M. Slusher Memorial, Upcoming Events, 2020 Calendar and more!
We are saddened to announce the death of a dear friend of the Society, Maurice T. Slusher.
Honoring the memory and contributions of Maurice Trent Slusher
(April 14, 1927-Sept. 4, 2019)
Condensed from the Eulogy
Written by Alice Slusher and Janet Slusher Keith
The Slusher family, Floyd County and the Floyd County Historical Society have lost a keystone member of our community with the recent loss of Maurice Slusher. Maurice devoted his entire life to the service of others built upon the deep foundation of his Christian faith. The Floyd County Historical Society is honoring his lifelong passion for preserving history and his active contributions to Floyd County history.
The following is in direct quote from the beautiful eulogy delivered at his funeral by Janet Keith.
“It has been said, “The past travels in us to the future.” [–Ralph Waldo Emerson] Maurice realized this as he compiled a comprehensive history of the county postal service. He gathered and documented thousands of items: from rural carrier’s sorting desk, to hand-operated cancelling machines, to a mail pouch with padlock, to covers from long-discontinued Floyd County post offices. Those with whom he shared his collection in his home, or those who have heard his presentations to the Historical Society or have seen him interviewed on local CCTV, realize the county history he preserved. Thinking of the future, Maurice and Nadine donated his collection to the Floyd County Historical Society.
Maurice was a charter member of the Historical Society and one of its most active members. He was a museum volunteer and contributed to many exhibits, including the current one sharing the vital role that churches have played in Floyd County’s history. Years ago, I was privileged to be part of the walking tour of the town of Floyd led by Maurice. Not only did he know the history of all of the featured structures, but he also shared his personal connection to the Ridgemont, Floyd’s first hospital and current home of the Historical Society Museum. He got our attention when he said, “I would not be alive today if it were not for Dr. Dalton at this hospital.” He explained that as an infant, he was not thriving, and it was Dr. Dalton who created a supplemental formula that literally saved his life.
Maurice and Nadine’s neighbors in the Falling Branch Community may remember him as the gardener who allowed no weeds to linger in his gardens, the farmer who found pleasure in work well done, the poll worker checking names on Election Day, one of the crew picking up trash along the highway, and a faithful leader in Falling Branch United Methodist Church.
All of us who knew him recognized that he was a true gentleman, someone who credited others and downplayed his own accomplishments. Knowing that Maurice was a World War II veteran, directors of the Roots with Wings Oral History program asked him to share his experiences with high school students. Initially he declined, believing that others’ experiences were more compelling than his sixteen months of service in the Navy. A high school graduate not yet 18 when he enlisted, Maurice was on a yard-mine sweeper preparing to ship out for battle when Japan surrendered, ending the war. Fortunately for the students and for us, Maurice later relented. During his interview, archived at Old Church Gallery, he described farm life in the 1930’s and ‘40’s, high school life, military service, sports history, race relations, and so much more.
All of us who loved him will remember Maurice for his kindness, humility, welcoming hugs and expressions of appreciation, patriotism, dry humor, quiet intensity, generosity, lifelong learning, faith in the future, and his love for us.”
Maurice Slusher has left an unfillable place in Floyd and in the Floyd County Historical Society. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.
Message from President Rebecca Weeks
I am humbled to look back on all we have accomplished together in the past 12 years. I became a member of the Floyd County Historical Society in 2004 after retiring and returning home to Floyd. I clearly remember that the central goal of the organization was to have an historical museum. When I became president of the FCHS in 2007, I sought to realize this goal through closely working with the Floyd County Preservation Trust to transform the Ridgemont Hospital into a museum. We could never have achieved the FCHS founders’ goal without the interest, support, and dedication of the membership. Fortunately, through their deep commitment, we opened the Floyd County Historical Society Museum in May 2010. The past years have been a rewarding and exciting time to be your leader as we have worked together in experiencing exhilarating growth. Key moments of change and progress have required flexibility, communication, technological globalization, and many dedicated, competent, energetic volunteers. We have set our trajectory, and with supportive leadership, we are poised for a bright future. I will continue to be as involved as my health permits, but with terminal cancer, I now strive to make the most of every day.
Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia has awarded $46,500 to benefit non-profits in Floyd County
On October 22nd, the CMFSWV announced that Floyd County Historical Society was awarded $12,000 from the Larry Woodrow Vest Fund to preserve its collection of approximately 40,000 court records dating from the early 1800s. Currently, the documents are unavailable to the general public due to the fragile nature of the pages. Once these documents are preserved and archived, it will be made available to the public on its website. This is a project that could potentially take years to complete and we need your help. Let us know if you can help with the humidification process needed to process these documents.
The 2020 museum exhibit will focus on Floyd County from the end of the Second World War to the end of the Eisenhower Administration. The Korean Conflict will be highlighted with special attention paid to local troops who fought during the conflict. We are looking for items (photos, letters, military items, etc.) from that time period. Please let us know if you can help in preparing the exhibit.
The phrase “Sacred Heart” refers to the human voice as the instrument of worship
Traditional Shape-Note Singing: Alive and Cherished in Floyd County
In the early 1700’s, New England Puritans forbade the use of instruments during worship services. As time passed the Puritans wished to reintroduce harmony into their sacred music. The answer to re-teaching harmony singing to a population with no access to traditional musical instruction was a simplified form of presenting hymns using shapes on the notes to denote how each was to be sung. Sacred Harp shape-note sing was born.
Shape-note singing spread through the country becoming especially strong in the rural south and the Appalachian Mountains. Soon after the development of the shape note system, singing schools emerged using shape notes for the purpose of teaching lay people the foundations of reading music. Teachers were commissioned by church congregations to conduct singing schools for children and adults.
The tradition of the singing school survives in Floyd County with instruction in shape-note singing to this day. Shape-note singing in Floyd County is vibrant with an active and growing group known simply as the Floyd Shape-Note Singers.
The Floyd County Historical Society will host a public event on Saturday, November 9, 2019 featuring the history of shape-note singing, as well as the Floyd Shape-Note Singers at the Floyd Center for the Arts. The event will begin at 10:00 am with a brief Historical Society meeting followed by the guest presenters and shape-note singers. The event is open to the public and the Historical Society invites everyone interested in this traditional music to attend.
FCHS 2020 Calendar
“Historic Homes of Floyd County”
Featuring homes that have been a part of Floyd County for at least 100 years
It’s time to think about planning for 2020!
The Floyd County Historical Society will soon release it’s 2020 calendar. The theme this year is Historic Homes.
These calendars will be available for purchase after November 9th for $10 ($3.50 for shipping) at the Floyd County Historical Society Museum, Floyd Chamber of Commerce, Slaughter’s Supermarket, Dot’s Beauty Shop, Pine Tavern, C.W. Harmon and Sons, Midway Grocery and Willis Village Mart as well as online at www.FloydHistoricalSociety.com.
The 2020 calendar features full spreads of Soapstone House, Aspen Hall, Oakdale, Christopher Slusher, Sr. Home, Goodykoontz Home, Abram D. Burnett House, Susan E. Aldridge Homeplace, Terry Cabin, Poff House, Glenanna, Marshal Home, Seven Oaks, and The Pines. It also features 4 pages of further homes including the home of Dr. E. L. Lawrence, the Lawson House, the Phillips home, the Epperly residence, the Zion Lutheran Church Parsonage, the Slusher Harmon log home, and the Vaughn home.
Floyd County Historical Society Notecards
Get yours today!
Write your notes in these sweet cards, printed in-house and supporting the works of the Floyd county Historical Society. Each card features one of the four images seen below, is blank inside and has the brief historical note as well as the contact information of the Society on the back. Notecards are $6 for a pack of 4 (one of each image) and can be purchased at the museum, online and at the upcoming meeting on November 9th.
How Can I Help?
We always need additional help assisting with research, updating our online database, digitizing archives, 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 the museum at (540) 745-3247 or email us at FloydHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.
Rebecca Weeks, President Gerald Via, 1st Vice President Jim Slusher, 2nd Vice President Connie Mitchell, Secretary Fran Helms, Treasurer Ann Shank, Archivist Gino Williams, Parliamentarian
November 9 Shaped Note Singing Floyd Center for the Arts Business Meeting Board Elections @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
December 7 Last opportunity to visit for 2019 –Museum closes for winter
January 18 *Farm Bureau Building 336 E. Oxford Street Business Meeting @ 10am Presentation from 10:30am-12:00pm
*Please note that the location of our meeting in January has moved.
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 donate 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.
2020 is just around the corner. Send in your 2019 membership dues today!
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.