Crossing of the Dan
“This American retreat, which extended across the breadth of North Carolina, is considered one of the masterful military achievements of all time.” Dennis M. Conrad, Project Director and Editor, The Papers of General Nathanael Greene
Old Country Store
Long before supermarkets and strip malls, the country store was the go-to place for acquiring necessary goods and supplies. Sprinkled around Halifax County are the remnants of these often family-owned establishments, and several still operate to this very day. The country store was a vital aspect of rural life, and the museum memorializes its presence in our heritage with a replicated store stocked with many of the era’s common products and fixtures.
Native American Gallery
In the late 1960s, a group of regional natives embarked tenaciously on the arduous task of excavating Oak Hill Island, one of the submerged landmasses within Halifax County’s portion of Kerr Lake. During four seasons of exceptionally low water levels, the group unearthed thousands of Native American artifacts ranging from spearheads and pottery to copper tools and glass bead jewelry. Provided to the museum by John H. Wells, one of the leading volunteers who participated in the excavation, a significant portion of the dig’s find is permanently housed here at the museum in South Boston, Virginia for all to see and enjoy.
Tobacco and the Golden Era of Halifax County
Tobacco was the premier cash crop for Halifax County over a span of around 300 years. In 1907 the Town of South Boston in which the museum is located was the largest Bright Leaf Tobacco exporter in the World.
The Norfolk and Western train caboose number 518563 was originally manufactured by the International Railway Car Company at Kenton Ohio for the Norfolk and Western Rail Road and commissioned for service in 1970. The newly manufactured caboose was equipped with such amenities as three bunks, a propane refrigerator, axel driven generator, electric cabin heaters, and much more. This caboose was a state-of-the-art piece of railroad equipment.
An impressive piece of carpentry from the early 20th century that stood at the backdrop of the Paterson Saloon which later became the Patterson Drug store during Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed, the Saloon remained a drug store for the rest of the business’s lifetime.
Pioneer Medical Exhibit
Before medical attention was only a three-digit phone call away, sole-practicing doctors served as the means for saving and sustaining life in rural Virginia. Since the mid-1700s, scores of physicians have served the people of Halifax County. Our exhibit honors their work and service by displaying artifacts and other items which demonstrate the history and the nature of pioneer medicine.
Military History of Halifax County
Since the American Revolution, sons and daughters of Virginia have been associated with virtually every foreign and domestic conflict in which the United States has been involved. To commemorate the dutiful bravery of those who served, the museum has on display an impressive collection of war-time artifacts and memorabilia. See an authentic WWII-era service Jeep. View service medals and commission orders. See the actual uniforms worn by local heroes. Whether one’s interest level is passionate or passive, the War Room Exhibit is a stunning exhibit that yields both perspective and awe.
Map of Us
One of the longest standing additions to the museum, the Map Room features a large, interactive map of Halifax County, Virginia. With the push of a button, one can find the location of his or her town and even trace the route of all of Halifax County’s rivers. Surrounding the map are walls of history, displaying evidence of the early English settlements of Virginia and the succeeding history.
The 20th Century in Halifax County