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.