Explore the past in SW Virginia this summer with a historic scavenger hunt!
Sixteen history museums, from Bedford to Wytheville, are partnering to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Batts & Fallam [aka Batte & Hallom] Expedition
Three hundred and fifty years ago, explorers Thomas Batts [Batte] and Robert Fallam [Hallom] set out from what is now Petersburg on a quest to find a land route to the Pacific Ocean. Their journal records their visit to this region, making them some of the earliest—and perhaps the first—European explorers to reach southwest Virginia. This summer, sixteen history museums across the region are recreating that spirit of exploration with a scavenger hunt of historic proportions.
This summer will be a great time to get out and explore SW Virginia history! Each museum tells its own unique and fascinating story; in addition, each site has selected a special scavenger hunt challenge question that adds to the fun. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a History Passport at any participating museum or download a copy at the History Hunt SW VA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HistoryHuntSWVA. The History Passport includes all of the scavenger hunt questions, plus information about each participating museum.
The majority of these museums offer free admission, or free admission for children participating in this passport program. Hours also vary: call ahead or check museum websites for the days of the week and hours each is open. Families and visitors of all ages are welcome and encouraged to join in the exploration.
Visitors will be entered into a prize drawing for every five museums visited between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when they find the answers to the scavenger hunt challenge questions at each site. The drawing will take place after Labor Day.
The sixteen participating history museums stretch from Bedford to Wytheville, offering much to explore:
- Bedford: Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library (http://www.bedfordvamuseum.org/), and National D-Day Memorial (https://www.dday.org/).
- Fincastle: Botetourt County Historical Society & Museum (https://bothistsoc.wordpress.com/).
- Roanoke Valley: O. Winston Link & History Museum of Western Virginia (https://roanokehistory.org/), Salem Museum (https://salemmuseum.org/), and Virginia Museum of Transportation (http://www.vmt.org/).
- New River Valley: Alexander Black House & Cultural Center and St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall (https://www.blacksburgmuseum.org/), Glencoe Mansion Museum & Gallery (https://glencoemuseum.org/), Historic Smithfield (https://www.historicsmithfield.org/), Montgomery Museum of Art & History (www.montgomerymuseum.org), Ratcliffe Museum of Transportation (https://www.theratcliffemuseum.com/, and Wilderness Road Regional Museum (https://wildernessroadregionalmuseum.com/) .
- Wytheville: Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum (http://www.edithbollingwilson.org/), Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum and Thomas J. Boyd Museum (https://www.wytheville.org/museums/museums.php).
The Batts and Fallam [Batte and Hallom] Expedition of 1671 was funded by Abraham Wood, who hoped the expedition would discover a route to the “South Sea” just beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. The explorers and their Native American guide headed west, but their exact route is debated by historians today. In September, the explorers noted in their journal, “we came to a very steep descent, at the foot whereof stood the Totera Town in a very rich swamp between a branch and the main River of Roanoke circled about with mountains… Here we were exceedingly civilly entertain’d. Saturday night, Sunday and Monday we staid at the Toteras.” The location of Totera Town, home of the Tutelo tribe, remains a mystery, but archaeological evidence suggests it may have been in modern Salem. While the group didn’t find a route to the Pacific, they are credited with being the first Europeans to see the New River.
For more information and to download a passport, visit History Hunt SW VA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HistoryHuntSWVA.
The 3rd annual h’ARTS on Main fundraiser is fast approaching and we hope you can join us!
Held at the Great Road on Main, local artists and artisans, will display and sell their work. Anywhere from jewelry designers, fiber artists, portraitists, and photographers, you will see a lot of what this community values in art and artistry. Plus, there’s so much more!
The silent auction begins Friday at 1, and closes on Saturday at 4 (to benefit the Montgomery Museum of Art and History.) From 4-4:30, we’ll announce the winners. If you can’t be there, DON’T WORRY. You can pick up your items at the Montgomery Museum the following week. The items this year are fantastic! Don’t miss this!
If you like to work in art, we are also hosting FREE hour-long art instructional classes for the Young at h’ART (ages 7 and up) which will be held on Saturday. (Many thanks to the Blacksburg Regional Art Association, for sponsoring these classes!) Claim your spot while you can, as spaces are limited: h’ARTS on Main
You’ll also be interested in listening to our local musicians, who will play throughout the day, Saturday. Find out more.
Can’t wait to see you there!
The Third Annual Cruisin’ Christiansburg will be held by the Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center on Saturday May 12, 2018 from 3:30-7:30 p.m. This is a free, family-friendly event.
A cruise-in is a gathering of people who drive their classic or muscle cars on a regular basis and people who just like to look at cars, especially the classics. Members of the Blue Ridge Mountain MOPAR Club will participate in the event. A variety of classic cars will be parked along Main and Hickok Streets. Come to see and explore these classic cars, talk with other people who are interested in cars, and make new friends with a shared interest. Want to bring your classic car? Contact Dale Echols firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hot Diggity Dog food truck will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers at the event. Snacks, water, and soft drinks will be available for purchase at the museum tent. Music from the 1950s will add to the fun!
Artists have been invited to attend and create “plein air” artwork at the event. Plein air painting is all about leaving the four walls of the studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the open air.
Continue a Cub Scouting custom or make a new family tradition, by creating cars from a block of wood and racing in the Pinewood Derby sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 145. The derby will be held at Great Road Hall (the former Main Street Baptist Church) at 100 W. Main St. in Christiansburg from 3:30-7:30. Racers can bring their own already-made Pinewood Derby car or build a new one from a Pinewood Derby kit. The kits are available for purchase for $5 from the Montgomery Museum at 300 S. Pepper Street in Christiansburg. All ages are encouraged to build and race on the track provided by Pack 145. All children who race will receive a special Pinewood Derby patch. The race will be an “outlaw” version, meaning there will be no weighing or measurements. The only requirement is that the car fit on the track.
Come out and join us for this exciting multi-faceted event in downtown Christiansburg!