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Colonial Virginia: Heroes and Homemakers in Western Virginia

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Learn about the men and women who built a life on Virginia’s frontier and who are remembered for their heroic deeds. Costumed interpreters and demonstrators from Historic Smithfield and others will visit the Salem Museum on Saturday, February 24 from 10 am to 4 pm to immerse Museum guests in what life was like in Western Virginia in Colonial times. The program is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated! Meet a bullet maker, a spinner, a blacksmith and a lace weaver, among others, and watch what it takes to hand-sew a colonial dress. Re-enactors will set up a Revolutionary War encampment to demonstrate what soldiers endured in their fight for Independence. British soldiers will be on hand, too. Children can play some of the games that children played in those simpler times. At 12:30, Colonel Lewis Ingles “Bud” Jeffries, a historian and direct descendant of Mary Draper Ingles, will tell the story of this important Western Virginia heroine. Mary and her husband William had settled in an area now part of the campus of Virginia Tech. Mary was abducted by the Shawnee during the 1755 Draper's Meadow Massacre, along with her two young sons. They were taken to a Shawnee settlement on the Ohio River in Northeast Kentucky. After a few months, Mary escaped, but before her stretched a strenuous journey on foot of more than 500 miles through territory unknown to her. At 2:30, April Danner, Director of Historic Smithfield, will speak on the relationship between Colonel Fleming and Colonel William Preston. A leader of westward expansion and a prominent Western Virginia Revolutionary War patriot, William Preston settled in present-day Blacksburg and established Smithfield as his home. He was elected to the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses in 1765. He served in both the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary War and is credited with saving George Washington's life. He also aided in the fight against Lord Cornwallis and the British in the Carolinas. Preston’s descendants include governors, senators, presidential cabinet members, university founders and presidents, and military leaders. Colonel William Fleming’s battle sword will be on display, along with an updated exhibit about Salem’s General Andrew Lewis. Lewis is remembered for leading his troops to victory in the French and Indian War and Dunmore’s War, and driving Lord Dunmore—the last British Governor—out of Virginia just days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, making it one of the first military actions of the Revolutionary War. The Fort Lewis Chapter DAR will have a display as part of the day’s events. The Colonial Living History Day is generously sponsored by Richfield, a senior living and healthcare community named for the home of General Andrew Lewis.

Colonial Virginia: Heroes and Homemakers in Western Virginia
  • 801 East Main Street
  • Salem, VA 24153
  • to
  • Salem Museum & Historical Society
  • Free, donations appreciated!