Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Bassett Historical Symposium Saturday
Bassett Historical Center Symposium Set For March 6
The Bassett Historical Center is pleased to announce a symposium on regional history to be held March 6, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Historic J. D. Bassett High School auditorium, now owned by EMI Imaging, Inc., who is donating the use of the school auditorium, in Bassett, Virginia.
Proceeds from this event will go to the Bassett Historical Center Building Fund. The speakers are donating their time in support of this project to expand the library. Advance tickets are $25 and $30 at the door. Students and Senior Citizens are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Please include e-mail address for ticket confirmation only. E-mail addresses will not be sold or given to others.
Visit the webpage of the Bassett Historical Center http://www.bassetthistoricalcenter.com or call 276-629-9191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Advance payment can be sent to Bassett Historical Center at 3964 Fairystone Park Highway, Bassett, VA 24055.
The Bassett Historical Center has been called 'the best little library in Virginia'. The Center has grown considerably since we merged with Blue Ridge Regional Library in 1992. From that time through 2004, our patron count increased 1359% over a period of 13 years. Since 1998 we have had an increase of 125% per year. People from all 50 states and 9 foreign countries have visited the Center. Our family files now number 9496, local history files number 2818, and our books number over 12,000. It is time for expansion of our facility. We need to double our present size so that we will be able to accept new collections that otherwise may be sent to another facility outside of our immediate area. In an attempt to add 4195 square feet to our existing facility, an estimate of $800,000 has been given.
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our effort as well as, those who have supported our events. We have been successful in reaching our “Challenge Grant” of $205,000 with the Harvest Foundation. We are thankful and very fortunate to have their support. Though we have reached our Challenge Grant, there are still financial challenges ahead. As mentioned above, the Historical Symposium is March 6 and your ticket purchase will assist us in our fundraising efforts. So please come and enjoy a day with four talented writers and speakers and some very interesting historical facts. Your personal or corporate tax-deductible donation can be used for memorials or honorariums. You can consider donating or buying shelving, furniture, display units or sponsor 1 to 3 of the proposed large rooms.
Our day begins with Alan Pell Crawford and his discussion of his book “Twilight at Monticello, the Final Years of Thomas Jefferson”. Based on new research and documents culled from the Library of Congress and from other special collections which include previously unexamined letters from family, friends, & Monticello neighbors, Alan touches on Jefferson dealing with illness, the indignities of early nineteenth century medicine. Alan shows Jefferson coping with massive debt, family disputes, receiving dignitaries, corresponding with close friends, and all the while still influencing America’s political landscape.
Joe Tennis will share his book “Beaches to Bluegrass: Places to Brake on Virginia’s Longest Road”. He will explore the stops and stories he discovered along Highway 58. They are from areas such as Martinsville, Danville, Mount Rodgers, Grayson Highlands State Park, Whitetop Mountain, and the Barter Theatre. Stories about ghosts, the Civil War, music legends, a UFO landing, a witch, a waterfall, and the place where Johnny Cash played his final concerts.
After a Lunch break, Tom Perry will give an informative discussion on “Frank Stringfellow: Martinsville Minister/Confederate Spy”. Frank Stringfellow served as a spy/scout for J.E.B. Stuart during the War Between the States and in the 1890’s was the Rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Martinsville. Tom, who grew up near Laurel Hill in Patrick County, has helped the Historical Center raise over $50,000 through the sale of his books.
Our last speaker of the day will be Craig Rockwell. He will be speaking on and portraying Brigadier General William Clark. After his expeditions with Meriwether Lewis, Captain Clark became a Brigadier General of the Louisiana Territory Militia, Indian Agent, Governor of the Missouri Territory, Surveyor General of Wisconsin, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
We look forward to seeing you for an informative and fun day of History.
Speakers joining me are the following. Alan Crawford- An accomplished author and speaker when he was still in his 20s, Alan Pell Crawford “was either endowed with a special gift of prescience or generously favored by the political gods,” according to the late James Wechsler, writing in the New York Post. Mr. Crawford is a former U.S. Senate speechwriter, congressional press secretary, and magazine editor. He has published essays on politics and history in The New York Post, The Independent of London, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, The Nation, National Review, and The Weekly Standard. He has reviewed books on U.S. history for The Wall Street Journal since 1994. Alan will discuss his book, “Twilight at Monticello: the Final Years of Thomas Jefferson”. Based on new research and documents culled from the Library of Congress and from other special collections which include previously unexamined letters from family, friends, and Monticello neighbors, Alan touches on Jefferson dealing with illness and the indignities of early nineteenth century medicine. Mr. Crawford shows Jefferson coping with massive debt, family disputes, receiving dignitaries, corresponding with close friends, and all the while still influencing America’s political landscape. Alan Pell Crawford has also written, “Thunder on the Right: The ‘New Right’ and the Politics of Resentment”, described by Godfrey Hodson in The new Republic as “a notable work of intellectual and political history”, and “Unwise Passions: A True Story of Remarkable Woman and the First Great Scandal of the Eighteenth-Century America”, “Imagine Gone With the Wind if Eugene O’Neill had written it, add a spoonful to Alexis de Tocqueville, a suspicion of incest and murder, many great names and reversals of fortune, and you have this love-hate-mystery tale of political history.”, Weekly Standard. A former resident of Washington, D.C., Alan and his wife, Sally and their two sons, Ned and Tim now reside in Richmond, Va.
Joe Tennis is an award winning feature writer for the Bristol Herald Courier in Bristol, Va., and the author of the critically acclaimed “Beach to Bluegrass: Places to Brake on Virginia’s Longest Road”. Joe Tennis will be discussing “Beach to Bluegrass”, Tennis’s collection of 58 tales along Highway 58, that stretches from Hampton Roads to Virginia Beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Cumberland Gap. Along the way, the author discovers ghost tales, Civil War stories, music legends, a UFO landing, a witch, a waterfall, and the place where Johnny Cash played his final concerts. Stops and stories explore Martinsville, Danville, Mount Rodgers, Grayson Highlands State Park, Whitetop Mountain, and the Barter Theatre. The book features more than 100 original photos. Mr. Tennis’s first book, “Southwest Virginia Crossroads: An Almanac of Place Names and Places to See”, features 21 chapters and tells how more than 750 places took their names. This illustrated history and guide was written, as the author says, to prove “the state does not stop at Roanoke.” Mr. Tennis is also the author of “The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and Virginia” and “Sullivan County: Images of America”. His forthcoming book, “Finding Franklin: Mystery of the Lost State Capital”, is a children’s adventure book exploring the history and mystery of the Lost State of Franklin, including connections to Arthur Campbell of Marion. Mr. Tennis writes a weekly column (“Tennis Anyone?”) for the Bristol Herald Courier. He has also written for Appalachian Voice, Virginia Living, and Blue Ridge Country. He has won more than 25 awards from the Virginia Press Association, Tennessee Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. Joe and his wife Mary, have two children, Abigail and John.
Craig Rockwell, who is the Operations Project Manager at Philpott Lake, recently moved to Bassett, Virginia, with his wife Carolyn Rockwell. They have been front-and-center in the Lewis and Clark world for 10 years. Craig is a historical impersonator of William Clarke, of Lewis & Clarke fame. Mr. Rockwell portrays him later in his life when he was a Brigadier General. The importance of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to our nation’s history has been a driving force behind Craig’s involvement in the story. During the bicentennial, Craig portrayed Captain William Clark to a wide variety of audiences, and now continues telling the story of William Clark beyond the Lewis and Clark Expedition. As Brigadier General of the Louisiana Territory Militia, Indian Agent, Governor of the Missouri Territory, Surveyor General of the Wisconsin, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, William Clark had tremendous influence on all of western history. This has given Craig the opportunity to expand his teaching to cover the building of our nation from before it even started, until late in the 1830’s. Craig has performed for a wide range of events and organizations across the country. This includes: Lewis and Clark Bicentennial events, school assemblies, college symposia, a variety of civic organizations and historical societies, the US Congress in our nation’s Capitol Building, in several Lewis and Clark documentary films, and even on the theme float for President Bush’s second inaugural parade.
Posted by Tom Perry at 7:27 AM