Lost River Museum Commemorates Civil War
This year the Lost River Museum is exhibiting Civil War artifacts found in Hardy County. The Museum joins the nation in commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with the exhibit and a series of special activities that are both informative and fun.
Jerry Dove and David Ingram have found most of the displayed relics within a few yards to a few miles from the Lost River Museum. They have determined that there was a Union camp in the Museum parking lot and a Confederate camp not far away. They use their knowledge of local actions and skirmishes to guide much of their metal detecting.
|This battered Civil War relic has a story to tell. Confederate soldiers preferred Union canteens to bulky Confederate ones. A Confederate soldier acquired this one and etched “VV” for Virginia Volunteers on the lip and a big “C” on the opposite side.
“You read about how the Civil War was a period of innovation in weaponry, but when you see the great diversity of bullets Dove and Ingram have found, the words on the page have real meaning,” museum guide Bill Powell says. “Kids love the big stuff—the cannonballs and artillery shells—but the little things like harmonica reeds, a thimble, and a chess piece help us think of the soldiers as people.”
An auto tour of some of the region's Civil War sites will take place on Saturday, July 30.
McNeill’s Rangers will return to their old territory to camp at the museum for two days of living history Saturday, August 13th and 14th. Soldiers will gather round their cook fires and the valley will again sound of rifle and cannon fire.
On August 20th, the Museum will hold a seminar on the Civil War with Joe Geiger, State Historian of West Virginia speaking on the unique story of West Virginia’s creation as a state. George Wunderlich, director of National Museum of Civil War Medicine, will relate the innovations of Civil War medicine to medical care our wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan receive on the battlefield today. Stephen French will share highlights from his award-winning The Jones-Imboden Raid Against the B & O Railroad. Wunderlich, who is also a maker of traditional banjos and an expert on minstrel music, will cap the day with a presentation and performance of Civil War era music
These programs are made possible with support from Hardy County Tour and Craft Association, the sponsor of Hardy County Heritage Weekend, The West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Council for the Humanities, and donations from museum visitors.
The Lost River Museum welcomes visitors weekends from 10 to 5 pm Thursday through Sunday Memorial Day through October. It is located in the historic Harper Barn on SR 259 in Lost River, WV.
About the Museum
The Lost River Museum is located on the lower level of the 150-year-old barn it shares with the Artisans Cooperative.
The Museum reflects over 250 years of valley life from about 1750 when early settlers brought their few tools by packhorse and built log cabins with dirt or puncheon floors.
After the danger of Indian raids passed, farms flourished in the rich valley soils and craftsmen made most of their tools, furniture, and clothing here. Some families built plantations with fine homes. Newer immigrants began to settle the uplands, building a hard but self-reliant life.
Today the Museum displays a treasure trove of furniture, tools, textiles, photographs, and stories reflecting this heritage.
Every year it also features special exhibits of rare artifacts from private collections not otherwise seen by the public and weekend events where craftsmen demonstrate traditional and contemporary arts.