Mars Hill University’s Rural Heritage Museum receives grant for upcoming WNC Civil War exhibit

Note/Disclosure: Xpress reporter Max Hunt (i.e. “me”) serves as curator of the upcoming exhibit “The Civil War in the Southern Highlands: A Human Perspective” at the Rural Heritage Museum at Mars Hill University.

From Mars Hill University:

Grant to Support Civil War Exhibition at Mars Hill University

A grant from the Madison County Tourism Development Authority will support an upcoming exhibition at Mars Hill University’s Rural Heritage Museum. The museum will display “The Civil War in the Southern Highlands: A Human Perspective” from August 19, 2017, through March 4, 2018. Museum director Les Reker says the $15,000 grant will help the museum offer an important cultural experience to visitors and residents of the county: “We are extremely grateful for the vision and generosity of the Madison County Tourism and Development Authority, as well as to the hotels, motels, and B&Bs, for their continued support of our mission,” says Reker.

The exhibit uses original letters and newly discovered documents to detail the personal struggles of the people living in Madison County and the surrounding Southern Appalachian region during the mid-19th century. Exhibition items include an introductory overview film, two dozen narrative panels, dozens of original photographs, and many authentic objects from the Civil War period.

Among those objects are:

  • a wedding dress
  • a military jacket
  • Confederate currency
  • flags
  • swords
  • ammunition
  • a McClellan cavalry saddle

“The Civil War in the Southern Highlands: A Human Perspective” is curated by Max Hunt, staff writer for the Mountain Xpress newspaper; with assistance from author/historians Katherine Cutshall, Maynard Shelton, and Dan Slagle; with editing, research, and design by writer/researcher Carolyn Comeau and graphic designer/filmmaker Ryan Phillips. “Through careful study and scholarly research, we hope to shed light on the complex, apocryphal nature of the conflict that devastated the Southern Highlands, one which still profoundly reverberates deep in the hollows and gaps of the Blue Ridge,” says Reker.

The mission of the Rural Heritage Museum is to facilitate the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of objects relevant to the history and culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Through its program of changing exhibitions, the Museum assists students, faculty members, and the general public in understanding their rural heritage.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.