History in Brief

Lynchburg Museum System

Museum System News. The Lynchburg Museum is commemorating the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War by hosting a special traveling exhibition called An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia. Organized by the Virginia Historical Society in partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), An American Turning Point will come to Lynchburg in two parts: Surviving War will be on display through November 18, 2012; the other half, Waging War, will be on view from January 12 through May 5, 2013.

The exhibition includes more than 200 rare objects and interactive state-of-the-art audiovisual programs, telling the stories of people who experienced the Civil War in Virginia. Surviving War emphasizes civilian experiences and Waging War examines the battlefront.

Visitors will see references to famous individuals including abolitionist John Brown and Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, but the majority of the exhibition tells the lesser-known stories of women, men, children, slaves, and soldiers. Visitors to Surviving War will learn about Richmond resident Elizabeth Munford and see the uniform of her son Charles Ellis Munford who was killed in a battle so close to her home she could hear the cannon fire.

The exhibition also tells of former congressman John Minor Botts who was arrested and imprisoned for challenging the legality of the Confederacy, and Jubal Early, an army officer-turned-lawyer who voted against secession but ended up fighting the Union he previously struggled to save. Examples of the diverse collection of objects include a window from Libby Prison in Richmond; an apron used at a Confederate hospital; an invitation to the wedding of Hetty Cary to Brigadier General John Pegram, eighteen days after which the groom was killed near Petersburg; and an 1864 painting titled Jackson Entering the City of Winchester, Virginia, by William D. Washington.

Surviving War features an introductory video and interactive touch screens. A powerful example, the “Journey to Freedom” simulation lets visitors experience what it was like to be a slave attempting escape to Union lines. The simulation takes users through a variety of sequences that unfold based on the decisions they make, including whom to trust, what supplies to select, and which road to take.

The museum staff has been working since 2007 to bring An American Turning Point to Lynchburg. Museum Director Doug Harvey commented, “The American Civil War is the defining chapter in American history so far. The causes of the war are rooted in the creation of the nation, and we are living its legacies today. These stories about Virginians offer real insight into where we have been and who we are.”

The Virginia Historical Society received the 2011 Award of Merit for American Turning Point from the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH).
The Lynchburg Museum, 901 Court Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call (434) 455-6226, visit LynchburgMuseum.org, or find the Lynchburg Museum on Facebook.

Lynchburg Museum First Fridays. The Lynchburg Museum is open free 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Fridays. Each event features a new topic; a staff member will be on hand to talk with visitors and show artifacts that are not usually on exhibit. The museum is located at the top of Monument Terrace, at 901 Court Street. We are on the free trolley route! Please call (434) 455-6226 for information or visit our website: LynchburgMuseum.org.

Museum System Upcoming Events.
The Lynchburg Museum, 901 Court Street, and Point of Honor,112 Cabell Street, are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Contact the museum educator, Rachel Deddens, for group tours and special programs: (434) 455-4424 or rachel.deddens@lynchburgva.gov. Visit us at LynchburgMuseum.org and PointOfHonor.org, or find us on Facebook.

October 6—Day at the Point

Point of Honor will host the 15th annual Day at the Point. This fall festival brings together living history, plenty of refreshments, kid’s games and crafts, period music, a full-size batteau, Gift Shop sale, and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Free.

November 11—Veteran’s Day
Plan a visit to the Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor. Noon to 4 p.m. • Free.

December 2—Christmas Open House at Point of Honor

Point of Honor, one of Lynchburg’s architectural jewels, will host its 30th annual open house. Decorated for Christmas in the year 1815, the home will feature native greens, yule log, and customs of the day. Join us for period music, refreshments, and a special holiday sale in our Gift Shop. Noon to 4 p.m. • Free.

Historic Sandusky

Sandusky News. Historic Sandusky’s documentary has received three Regional Emmy® Awards. Hunter’s Raid: The Battle for Lynchburg was recognized for excellence by the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences at a ceremony held on June 16, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The categories were Editing, Andrew Prass; Post-Production Director, Greg Starbuck; and Historical Documentary. The Hunter’s Raid documentary was produced over a five-year period and premiered at Lynchburg College in May 2010. It is available on DVD.

Sandusky Upcoming Events. In addition to offering a lively calendar of events, Sandusky is open by appointment. Call (434) 832-0162 or email us at info@historicsandusky.org. $5 adults, $3 seniors, $2 students.

October 12—Sunset at Sandusky 
This annual benefit event features food, drink, and a raffle for a Greenbrier weekend getaway package. Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. will be the guest speaker. For more information or tickets call 434-832-0162 or visit HistoricSandusky.org.

Jones Memorial Library

Library Upcoming Lectures. The John D. Owen 2012–2013 Lecture Series offers interesting and informative presentations throughout the year. Plan now to attend and bring a friend with you. Each lecture is given in the Jones Memorial Library’s reading room and begins promptly at 5 p.m.

October 17—”Jefferson’s Furnishings at Poplar Forest” by Gail Pond
Thomas Jefferson’s granddaughter Ellen wrote that Poplar Forest “was furnished in the simplest manner, but had a very tasty air.” Letters, tax records, archaeology, and family histories combine to give us a sense of the furnishings the Jefferson family used at Poplar Forest.

November 14—”History of the E.C. Glass Art
Collection” by Heidi James

E. C. Glass High School currently houses a wonderful collection of community art featuring 175 original pieces dating from 1895, spanning the twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first. The collection features art by E. C. Glass students who have been selected over the years to donate their work, many of whom have become well-known artists; by teachers of art, including the faculties of E. C. Glass, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and Lynchburg College.

March 20—”Downtown Lynchburg Evolves:
A Photographic Journey” by Nancy Marion

Using photographs from her large and eclectic collection, Ms. Marion will trace the evolution of downtown Lynchburg through its growth, decline, and renaissance.

April 17—”The Restoration of Humanity Hall”
by Martha Stokes

“Humanity Hall,” is an eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century house located in Buckingham County, Virginia. The lecture will include a brief history, beginning with the condition of the house when purchased by Martha and Ray Stokes in 2001, and continuing through the restoration process over the past few years.

May 15—Quietas Castra: A Short History
by Ted Craddock

Camping became very popular in Lynchburg, as well as the rest of the country, from the 1840s forward. A group of Lynchburg men began camping in Bath County, Virginia, at the turn of the twentieth century. The lecture will trace origins of this camping organization, Lynchburg families, and the development of the camp.

Old City Cemetery
Cemetery News. Old City Cemetery has a new public relations and visitor services manager. Karen Bracco has replaced Dawn Fields Wise, who retired after eight years at the cemetery to be a full-time mother.
Karen was born in Lynchburg but lived in New Hampshire for the past 30 years. She attended Elon College (University), where she received her B.A. in history education. Her work experience includes corporate sales, marketing several family businesses, substitute teaching, and working for a botanical garden. Karen volunteered for several organizations in New England, including the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine, and served on local boards in her New Hampshire community.

The next time you visit the cemetery, please stop in the office and meet our wonderful new staff member.

Cemetery Upcoming Events.
The cemetery presents informative and fun programs throughout the year. Events take place on the grounds of the Old City Cemetery, 401 Taylor Street, in Lynchburg. For more information or to register for events, call 434-847-1465 or email Karen@gravegarden.org. Programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted ($).

January–December 2012—“Four Seasons of the Gravegarden” Photography Contest
Submit a series of four photographs, representing each of the four seasons, taken on the cemetery grounds in 2012. Entry deadline December 31, 2012. Judging and awards in January 2013.

October 7—Blessing of the Animals

Bring your favorite creature (in pet carriers or on a leash, please) or a picture of your pet, and join us to have your animal friend blessed in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi. Sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church. Meet at the Chapel. 3-5 p.m.

October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, & 27—Candlelight Tours ($)
Come early to enjoy the glorious fall foliage in the cemetery and stay for the candlelight tour! Six tours each night. Follow your guide by candlelight as you visit the graves of Lynchburg citizens and hear costumed professional actors tell the stories of the colorful people buried in the cemetery. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

October 21—Autumn Afternoon Tour
Guided walking tour highlighting the history and horticulture on the grounds near the peak of fall color. 3:00 p.m.

October 31—All Hallows Eve Service
Refreshments by jack-o-lantern candlelight in the Earley Memorial Shrub Garden following the service in the Chapel. 5:00 p.m.

December 1—
Wreath Making Workshops ($)

Make your own natural holiday wreath with greenery from the cemetery grounds. All materials provided. Seating is limited. Pre-registration required.
9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

December 15—Wreaths Across America Ceremony
As part of a nationwide event, wreaths will be placed on the graves of veterans in memory of fallen soldiers and honor those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces. 12 noon.

December 16—Holiday Open House

Stop by the Cemetery Center for hot cider and cookies and last minute gifts between 1-3 p.m., before going to the Chapel for a special holiday concert by members of the Jefferson Choral Society at 3:00 p.m.

Poplar Forest

Poplar Forest Upcoming Events. Visitors come to Poplar Forest to see the latest discoveries and restored features, as well as to sense Jefferson’s presence in the house and feel an emotional connection to the man, his ideas, his boundless energy, and his ingenuity. Poplar Forest is open seven days a week, April through November. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (434) 525-1806 or visit Poplar Forest to plan your visit. Our address is 1542 Bateman Bridge Road, Forest, Virginia 24551.

October 6—Archaeology Behind-the-Scenes Tours Archaeologists share their latest discoveries and take visitors inside the archaeology lab. Tours at 11:15 a.m.; 12:15, 1:15, and 2:15 p.m. Free with regular admission.

October 13—Poplar Forest 5K
It’s the 2nd annual run to support children’s educational programming at Poplar Forest! 5K race at 8:30 a.m. Kids run at 9:30 a.m. Register online in advance, or at the door. Registration fee.

November 8, 13—Candlelight Tours
Catch a rare glimpse inside the octagonal walls after dark. Learn how Jefferson and his family passed the time after sunset. Museum Shop open until 7 p.m. for holiday shopping. Admission is $20 and includes matted print of Poplar Forest at night. Tour will begin at 5:30 p.m. Reservations required.

November 17—Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival

Raise a glass with “Mr. Jefferson” as we celebrate his passion for wine. Featuring Virginia wineries, artisans, local food vendors, and music. 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available online or by telephone. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $10 non-tasting.

December 9—Holiday Tours
Stationed tours focus on holiday traditions and dining in the early 19th century. There will also be period and holiday music! The Museum Shop will open for holiday shopping. Noon until 3 p.m. This event is free with regular admission.

Legacy Museum of
African American History

Legacy Upcoming Events.
The museum’s current exhibit, “Trouble Don’t Las’ Always”: African American Life in Central Virginia During and After the Civil War, 1860-1890, will be on display until June 2014. For information about the exhibit or other events, visit LegacyMuseum.org or call (434) 845-3455. The Legacy Museum is located at 403 Monroe Street, Lynchburg, Virginia. Open Wednesday–Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Other times by appointment.

October 20—Fourth Annual
Harambee Fall Festival

The word harambee means “let’s pull together.” This fall festival features craft demonstrations, hands-on activities for children, and local performance groups, as well as food and craft vendors.  The event takes place on the museum grounds from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival is free to the public, but donations are accepted.

December 8—Celebrating Kwanzaa
The history and meaning of this African American holiday will be celebrated at the Legacy Activity Center, 415 Monroe Street, Lynchburg,Virginia, starting at 11 a.m.

Bedford Museum &
Genealogical Library

Bedford News. The Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library was busy all summer with our free children’s program: Fridays at the Museum. The program teaches local history to children from second to sixth grade. This past summer over 60 children were enrolled. We have also been busy with our free beginning genealogy classes, offered one day per week for four weeks every month. In addition, our monthly genealogy forum meetings have allowed individuals to share information about their genealogy, as well as tips for researching family groups.

Bedford Upcoming Events.
The museum’s exciting new display, Ardent Spirits & Mean Whiskey: A History of Moonshining in Bedford County & Virginia’s Southside, opened on September 7 and will run through the end of 2012. The museum is open Monday through Friday,10 a.m to 5 p.m.; Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. The museum is free and open to the public, however a $3.00 donation per adult is suggested. For more information about exhibits and events call 540-586-4520 or email info@BedfordVAMuseum.org.

September–December 2012—
Ardent Spirits & Mean Whiskey

The museum’s latest display, Ardent Spirits & Mean Whiskey: A History of Moonshining in Bedford County & Virginia’s Southside, highlights the many ways in which whiskey and moonshine have influenced the region’s history. 

October 11—Ghost Walk
Unlike other events in the area, Ghost Walk: Reinterpretation of Historical Bedford County Residents Who Happen to Be Dead, will not be scary. It is more of a reenactment, focusing on previously living Bedford County residents.

November 23—Christmas Trains Exhibit
The day after Thanksgiving, our annual model train exhibit will be up and operational. This “O” gauge train installation takes up most of our third floor and brings many visitors to the museum every year. It will remain open until the last Saturday in January 2013
New London Museum
New London News.
On July 5, 2012, the Friends of New London, Virginia, Inc. (FNL) purchased a property that holds a prominent place in the settlement of Central Virginia. The historic Mead’s Tavern, built in 1763 by Colonel William Mead, is one of the oldest surviving structures in Campbell County and the region. The group intends to restore the building for use as its museum headquarters.

Members of the public are encouraged to share any information they may have about this fascinating structure or of the Mead, Penn, Thompson, Moseley, Kabler, and other families and students who inhabited it. During its lifetime this structure has been an ordinary, a tavern, Roland Academy for young females (1810 through the late1820s, with Samuel Miller as the first headmaster), a parsonage, a doctor’s office, and a private residence.

As fundraising efforts continue, FNL will begin the process of nominating the tavern for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A grand opening and tours of the property will take place in the near future.

Originally published in 1950, authored by Miss Daisy Imogene Read, New London Today and Yesterday was re-published in 2011 by Warwick House Publishing with an index and addenda. Chapters include the history of New London village, New London Academy, local families and genealogy, the Revolutionary War arsenal, and Hunter’s Raid. Copies are available at FNL or via its website. All proceeds go toward restoration of Mead’s Tavern.

New London Upcoming Events. For more information about Friends of New London–sponsored events, visit NewLondonMuseum.org or find us on Facebook.

October 6—Fall Festival
This year’s activities are taking place at the newly acquired Mead’s Tavern, 594 Alum Springs Road. Activities include tours of the colonial-era tavern, Brunswick stew making, and an antique car show. We hope you’ll make plans to attend! 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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