LYNCHBURG MUSEUM AND POINT OF HONOR SEE RECORD YEAR
The Lynchburg Museum at the Old Court House and Point of Honor (POH) had the busiest year ever serving residents and visitors through site visits, field trips, outreach, research inquiries, and media in FY 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). A record total of 21,755 people visited the sites or attended programs. Visitors came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 37 countries. This was the first full year of free admission at the Lynchburg Museum, and the number of Museum visitors rose 65% over the previous year.
The Experience the James exhibit closed in January after a successful 18 month run with 13,155 people touring the exhibit. Several partner organizations and City departments worked with the Museum including the James River Association, Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, Lynchburg Water Resources, Amazement Square, Lynch’s Landing, and the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society.
Two new exhibits opened in January 2016. To Be Sold, an exhibit on the slave trade in Virginia was borrowed from the Library of Virginia, and a number of Lynchburg related items were added. This was the first major exhibit and program series on slavery done by the Museum, and partners included the Legacy Museum of African American History and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. A Feast For the Eyes: Quilts and Textiles from Central Virginia also opened January and in March, A Great Change in the Situation of Man: Lynchburg’s Railroads opened. Both exhibits will run through the end of 2016.
The Lynchburg Museum System will continue their partnership with Lynchburg City Schools as over 3,000 students visited in FY 2016 and more planned for next year. During the year, all City students in the second, third, fourth and seventh grades visited the Museum or Point of Honor, and this year, the fifth grade will visit as well.
The Lynchburg Museum System Foundation continued to support the Museum and Point of Honor and helped fund exhibits, special events, and added fine period objects to the furnishings at POH. The Museum is grateful for the support of the City Council and City staff and for all who give their time, family treasures or financial donations to support the preservation of Lynchburg’s history.
Charlotte A. Fischer, Chairman Douglas K. Harvey, Museum Director
Lynchburg Museum System Advisory & Foundation Board
DAY AT THE POINT 2016!
Lynchburg Museum & Point of Honor See Record Year!
The Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor finished fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) with the highest attendance ever since opening in the 1970s. Visitors came from all 50 states and 37 countries. A total of 21,755 people toured, attended events, or participated in outreach programs during the year. In fiscal year 2015, the total was 16,788.
Visitors to the Lynchburg Museum totaled 11,104 and Point of Honor had 6,225. Events at Point of Honor attracted 3,007 people in spite of the largest annual event, Day at the Point, being rained out last year. During the year, 77 school groups visited with a total of 4,298 students, and 104 other groups visited with 1,912 people. Outreach programs taken to senior and recreation centers, schools, and civic groups totaled 1,419.
The Lynchburg Museum System Foundation, the 501(c) (3) organization which provides financial and other support, also had a successful year taking in $65,331 from donations, membership, and other sources. The Foundation had a total of $30,970 revenue in fiscal year 2015.
Museum Director Doug Harvey noted, “There are a variety of factors that impact visitation—gas prices, weather, what exhibits are featured, marketing, and many others. This past year, we had several exhibits that drew good numbers including Experience the James and To Be Sold, the exhibit on slavery. The Museum waived admission fees beginning in 2015, and that is certainly part of the growth. Downtown Lynchburg continues to see more activity, and we hosted four full grades of City school students this year, so all of these factor in.” A complete annual report for the Lynchburg Museum System will be released this fall once final data is compiled.
Lynchburg Museum Seeks Local WWI Items For 100th Anniversary Exhibit
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into World War I and the Lynchburg Museum is planning an exhibition on how the war impacted the city and its people. Themes will include local men who served and their stories, life on the home front, how Lynchburg industries supported the war effort, and more.
At first, America managed to stay out of Europe’s war which began in 1914. Virginia-born President Woodrow Wilson was not eager to join the fight but German attacks against American shipping interests occurred. When a telegram was intercepted from German officials offering Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to Mexico if they attacked the United States, America entered the war. From Lynchburg’s population of about 30,000 people, over 2,500 served in the military. Local National Guard units like the Musketeers, Shawnee Rifles, and the Home Guard were activated and sent into combat.
As troop trains stopped in Lynchburg with thousands of soldiers moving from training camps and to Virginia ports to be shipped overseas, Lynchburg women rose to the occasion and began an informal service providing refreshments to the troops. The city was given the name “Lunchburg” and soon the Red Cross was operating canteens at rail stations within the city.
The Museum is seeking WWI items from Central Virginia for loan or donation. While the exhibit does not open until January 2017, please contact Laura Wilson, Curator soon at (434) 455 4423 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have items you might share. Photographs will be scanned and returned to the owner.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has created a commission for the 100th anniversary of World War I which will sponsor traveling exhibits, programs, and events. For more information about the Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor please visit, www.lynchburgmuseum.org, www.pointofhonor.org, Facebook/LynchburgMuseum or LburgMuse on Twitter. The Museum is located at 901 Court Street.