In honor of the centennial of the old Surry County Courthouse in Dobson, the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History has mounted a traveling exhibit, and displaying it in the museum’s Mount Airy location, has taken it on the road.
“Since the county is investing a significant amount of dollars into restoring the historic courthouse, and 2018 is its centennial year, an exhibit focused on it seemed like a good idea,” said Matt Edwards, museum director.
“While our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret our history, we don’t have to do it within our four walls,” he said. “It’s at the church in Rockford now and will be on display for the rest of the year, moving around the county about once a month.”
The exhibit will move to Horne Creek in July, and will be at Mount Airy Public Library from Aug. 1 to Sept. 6, will make an appearance at the Rockford Reunion from Sept. 7 – 9, will be at Pilot Mountain Library from Sept. 10 – Oct. 13, will move to Elkin Public Library on Oct. 13 or 14 and remain until about Nov. 15 before finishing out the year at Surry Community College from through December. It is possible the exhibit could be displayed at Dobson Public Library, but plans are not definite.
“All of the venues are free and publicly accessible spaces,” said Edwards. “In coming years, we hope to build on this and have other outreach exhibitions.”
The courthouse exhibit, consisting primarily of several educational panels, will also include part of the original courthouse, according to Edwards.
“We were able to find some of the original courthouse seats,” he said. “They were sold as surplus in the ’60s, and we found them two miles from the courthouse in Dobson. They’re Heywood-Wakefield theater seats, and we have the original invoice for purchase.”
“It’s nice to have a physical, tangible object from the courthouse,” said Edwards, who added the museum was working on adding some small objects to the exhibit which are in the possession of several libraries and the community college.
“A traveling exhibit will make it easier for people who don’t often make it to Mount Airy, although that does not mean that we don’t want people to come in and see our 40,000 square feet of exhibits that we have at the museum,” Edwards added with a smile.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.