TIMBERVILLE — Plains District Memorial Museum has sustained the history of Rockingham County for 21 years with displays of historic items donated by local residents.
Today, it hosts its annual Heritage Day celebration to commemorate when the museum was founded in 1998 and raise funds for continued preservation.
Each Heritage Day serves as a moment to reflect on Timberville’s evolution and milestones, but this year’s theme is a step back in time to match the current exhibit on display, “Early Orchards in Plains District.”
“For the last couple of years, we have had a lecture on history — some aspect of the museum. So this year we decided to go back out and have a lawn party; an old fashioned Heritage Day on the side lawn,” said Helen Smith, museum curator.
Everyone knows no lawn party is complete without a table full of food. Lunch is comprised of country ham sandwiches, hot dogs, sodas and chips provided by museum members and volunteers. The dessert table will include a variety of familiar baked goods as well as a traditional apple cobbler and homemade ice cream to fit the theme of “old fashioned day.” All food is for sale to benefit the museum’s operating budget.
A collection of community members will play a moderated bluegrass jam session outside from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Barry King, a board member of the museum, frequently plays with the musicians and connected the participating artists to the event. King said the performance is a casual hodgepodge of styles from traditional to hillbilly bluegrass for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s not going to be a professional band performing. It’s going to be people in the community who are coming to kind of support the museum and play bluegrass music for the pleasure of whoever shows up,” King said.
At 1 p.m., the women’s auxiliary from Chimney Rock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9660 will present a copy of their original charter at the museum.
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., artisans who specialize in traditional crafts will present demonstrations outside on the lawn. Timberville historian Bev Garber is a local woodcarver who is conducting a presentation on woodwork by applying a Danish oil finish on his carved bowls.
Garber has been woodworking for 12 years, but has dedicated even more years into helping see the museum from its early days, at what is now the police station, into the notable space it is today. Visitors interested in genealogy or the town’s history can count on Garber to lead a walking tour or navigate them through the neighboring cemetery.
“We have people especially coming from out of state. Well, they want to know where the cemeteries are, and they’re looking for certain graves and things. And so they get in contact with me, and we go out and I take them to the cemeteries,” Garber said. “Anytime anybody wants to do a walking tour all they need to do is just get in touch with me, and it doesn’t cost anything. I just spend my time doing it, and I enjoy doing it and meeting people.”
The Shenandoah Valley Textile Guild will also have spinning, rug hooking and knitting from Broadway and Timberville so guests can ask questions and observe their practice.
Antique farm equipment will be on display from the early 1900s. The Timberville Volunteer Fire Department will bring out the town’s retired 1919 horse-drawn fire wagon and 1950 fire truck. Both vehicles are part of the museum’s collection, but the fire department looks after them.
The museum is located at 176 Main St. in Timberville, and open Thursday through Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free, and all are welcome to join the celebration.