The Roanoker - May/June 2020 - 18

History Museum Shakes
Off the Cobwebs
Botetourt County celebrates an anniversary, and with it, new
opportunities for residents and visitors. (Please note their
schedule may have changed at time of press.)
BOTETOURT COUNTY is so old and so full of
history that it will take several organizations to help it
celebrate its 250th anniversary beginning in May. The
county predates the Declaration of Independence by
five years and the Constitution by 17 years.
Ground Zero for the celebration will be the
Historical Society of Western Virginia (HSWV ),
sharing the O. Winston Link Museum downtown.
Among other organizations taking part in the monthslong reverie will be the Botetourt County History
Museum and the Taubman Museum of Art.
" Our summer blockbuster exhibit will be Botetourt
County: 250 Years of Delights and will run from May
28 through November 7, " says Ashley Webb, curator

18

MAY/JUNE 2020

of collections for the Historical Society of Western
Virginia.
The first exhibit of the year was " Light & Shadow:
Photographs by Jimmy Deck, " closing May 5. Other
museums in the region will have special events through
the year, recognizing Botetourt.
The HSWV has been searching for a higher profile
since it left Center in the Square in 2017 and even
though it has less space than it had at Center, " it makes
sense to be here, " says board president Andy Stone.
Board member Sandra Kelly is more precise: " It is
difficult to support two museums [HSWV and the
Link] with donations. "
Center in the Square was facing something of
an identity crisis in 2017 and wanted to change its
approach. It lost the History Museum, but expanded
with a children's permanent exhibit and introduced the
popular (and lucrative) Pinball Museum, among others.
The new space for the HSWV is half the size it had
at Center and has no storage, but " it's convenient to
have it all together, " says Stone.
The museum continues to " find the right things,
what will appeal to people, " says Kelly. Could be that
Botetourt County will be that " thing. "

TheRoanoker.com

DAN SMITH

the gist


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The Roanoker - May/June 2020

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