Plan A Visit

All of the information you, or your group will need to plan a visit to the museum, including our schedule, hours, rates & more!

If you are planning a visit for a school group, please see our "For Educators" section.

Click Here

Changing Exhibits

April 7 - September 3 2018

A Forest Journey




Upcoming Events

Fri May 25 @ 8:00pm - 09:30pm
Historic Downtown Mount Airy Ghost Tours
Sun May 27 @ 1:00pm - 04:00pm
Open on Sundays
Mon May 28 @10:00am - 05:00pm
Open on Mondays

Who We Are

 

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

museum001 Ours is an all American story - typical of how communities grew up all across our great nation. While our story takes place in the back country of northwestern North Carolina at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is likely to bear many similarities to the development of crossroads, towns, and cities throughout America.

It had taken little more than 100 years for the corridors along the coastline of this still-new continent to overflow. As tensions grew and conflicts flared, the pioneer spirit set in. Families literally packed up everything they owned and headed into the unknown-searching for the "promised land."

Mission Statement:

The Purpose of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is to  Collect, Preserve and Interpret the Natural, Historic, and Artistic Heritage of the Region

                                                                      Adopted by the Board of Directors   October 9, 1995


Find Us On Facebook

facebookSimply click the Facebook logo to the left to visit our Facebook page.  Soon you will be able to "Like" individual exhibits and articles throughout the site!

Or CLICK HERE

Mount Airy Museum Of Regional History

Museum to host Ancestor Fair on Saturday 1/27

E-mail Print PDF

Though its name has changed, an annual event on Saturday at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History has the same goal: helping individuals and families connect with their past.  The Surry County Genealogical Association Ancestor Fair formerly was known as the Family History and Genealogy Swap Meet.  A decision was made to drop the “swap meet” terminology, which generally refers to flea markets or venues where auto enthusiasts go to trade parts, and add ancestor fair to the title. This better reflects the historical nature of the event now in its fourth year, explained Esther Johnson, Genealogical Association president.

“This is the swap meet we have been having,” Johnson added in assuring that the gathering held each winter will feature the same attractions for genealogy buffs. “We’re pretty much sticking to the same things this year.” Also as in the past, everyone interested in genealogy is invited to the ancestor fair and admission is free, except for a small fee to copy records using a machine to be available Saturday.

Roots resources

A variety of resources will be highlighted during the event scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the third floor of the museum on North Main Street. “We will have someone there who can help you look up your family on Ancestry.com or FamilySearch,” Johnson mentioned in reference to one attraction, access to online services that normally require paying fees or establishing accounts. “Also, we can go on our computers,” she said of ones to be brought by Genealogical Association members. Laptops are welcome Saturday. An array of family history information, such as genealogy charts and records for various lines, tends to be on display at the fair. “Bring your genealogy and history on your family,” Johnson urged participants, “old pictures, scrapbooks, family group sheets.” One never knows what might be encountered at the event, which sometimes includes stumbling onto previously elusive information that can provide a genealogical breakthrough. “This is a good time to find people who are doing research on your family,” Johnson commented regarding the presence of a clearinghouse for an array of records. Those connected with a history or genealogy group also are invited to set up at the fair, where they can advertise their group and sell its items such as books and maps free of charge. And authors may offer their books for sale.

DNA attraction

A recent rage in the genealogy world is DNA testing, which offers an alternative to tracing one’s family tree rather than relying strictly on written or oral records. It allows genealogists and family researchers to benefit from established scientific methods to confirm ancestry and relationships. “Everybody wants to have their DNA done,” Johnson said of the popularity of testing, which she will be available to explain Saturday to ancestor fair attendees. “I’ve had my DNA done and I can show them what it looks like,” Johnson said of the breakdown that results.

Classes offered

While Saturday’s fair will be of special interest to students of a beginners genealogy class sponsored by the museum and taught by Johnson, it also is a prelude for the next round of classes. The five sessions are scheduled on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m., beginning on Feb. 6 and ending on March 6. The first two are to be held in the second-floor classroom of the museum, the third and fourth at locations in Dobson and the fifth back at the museum. Fee and other information is available on the museum’s website. In addition, the Surry County Genealogical Association meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Teaching Auditorium at Surry Community College in Dobson.

Museum event honors King’s legacy

E-mail Print PDF

With temperatures in the 20s and a stiff north wind, Saturday night offered less-than-optimum conditions for a community gathering — but this didn’t stop more than 125 people from honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “When you see people come out when it’s cold — the weather is not inviting — I think it shows people value what’s important,” said Cheryl “Yellow Fawn” Scott, co-director of a 13th-annual King tribute event.

The program, “In the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — Surry Countians Continuing the Dream,” was held at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, playing to a packed house. “It is always a tremendous honor to see this many folks come out for this program,” museum Executive Director Matt Edwards said of what is one of the facility’s more well-attended events each year. “It is a testament to Dr. King’s legacy and the work of our local volunteers.”

The ensuing program highlighted the fact that while he was felled by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, King’s dream of equality for all continues to live on in the hearts of folks here and elsewhere. This was accomplished Saturday night through musical selections such as “This Little Light of Mind,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Never Have to be Alone” and others; prayer; creative interpretations; candle lightings in Dr. King’s memory; and special remarks about the impression his incredible life made on America.

King entered the Baptist ministry in the late 1940s and was caught up in the civil rights struggle of the 1950s, becoming the most-visible activist and leader in the movement while relying on tactics of non-violence and civil disobedience. He campaigned against inequality throughout the South, including leading the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott. One of the key moments of his civil rights icon’s career came in 1963 when he helped organize a march on Washington, where he delivered his landmark “I Have a Dream” speech.

Terri Ingalls, a local storyteller who was one of the speakers on Saturday night’s program, recalled that historic event that occurred while she was coming of age in a nearby state. “I was deeply aware of segregation — I grew up in South Carolina,” Ingalls told the audience. “I saw it daily, and I knew it was wrong.” Ingalls watched televised coverage of the Washington event, admittedly because folk music performers she wanted to see were there, including Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary. But Ingalls found herself captivated by King’s words during his historic speech, when he outlined his “dream” of people of all colors living in harmony. Also, King expressed the hope that “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” “And in the end I sat stunned,” Ingalls said of hearing King’s message. “I was surprised to find my face awash with tears when it was done.”

Another profound segment of Saturday night’s program occurred when Scott detailed the history of martyrs in the civil rights struggle, both black and white, who fell victim to bombings and other acts of violence during the turbulent era. The weapon of love eventually overcame those of hate, such as bombs and guns, Scott said.

A key goal of Saturday’s event involved emphasizing how the lessons espoused by King continue to be exemplified by the lives of folks in Surry County. Special recognition was given to two local families illustrating the value of religion and education, the Posey and Betty Reynolds family, which included 17 children, five of whom survive today, and that of Luther and Willie Rawley. Members of those families have made a mark in such fields as industry, business, engineering, criminal justice and others.

Local youths also were recognized Saturday and two adults were announced as Dr. Martin King Jr. honorees, James Dalton and Col. Don Belle. While he received that special honor Saturday night, Belle said he regularly attends the King tribute events at the museum for one basic reason: “We love this country and we love the many things that Dr. King and the people who were with him have accomplished — black and white.”

MLK program to focus on Surry County

E-mail Print PDF

A program to be presented at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History on Jan. 13 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will focus on Surry County and how the spirit of King’s teaching, legacy and life can influence the journey of people in the local community to come together. The program, “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Surry Countians Continuing the Dream,” is jointly sponsored by the National Association of University Women, Mount Airy/Surry County branch, and the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.

“It has been an absolute joy to be involved with this program,” said Cheryl Yellow Fawn Scott, co-director of the event, who has been involved from the beginning. “It is a way to come together, to highlight the positive and instill hope in our community,” adding that the event has grown in its 14-year history. Scott added she was particularly pleased that the event has always been multi-racial, both in attendance and participation. “Last year we had about 100 people,” said co-director LaDonna McCarther, who has also been involved from day one. “Poor Matt had to move some chairs,” referring to Matt Edwards, executive director of the museum. Two people have been named as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. honorees for their life, and the way they have impacted others: Col. Donald Belle and James Dalton. The recipient of the 2018 Dreamer Award will be announced during the program.

The 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death will be recognized during a candle-lighting ceremony with one of the candles being lit to illuminate his last dream, the Poor People’s Campaign, a campaign for social justice and economic equality. As part of the Surry County focus, recognition will be made of some Surry County families. “African-American families who have been here for generations,” said Scott, adding that one of the families to be recognized is the Posey Reynolds family. Two storytellers will be on hand; Terri Ingalls will recite “Dream to Dream” and Rene Andrews, a storyteller from Winston-Salem, will tell a story for the children present. Youth will be recognized for their achievements, which can be academic, artistic, or the way they live their life as goodwill ambassadors, showing compassion, hope and excellence of any kind. The evening will include several musical performances, including duets by Emma Davis and Ariel Love, and by Teresa Martin and Maggie Lowe. Roxanne Beamer will return to sing again this year, Bob Chilton, will reprise “Mary, Did You Know?” and the Aaron McCarther family, parents and children, will sing. “We’re excited to have them,” said Scott of the scheduled performers. Marie Nicholson will close out the program with a recitation of the Maya Angelou poem, “Still I rise.”

“In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Surry Countians Continuing the Dream” will be presented at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, 301 N. Main St., Mount Airy, on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

The badge is back, more events planned

E-mail Print PDF

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” said Matt Edwards. The executive director of Mount Airy Museum of Regional History speaking about the possibility of big changes in store for Mount Airy’s fourth New Year’s Eve badge drop in the museum courtyard. Edwards was less cagey about fundraising events planned for the early part of the evening. A three-tiered menu of events is planned, available as a package or à la carte.

The top-tier full package starts with a three-course dinner at Old North State Winery, with a special New Year’s Eve menu by chef Chris Wishart with seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., followed by special activities at the museum, culminating with a champagne toast for the midnight badge drop. The middle-tier foregoes the dinner, allowing guests to enjoy the museum activities at a reduced cost, and the final tier is the badge drop which is offered to the community free of charge. “We’re excited to have activities in our space,” said Edwards of the museum plans, which are a departure from past years, when dinner and the badge drop book-ended the evening, but left a hole in the center. This year activities are planned for both children and adults.  “It will be an enjoyable way to fill the time between dinner service and midnight for people who are not necessarily looking for a super-raucous party night,” said Edwards. “And folks who are unfamiliar with our facility can experience it in a fun way.”

“Kids New Year” is from 6 to 8 p.m. and will offer a fun place for the kids while their adults enjoy the early seating at Old North State, or dinner elsewhere if they go à la carte. The two hours of fun will count down to a mock-midnight at 8 p.m. “We’re thinking along ‘It’s 5 o’clock somewhere’ lines,” said Edwards. “And at 8 p.m., it’s midnight in the Azores, so the kids will celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Azores. It will let kids who don’t stay up until midnight have a chance to be part of the fun.”

“21+ New Years at the Museum” is from 9 p.m. until midnight will give adults time for some fun stuff while waiting to ring in the new year. There will be live music with Brian Gray and Raven Drums on the third floor of the museum. Along with a cash bar, there will be a trivia night station, an adult craft station, a storytelling station, custom wine glasses and champagne toast at midnight.

Live music will begin in the museum’s courtyard at 11 p.m. with “Going Dutch,” who will play until the midnight badge drop. “Going Dutch” is a local band which played often in the area while in high school, according to Edwards, but after going away to college, get together during their Christmas break to play.

As far as possible changes, upgrades and technological improvements to the badge drop itself, Edwards said that is totally in the hands of Mark Brown, who has complete creative license over the event. “He’s been dabbling with some things,” said Edwards, still being cagey. Finally Edwards came clean and spilled, “Mark wants to completely lighten the weight of the badge, so he can lift it with a drone. But it probably won’t be this year.”

Mayberry could be barreling headlong toward a collision with 21st-century technology in 2018.

Tickets for the full evening are $75 each and include dinner, admission for one for activities at the museum and a champagne toast at midnight. “Kids New Year” is 6-8 p.m. and “21+ New Years at the Museum” is 9 p.m.-midnight. Tickets for both are $25 each. Badge drop in the courtyard is free to the public.

The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is located at 301 N. Main St., Mount Airy, NC. Old North State Winery is across the roadway at 308 N. Main St. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or by calling 336-789-9463.

Page 2 of 31