Arising From the Ashes
Hearts broke as the pavilion shed collapsed over the 8 little Wright skiffs, 2 days from launching. While they can be reproduced, not so with the W.A. Johns, our three log bottom sailing canoe, or our little sora skiff, or the dugout canoe-all burned to cinders.
The museum is extraordinarily lucky that many of its irreplaceable items were saved: the Wright family boatbuilding tools and blocks, Luther Hackett’s toolbox with his tools, the Jefferson Davis campaign chair.
This is not the case with our model collection. Of the more than two dozen models, less than six survived and they have some structural and water damage.While John Coe’s portrait and George Salley’s sea shanty collection were saved, most of our library books are severely water damaged.
Most of the museum’s files and photographs were saved in digital form in our fire safe and our computer hard drives appear to be unharmed. This means that once we have a new building, our exhibits can be re-created. Many hours of research and design have not been lost.
By the time you read this, the museum office will be up and running, adjacent to the original building, in an office trailer donated by Derwood and Deborah Usry.
Our museum has always been about activities not static displays and they will go on as usual. Don’t miss this weekend’s Farmer’s Market, the Groovin’ concert, and the recreation of John Smith’s landing at Stingray Point on the shallop Explorer.
When we rebuild, our new building will be professionally designed for exhibits and to fit the need for a lecture hall and educational presentation area. Our plan is to have this building up for our spring opening in April, 2013. From this tragedy will come a rebirth that can only make us better.
To realize this dream, additional funds are needed. Although we were insured, is it ever enough? We will need funds to help rebuild both the structure and our collection. Donations can be made in person, as we are open every day 10-4 (Sunday 1-4). Donations can also be made on our website
www.deltavillemuseum.com using PayPal or you can simply mail a check to PO Box 466, Deltaville, VA 23043. We can always use volunteer hours too. Come by to see us and to help. The park is absolutely beautiful.
Raynell Smith, Curator