Last Thursday, the Botetourt County Historical Society & Museum (BCHS) hosted its annual meeting at Fincastle United Methodist Church Family Life Center. President John Rader welcomed everyone. Secretary Ann Layman reviewed the minutes from 2021’s annual meeting. Treasurer Weldon Martin gave a financial report on the Historical Society.
Executive Director Lynsey Crantz Allie detailed the accomplishments of the BCHS over the past year – which included the packing up and relocation of the entirety of the museum’s artifacts from its original Courthouse Square location as the most significant achievement.
Before vacating the original building, Mike Pulice with the Department of Historic Resources and a team from Poplar Forest, led by Travis McDonald, did a complete historical documentation of the building – at no cost to the BCHS – as a direct result of the structure’s enduring historical significance.
BCHS is also working with local author Ken Conklin and former Roanoke Mayor Nelson Harris on a historical marker in honor of Norvel Lee. This Eagle Rock native became an Olympic gold medal winner in boxing at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. The marker is slated for installation in September, with a dedication ceremony date formally announced later in the summer. Conklin is also scheduled to talk about his book, “Norvel,” at the Eagle Rock Library on May 21.
Rader thanked the many BCHS volunteers that have helped during this time of transition. Annette Shaw with Botetourt County Town & Country Women’s Club also thanked their members that have graciously stepped in to help BCHS as well. Lastly, Jo Ella Johns with Botetourt County Daughters of the American Revolution mentioned volunteers from the DAR that have also given their time to assist with the move.
Former Director Weldon Martin also presented longtime docent Loretta Wolfe an award for her 20+ years of service with the society as a docent after she retired earlier this year. The society extends its sincere gratitude to all that have made this past year of change and upheaval bearable through their many volunteered hours and assistance.
On Saturday, April 30, the BCHS Museum also was open for Virginia Garden Week as a “preview” to patrons at the new location at 26 E. Main Street. This resulted in nearly 100 visitors coming through the museum’s galleries despite the rainy weather.