds will benefit the museum.
Tickets are available at Eventbrite.
June 18–Joe Tennis to Speak at Wilderness Road Museum
The New River Historical Society will hold its Quarterly Meeting on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at 2 PM at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Newbern. The meeting coincides with Father’s Day, thus the Society will be hosting a presentation by the popular journalist and historian, Joe Tennis. A graduate of Radford University, Tennis is a reporter for the Bristol Herald Courier. He is also a prolific writer who has completed nine books and also writes for Blue Ridge Country.
The Historical Society has recently been in the news because the oldest public building in Pulaski County, the Newbern Jail, has been designated by Preservation Virginia as among Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The New River Valley Historical Society owns the historic Jail, the Museum, and historic outbuildings associated with Newbern’s early history, one of America’s first planned communities and the original County Seat of Pulaski County.
Bring Dad out to hear a great talk that is entitled, “Virginia: From Rails to Trails plus Ghostly Legends of Southwest Virginia.”
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10 AM-4 PM–Civil War Living History Day
Join us for a Civil War Living History Day presented by the 45th VA Infantry. Visitors will be invited to go back in time to witness the forming of a Confederate infantry company and to see drills and firing of period weapons. Demonstrations begin at 10 AM and continue until 4 PM. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend all or any part of the day’s activities.
Schedule of the Day’s Events
10:00 AM – The program starts at the Old Jail, across from the museum. Explanation of end of initial one year enlistments, unit elections and reorganizations and conscription. Reading of Conscription Act and use of Substitutes in lieu of service.(1 hour)
11:00 AM – Move to Museum grounds and break.(15 minutes)
11:15 AM – Issue Arms/Accoutrements to new conscripts and substitutes in conjunction with Uniform and Equipment demonstration.(45 minutes)
12:30 PM – Period lunch in conjunction with blanket displays. (1 hour)
1:30 PM – Conduct rudimentary drill, School of the Soldier, firing demonstration. (1 hour)
2:30 PM – Strategic importance of the New River Valley (Dublin, Wytheville, Saltville, Austinville) during the war. Conscription Act/Substitution use and Uniform and Equipment demonstration. (1 hour)
3:15 PM – Break, blanket displays. (15 minutes)
3:30 PM – Drill and Firing demonstration (1 hour)
4:30 PM – End of Program.
New River Historical Society Quarterly Meeting—Sunday, March 18, 2:00 PM, at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
This quarterly meeting of the historical society is open to the public. Join us for our first NRHS Membership Meeting of 2017. Dr. Jim Glanville will give a presentation entitled “William Preston and the Making of America.” Glanville, a retired chemistry professor and independent history scholar, notes: “the wall boards at the WRRM in Newbern make one of the best public cases anywhere for the role of western Virginia in the expansion and founding of America.”
The talk will address Virginia’s role in establishing a nationally-accepted model for local governments. William Preston served as a land surveyor for Fincastle, Botetourt, and Montgomery Counties before his death in 1783. Preston saw many territory exchanges and county formations in his time, making him a very interesting historical figure to study on a local level, as well as a national level.
Christmas Open House—Wilderness Road Regional Museum–Saturday, December 10, 2-4 PM. The event will feature carol singing at 2:30, a silent auction, and pomander making led by museum interns. Free and open to the public. The museum is located in Newbern, off I81, exit 98. Call 540-674-4835 for more information.
New River Historical Society Quarterly Meeting—Sunday, November 13, 2016, 2:00 PM, at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
This quarterly meeting of the historical society is open to the public. Ricky Cox, an expert on Appalachian folklore, will perform and explain ballads and lyrical folksongs. Call 540-674-4835 for more information.
New River Historical Society Quarterly Meeting—Sunday, September 18, 2016, 2:00 PM, at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
This quarterly meeting of the historical society is open to the public. Dr. Tal Stanley of Emory & Henry will present “Crossing the Threshold,” a presentation on the museum’s archives and the next steps in making these documents available to the public. A reception honoring Museum Volunteers with follow. Call 540-674-4835 for more information.
Dinner at Goose Creek Farms, Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6 PM
The Wilderness Road Regional Museum is holding its annual summer fundraising event at Goose Creek Farms at 4588 Hurston Road, Pulaski, on Saturday, July 16, 2016, at 6 PM. Owned by Dr. Randy Vaughn, Goose Creek Farms offers a picturesque setting with views of rolling pastureland and wooded hills. The dinner will feature the museum’s Cold Harbor Menu, catered by Lindy’s Good Foods. Tickets may be purchased at the museum during hours of operation for $30 per person. Tickets may be purchased at the event for $35. The evening will include music by Ron Ireland, a cash wine bar, a silent auction, and house tours for an additional donation.
Quarterly Meeting of the New River Historical Society–Sunday, June 19, 2016, 2 PM at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum
“Genealogical Treasure Troves”–Wilderness Road Regional Museum
Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The New River Historical Society is excited to announce its annual Genealogy Workshop at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, “Genealogical Treasure Troves.” A registration fee of $20 includes coffee and donuts beginning at 9 a.m. and a lunch of soup, sandwiches, and dessert. Lunch will be served at noon. The registration fee may be paid on site. Participants are asked to reserve space by pre-registering; they may call the museum at (540) 674-4835 during its hours of operation, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday.
Janie Dillon, a researcher and instructor in genealogical research, will present “Probing the Problem Trove: Solving Genealogical Puzzles.” The session will focus on case studies of problems she has encountered in her search for family roots. She will provide tested tips for teasing out those hard-to-solve questions in a session.
Elizabeth McCommon, a longtime resident of the New River Valley, will present “Leafing through the Past,” a discussion of the pleasures and difficulties of finding connections to our ancestors. As a teacher, storyteller, writer, and actress, Elizabeth has mined her family’s oral history for material and will share some examples of how the past influences the present.
Marsha Dubose, a librarian at Radford Public Library, will present “DNA Cousins, Three Ways to Find Them,” an exploration of genealogical DNA tests that look at a person’s chromosomes to determine ethnicity and to trace the places where his or her family story began. She will show the basic differences between three DNA tests that she and her husband have taken, showing examples of information to be gleaned from each test.
Elinor Farmer, of Dublin, will present “Finding Our Lost Ancestors,” mini-lectures on two topics of interest to local genealogists: (1) Accessing the Farmer Photograph Collection (Theda’s Studio photos) housed at Radford University’s McConnell Library and (2) Researching Native American Roots.
April Danner, Deputy Administrator of Smithfield Plantation, will also be on the program. Her expertise in area history and research methods makes her a favorite among local genealogists.
“Sunken Stories” Opening Event–Saturday, April 16, 2 PM
“Sunken Stories: Revisiting the Depths of Claytor Lake,” will open at the museum with a special event featuring Dr. Tal Stanley, of Emory and Henry College. The exhibit will introduce the history of the land and communities that were once along the New River, long before the shores of Claytor Lake. Stanley will explain the significance of this area, especially the cultures that thrived along the banks of the New River and the lives that so influenced the surrounding communities.
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 2 PM –John White, Director of Economic Development at Town of Pulaski, will present “The Lost Town: What a 19th Century Plat Tells us about Pulaski Town’s Early History” at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. His talk will feature photographs like this early one of the Conway, Keister, and Company Drugs in Pulaski.
Saturday, October 10, 2015–Newbern Fall Festival–Traditional Ham-cooked Beans and Cornbread and Hot Dogs served on the Museum lawn. Heirloom Bake Sale. Tours of museum and outbuildings. Books and cookbooks for sale. Scavenger Hunt for kids of all ages. Cornhole games in the back yard. Visit the Hance Store exhibit and our photograph identification exhibit, Do You Know Me?
Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and New River Historical Society Membership Meeting–Saturday, September 19, 2015, 1 PM, at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum
Please join us Saturday, September 19, at 1 PM for the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Quarterly Membership Meeting. Please bring a side dish or dessert; the society will provide barbeque pork and chicken.
During the meeting our Radford University students will be seeking your ideas for developing programs and community involvement at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. We want you have an opportunity to think about possibilities before the meeting. Please consider the following:
WHO ARE OUR MUSEUM AUDIENCES and COMMUNITIES (ages, populations, walks of life, background, etc.)
WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE FOR DEVELOPING THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES?
• Museum Education & Interpretation
• Outreach and Volunteers (How do we build membership and involvement among all ages?)
• Outreach Using Social Media, our website, and other media (newspaper, radio, etc.), Promotion, Advertisement
• Fundraising and Building Community
• Events that Would Engage the Community
Join us for our annual fundraiser at historic Hillcrest Farms, 5280 Black Hollow Road, Dublin. The dinner features the museum’s Cold Harbor Menu of cool summer salads, baked ham, homemade rolls, and assorted desserts in a lovely garden setting. Music will be provided by Bill Adams. Suggested donation is $20. Reservations are not necessary. Call the museum for more information—540-674-4835, during hours of operation, Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30-4:30. After hours call (540) 674-8378.
“Researching Our Family History”–Wilderness Road Regional Museum
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The New River Historical Society is excited to announce its annual Genealogy Workshop at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, “Researching Our Family History” A registration fee of $20 includes coffee and donuts beginning at 9 a.m. and a lunch of soup and sandwiches.
“Janie’s Top 6 List”
Presenter: Janie Dillon
The pursuit of family history can lead genealogists to delve for hours into historical records of one kind and another. Janie Dillon has formulated her own Top 6 List of Historical Documents crucial for researching family trees: wills, deeds, marriages, chancery records, census records, and tax records. She will provide tested tips for finding and interpreting these important records.
“Picturing the Past: Writing with Photographs”
Presenter: Tom McGohey
They say a photograph is worth a thousand words, and in historical research those images and words can lead to a deeper level of discovery and meaning not so “visible” in factual records. This workshop will provide strategies for “reading” photographs as another primary source about the past. Participants are encouraged to bring their own photographs, personal and/or published, related to their historical interests for use in writing exercises.
“This is Our Story”
Mary Catherine Stout, Sharon Hardy, and Carolyn Mathews will share their personal family history journeys, explaining how they researched, where the research led them, and how a family’s stories can be preserved in innovative ways.
“German Heritage through Frakturs”
April Danner, Deputy Museum Administrator for Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg, will explain these illuminated manuscripts created by artisans of German descent from around 1740 to 1900 to record births, baptisms, and marriages.
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.
5240 Wilderness Road
Dublin, VA 24084
• 9 AM march from Dublin Depot to Newbern. Reenactors from the 45th Virginia Infantry will portray soldiers returning to the New River Valley in the final days of the Civil War. The public is invited to attend and stand along the march route and streets of Newbern to welcome the Soldiers home.
• 10 AM – 3:00 PM Living History with Infantry drills and firing demonstrations, soldier life and more.
• 11 AM – 3 PM Traditional Beans and Cornbread Lunch at the museum. Proceeds will benefit the museum.
• 12:00 noon Period cooking demonstration in conjunction with blanket displays at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum.
• 3:15 PM March from the museum to the Old Jail in Newbern for the reading of General Order No.9 (Lee’s Farewell Address), stacking of arms, furling of flags and disbanding of regiment.
Photographic Scanning—Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 6-9 PM at Dublin United Methodist Church in Dublin and Saturday, April 11, 2015, 9 AM – 3 PM at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. Bring photographs showing the history of Newbern, Dublin, the African American Community in Pulaski County, and the land covered by Claytor Lake. Photograph scanning, good food, take original photos home. For more information contact Tal Stanley at 276.944.6900 or e-mail [email protected]
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 4-6 PM–Old Christmas at Hillcrest—at 5280 Black Hollow Road, Dublin. Join us at this historical home for a festive celebration of an early American holiday; proceeds benefit the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. Seasonal music, carol singing and historical interpretation of Old Christmas by the Newbern Choristers; hors d’oeuvres, Christmas sweets, eggnog, and cider punch. $20 suggested donation. Reservations not required. Call (540) 674-8378 or (540) 250-1908 for more information.
Saturday, December 13, from 2-4 PM at the museum–The Wilderness Road Regional Museum will open their doors for a Christmas Open House. The event, free and open to the public, will feature music by the Newbern Choristers, children’s crafts and story time, and museum tours and living history, featuring museum interns.
Saturday, November 15, 2 PM, at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Newbern – “Storekeeping in 19th-Century Southwest Virginia–the 1815 Hance Store Ledger” a presentation by Caitlyn Parker. The public is invited to this quarterly event sponsored by the New River Historical Society.
Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12–Newbern Fall Festival–Traditional Ham-cooked Beans and Cornbread and Hot Dogs served on the Museum lawn. Tours of museum and outbuildings.
July 19, 2014—Hillcrest Garden Dinner. The Wilderness Road Regional Museum is hosting its annual summer fundraising event at Hillcrest Farms in Dublin on Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 6 PM. For reservations, call the Wilderness Road Regional Museum at (540) 674-4835 during hours of operation, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30am to 4:30pm. Reservation calls may also be made to (540) 674-8378 or (540) 674-5055.
Directions–To arrive at Hillcrest Farms, travel north on Route 100 from Dublin; after passing New River Community College and Rockwood Manor on the left, turn left onto Black Hollow Road (State Route 636). Turn right almost immediately into Hillcrest Farms. The address is 5280 Black Hollow Road, Dublin, Virginia 24084. This event will take place in rain or shine.
June 14, 2014– Quarterly Meeting of the New River Historical Society. “Sisters Saga: Correspondence of the McKee Sisters, 1836-1883,” a presentation by historian and writer Mary Kegley on her recent book.
April 1, 2014– Cloyd’s Mountain Exhibit Opens Refreshments will be served for this opening of our special exhibit celebrating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain. This exhibit will feature artifacts from the Civil War, and specifically from the battle.
April 4, 2014– (10:30am-8pm) “Muster at Newbern” In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain, WRRM will host this open house with extended open hours. Janie Dillon will be presenting “Flags of the Confederacy” at 7pm.
March 22, 2014– (2pm) “The Water-Powered Mills of Floyd County, VA” Radford University Professor, Ricky Cox, who specialized in Appalachian Studies, will present. Last Spring his Appalachian music presentation was a favorite among our patrons!
March 15, 2014– (10:30am to 4:30pm) Civil War Living History Day Open house event presented by a local Civil War Reenactment Group, the 45th VA infantry. The reenactors will present a Confederate camp, infantry drills, and demonstrations. Our WRRM interns will be dressed in costume, leading tours and activities throughout the museum.