SUMMER 2017 EXHIBITS
“Our People in Wartime: Sacrifice and Duty at Home and Abroad”
This new exhibit focuses on the contributions of Pulaski County, Virginia, to war efforts, especially during World Wars I and II.
The citizens of Pulaski did plenty to demonstrate their support in these two major conflicts of the 20th century. They collected scrap metal to be recycled for weapons, held War Bonds drives to help pay for equipping a massive military buildup, learned new farming techniques for more food to feed the troops, and sacrificed their own personal comfort by rationing common staples of their own meals, like sugar and coffee, and stayed home to save gas and rubber needed for the military. Everyone from Boy Scouts to housewives to business owners got involved in supporting the war effort.
One of the most vivid artifacts on display in the exhibit is a series of posters produced by a government agencies, such as the Office of Civilian Defense and the Department of Agriculture. These posters prove that you can fight a war with words and pictures, as well as with bullets and bombs.
“By Her Hand,” displays 19th- and early 20th-century handwork crafted by local women. Quilts, tatted lace, hand sewn garments, and woven coverlets are shown, along with 19th century sewing implements—needle cases, scissors, thimbles, pin cushions, and other tools. These items from the museum’s collection have never before been assembled to highlight the skill of local women artisans.
Into the Wilderness — On permanent display at the museum, Into the Wilderness traces the history of the western spur of one of America’s first highway systems. This road, formed along ancient animal trails and Iroquois footpaths, ran from Philadelphia, down through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, then forked, turning west toward the wilderness of Kentucky and beyond. Known as the Great Philadelphia Road, the Great Wagon Road, or sometimes simply the Wilderness Road, the road played a major role in the settling of America. The exhibit traces this richly drawn tale of American expansion and commerce, explaining the early development of the road and the reasons that tens of thousands moved up and down the road during the 18th and 19th centuries.Hance Store Exhibit–The building that houses the Wilderness Road Regional Museum was once a store owned by Henry Hance, son of Newbern’s founder. The new exhibit recreates the Hance Store of the early nineteenth century. One of the most unique attractions is the original ledger Hance used to keep track of purchases made by specific customers. There are names of townspeople, which items they bought, and how the account was paid. This artifact recently won the honor of being placed on the Top 10 Endangered Artifacts by the Virginia Association of Museums. Our new exhibit features many of the items that the store would have sold–antique jars that hold spices, hanging herbs, tools, period clothing, and blankets.