History Day at Ashe Museum
Two new exhibits celebrating distinctive periods in local
history and how those events have added to the area’s rich tapestry will open this Saturday, Oct.
13, at the Museum of Ashe County History in Jefferson.
In honor of the sacrifices made both on the home front and on the front lines, museum volunteers have captured a few encapsulating glimpses of the 1940s with a new World War II exhibit.
Titled, “Over here, over there: Ashe County’s contribution to WWII,” the temporary exhibit will consists of relics and artifacts, ranging from war bridal wedding gowns and official military era uniforms to weapons and pictures of soldiers who fought in the war.
Museum director Ramona Renfroe said the purpose of the exhibit is to cover both the war and how it affected everyday citizens back home.
“The war had such a huge impact on everyone back home, and we really wanted to give people a feeling of the era,” Renfroe said. “It changed the way we do things in America.”
Also new to the museum is the permanent home of the Ashe County Sports Hall of Fame.
While the hall of fame has inducted new members on an annual basis for more than four years, it has not had an official memorial to commemorate the accolades of local athletes, coaches and sports teams until recently.
Renfroe said the hall would showcase the plaques of each inducted member.
Along with the official opening of two new exhibits, history buffs will also converge on the museum’s side lawn for insights into the American Civil War, with demonstrations from the re-enacted 26th Regiment of the Confederate States of America.
The living history event will kick off shortly after 10 a.m. before wrapping up around 3 p.m., said Renfroe.
In addition to live demonstrations, other actors of the time period will be available to answer questions of home life during the nation’s bloodiest conflict, as well as some of the crafts and artisan work that dominated the era.
Taste of modern Americana will also be available with the sell of hot dogs and hamburgers by local Boy Scout troops.
Following the museum demonstration, the public is invited to rejoin the re-enactors as they set up camp at Buffalo Bed and Breakfast at 958 West Buffalo Road to continue the day’s earlier program.
“The event will not be as formal as the museum’s program,” inn owner Doc Adams said.
Parking will be available at the Buffalo Baptist Church, but Adams said space would be limited. The program is scheduled to begin at about 3 p.m.
The cross-county history bash will kick off Friday with an old-fashioned square dance in the museum's parking lot, starting at 7 p.m.
Renfroe said the seasonal schedule that is chock full of historical events is part of the museum’s Autumn Leaf Festival, which is a homage to the fall foliage excursions.
During the fall of each year until 1977, locals and tourists alike would board the Virginia Creeper Railway as they would take day trips from Ashe County to southwest Virginia to see the changing of the seasons, Renfroe said.
All events are free.
The Museum of Ashe County History is located at 301 E. Main St. in Jefferson. For more information, call (336) 846-1904 or visit http://www.ashehistory.org.