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During the American Revolution many local citizens weren’t supportive of the Patriot cause. Some wanted only to be left alone while others actively waged an internal war to support the British. Join us on Sunday, June 5 to learn more about the Loyalists in the New River Valley. Living History group The Fincastle Company will be on site to share this overlooked part of local history. Learn, too, about Loyalists activities along Bullock Pen Branch of Peak Creek right here in the Newbern area.
The Fincastle Company Living History Unit will also be onsite Saturday, June 4th during our regular open hours. Event is free to attend; donations are happily accepted and appreciated.
Pulaski County Juneteenth Celebration Sunday, June 19, 2022, 2-5 PM
Join us at the museum to celebrate the US federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. Enjoy live music, storytelling, historical interpretation, and more.
Each year we recognize the official formation of the Town of Newbern, which occurred with approval by the Virginia General Assembly on March 3, 1810. Newbern was named for the early Swiss and German settlers to the region, and we celebrate that through food and drink.
The Founders Day Feast will be limited to 20 guests and served in the 1818 barn on site at the museum. A catered Swiss-inspired meal will include select Swiss wines, Braided Zopf Bread, Bunder Gerstensuppe (barley soup), Pork Cordon Bleu Schnitzel, Oepfelbroeisi (fried apples and raisins), Rosti (alpine cheese and potatoes), and Hazelnut Vermicellas (chocolate pasta, cream, and fresh berries). Locally sourced ingredients from area farms will be included. $55 per person with all proceeds benefitting the museum.
Click here and then on the DONATE button to make your reservation now!
Founder’s Day Celebration
Sunday, March 6, 2022, 2-4 PM
Join us for our Annual Newbern Founder’s Day Celebration. Westover Ballet will present dance to represent the early Swiss, German, Polish, English, Irish, and Scottish settlers. RU Professor, Dr. Philip Sweet will share the story of Swiss Folk Hero William Tell, cultural music will be shared, along with history of American Revolutionary War Patriots from our area with Swiss roots. Kids can take a shot at the “apple” after hearing the William Tell legend.
A special tasting will be available of Swiss Wines, Alpine Cheeses, and of course Swiss Chocolate options. The event is free to attend, the tasting is ticketed at a $18 donation per couple or $10 for individuals to honor the Newbern’s founding year.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 10 AM at the Museum
Pictured to the left is Gibson, one of our dedicated museum volunteers. When you volunteer at the museum, you meet people from all over. You introduce them to the rich history of our region, and you help us keep our doors open. Volunteers choose whether they want to work weekly, twice a month, once a month, as a substitute on an as-needed basis, or as a helper during events and for special projects. Desk volunteers are needed for our morning shift, which runs 10:30-1:30, and for our afternoon shift, which runs 1:30-4:30. Join us at the museum on March 16 at 10 AM to learn more about this opportunity.
Join us for our Annual Harvest Thanksgiving Dinner. This year’s historically inspired menu follows: Freshly Baked Anadama Bread; Heritage Sausage, Apple & Pumpkin Soup; Pear Butter-Infused Roasted Heritage Pork Loin from Stump Ridge Farms of Pulaski; Stone ground cheese grits from Historic White’s Mill in Abingdon with aged smoked cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy in Galax; Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables from Pear Tree Hill Farms of Radford and honey from our museum hives; Great Road Apple Cake with Ice Cream from Homestead Creamery of Burnt Chimney; a hearty caramelized Oat Stout from Buffalo Mountain Brewery of Floyd.
Dinner will be served in our charming Log Kitchen by costumed attendants representing the early history from Newbern. Live music will entertain between courses. History on a plate is a tasteful way to learn about our local stories and celebrate all the cultures that helped build our community and Nation.
Tickets are limited to the first 20 registrants.
Price per registrant is $65.
Click here to register!
Mark your calendars for our annual Christmas celebration. On Saturday only we will have the heritage crafters selling gifts at our Barn Bazaar. (Our barn is now heated!). Inside the museum on both days we will have live music, historically inspired sweets and savories, and traditional holiday decor. In the log kitchen we will have Holiday photo sessions available on Saturday by professional photographer Darren Van Dyke. On Sunday, the Westover Ballet will be doing scenes from the Nutcracker on the barn “stage” outside the front entrance.
Join us this Saturday and Sunday for Newbern Fall Festival! Living historians will be teaching about life in the 18th century on the Museum’s back lawn, and a 19th-century group will be on the Courthouse Square. Learn about heritage crafts through demonstrations of blacksmithing, leather works, woodworking, fiber arts, and candle-making. Join in with the cider pressing, apple butter making, corn shelling, and corn shuck doll making. Our traditional beans and cornbread will be available for take-out.
This year Groove Houndz, Virginia Hollow, Indian Run Stringband, along with bagpipes and harps, will fill the fall air and museum with music. The schedule so far is as follows:
Sat. Oct. 9th 10am to noon- Groove Houndz, south lawn
Sat. Oct. 9th 2pm- Bagpipers roving throughout the village
Sat. Oct. 9th 2pm Becky Coffey with harp, side porch of museum
Sat. Oct. 9th 2pm-4pm- Virginia Hollow, south lawn
Sun. Oct. 10th 1pm-3pm, Groove Houndz, south lawn
Sun. Oct. 10th 12-1:30pm-Indian Run Stringband, backporch
The festival is held rain or shine. Please plan to visit and learn from all our volunteers this weekend.
During Newbern Fall Festival
Join us for an Apple Pie Contest during Newbern Fall Festival. Prepare your best Apple Pie and bring it by the Museum by 2:30pm on Sunday. There is a $5 registration fee to compete. A cash prize and gifts from the Museum shop, along with all the bragging rights until next fall, will go to the winner. Our panel of judges include Historical Society President Susan DiSalvo, Jingles White, Supervisor Charlie Bopp, and Dublin Town Manager Tye Kirkner.
A Halloween Wagon Ride Into the Past
Sunday, October 24th, 2021
3 – 6:30 PM at the Museum
Evening Plein Air Painting
Hosted by Cat Jennelle
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Cat will be leading this free event with hopes for more village scenes to include in our 2022 calendar! Join us!
Join us at Claytor Lake to learn about a collection of Native American artifacts recently donated to the museum. These items were found in the 1920s along the New River in an area now covered by the state park.
with artisan Linda Akers
Saturday, September 18, 2021
10 AM – 2 PM
Registration fee of $38. Register by emailing [email protected]
Saturday, September 25, 2021
10 AM – 4 PM
William Christian Chimney Site
near Howe House
Father Harry Winter, OMI will be at the museum to discuss his book Cloud of Witnesses, which chronicles the Floyd-Lewis family and the growth of Catholicism in the Appalachian region. The book is currently on sale in our museum gift shop.
Father Winter was a missionary pastor of two small parishes in rural Virginia and West Virginia, and he served as administrator of a hostel for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The designation OMI stands for Oblate of Mary Immaculate. The Catholic Missionary Oblates serve poor and needy people in the US and around the world.
Join us for this free event. Donations are always welcomed.
In the past, homemade lye soap was the answer for daily cleaning needs. Used for bathing, and to wash clothes, dishes, and floors, this soap was made from leftover cooking fats and wood ashes. Join Fran Stafford to learn this traditional domestic art. $10 fee includes instruction and a take-home bar of fresh soap. Limited class size. Register by email [email protected]
Join the Wilderness Road Regional Museum at one of Southwest Virginia’s most iconic historical sites as we hold our annual Mary Draper Ingles remembrance. To attend, please pre-pay and register through GiveButter, using this link https://givebutter.com/h0cFj2?s=EZEN4g
Once registered, we ask that you email [email protected] with the requested time of your visit. Only 10 people will be invited on site for each tour, with tours offered at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. Tickets issued through the link above will be collected at the gate by the living history Colonial Guard. The experience is graciously offered by the landowners to support the museum, and we greatly appreciate this opportunity to share our local history. Order tickets now to insure your spot.
Ingles Tavern was licensed in 1773 to service travelers along the Great Wagon Road, known locally as the Wilderness Road.
Members of the Montgomery/Fincastle Militia Living History Group will be at Museum on Saturday, July 24 as part of our annual Mary Draper Ingles remembrance. Learn about the daily life of Revolutionary War soldiers with this dedicated group of re-enactors.
Learn the art of felting as you craft miniature sheep with real wool. The $45 fee includes a course fee of $10 and a $35 materials kit, which will make multiple felted sheep. E-mail us at [email protected]
for more information or to register.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
1 – 4 PM
Join us to recognize Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US prior to the Civil War. In honor of the day, there will be crafts and a history display. A representative from the 23rd USCT will be at the museum sharing the story of African Americans’ contribution to the Union war effort.
Local history units of the 24th Virginia Infantry will be joined by the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, re-enacting a surrender ceremony on the old courthouse square in Newbern, in front of the Old Jail.
This three-day workshop will teach participants to replace worn-out seats on ladder-back chairs. Participants may bring their own chair to repair or use one from the museum collection. Class fees will be based on individual supplies required per chair and per student. Please email [email protected] for price quotes and to sign up.
Join us for a special walking tour and the laying of flags and flowers at the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in service to our country. You will learn about soldiers from the Civil War, Phillipines Insurrection, Coal War, Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII.
The cemetery is located adjacent to Newbern Community Christian Church, 5382 Grace Street, Dublin, VA 24084.
We’ll be celebrating the founding of Newbern with an outdoor, socially distanced event featuring living history, crafts demonstrations of the early trades of the village, and music by Indian Run String Band. Westover Ballet will perform dances representing the cultures of 1810 Newbern–Swiss, German, West African, English, Irish, and Scottish. Ironheart Winery will be onsite with wines featuring labels with photographs taken at the museum. The event is free, but donations are warmly welcomed.
Horse drawn wagon tours will run every 30 minutes for a $10 donations per rider. Please email to reserve seats for yourself, family, or friend grouping–[email protected]
This special day commemorates the March 3, 1810 signing of a document establishing a town to be called Newbern, in honor of Bern, Switzerland, the capital of founder Adam Hance’s ancestral land. Our museum building was once the home of the Hance family.
Friday, August 2, 2019, 5:30-8:00 PM
Al’s on First
Jackson Park Inn
This annual summer dinner event to benefit the Museum will feature a menu of Prime Rib with Au Jus offered at a carving station, crab and shrimp dip with pita chips, fruit, vegetables, caprese skewers and more. A cash bar will be available, with the first drink complimentary.
Music in the Banquet Room will be provided by Frederick’s Tiny Methodist Hymnal, a local duo who play ragtime and classic jazz songs with a different spin. Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle will benefit the museum and some lucky winner!
Tickets my be purchased at the museum during hours of operation, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:30 – 4:30, or on-line. Click here to purchase tickets on for the Event.
July 2019 EVENTS
Summer History Camp, July 22-26th, at the Museum. 6-12 year-olds may be registered for entire week or by the day. Call 540-818-3804 or message us on Facebook for more information.
Ricky Cox to Perform
Saturday, July 27, 1 PM, at the Museum
On July 27th, the museum will again be partnering with Radford City’s Day of Remembrance, which will celebrate Mary Draper Ingles and her journey out of captivity. Local singer and folklorist Ricky Cox will present “Traveling the Road through Song.” Ricky teaches in the Appalachian Studies Program at Radford University.
Sunday, July 28th Events
Special One-Day Swords of the Patriots Display at the Museum
2 – 5 PM
See the dress swords of Colonels William Preston, William Fleming, and William Ingles. During the exhibit only, visitors may obtain a pass to tour Ingles Tavern.
Guided Tour of Ingles Tavern
This special Tour of Ingles Tavern will only be offered through the museum from 2-4pm, with 60 spaces available. Guests must come to museum first to get the access passes.
Ingles Tavern, located on the Pulaski County side of the Ingles Ferry crossing, was established by William Ingles and his wife Mary. From 1773 until around 1855, someone within the Ingles family had a license to operate an ordinary or public house, and Ingles Tavern became a complex of services for travelers along the Great Road. Join us for this very special, limited-access event.
JUNE 2019 EVENTS
Flag Day is celebrated across the US on June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the our nation’s flag on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Join us on the afternoon of June 14 at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum for a spcial display of historical flags.
Wilderness Road Scholars Series
Quarterly Meeting of New River Historical Society
Sunday, June 23, 2019, 3 PM at the Museum
Dr. Daniel Thorp, Associate Professor in History at Virginia Tech, will speak on Freedman’s Bureau Schools in the New River Valley. Dr. Thorp is winner of the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence. He is author of Facing Freedom: An African American Community in Virginia from Reconstruction to Jim Cross, and other books and articles. This quarterly meeting of the New River Historical Society is open to the public.
Memorial Day Weekend Events
in Historic Newbern
Sunday, May 26th, 2019
3 PM –“Patriots and Peonies” service at Old Newbern Cemetery (Flags and flowers on historical grades with a brief presentation on the history of Memorial Day; guided tour of the cemetery with selected stories of the soldiers and families buried in Newbern.)
5 PM –Civil-War-Themed Brass Band will share a Patriotic Concert. Bring a chair or blanket, and enjoy the band. Donations accepted for all the GaolHouse Jams to assist with preservation of the old jail. Parking available below the Wilderness Road Regional Museum on Towes Ferry
Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop
Sunday May 19th, 2019, 2:30-4:30pm
In the 1818 German Barn at Wilderness Road Regional Museum
$15 for Workshop includes 4 trees to take home
Some Heirloom Varieties Available including one from
Workshop taught by local horticulturist
Saturday, May 18, 8 AM – 4:30 PM
Dublin Christian Church
5605 Dunlap Road
Dublin, VA 24084
click here to register online https://www.eventbrite.com/e/genealogy-workshop-2019-tickets-58578231066?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Historic Easter Sunrise Service
6:30 AM Easter Morning
Pastor Jason Allmon of Community Christian Church will deliver the sermon. Historian April Martin will provide historical background about why the service is held in the cemetery.
Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 20,
starting 3:30 PM
3:30 Colonist Hunt: Toddlers to 5 years (Old Courthouse Lawn)
3:45 Pioneer Hunt: 6-8 years (Museum Yard)
4:00 Settlers Hunt: 9- 99 years (Museum propoerty)
$2 fee; candy bags included.
Natural egg dye display and pinecone bunny making for kids. Thanks to XDA from Va Tech for assisting with the activity!
American Evolution Exhibit Opening and
Indian Run House Concert–
Sunday, April 14, 5 PM
Next Sunday, join us for a House Concert by Indian Run Stringband and for the official premier of our American Evolution Exhibit. Meet and greet with our interns, who helped with the display. Enjoy the music beginning at 5:30. Cash wine bar available.
Sunday, November 25, 2018, 3 PM
Learn to make a seasonal wreath from all-natural items collected locally at the museum. Class fee is $25, including all supplies and a take-home wreath. Class size is limited and will take place in the 1818 German Barn at the Museum. Please dress appropriately.
Call the museum to Register, 540-674-4835.
Community Laying on of the Greens
Monday, November 26, 2018
11 AM to 2 PM
Volunteers needed for our Laying of the Greens Holiday Decorating!
Join us as we get the museum ready for Holiday Celebration at the Museum!
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:30-4PM
Work and Play
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 1:30-4 PM
Native American Culture
with guest teacher Sarah Carter
Registration fee of $25 daily. Special rates apply for siblings. Call to sign up at 540-818-3804 or 540-674-4835. Homeschool Humpdays are educational, interactive, and fun!
2018 Holiday Celebration at the Museum
December 1 and 2; December 8 and 9
Saturday/Sunday 5-7 pm each day
Candlelight tours of the museum, live music, wassail, and chestnut apple cookies.
The musical line up:
Dec. 1. Harp Duo, Karen Finch and Becky Coffey
Dec. 2 Courtney Ebersolh on the Classic Violin
Dec. 8 Hand Bell Choir, Lynn Loftus and crew
Dec. 9 Greenwood Recorder Ensemble, Susan Sanders, Mary Rhoades, and Betsey Davies.
Newbern Fall Festival–October 13-14, 2018
Fall is upon us, and the Wilderness Road Regional Museum is gearing up for Newbern Fall Festival. We’re excited to present music at the museum on Saturday with a great lineup–Ron Ireland, Jim Lloyd and Friends, Coyote Edwards, Adam Musick, Chase Altizer, Misty Jackson, Jim Crandall, Nate Montgomery, and others.
This year we’re added a windfall of traditional autumnal activities. There will be apple butter working, corn shelling, and apple cider press demonstrations, along with crafts like spinning and lacemaking, leatherworking, woodworking, and musket-ball making. April Martin Danner will provide historical interpretation, and re-enactment groups will provide living history. Colonial and Revolutionary units will be on hand, as well as Civil War re-enactors from the 24th Virginia and 83rd Pennsylvania Infantries
Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner
Friday, November 16, 2018, 6 PM at the Museum
This historically-inspired, chef-prepared Thanksgiving meal brings you history on a plate. April Martin Danner will share the backstory of local foodways and some recipes of Appalachia and Early America. The dinner will feature heritage pork, and culinary delights using local buckwheat, chestnuts, honey, apples, and more. Live music by Indian Run Stringband. The cost is $75 per person. Space is limited to 20. Call April at 540-818-3804 for reservations.
Spirits Along the Wilderness Trail
A Halloween Wagon Ride Along the Wilderness Road
Friday, October 26th, 2018, 4 PM – 8:30 PM at the Museum
Let the horse-drawn wagon transport you back to the early years of the Wilderness Road, to the founding of Newbern, and to the raid on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in 1864. Spirits like Newbern’s founder Adam Hance, Colonel William Christian, tavern guest Andrew Jackson, Representative Benjamin Franklin Wysor, and even Union Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes may make an appearance that night.
The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for kids, and free for children under 5. First come, first served. Limited space per ride, with a ride offered about every 30 minutes. Enjoy kid’s activities and fresh-pressed apple cider from local trees will you wait!
Ingles Ferry to Newbern—Traveling the Wilderness Road–Saturday, July 28, 2018
Music by Ricky Cox at 2 PM
Join us for tours and music on this special Day of Remembrance in Southwest Virginia. We are partnering with Radford City as they commemorate Mary Draper Ingles and her journey out of captivity. Our museum will feature tours that focus on Ingles Ferry and its role transporting travelers on the Wilderness Road.
Local singer and teller of historic tales Ricky Cox will do a special presentation 2:00-3:00 pm on the role of travel in folk music. Ricky has a wide repertoire of ballads and lyric songs. He traces many that began in the British Isles and were brought over by early settlers. Some songs themselves likely traveled by way of the Great Wagon Road, also called the Wilderness Road.
An Enchanting Summer Evening at Rockwood–Thursday, August 16, 2018, 5:30 PM
The Wilderness Road Regional Museum is holding its summer-evening dinner fundraiser at Rockwood Manor on Thursday, August 16, 2018. The doors will open at 5:30 PM, and a catered buffet dinner will be served from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
Tickets may be purchased for $50 each at the museum during hours of operation, beginning July 10. Tickets are also available on-line beginning June 3 at www.eventbrite.com. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $60 each.
Each dinner ticket includes one glass of wine or beer, and there will be a cash bar for additional drinks. A wide range of desserts will also be served, and a silent auction will be set up on the grounds near the dinner site so that it is easily accessible.
What could be more pleasant than to enjoy dinner with music in such a beautiful and historic setting? All proceeds support the many workings of the museum.
Genealogy Workshop–Saturday, May 19, 8 AM – 4 PM
This year’s workshop will be held at Dublin Christian Church, 5605 Dunlap Road, Dublin, VA. This is a new location for an annual event sponsored by Wilderness Road Regional Museum and the New River Historical Society. Sessions for the day will focus on DNA testing and the nuts and bolts of doing genealogical research. All are invited to register for this special event. Light refreshments will be served during check-in time, and lunch will be provided by the JOY Circle of Dublin Christian Church.
A registration fee of $50 may be paid on-line at www.eventbrite.com by searching for Genealogy Workshop, or it may be brought to the Wilderness Road Regional Museum during hours of operation, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:30-4:30. Participants may also mail the fee, along with contact information, to Wilderness Road Regional Museum, PO Box 373, Newbern, VA 24126. After May 1, registration will be available for $55. Fees are non-refundable. For more information about Genealogy Workshop, contact Becki Gunn at 540-674-8378.
Sunday, November 19, 2017, 2 PM–Presentation: “The Virginia Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail”
The Virginia Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail extends the boundaries of Lewis and Clark’s historic journey to include historic corridors traveled on behalf of the expedition before and after the St. Louis departure in 1804 and arrival in 1806. The Eastern Legacy Trail covers about 260 miles through southwest Virginia, including parts of Pulaski County. Volunteers throughout these communities have been organizing and are currently working to document Lewis & Clark connections. Margaret (Peggy) W. Crosson, who is Chair of Virginia’s Great Valley Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail, will explain the project and the exciting results to date.
47th Annual Newbern Arts & Crafts Festival–October 14 & 15
On Saturday, the museum will host music on the grounds. Musicians include (1) Ron Ireland, (2) Coyote Edwards, (3) Misty Jackson, (4) Jim Crandall, (5) Carrie Hinkley & Maggie Blankenship and the Waiting to Exhale Band (Sue Winchester & Alan Graf), (6) Adam Musick, (7) Chase Altizer, (8) Rob Neukirch, (9) Jim Lloyd, (10) Nate Montgomery, and (11) Eric Pratt.
Tours of the museum, log kitchen, and loom house will be offered, along with a variety of items for sale at the Emporium on the side porch. Beans and corn bread, and hot dogs with the world’s best chili will be served both days from the museum kitchen, with entrance at the back, off the parking lot. All of the proceeds will support the operations costs of the museum.
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
Mary Ferrari, Professor of History at Radford University, will present “Mary Draper Ingles: Her Life and Legend” on Sunday, June 19, at 2 PM at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. Ferrari will describe the causes and consequences of the famous Shawnee raid on Draper’s Meadow, including an account of Mary Draper Ingles’ courageous long walk home. She will also focus on Mary Ingles’ life after the raid and on an analysis of the legacy and legend of this well-known Southwest Virginia historical figure. Ferrari’s research included an analysis of the 1774 McCorkle Store Ledger, which will be on display for Sunday’s presentation.
“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
Hillcrest Garden Dinner–Saturday, July 18, 2015, 6 PM
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.