A walk through the past

First Posted: 11/13/2009

Three-year-old Garrett Routh and his siblings discovered the life-size Lincoln Logs early.
Before the night was over, however, he had plenty of company in constructing and destructing the log cabin located in the new childrens gallery on the third floor of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.
While the floor contains multiple exhibits ranging from winemaking to textiles to farming, the childrens area was the main draw at Friday nights preview event.
They played with the Lincoln Logs and in the giant doll house, they dressed up in period clothing and they had puppet shows. All in all, they played as if they were not even in a museum, which is exactly what the space was designed for.
It is so awesome. Ive already been playing with some of my friends. Weve had a tea party, weve built a house of sorts and weve even dressed up to go to Sunday church, said Mary Beth Browne. I think its great we have this. Its a great way to learn.
It was not only the children in attendance who were having fun.
The adults lined the walls, taking in a collection of around 2,800 model cars donated by John Conosa. They reminisced about cars they grew up with or dream cars. They explained to grandchildren what was great about those cars of old. And they tried on the dress up clothes.
I think its very impressive. The kids seem to be really enjoying it, too, said Mike Lovill, who was attending the event with his grandchildren.
I love it. This is the first time Ive ever been here. Its really interesting, said Ashleigh Gilbert.
Kaine Lovill has visited the museum several times but was still excited to return Friday night after he won passes to the event from his school.
The third floor of the museum once again brings the focus back to this region and its history. With textiles as one of the industry giants of the past, winemaking an emerging trend and farming which has always been a constant in the area, the third floor exhibits offer up information about each of the trades as well as displays of the tools used in each.
I volunteer here twice a month, said Alma Key. I moved from Winston-Salem six years ago. I think more people should know this is here. Mount Airy should be really proud of it.
The opening of the third floor is a project that has been undertaken by the entire staff at the museum. It started as the brainchild of Kester Sink and his daughters.
Its just something my daughters and I wanted to do, he said. I just have a gut feeling that many of us do not appreciate what we have. It behooves all of us to respect our heritage. The fact that we make this contribution is something we wanted to do and the truth is its something we needed to do.
This is the culmination of a very tremendous project, said Matt Edwards, museum director. Were not done. This is the jumping off point for this space.
The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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