Rare Photograph Collection of African American Life in Lynchburg
Now Available Online

The James Thomas Smith Collection of approximately 1,200 negatives and photographs can be viewed online at the Lynchburg Museum’s photo site: www.lynchburgphotos.org.  The images depict life in Lynchburg’s African American community from the 1940s through the 1960s. The collection contains images of weddings, graduations, civic groups, funerals, celebrations, churches, and businesses. Many of the images are portraits taken in homes. Approximately two-thirds of the collection is identified with a person's name, location, date, or event. 

Dr. Walter Johnson 

Pierce Street, 1968

“This is wonderful collection depicting mid-20th century life in Lynchburg’s African American community, remarks Lynchburg Museum Curator Laura Wilson. It is also a rare collection given the quantity of images and the number that have identifying information. “

The images were taken by James Thomas Smith who worked as a railroad mail clerk and later as foreman for the postal transportation service. According to his granddaughter, photography was his hobby. His wife Lilian was a teacher at R.S. Payne School and they lived on Jackson Street near 5th Street.   The collection was donated by his grandchildren Pamela Smith-Johnson and David A. Smith.

The Lynchburg Museum Foundation is now participating in the Kroger Community Rewards Program.  If you would like to participate, your purchases will earn cash rewards that go to the Foundation at no cost to you.  Please register your Kroger Plus Card with our NPO (Non-Profit Organization) number 90272.  Just go the website below and enroll.  

•    To register online, go to http://krogercommunityrewards.com/
•    Have your Kroger Plus card handy and register with your organization after you sign up.
•    Click on Sign In/Register.
•    Most participants are new customers, so click SIGN UP TODAY in the New Customer box.
•    Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards and input your Kroger card number after logging on
•    Update or confirm your information.
•    Enter NPO number 90272, and select organization from list and confirm.
•    To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right. 
•    Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count.
•    Members must re-enroll in August of each year.


To read the full Annual Report-click here

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                                 


A journey into Lynchburg's musical past with stories about Blind Billy, Joel Sweeney, and Luke Jordan.

Journey into Lynchburg's musical past with stories about Cil Turner, Zeke and Zeb Turner and Don Reno.