Permanent Exhibits

The Crossing of the Dan

  • The Native American Gallery

  • Military History of Halifax County

  • Old Time Country Store

  • Pioneer Medicine Exhibit

  • The Map of Halifax County

  • Halifax County’s Rail History

  • Tobacco History of Halifax County

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE MUSEUM

Negril Day Support Of Danville Visits Museum On February 2

Come Find Cupid’s Valentines

Museum Announces Two Upcoming Events In February

Mark your calendars!

Two museum events coming soon are the 243rd anniversary and commemoration of the Crossing of the Dan kickoff event program on Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and the 6th Annual Civil War and Military Collectors Show fundraiser for the museum. So come out and support your local museum.

Museum Announces Christmas, New Year’s Holiday Closings

In observance of Christmas and New Year’s weekends, the Museum will be closed on Saturday December 23rd and Saturday December 30th.

Museum Seeking To Hire

Museum of History Curator

The South Boston Halifax County Museum of History and Fine Arts has an opening for a CURATOR. This is a full-time position. Starting salary is $40,000 and includes benefits.  Responsibilities include managing and preserving the collections; acquisition, cataloging, and display of artifacts, as well as the development of educational programs and exhibits.  Performs research; gives presentations and conducts educational tours.  Must have experience with Past Perfect data entry and records. Provides support to other staff members and volunteers.  Grant writing and fundraising skills are a must.  Good communication skills, attention to detail, and a passion for history are essential qualities for this role.

Minimum education – BS in History, Museum Studies required.  Should have experience working in a museum or similar cultural institution for over two years.

A detailed job description can be found below on the Museum’s website at sbhcmuseum.org.

Send resume to: Attention: Executive Director at info@sbhcmuseum.org.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

 

Job Description: Museum of History Curator

Mission:

The South Boston/Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History is operated for the collection, exhibition and preservation of antiques, works of art, books and physical items which are historically significant to the past, present and future heritage of South Boston, Halifax County and adjoining counties. The museum provides educational materials and opportunities for youth, adults and senior citizens. It further performs and encourages research of this area and publishes, exhibits and preserves the results of such research.

Position Summary:

This is a senior position at the museum with major administrative and curatorial responsibilities. Acts as a liaison with the local and regional and state historical and archeological community. May act in responsible charge in the director’s absence.

Supervisory Relationship:

Report to the museum executive committee (Board of Directors President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two board members at large.) Serve as a member of the museum executive committee.  Work with museum staff and volunteers as it relates to museum exhibits and events. Works under the museum policies and procedures.

Essential Function of the Position:

  1. Provide overall direction and leadership to the museum executive committee in the field of history and archeology.
  2. Coordinate the exhibits, design, content, artifacts, funding and implementing that reflect professional standards and best practices as set forth by the American Alliance of Museums.
  3. Develop and implement a plan to catalog and evaluate the museum’s collections. Train and supervise volunteers and interns in carrying out this plan. The museum uses Past-Perfect 5.0 to catalog its collections.
  4. Independently prepare grant proposals and project proposals and work with local corporations with funding requests.
  5. Write, edit and assist with programmatic material related to exhibits, museum events, education, publications and public relations.
  6. Maintain a liaison and current knowledge of the local, regional and state cultural community and activities in order to take advantage of cooperative opportunities and new developments in exhibits and programming.
  7. Carry out special assigned duties that support the museum’s mission.

Performance Requirement’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)

  1. Management skills including supervisory, problem –solving, decision-making, planning and organizing, adaptability, flexibility and time management.
  2. Excellent oral and written communication skills for working with others, community organizations and the public.
  3. Proven knowledge of exhibit curatorial techniques, exhibit design, exhibit management processes for handling, preservation, as well as sources of current knowledge in the field.
  4. Office and computer skills sufficient to function in a professional role.
  5. Physical ability to perform the essential functions of the position.
  • Visual acuity: color perception, close vision, accurate depth perception and distance vision;
  • Very frequent sitting, standing and walking;
  • Frequent lifting of up to 20 pounds, pushing and pulling, keyboarding and gripping;
  • Occasional balancing, lifting up to 40 pounds, reaching overhead, climbing ladders and stairs and driving a car or utility truck.

 Working Environment:

Work is performed primarily indoors in a temperature-controlled environment, working around standard office equipment. There will be occasions to work outdoors in moderate weather conditions. May require lengthy periods of work at a computer workstation. May require work climbing ladders and exposure to paint or lacquer. Must be able to operate a motor vehicle and some travel.

Experience and Training Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in History, Archeology, Museum Studies or related field, with at least two (2) years of experience in museum work.
  • A combination of education and experience and training that provides the applicant with the knowledge and skills to perform position.
  • Supervisory experience preferred.
  • Be able to work with a diverse age group of volunteers with various degrees of education and experience.

Necessary Special Requirements:

  • Valid Virginia State driver license and a good driving record. Must submit a three-year driving abstract prior to hire.
  • Must pass a Virginia State Adult/Child Abuse records check prior to hire.

‘The Nutcrackers Invasion’

Museum Decorated For Christmas

HELP!!!!!!

The Nutcrackers have invaded the museum. They proudly marched into the front door coming in all different sizes and colors. Now they are scattered throughout the museum, and it is up to museum visitors to come help find them so they can go home for Christmas.

While at the museum, visitors are invited to check out all of the exhibits along with the lovely Victorian Christmas tree and colorful Christmas decorations throughout the many exhibits.

And before visitors leave they’re urged to get a book about “The Nutcracker” in the gift shop and browse the numerous other items for sale that would make perfect Christmas presents for loved ones this holiday season.

Christmas is in the air at the local museum, so take a few minutes out of your busy holiday schedule this December to bring the family to one of the best kept secret treasures in the county. The South Boston-Halifax County Museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

South Boston Elementary Fifth Graders Tour Museum To Learn About County  

More than 95 fifth graders from South Boston Elementary School visited the museum on November 28 and 29 to learn about the county they call home. Staff and students said they enjoyed their visit and had a great time while touring the many exhibits.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

Sinai Elementary Fifth Graders Tour Museum To Learn More About  County  

These fifth graders from Sinai Elementary School visited the museum on Friday, Nov. 17, to learn more about the county they call home. Staff and students said they enjoyed their visit and had a great time while touring the many exhibits.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

THANK YOU

Southside Virginia Bottles And Small Collectibles Show and Auction Sponsors

The museum would like to sincerely thank all the sponsors who helped make the November 4th Bottle Show a success.

Museum To Host Southside Virginia Bottles And Small Collectibles Show and Auction Saturday, Nov. 4

Antique bottle collectors and others with small collectibles will be able to buy, sell, trade and display antique and vintage bottles, glassware and other collectibles when the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History sponsors the Southside Virginia Bottle and Small Collectibles Show and Auction and free appraisal event on Saturday, Nov. 4.

This year’s expanded regional event will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston. Featured will be antique and vintage bottles, glassware, crystal, china, porcelain, jugs, crocks and other relics. Also included at this year’s event will be a variety of small collectibles such as stamps, postcards, coins and other items.

This event is a collaborative effort of local bottle collectors among many of the vendors from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The collectors will be exhibiting and trading bottles ranging from the early colonial period until modern day. Many local bottles also will be on display during this museum fundraising event.

New this year, select bottles from the museum collection will be auctioned at a 1 p.m.

Exhibitors will set up from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, and exhibitors and dealers only will be allowed in the museum from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, prior to the event opening to the public at 10 a.m.

Admission will be $5 per person, and children under 3 will be admitted free with parent. All proceeds will benefit the museum.

Currently the museum is seeking exhibitors and vendors to participate in the Bottle and Small Collectibles event. The event is limited to 8-foot tables on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is $30 per table with a maximum of two badges, and vendors and exhibitors are asked to stay the entirety of the show. The museum will furnish the tables for the show.

For more information, interested exhibitors and vendors are urged to call Paul Smith at 572-9200 or 724-986-6416 or send an email to info@sbhcmuseum.org.

Vendors wishing to pay by credit card may call the museum at 572-9200. Checks may be made payable to SBHCM and must be mailed to P.O. Box 383, South Boston, VA 24592 no later than Nov. 2.

Clays Mill Elementary School Fifth Graders Visit Museum To Learn About County

These 20 fifth graders in Mrs. Long’s class at Clays Mill Elementary School visited the museum on Thursday, October 26, to learn more about the county they call home. Staff and students said they enjoyed their visit and had a great time while touring the many exhibits.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

Meadville Elementary School Fifth Graders Visit Museum To Learn About County

A total of 23 fifth graders from Meadville Elementary School visited the museum on Monday, October 2, to learn more about the county they call home. Staff and students said they enjoyed their visit and had a great time while touring the many exhibits.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

Public Invited To Museum Presentation Featuring Ned Strange Thursday, Oct. 19 

Members of the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History will hold the 2023 annual membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, in the museum’s South Gallery.

The public also is welcome to come at 7 p.m. to hear this year’s guest speaker, Ned Strange, as he shares a presentation about his 53-year restoration project of an 18th century home, along with his crafting of Spice Cabinets, patterned after the 17th and 18th century cabinetry of the time.

This museum event is free and open to the public.

Strange is a graduate of Randolph-Macon and VCU and spent 38 years as a vocational counselor and rancher of Black Angus cattle.

He and his wife, Donna, restored a 1779 house in Alton, which they purchased in 1970. Those attending the museum annual membership meeting will see a slide presentation of the various stages of rehabilitation, which led to the home, Cedar Grove, being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The commonwealth also has named their home a “Virginia Treasure.”

His presentation will show the property and various buildings before they were restored as well as results after the restoration of separate buildings for the kitchen, the bathroom, storage, guest house and numerous others on the property.

In addition to restoring the various buildings, Strange also crafted most of the furniture for the home and guest house from wood he had on the property from various trees, mainly walnut, maple and cherry. The finished products were crafted to include many detailed carvings.

Strange also plans to share an item of interest to him, a Spice Chest made from Pennsylvania Dutch and Kentucky styling. Each chest had numerous drawers and doors, some of which were hidden from the casual view of the chests.

In a recent interview, Strange explained how he visited museums and did a great deal of research to make sure his items were patterned faithfully to the style of the era. He noted that one such chest, described as the finest example of Puritan furniture, was sold at Christie’s Auction House in the 1990s for more than $2.4 million.

As part of his presentation, Strange said he plans to bring with him several items to show those in attendance. Following his presentation, museum members and guests are invited to come and view the items up close and open them up to discover all that was a part of each one.

The public is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about more about the rehabilitation and restoration process of Strange’s 18th century home as well as tour exhibits on display at the museum.

Prior to Strange’s presentation at 7 p.m., the museum will hold a short business meeting at 6:30 p.m. when elections will be held for 2023-2024 officers.

For additional information, contact the museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.com.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

Museum unveils new logo

The museum has a new logo that features the archways located in the main room of the museum.  Each archway leads guests to exhibits that explore the history of South Boston and Halifax County. The archway on the logo focuses on The Crossing Of The Dan exhibit.  The logo also highlights how the tobacco industry had an enormous effect on the economic development of South Boston and Halifax County.

Logo Designed by

Small Town Design LLC

‘Evening In Italy’ Fundraiser A Success

More Than $5,000 Raised For Museum

It was bon appetit for 90 museum guests who enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of delectable gourmet Italian foods without having to travel around the world during a memorable evening Sunday, Sept. 10, when the South Boston/Halifax County Museum hosted an enchanted “Evening in Italy” at its 1540 Wilborn Avenue location.
Catered by Viny’s Italian Restaurant, the authentic rich and diverse aromatic cuisine reflecting Italy’s regional and cultural diversity was served to a limited number of ticketholders who also were treated to happy background Italian restaurant music performed by Nelly Zamora Jones.
Featured guest speaker Viny Sarnataro highlighted the “Evening in Italy” museum fundraising event with his deep knowledge of Italy’s food, culture, traditions and dress as well as his fondness for the Halifax County community.
This special evening, part of this year’s annual Tablescapes fundraiser, featured a variety of sponsored tables, each representing well-known Italian cities and tourist attractions and all decorated with heavily concentrated Italian themes. A PowerPoint ran throughout the event highlighting information and photos about each of the cities and regions represented by the individual tables.
One special table featured an Italian doll that was presented to South Boston officials in April 2007 by its Italian sister city, Leverano, which is located on the right heel of the country shaped like a boot.
More than $5,000 was raised during this year’s fundraising event that will go to the museum, which relies heavily on financial support from the community.
Evening In Italy sponsors who helped make the fundraiser such a success this year included the following: Viny Sarnataro and Viny’s Italian Restaurant for donating and preparing the food for the event; Ted Bennett; Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center; Brooks Lyon Funeral Home; Computer Bookkeeping & Tax Service, Inc. Danville; William and Bonnie Eberlein; Edward Jones; Scotty Felton, Long & Foster; Food Lion – Centerville; H & M Logging; Halifax County Sheriff Department; Halifax Pharmacy; Harrell Family Fund; Hudson Heritage Farms; Hitachi energy; KeJaeh Enterprises, LLC.; MaMa Bri Bri & The Strangers; J.T. Miller; Morgan Lumber Company, Inc.; Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative; Virgilina Woman’s Club; and Jimmy and Carol Wade.

‘Evening In Italy’ Fundraiser Sept. 10

Tickets Now Available At Museum

Ever wanted to enjoy the sights, sounds and delectable gourmet foods of Italy without having to travel around the world?

Now that memorable opportunity awaits ticketholders as the South Boston/Halifax County Museum hosts an “Evening in Italy” at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, at its 1540 Wilborn Avenue location.

Enjoy that first taste of the delights of Naples, Florence, Rome, Leverano and other Italian cities during this enchanting event. Also learn about many of the ancient ruins, architecture and artistic masterpieces of Italian culture while indulging in that country’s legendary food and drink.

Catered by Viny’s Italian Restaurant, an authentic rich and diverse aromatic cuisine reflecting Italy’s regional and cultural diversity will be served to a limited number of ticketholders who also will be treated to happy background Italian restaurant music.

Featured guest speaker Viny Sarnataro will highlight the “Evening in Italy” museum fundraising event with his deep knowledge of Italy’s food, culture, traditions and dress.

This special evening, part of this year’s annual Tablescapes fundraiser, will feature a variety of sponsored tables, each representing well-known Italian cities and tourist attractions and all decorated with heavily concentrated Italian themes.

One special table will even feature an Italian doll that was presented to South Boston officials in April 2007 by its Italian sister city, Leverano, which is located on the right heel of the country shaped like a boot.

All proceeds from this year’s fundraising event will go to the museum, which relies heavily on financial support from the community.

A limited number of tickets are being sold for $30 each and must be purchased prior to the event.

According to event organizers, many luncheon fundraisers have been held in the past with various themes such as “seasonal celebrations,” “spring fancies” and “family memories” each one bringing unique designs such as “The Traveling Teapot.”

This year’s “Evening in Italy” theme and format will be a bit different from those fundraisers of previous years. This special Sunday evening affair is being made possible through Sarnataro’s and Viny’s Italian Restaurant’s generous donation that will allow the museum to bring the exquisite tastes and sounds of Italy for ticketholders to enjoy.

Museum fundraising organizers currently are seeking additional sponsors for this one of a kind event.

Anyone donating $200 or more will receive website and Facebook recognition, museum newsletter recognition, their name on the marque at the entrance to the event in addition to two free tickets to the event.

Donors of $100-$200 will receive website and Facebook recognition, museum newsletter recognition, their name on the marque at the entrance to the event and one free ticket to the event.

Donations of $50 to $100 will receive website and Facebook recognition, museum newsletter recognition and their name on the marque at the entrance to the event.

For more information, call the South Boston/Halifax County Museum at 434-572-9200 or email info@sbhcmuseum.org

Tickets Now On Sale For ‘Evening In Italy’

Museum Fundraiser Slated Sunday, September 10

Membership Drive Now Underway At Museum

Spring Has Sprung

Exhibits In Full Bloom At Museum

Spring has sprung at the South Boston/Halifax County Museum, and the public is urged to visit the engaging, captivating and inviting exhibits now on display. Youngsters are invited to come join in on the fun while searching for Easter eggs and a hidden Barrack Obama that awaits discovery. And prizes abound for those successful in their hunt.

Winter scenes have transformed into spring as colorful blooming flowers and bright green trees have replaced the snow covered Village of Scottsburg conjuring up memories of time-honored spring traditions that have characterized Easter celebrations in the village of Scottsburg.

This exhibit continues to “wow” visitors with an interactive experience transporting them back to a simpler time when life centered around family, church and community in the tiny village of Scottsburg.

Visitors will learn more about the histories of Scottsburg as they stroll through the exhibit now decorated for the Easter holiday and spring season, and children will enjoy hunting for the tiny colorful Easter eggs hidden within the display. And those who find a hidden egg will receive a “surprise” reward before leaving the museum.

Make plans to visit the local museum and step into the past while viewing the lighted replicas of Scottsburg Baptist Church dating back to 1779, Bank of Scottsburg constructed in 1927, Louis Wimbish’s Country Store, the Scottsburg Post Office and Roy Reese’s Gulf Station and Country Store.

The visit continues with a step back in time to Scottsburg Methodist Church dating back to 1884, the Scottsburg Normal College constructed in 1893 and W. L. Stigall’s Esso that dates back to 1889.

Leaving the little village of Scottsburg, which incorporated into a town in 1925, museum visitors will get a true taste of country living in the spring as they venture into an outdoor setting complete with pastoral pond and grazing deer, vintage log cabin and tobacco growing in the fields.

As visitors leave the museum’s old timey Scottsburg village, they will have an opportunity to step into spring in Town Square where a wandering Civil War Soldier may greet them with a “how-do”.

Then they may join others for a family gathering complete with a sumptuous meal spread out on the Easter holiday-draped dining room table, with nearby organ at the ready to provide a tune or two.

Before leaving the museum, visitors are invited to visit the nearby South Boston Village and Town exhibit that offers a glimpse into its humble beginnings and history.

Those visitors who may have seen the exhibits earlier this year will want to come again to see what’s new and inviting this spring at their local museum including the latest exhibit that celebrates African American history highlighting a number of local “firsts” in the Black community.

The truth about Black History is that it’s just not a month, it’s a lifetime and lifestyle for African Americans, according to museum officials who have worked to create a yearlong exhibit celebrating the accomplishments of the local Black community of the past, entrepreneurs of the present and inventors of the future.

This celebration of African American history illustrates the determination of a people who refused to give up or give in to the status quo as they worked so hard to secure a better future for their families here in Halifax County.

Also on permanent display at the museum is the Crossing of the Dan exhibit that was once housed at The Prizery, the Native American Gallery, Military History of Halifax County, Old Time Country Store, Pioneer Medicine Exhibit, interactive Map of Halifax County, Halifax County’s Rail History and Tobacco History, just to name a few.

Youngsters are encouraged to search for the hidden Barrack Obama figure that moves around from place to place in the exhibit. Just let a museum representative know when Barrack has been spotted, and they will reward efforts with a prize.

The South Boston/Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to enter the museum and to enjoy all the displays and exhibits; however, donations are appreciated.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Ave. in South Boston. For more information, call 434-572-9200.

‘African American History:

The First…’ now on exhibit at museum

Black History Month may be over, but at the South Boston-Halifax County
Museum of Fine Arts and History, the celebration of African American history
continues in its newest exhibit highlighting a number of local “firsts” in the Black
community.
The truth about Black History is that it’s just not a month, it’s a lifetime and
lifestyle for African Americans, according to museum officials who have worked to
create a yearlong exhibit celebrating the accomplishments of the local Black
community of the past, entrepreneurs of the present and inventors of the future.
This celebration of African American history illustrates the determination of a
people who refused to give up or give in to the status quo as they worked so hard
to secure a better future for their families here in Halifax County.
Their stories are full of love, struggles and sacrifices that will empower visitors
with determination and inspire today’s generation to never give up on their goals
and dreams.
The public is invited to visit this exhibit and learn more about such local African
American firsts as “Top” Harris, the first Black law enforcement officer in Halifax
County who was selected and deputized in the 1930s despite the discriminatory
nature of the police service in that era.
Supplied with a weapon, bullets, badge, uniform and handcuffs, Harris was given
full authority to make arrest of any citizen, including Whites, who broke the law
or exhibited misconduct on the premises he was patrolling.
Harris served at Black high school events and at sizeable Black gatherings
including conventions of the Banister Baptist Association, Sunnyside Baptist
Association and the Staunton River Baptist Association as well as other county
events.
The only catch was he served with a clear understanding that he would receive
no pay for his duties. However, oftentimes the groups he served would “pass the
hat” to raise monies to compensate him.

Following Harris, no other Black law enforcement officials worked in the county
until Charlie Reed Hill, who was hired as a patrolman in South Boston around
1959 or 1960, and he also is included as part of this exhibit.
Harris’ and Hill’s stories are just a few of the numerous stories being told in
“African American History: The First….”
Come check out the exhibit and learn more about the area’s first Black doctor,
dentist, policeman, lawyer, fireman, mayor, hospital board member, judge and
legislator.
Ever wonder about how an African American woman with strong ties to the
county unknowingly could have contributed to numerous important scientific
advances worldwide through use of her cervical cancer cells, the source of the
HeLa cell line? This museum exhibit can answer that question and many more.
Also discover where the first Black church, school and hospital in the area were
located.
As part of the yearlong African American exhibit now on display at the museum,
famous Black firsts in government and the world of sports also are highlighted.
Discover who became the first Black baseball, football, basketball and hockey
players on White national teams, and learn more about the first Black World
Champion boxer, NASCAR driver, PGA golfer and tennis champion.
Also featured as part of the African American history exhibit is 19 th century
furniture maker and Virginia native Thomas Day who proved to be a step ahead of
his time, not only as a true craftsman, but as an intuitive businessman and a man
of faith.
Born in 1812, Day was the son of free Blacks who operated a plantation in
Dinwiddie County and was educated by Quakers. Several pieces of his uniquely
crafted furniture are on display in this exhibit too.
Admission is free, so in the near future, make a plan to spend an hour or two at
the local museum located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston. The museum
is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SPONSORS OF THE CIVIL WAR COLLECTORS SHOW

CROSSING OF DAN EVENTS AT MUSEUM

PROGRAM: “Fitting An Army”

7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9

EXHIBIT: “Supplying The

Southern Continental Army”

The public is invited to come by the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History to be a part of the Crossing of the Dan events on Thursday, February 9, 2023.

(See events listed above)

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

5th ANNUAL CIVIL WAR &

MILITARY COLLECTORS SHOW

Returning to South Boston Feb. 25-26, 2023

Mark your calendars we are doing it again in 2023! All proceeds benefit the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

MECKLENBURG TRI-COUNTY HEAD START STUDENTS TOUR MUSEUM EXHIBITS, DISPLAYS

Students from Mecklenburg Tri-County Head Start program recently visited the museum for a tour of all the exhibits and displays.

The group spent some time visiting all of the many museum exhibits including the Crossing of the Dan exhibit along with its Southern Continental Army complement and other favorites such as the Scottsburg exhibit room, Harrell Buggy, war room and the old tobacco barn, just to name a few.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

YMCA SILVER SNEAKERS ACTIVE ADULTS TOUR MUSEUM EXHIBITS, ENJOY LUNCH

The YMCA Silver Sneaker Active Adults Group visited the museum on Tuesday, January 17, for  a tour of all the exhibits and displays and to have lunch.

The group spent some time visiting all of the many museum exhibits including the Crossing of the Dan exhibit along with other favorites such as the Harrell Buggy, war room and the old tobacco barn, just to name a few.

At the end of their visit, the Silver Sneakers Adult Group enjoyed lunch at their local museum.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ENJOY TOURING MUSEUM EXHIBITS

During Recent Visits

Young visitors from all across our community have been making their way to the local museum to learn more about what makes this place they call home so special.

Recently, groups of students from South Boston Elementary, Clays Mill Elementary, Meadville Elementary, Cluster Springs Elementary, Sinai Elementary, Sydnor Jennings Elementary and Scottsburg Elementary spent some time visiting all of the many museum exhibits.

They also toured the Crossing of the Dan exhibit along with other favorites such as the Harrell Buggy, war room and the old tobacco barn, just to name a few.

At the end of their visit, the students said they wanted to return very, very soon to see what’s new at their local museum.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

NEWEST EXHIBIT NOW OPEN

‘CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE AND TOWN’

Step Back In Time To Scottsburg, South Boston

It’s Christmas in the Village of Scottsburg and Town of South Boston at the South Boston/Halifax County Museum, and the public is urged to visit the newest engaging, captivating and inviting exhibits entitled “Holidays in the Village and Town” now on display.

For those who may not be able to visit during the museum’s regular hours of operation, the museum also will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, to provide another viewing opportunity of the museum’s newest aesthetically pleasing miniature lit Scottsburg Village along with the Town of South Boston exhibit that are both now decorated for the Christmas holidays.

A winter season scene with snowy exhibits conjures up memories of by-gone holiday celebrations and time-honored traditions that have characterized Christmases in the village of Scottsburg and town of South Boston.

Now open to the public, the two latest exhibits will “wow” visitors with an interactive experience transporting them back to a simpler time when life centered around family, church and community in the tiny village of Scottsburg and town of South Boston.

Visitors will learn more about the histories of both Scottsburg and South Boston as they stroll through the two separate exhibits now decorated for the Christmas holidays.

Make plans to visit the local museum and step into the past while viewing the lighted replicas of Scottsburg Baptist Church dating back to 1779, Bank of Scottsburg constructed in 1927, Louis Wimbish’s Country Store, the Scottsburg Post Office and Roy Reese’s Gulf Station and Country Store.

The visit continues with a step back in time to Scottsburg Methodist Church dating back to 1884, the Scottsburg Normal College constructed in 1893 and W. L. Stigall’s Esso that dates back to 1889.

Leaving the little village of Scottsburg, which incorporated into a town in 1925, museum visitors will get a true taste of country living in the wintertime as they venture into a snowy outdoor setting complete with pastoral pond and grazing deer, vintage log cabin and tobacco.

As visitors leave the museum’s old timey Scottsburg village, they will have an opportunity to step into a snowy Town Square where a wandering Civil War Soldier and carolers may greet them “how-do” and happy holidays.

Then they may join others for a family gathering complete with sumptuous meal spread out on the holiday-draped dining room table, with nearby organ at the ready to provide a holiday tune or two.

Also in the museum this holiday season, Christmas is being celebrated in the nearby South Boston Village and Town exhibit that tells the story behind the merry holiday’s place on our calendar and why we celebrate as we do.

Coming to life is a wintery Christmas village in South Boston with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree like the ones that gained prominence in front parlors and village squares across the country in the mid-19th century.

The two festive exhibits will continue to be on display through Christmas and New Year’s holidays with changes having been made to now transform the exhibits into the winter season. Those visitors who may have seen the exhibits earlier this year will want to come again to see what’s new and inviting this winter and Christmas holiday at their local museum.

The South Boston/Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to enter the museum and to enjoy all the displays and exhibits; however, donations are appreciated.

The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston.

For more information, call 434-572-9200.

BOTTLE AND SMALL COLLECTIBLES FAIR 

SATURDAY, NOV. 5 AT MUSEUM

Antique bottle collectors and others with small collectibles will be able to buy, sell, trade and display antique and vintage bottles, glassware and other collectibles when the South Boston — Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History hosts the Bottle and Small Collectibles Fair on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The fair will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. featuring antique and vintage bottles, glassware, crystal, china, porcelain, jugs, crocks and other relics. And a new addition this year will include a variety of small collectibles such as stamps, postcards, coins and other items.

This Bottle Collectors’ Fair is a collaborative effort of local bottle collectors among many of the vendors from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The collectors will be exhibiting and trading bottles ranging from the early colonial period until modern day. Many local bottles also will be on display during this museum fundraising event.

Exhibitors will set up from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, and exhibitors and dealers only will be allowed in the museum from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, prior to the event opening to the public at 10 a.m.

Admission will be $5 per person, and children under 12 will be admitted free with parent. All proceeds will benefit the museum.

Currently the museum is seeking exhibitors and vendors to participate in the Bottle and Small Collectibles Fair. The event is limited to 14 8-foot tables on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is $30 per table with a maximum of three badges, and vendors and exhibitors are asked to stay the entirety of the show. Vendors also are responsible for their own table during the show.

For more information, interested exhibitors and vendors are urged to call Paul Smith at 572-9200 or 724-986-6416 or send an email to info@sbhcmuseum.org.

Vendors wishing to pay by credit card may call the museum at 572-9200. Checks may be made payable to SBHCM and must be mailed to P.O. Box 383, South Boston, VA 24592 no later than Nov. 2.

MUSEUM CELEBRATES

40TH ANNIVERSARY

For the past 40 years, people have visited the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History in South Boston and left with an innate sense of discovery, a flash of joy and happiness and a newfound connection to the place they call home, its people and its past.

It’s that emotional response felt at the local museum that keeps people coming back, and it is all thanks to the vision of the museum’s early founders who persisted and eventually brought this vision to reality on July 11, 1982.

On Sunday, July 17, from 2 to 4 p.m., the museum celebrated its 40th anniversary with a reception featuring a time of memory-sharing sparking that same joy and wonder. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to visit the cultural, natural and art exhibits including The Crossing of The Dan, the History of South Boston and many others that honor and educate about our area.

It indeed was a festive time of celebration when many in the community came together to learn more about the area they call home and better understand the museum’s vision and passion that has served to excite and teach visitors while continuing to hold strong for four decades.

Those attending this special afternoon celebration enjoyed a time of conjuring up fond memories, renewing old friendships and making new ones while enjoying delicious refreshments served by museum volunteers.

Museum Welcomes Many Special Visitors

Young visitors from all across our community have been making their way to the local museum to learn more about what makes this place they call home so special.

On a recent Wednesday morning, a group from First Baptist Day Care spent some time visiting The World of Charlotte’s Web and searching to find where George Washington has been hiding inside the museum.

They also toured the Crossing of the Dan exhibit along with other favorites such as the Harrell Buggy, war room and the old tobacco barn, just to name a few.

At the end of their visit as they boarded the First Baptist Church bus, all agreed they wanted to return very, very soon to see what’s new at their local museum.

NEW EXHIBITS

The World of Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte, a matronly spider and the hero of the E.B. White classic, “Charlotte’s Web,” would be proud of the attention she’s getting at the Halifax County-South Boston Museum of Fine Arts and History with an exhibit showcasing the famous spider who, with the help of subtle messages weaved in her web helped save the life of one of her barnyard friends, in this case Wilbur, the pig, the runt of his litter destined for slaughter.

The exhibit is open to the public beginning Wednesday, June 22 and runs through the summer, in addition to scavenger hunts conducted by museum volunteers both for pre-schoolers and older children.

Charlotte’s Web tells the story of Wilbur and his mentor and friend Charlotte, a brown barn spider who takes Wilbur under her wing and helps him avoid the ax by weaving certain words into her web, such as “radiant”, “some pig”, “humble” and “terrific”.

A brave young farm girl, Fern, originally fights to save Wilbur, allowing him to see another day, and with the tutelage of Charlotte, Wilbur eventually wins a prize at the fair, completing his journey from runt of the litter to champion hog.

Charlotte, by this time older and nearing death, leaves her last batch of eggs in the barn, with several of her prodigy hatching to care for Wilbur.

The barnyard as depicted in the book brings various barnyard animals to life, including Wilbur, Golly the goose and Templeton the rat, all of whom are included in the exhibit, as well as other barnyard animals, such as cows, roosters, goats and geese.

Carolyn Shortt and other museum volunteers Linda Daniels, Pam Smith and Karen Taylor, helped bring the story to life at the museum.  She read “Charlotte’s Web” to grade school children as well as other E.B. White books authored by White including “Stuart Little” and “The Trumpet of the Swan”.

“Come see how Charlotte saves Wilbur, how Fern feeds Wilbur and how Golly tries to spell, and watch the moving story of Charlotte and how she sacrificed to save Wilbur’s life,” Shortt explained in promoting the exhibit.

Shortt added that kids of all ages will be caught up in Charlotte’s web, and parents and grand-parents as well will recognize the lessons the book teaches such as perseverance, loyalty and respect.

A farm boy himself, White may have gotten the idea for Charlotte’s Web after watching a spider spin a web and create an egg site on his farm, and the story has withstood the test of time.

South Boston 1800s

Have you ever wondered how the town of South Boston got its name? Or ever even thought about how long it has been around and who decided this little spot on the map would be a good place to call home and began building a village that would soon attract other residents and businesses?

A new exhibit now open at the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History entitled “South Boston In The 1800s” answers each of these questions and many more in great detail. The informative displays feature an inside look at the parlor of a South Boston home in the 1800s, numerous archived photos of early houses, businesses, schools, churches and medical facilities in the town and numerous stories and autobiographical sketches about the town’s founding fathers. In addition, a diorama of the town and railroad along with a replica of the old covered toll bridge offers visitors a glimpse into what furthered the development of South Boston as a village and later a chartered town.

The public is encouraged to take a few minutes to visit the museum’s newest exhibit to learn more about South Boston’s timeless history beginning with the original “South Boston” that was located on the south side of the Dan River and incorporated by an act of the Legislature of Virginia on Dec. 8, 1796.

It all started at Boyd’s Ferry, one of the earliest river crossings established in Halifax County in December 1752, the year the county was created out of Lunenburg. The ferry crossed about where the Norfolk Southern Railway bridge crosses the river today.

Many may even remember the days when Boyd’s Tavern once stood at the back wing of a house next to Z’s Antiques on U.S. 58. The ferry’s importance lay in part in the fact that over it passed the road from the south to Charlotte and Prince Edward counties, Petersburg and Richmond.

As the ferry’s importance grew, a few families moved in, and in 1796, it was decided to attempt the establishment of a town. By 1801 there were six taxable properties — the town had a physician, two taverns, a store and two other improved properties. In 1802 there were still six, and by 1804 there

Flash forward to 1811, and the original South Boston had grown to a flourishing town with a store, an Episcopal Parish, a large tavern and comfortable residences. Water was supplied by a big spring, probably the “bold spring” that gave the road there its name.

However, in that same year, a destructive flood, coming suddenly, would sweep away most of the town, leaving only three or four houses. So far as known, no lives were lost, but nearly all citizens were bankrupt and moved away with only two or three exceptions.

In March 1832, the first post office was established with Francis M. Bostwick as the first postmaster. That post office was discontinued three years later in 1835.

By that time, only a handful of lots were listed including a store, tavern, tobacco warehouse, several houses and the ferry that continued in operation and use until the building of the toll bridge in 1852.

Why did the first “South Boston” fail to develop?

Perhaps it was due in part to the destructive freshets of the Dan River that is said to have ravaged the town, this being the cause cited throughout the years and still continues to this day.

The early town suffered heavily from the floods of the Dan River that often spread over the lowlands on which the town was situated. Consequently, the citizens gradually moved to the north side of the river where the ground was higher.

Whatever the reasons for its failure to develop, and despite adversities, a few hearty souls hung on, and the area remained a small trading post, until and past the time the new town began to grow on the north bank of the Dan.

The settlement on the north side of the river became known as South Boston also, and the section on the south side became known as “Old Boston.”

George Carrington is considered the founder of the settlement on the south side of the river, and Edwin Bedford (E. B.) Jeffress as the founder of the village to the north.

The development of the new northern settlement was enhanced by two major events — the completion of the Richmond and Danville Railroad to this point in 1854, and the construction of the famed covered toll bridge in 1858. The covered toll bridge across the Dan River, constructed entirely of wood, including the pegs, served the community faithfully for 75 years.

The area was open to outside trade; and travel across the river, previously only by ferry, was made easy, so settlers quickly began to appear.

A post office, called South Boston Depot, was established on June 20, 1855, one-quarter mile north of the Dan River. Capt. Edwin Bedford Jeffress served as postmaster of the post office reestablished on the north side of the Dan.

Until 1855 there were only scattered houses in the village. That year, Capt. Jeffress and Josiah Dabbs built a brick storehouse and began a general merchandise business. In 1856 Capt. Jeffress built a dwelling-hotel which became a popular stopping place for travelers.

Until 1868, South Boston’s population consisted of two families, E. B. Jeffress’ and J. D. Chandler’s. The entire settlement consisted of a general store operated by Yancey & Vaughan, the depot of the Richmond and Danville Railroad (now the Southern), a hotel, and a Methodist Church, known as Goodman’s Chapel, later destroyed by fire.

In the year 1878, a great impetus was given to South Boston’s progress when the bridge over the Dan River, which hitherto had been a toll bridge, was made free. The year 1875 saw an even more important event, the opening of the first bank by R. E. and W. I. Jordan.

On Feb. 4, 1884, the name of “South Boston Depot” Post Office was changed to “South Boston,” only a couple of weeks before the Act of Assembly incorporating the new town was passed.

By the year 1884, the town had grown to such proportions as to make organization in corporate form desirable for promoting the best interest of the community. Accordingly, the Virginia Assembly passed a bill to incorporate the town of South Boston, which was approved Feb. 19, 1884.

The charter, which had just passed, suddenly lifted South Boston from a village to the dignity and responsibilities of a town. Such a sudden and unceremonious elevation was to the average South Bostonian decidedly gratifying. In conformity with terms of the legislative enactment, a municipal government was established with seven councilmen, one of whom was biennially chosen mayor.

Despite the lack of streets, South Boston’s population was growing, with an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 residents living there at the time of its incorporation.

Linda Mercer, Phyliss Smith and Carolyn Shortt peruse this replica of a living room in South Boston in the 1800s.

In February 1884, numerous small tenement buildings were being built, and it was only a short while before the town’s population had doubled. Real estate was high — very high. Several large and elegant dwellings and business houses were being completed, while some 10 or 15 others were in the course of being built that year. It would not be long before four large tobacco factories also would be in operation.

The quantity of tobacco sold upon the tobacco market that first season in 1884 was unprecedentedly large due to the fact a great deal of tobacco formerly sold at other markets was now being sold in South Boston because it offered superior facilities and the highest prices. The tobacco market stood at the head of the list selling between 8,000,000 pounds to 10,000,000 pounds of tobacco annually.

During the intervening years, evidence of rapid growth can be found in town records. By 1890 the town had more than 2,500 inhabitants and an established electric and waterworks plant located on the Dan River with a water supply of both Lithia and Freestone abundant.

In addition to tobacco manufacturing, other manufacturing companies included Barbour Buggy Company, Harrell Buggy Factory, Virginia Wagon Company, Dan River Furniture Company, Century Cotton Mills, South Boston Candy Company, South Boston Broom Company, Keystone Chemical Company, South Boston Planing Mills, Pants and Overalls Factory, Boston Brick Company, Haskins Brick Company, South Boston Show-Case Company and Old Dominion Lounge Company.

South Boston also boasted seven churches and a pair of graded public schools along with several private schools, all affording excellent educational advantages. For a small town, its banking facilities were unsurpassed for the period and included Planters and Merchants Bank, Bank of South Boston, South Boston Savings Bank and South Boston Perpetual Building and Loan Company,

Railroad facilities, established industries, past and present rapid growth and capital insured the town of South Boston would become the manufacturing center of Southside Virginia by the turn of the 20th century.

Admission to the museum’s History of South Boston exhibit is free, and donations are welcomed. The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

For more information, check out the museum on Facebook or call 572-9200. The fine arts and history museum is focused on preserving and exhibiting the rich history and culture of Southside Virginia.

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