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Expericene The James: Lynchburg's Pathway to the World?

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Large Collection of Early Dunbar Material and Portrait of Confederate General James Dearing Donated to The Lynchburg Museum

When Dunbar High School transitioned from a segregated black high school to an integrated school in 1970-71, Carolyn Brown was there as school secretary.  Earlier, she worked with C.W. Seay, the principal of Dunbar and the first African American elected to City Council since the 1880s. During the transition, many items were being thrown away and Carolyn saved documents, photographs, graduation programs, and other pieces of the school’s long history.


In recent months, Carolyn contacted the Lynchburg Museum and agreed to let the Museum make digital copies of the extensive collection.  Staff members and college interns worked on the collection for several months and recently completed the project. At that time, Ms. Brown decided to donate the collection to the Lynchburg Museum.


Museum Director Doug Harvey noted: “Collections like this are rare, as African American history was not often saved in the early to mid -20th century.  This collection includes student newspapers from the 1920s, commencement programs, memorabilia from Jackson Street School, the predecessor to Dunbar, annuals, reunion photographs, and similar items. Carolyn Brown preserved an important and often overlooked part of Lynchburg’s history.”  The Museum plans to put portions of the collection on its website in the coming months.


Another important part of local history was donated to the Museum this week. General James Dearing was born in Campbell County, attended West Point, and served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Rising to the rank of Brigadier General, he was wounded just before the surrender at Appomattox in a cavalry battle near Farmville. Brought to Lynchburg’s Ladies Relief Hospital on Main Street, he died there on April 22, 1865. James Dearing was the last Confederate General to die in the conflict and was buried on his 25th birthday.


Originally interred at the family home Avoca, now a historic house museum near Altavista, he was later moved to Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg.  The oil portrait of Dearing by Flavius Fisher was done in 1899 and bequeathed to the Museum by the late Mrs. Margaret Spruce Christian. Her husband was James Dearing Christian, Jr., a descendant of General Dearing and of John Lynch, the founder of Lynchburg.

The Museum is located at 901 Court Street and the Lynchburg Museum System also operates Point of Honor at 112 Cabell Street. For more information, call (434) 455-6226, visit the websites at www.lynchburgmuseum.org, the Museum’s Facebook page, or on Twitter.


4 More Days!


In celebration of the recently proclaimed “Year of the River” by Lynchburg City Mayor Michael Gillette, the Lynchburg Museum will be launching an Experience the James Instagram Contest as part of the Experience the James exhibit. From August 1 through September 2, area residents will be invited to share photos of their James River experiences and adventures– canoeing, kayaking, hiking, rafting, fishing, swimming, etc. on Instagram.


Those who tag their photos with the #experiencethejames hashtag will be entered for the chance to win a brand new Perception Sport Pescador 10.0 Angler Kayak Package donated by the Appomattox River Company. The kayak will be displayed at the Lynchburg Community Market during this time. The winner will be selected at random on September 2 and announced on the Experience the James Facebook page.


This contest is one component of an 18-month collaborative journey along the James River with special programming, activities, and events, organized by the City of Lynchburg’s Museum System, Parks and Recreation and Water Resources Departments. A central feature of this program is the exhibit: Experience the James: Lynchburg’s Pathway to the World at the Lynchburg Museum, 901 Court Street, which explores the history, imagery, art, and natural resources of this majestic waterway.  The exhibit runs through the end of 2015 and features items loaned from museums and private collections across Virginia. 


In addition to the exhibit, an ambitious program schedule has been developed including rain barrel demonstrations, lectures, camps for kids and teachers, and much more. Partners for Experience the James include Amazement Square, Lynch’s Landing, discoverLynchburg, the James River Association and the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society. 


Please visit www.experiencethejames.com often for information on upcoming events and programs. 


The Lynchburg Museum System is Proud to Participate in the

Blue Star Museums program

Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America offers free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available-here.


Lynchburg Museums Recognized in
Top 100 of Virginia's Favorite Architecture

The votes are in, and the people have spoken. The Virginia Center for Architecture announces today that the Lynchburg Museum and Monument Terrace and Point of Honor have been ranked in the top 100 structures in a public poll to identify Virginia’s Favorite Architecture.

The survey, which garnered nearly 30,000 votes, found that Virginians chose buildings that evoke powerful emotions and memories as their favorites. Universities and Thomas Jefferson claim most of the top 10, with an historic church and an iconic airport thrown into the mix.  The Lynchburg Museum and Monument Terrace ranked 21st and Point of Honor 50th out of 100 in the survey. 

“I think Lynchburg should be very proud of these historic treasures,” said Museum Director, Doug Harvey. “We are pleased that others throughout the Commonwealth also recognize what architectural jewels these structures are.” 



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Sunday:  Noon - 4 pm


A new front gate at Point of Honor was recently

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New Gate at Point of Honor


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Mission Statement

The mission of Point of Honor, Dr. George Cabell’s plantation home, is to engage and educate a diverse audience by collecting, preserving, and interpreting Lynchburg’s history during the Era of Good Feeling,

1815 -1830.


Point of Honor • 112 Cabell Street • Lynchburg, VA 24504
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September 5th

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James River Lecture

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