Appalachian Chair Making Presentation, 2019 Exhibit, Upcoming events and more.
Southern Appalachian Chair Making
Presentation with Michael Ryan Saturday, March 9, 10:30am at the Floyd Center for the Arts
After winter weather cancelled our January meeting, we are pleased to be able to reschedule with Michael Ryan, storyteller and historian. His program will look at the tradition of Southern Appalachian hand-built chairs. He will discuss the tools, methods, and materials used as part of this rich tradition of the Blue Ridge Mountain region in which we live. Ryan, a former Interpretative Ranger for the National Park Service, is a trained archivist and local historian. He is also the author of “Ed and Lizzie: The Mabrys and Their Mill,A Blue Ridge Mountain History,” which is available for sale at the Historical Society Museum and on our website, and “Life in Rock Castle, Virginia.” Both books will be available for purchase at the event.
Get Ready for Give Big NRV
April 24, 2019
The annual GiveBigNRV allows non-profits to promote their projects and provides an online platform for making donations that also offers awards to participating organizations for the most individual donors and most overall donations collected. This year’s GiveBigNRV day is all day April 24th. Take this opportunity to show your support of the Floyd County Historical Society as we collect and share the rich history of Floyd County. Your donations help us protect fragile documents and artifacts; mount exhibits in the Historical Society Museum and expand our educational programming. Please visit our page on the GiveBigNRV site and make your donation today or any day.
An Invitation from Sheilah Elwardani, Exhibit Coordinator
The Floyd County Historical Society has dedicated 2019 as a year to pay tribute to the historic churches of Floyd County. In recognition of the foundational role early churches have and continue to play in the building and shaping of Floyd County the Historical Society Museum will dedicate this years’ exhibit to the churches built and organized between 1795 and 1950. Floyd’s church communities have always been the centers for fellowship, community support, organization and celebration. Rich in history and comprised of congregations which built Floyd County into the jewel it is today; these churches deserve recognition for their central role in the history of Floyd County.
We would like to capture the unique contributions of each church: its history, role in the community, style of worship and key people in the congregation. The Floyd County Historical Society invites all congregations organized prior to 1950 to participate in this year-long celebration. Items on exhibit will include: Bibles, hymnals, paintings, photographs, original windows, quilts, crosses and many other unique items. The Floyd County Historical Society is excited to bring this exhibit together and pay long overdue homage to the churches which shaped and built this county. A wide variety of iconic items have already been promised for loan to the exhibit. The original front window from Slate Mountain Church will likely grace the exhibit as well as the hand pointing toward heaven which once topped the steeple of the original Floyd Methodist Church. Several quilts, collection plates and alter tables are also in the process of passing church level approval for loan to the exhibit. Any members whose personal church has not been contacted or who possess items from one of Floyd’s old churches, please contact Sheilah Elwardani at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a possible loan to the exhibit.
A Little History from within History
Article written by Susan Harris Hall in 1947
Susan Harris Hall was the daughter of Chloe Bigelow Harris and Rev. John Kellogg Harris. The article makes reference to a Choctaw Bible. FCHS has a Choctaw New Testament from the estate of Rev and Mrs. Harris. This article was written after the death of Mrs. Peterman in 1947. Annie Maria Smith (1817-1883) taught in Floyd County 1868-1883. She was owner and principal of Jacksonville Female Institute (begun 1871) that “not only prepared young women for the ‘social graces’ but for work. It became a training ground for women entering the teaching profession.” She also taught in the public graded school housed in the old Female Academy. In her last years, Smith shared stories with her students recounting her friendship with Edgar Allan Poe. Some of her students remembered that she had suggested that his poem “To Annie” was meant for her. Poe himself had shared that “To Annie” was actually written for his friend, Nancy Heywood Richmond, whom Poe called “my Annie.” Another example of Poe’s inclination to choose a name different from the actual name of his subject was “Annabel Lee” which he wrote to honor the memory of his wife, Virginia Clemm. (His name choice was often for the purpose of fitting his meter or rhyme scheme.)
Preservation Work in the Museum Archives
Help Needed with Humidification and Flattening of Court Documents
Back in 2002, the Circuit Court of Floyd County transferred to the Historical Society approximately 25 cubic feet of historic court records, “for the use and benefit of the citizens of Floyd County.” Until recently, these records were housed in the Main Street building that prior to 1974 was the Floyd Presbyterian Church. Recently, some of the boxes were found to have been water stained from a roof leak. The Society’s officers decided that the records should be moved to the archives room at the museum.
Grant assistance from the Larry Woodrow Vest Fund of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley and donations from the Feisty Floyd Filanthropists helped with the purchase of additional shelving and supplies that will improve storage conditions for the records. Up to now the records have remained folded several times, tightly bound, and packed tightly into secure boxes. To make research access safe for the records, they need to be humidified so they can be unfolded without being damaged. Once unfolded, they will be dried and flattened, then stored in appropriate boxes. This process takes time and we need volunteers to help with the process. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the humidification process, please contact Ann Shank at 745-8488 or email@example.com.
50 years of “Virginia is for Lovers”
What were you doing in 1969?
The Floyd County Historical Society is participating with Virginia Tourism in celebrating 50 years since the launching of the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers.” We would like to celebrate your momentous life occasions from 1969. Did you get married, graduate, visit somewhere special, celebrate a special anniversary or do you simply have a special memory you would like to share from the year 1969? We are looking forward to hearing from anyone who can contribute local happenings to our collective story in celebration of the state slogan. Feel free to write, call or email with your stories before July 1st.
“VIRGINIA CAVALCADE” DUPLICATES
Out of Print Virginia Publication Available
The Society’s archives has ten duplicate issues of “Virginia Cavalcade,” which are available for anyone who would like them. “Virginia Cavalcade” is a quarterly illustrated magazine of Virginia history and culture that is published by the Virginia State Library. The available issues are Spring 1986; Autumn 1999; Spring, Summer and Autumn of 2000; and Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter of 2001. If interested, look through them at the March 9, 10:00 a.m. Historical Society meeting at the Floyd Center for the Arts, or contact Ann Shank at 745-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of the Appalachian Trail
Assist in Tracing the Historical Path of the Appalachian Trail through Floyd County and Surrounding Areas
Have you ever hiked the Appalachian Trail or know someone who has?Mike Kelly, a history professor at George Mason University, is doing research and interviewing persons with memories of the Appalachian Trail. He is particularly interested in stories and information about the old Appalachian Trail that went through Floyd County and surrounding areas until 1954-55 when it was moved to Giles County. If you are interested in participating and sharing your story, please contact the museum at 745-3247 or email us at email@example.com and we will connect you with Mike Kelly.
Old Appalachian Trail shelter on Rock Castle Gorge Trail. Photo Courtesy of Tony Greatorex.
How Can I Help?
We always need additional help assisting with research, finding and writing grants, helping with displaying exhibits, museum housekeeping, yard beautification, preparing newsletters, assisting with correspondence, and serving as docents. Please help us continue our momentum to share and celebrate our history. For more details, please call Becky Weeks at 745-4256 or Connie Mitchell at 745-2316
Becky Weeks – President Gerald Via – 1st Vice President John Graham – 2nd Vice President Connie Mitchell – Secretary Fran Helms – Treasurer Ann Shank – Archivist Margaret Smith – Parliamentarian
Ridgemont Hospital, circa 1914
March 9 Mike Ryan, “Southern Appalachian Chair Making” Floyd Center for the Arts Meeting @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
April 24 GiveBigNRV Fund Drive
April 27 Museum Opening Reception Saturday, 2pm-4pm
May 11 Tribute to Floyd County Church History Floyd Center for the Arts Meeting @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
June 8 & 15 Tracing Our Roots Tour of Laurel Branch Road/ Topeco Community
September 14 Celebrating 50 years of “Virginia is for Lovers” Floyd Center for the Arts Meeting @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
November 9 Shaped Note Singing Floyd Center for the Arts Meeting @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
DONATIONS IN HONOR OF / IN MEMORY OF
A donation to the Floyd County Historical Society in Honor or in Memory of a loved one is a meaningful gift that can make a lasting difference. Every dollar you donate goes directly to support the Floyd County Historical Society Museum. Your gift will be acknowledged, and a card will be mailed to the recipient or the recipient’s family to let them know of your kindness. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
To make a donation, visit our website and make a donation HERE, or send donations and the name of the individual you would like to honor as well as the name, address and phone number of those you would like to receive our acknowledgement card to Floyd County Historical Society, P.O. Box 292, Floyd, VA 24091-0292
BECOME A MEMBER, RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP OR MAKE A DONATION TO THE MUSEUM FUND
You can help preserve the history of Floyd County. Our programs include lectures, publications, community outreach and exhibits. The Society maintains an archive of historic artifacts, documents and photographs.
Annual dues are $20.00 single or $30.00 family. Become a member or renew your membership online (HERE) or via snail mail. Please send checks, along with your current full name, address, phone number and email address to Floyd County Historical Society, P.O. Box 292, Floyd, VA 24091-0292. Don’t forget to indicate if this is a New Membership, Renewal, or donation for our Museum Fund.
This is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation may be tax deductible.
ALL DUES ARE PAYABLE YEARLY ON JANUARY 1
Thank you to everyone who has already renewed their membership!
• Due to the Covid-19 health emergency, the museum will be closed to the public until April 2021.
• All Floyd County Historical programs are canceled until our annual meeting on November 21st, 2020, at the Floyd Center for the Arts. Please check our website for further details on our November program.
• During this time we will continue to monitor phone messages and emails as well as our Facebook page and website.