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All of the information you, or your group will need to plan a visit to the museum, including our schedule, hours, rates & more!

If you are planning a visit for a school group, please see our "For Educators" section.

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Changing Exhibits

October 1, 2018 - January 5, 2019

Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats

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Upcoming Events

Thu Oct 18 @ 3:30pm - 04:30pm
Tar Heel Junior Historians Meeting
Fri Oct 19 @ 8:00pm - 09:30pm
Historic Downtown Mount Airy Ghost Tours
Sat Oct 20 @10:30am - 12:00pm
History Talks: The German and Swiss Migration and the Sparger Family
Sat Oct 20 @ 6:30pm - 11:00pm
Harvest For History Gala

Who We Are

 

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

IMG_8201_-_Copy_606x640 Ours is an all American story - typical of how communities grew up all across our great nation. While our story takes place in the back country of northwestern North Carolina at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is likely to bear many similarities to the development of crossroads, towns, and cities throughout America.

It had taken little more than 100 years for the corridors along the coastline of this still-new continent to overflow. As tensions grew and conflicts flared, the pioneer spirit set in. Families literally packed up everything they owned and headed into the unknown-searching for the "promised land."

Mission Statement:

The Purpose of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is to  Collect, Preserve and Interpret the Natural, Historic, and Artistic Heritage of the Region

                                                                      Adopted by the Board of Directors   October 9, 1995


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Mount Airy Museum Of Regional History

Storytellers Captivate Museum Audience

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The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History held its second storytelling event Saturday in the museum courtyard. Judging from the reactions of the children in the audience, the art still connects on many levels for listeners as well as tellers.

Surry County Imagine That! Storytellers Guild representative Terri Ingalls said the group is always interested in people who want to listen as well a learn to be storytellers.

“These oral traditions still register on every level,” said Ingalls. “All storytellers are different. That’s what I love about it. There’s always a connection. We (the guild) meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Mount Airy Library and the meeting is open to everyone.”

She said the guild’s meetings are casual and also provide a supportive atmosphere for participants to try out new material and hone it with the suggestions of their peers. Ingalls will be the next featured storyteller at the museum’s third event set for the second Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. Persons may obtain more information about the guild by calling 336-251-3806.

“This is a new program for us. We do historical talks during the fall and winter and we looked at this as a family friendly thing to do during the summer,” said museum Executive Director Matthew Edwards. “We’ve been impressed with the response to this and the first one and are looking at adding more storytelling programs based on this success.” Persons who want more information on ongoing Museum programs may call 336-786-4478.

Storyteller Vicky Town was the featured performer Saturday. The Philadelphia native, who lives in Fancy Gap, Va., told a story about two Irish sisters, Mary and Margaret. Town told the group about a huge giant kidnapping Margaret. Mary, a tiny girl, went after the giant armed with a small axe and shovel and 52 cupcakes in a dainty backpack.

After helping a frustrated leprechaun find his glasses, Mary was rewarded with a pair of almost microscopic pink fairy shoes by the enchanted little shoe cobbler who clued her in that Margaret is being held captive in Glass Mountain, which is notoriously hard to climb.

Mary discovered the enchanted pink shoes will grow to fit her feet and she climbs the mountain and challenges the giant to a contest of strength. She dares him to ram his head through a large tree. He tries and knocks himself unconscious. While the giant is out Mary tells her sister of her plan and proceeds to carve out a hole in the tree with her axe. She covers this with thin tree bark. She wakes the giant up and wins the contest by seeming to ram her head into the tree.

The giant, not one to be put off from a meal, convinces the girls to stay overnight. Mary uses her shovel to make a low wall of dirt and rock at the mouth of the cave and places logs under the girls’ sleeping blankets as they hide. The giant awakes and snaps the logs in two, thinking it is the girls. He goes back to sleep but is frightened in the morning as the girls launch a barrage of questions at him. The giant backs up in fear, trips and shatters as he falls off the mountain. The girls take his gold and help their family and the entire village.

Town also told another story of a heroic Chinese girl who earns the name Paper Flower after outwitting an evil woman and her bratty children who torment her. Paper Flower could only return home with her pay to help her family if she wrapped fire, water and wind in paper. She does this by making a lamp, a drinking cup and a fan and earns money to help her family for the rest of their days by making beautiful things from paper.

Local Historians Win State Awards

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The Jesse Franklin Pioneers club from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History received second place for a group project in the Literary Contest at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh this spring for the 2013 Tar Heel Junior Historian Association annual convention.

Club member Jonathan Casey placed first in the essay contest while Olivia Edwards and Emily Richardson were winners in the artifact search contest.

The local club members were among m,ore than 350 students, advisers and parents from across North Carolina who gathered at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh for the convention, an all-day event.

Hands-on workshops at the convention focused on two topics: conflict in the 1800s and North Carolina A to Z. Students learned about subjects ranging from the history of the “Star Spangled Banner” to earthenware pottery. The Museum of History and the Museum of History Associates co-sponsored the statewide convention.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

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As a result of a $5,000 grant received last year from Bay and Paul Foundation, the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is embarking on a mission to better preserve and archive its extensive collections, which includes around 20,000 objects and 10,000 photographs.

The grant was intended for “collections management, digitization and archival supplies and equipment,” according to Matthew Edwards, executive director of the museum.

Museum volunteers gathered Tuesday afternoon for a training session to teach them how to repackage, document and digitize a large part of the museum’s collections.

Adrienne Berney, collections care trainer with the Connecting to Collections project, led the volunteers in a series of training activities, including an examination of multiple training objects in order to properly train them to archive materials and know the techniques needed to examine and document each object.

“Our goal is to help small museums and this grant helps us to go out in the state, to museums like this one, and host regional workshops to reform and revise the archives as well as learn object handling techniques. Some volunteers will work with objects and others will work primarily with the digitization of the archives,” Berney explained to the volunteers.

Read more: Mount Airy News - Behind the scenes at the museum

Museum's Luthier Craft Exhibit Opens Saturday

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This Saturday, The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History premieres its newest traveling exhibit, The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge.

The exhibit explores the luthier’s craft of making stringed instruments and will include sections on banjo, guitar, and fiddle creation in the southern Appalachia and Blue Ridge Mountain areas, as well as biographical information on the luthiers.

The exhibit includes a number of hands-on activities, audio/visual, and interactive components. Admission to the museum is free this Saturday, but donations are encouraged.

Three luthiers are featured, including Johnny Gentry from the Mountain Park area, who crafts banjos; Wayne Henderson, a guitar-maker from the Mouth of Wilson area in Virginia; and a pair of old-time fiddler makers, Chris Testerman and Audrey Hash Ham.

Read more: Mount Airy News - Museum’s Luthier’s Craft exhibit opens Saturday

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