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1/14/2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Jan. 10, 2020) — Thoroughgood House artifacts connected to British royalty are up for selection as part of the Virginia Association of Museums Top 10 Virginia Endangered Artifacts contest.

The pictured set of leather folk art jugs, in the shape of barmaids from 1700s England, is rumored to be a gift from Princess Anne, daughter of King George II, to an innkeeper who may have helped her heal after falling off her horse. The jugs were loaned by the National Trust to the Virginia Beach History Museums’ Thoroughgood House when it opened in 1957. In 2011 the National Trust converted the loan to a gift.

Public voting in the contest is open online from Jan. 13 through Jan. 22, 2020. The two items receiving the most votes will receive awards of $2,000 and $1,000 toward the artifacts’ conservation. Additional awards totaling $5,000 will be awarded by the panel to the remaining eight museums. The award winners and honored museums will be recognized during a legislative reception on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, Virginia following Virginia Museums Advocacy Day at the General Assembly.

ABOUT THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH’S HISTORY MUSEUMS:

The City of Virginia Beach History Museums include the Thoroughgood House, the Francis Land House, the Lynnhaven House, and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are part of the City’s Cultural Affairs Department. As part of the municipal government of the City of Virginia Beach, the Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities.

Visit www.museumsvb.org [museumsvb.org] for more information, and follow @VBHistoryMuseums on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on all the events and news from Virginia Beach History Museums.

8/30/2019

The Virginia Beach History Museums are seeking local artisans and crafters to sell their products at a new Christmas Market!

The market will take place December 14, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Thoroughgood House (1636 Parish Road) in conjunction with the annual Christmas Through the Centuries program. This event is free and open to the public.

If you are interested in participating please submit the following information to ldamico@vbgov.com:

  • Name, email and phone number
  • What products you would be selling. Please be descriptive!
  • A photo of your festival or market set up
  • A link to your website or Facebook page if applicable

All work must be original, handcrafted or created. No mass produced or multi-level marketing vendors will be accepted.

Please note that all vendors will be located outside on grass. 10' by 10' spaces will be allotted with no electric hook up, tables or chairs provided. Set up will be at 8:00 AM and break down will be at 4:00 PM. Vendors are expected to sell their own work. Fee is $35 per space with no additional commissions due to VBHM.

8/16/2019

Archiving mass shooting memorial has been an emotional process for Virginia Beach employees

City of Virginia Beach begins to take down memorial for victims

Kristen Zeis/Staff

Anne Miller, Virginia Beach History Museums coordinator, gathers items left in honor of the 12 victims killed in the May 31 mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in Virginia Beach, Va. on Monday, July 8, 2019. Flowers and other perishable items will be thrown away but personalized items will be archived and family members will be given the opportunity to keep the items.

City of Virginia Beach begins to take down memorial for victims
  • Kristen Zeis/Staff

Hundreds of flowers and mementos begin to show wear from over a month of being outdoors at a memorial erected in honor of the 12 victims killed in the May 31 mass shooting at the Municipal Center in Virginia Beach, Va. The items pictured here were photographed on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Amanda Wells, Virginia Beach History Museums curatorial assistant, places items left in memory of shooting victim LaQuita Brown into bags for safe keeping on Monday, July 8, 2019. The items were gathered from a memorial site created in honor of the 12 people killed during the May 31, 2019 mass shooting at the city's Municipal Center.

Inside a small, two-room facility sits a red heart split down the middle and attached to a wooden stick.

“I miss you Mom,” is written on one half of the heart. The other half reads: “Grammy where did you go?”

The heart was originally left at the mass shooting memorial outside Building 11 at the city's municipal complex. It was dedicated to Mary Louise Gayle, one of the 12 victims.

Amanda Wells, a curatorial assistant at the Virginia Beach History Museums, said she’s been stopped in her tracks more than once while sorting the items left for Gayle and the 11 others killed in Building 2on May 31.

“There are these little nuggets that surprise you,” she said, seated in a folding chair in the facility where the objects are being sorted and temporarily stored.

Employees of the Virginia Beach History Museums have been archiving items from the mass shooting memorial for five weeks, meticulously cataloging more than 3,000 mementos paying homage to the 12 victims.

Even after all the items were carefully collected and moved in a van from the memorial, Wells came across details she hadn’t initially noticed.

Wells was working with the city videographer when she first caught sight of the red heart.

“I pointed them out to her, and she kept repeating ‘Where did you go?’ under her breath,” Wells said. “It’s one of those things I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”

Anne Miller, the coordinator of Virginia Beach History Museums, said messages written by young children have affected her the most. She’s seen endearingly misspelled words, arts and crafts projects and even hopeful messages to victims like, “I hope you feel better,” written by children who can’t fully understand the magnitude of what happened in their hometown.

She was choked up the first time she saw that "feel better" note.

“It’s kind of sweet,” she said weeks later while measuring a painting of a flower.

Almost every day, Miller, Wells and a few other History Museums employees and volunteers drive to a leased storage facility to chip away at the arduous task of organizing and documenting the thousands of items left at the memorial.

They first began dismantling it on July 8, and in the weeks since they’ve been committed to keeping the mementos in good shape.

They started with the items that couldn’t be salvaged — wet paintings, moldy stuffed animals, broken shells — and some that had to be weeded out, like the countless assortment of painted rocks.

Then they made sure everything they planned on keeping was clean, going so far as vacuuming individual teddy bears.

Next they searched for gifts left with a specific victim in mind, sorting those into boxes labeled with the 12 names to be saved for each family. Miller and her team uploaded photos of these items onto flash drives for each family, who can claim their box if they wish.

“We really tried to get the most relevant and unique items, the items that related to the person, their personality and their life,” she said.

Miller said that process was even more emotionally taxing than dismantling the entire memorial.

“One of the things we didn’t really look at when we were collecting are the cards and letters,” she said. “There have been some really heartfelt letters and cards from friends and co-workers.”

Wells remembers one in particular: a note from a co-worker of one of the victims expressing regret that they never went back inside Building 2 to check on their friend.

Now the team is working on the rest of the collection by measuring, taking notes and photographing the more general items like signs that say #VBStrong and paintings dedicated to all the victims.

Because the work is emotionally draining, Miller said, she and her team try not to spend more than a few hours each day at the storage facility.

Still, she anticipates they have another two or three months of work ahead. They ultimately hope to put an assortment of items on display for the public to see.

Miller's department typically focuses on public programs and educational events. This work has been unlike anything her office has tackled before.

“We’re not a collecting institution for the most part,” she said. “We acquire items if we need them for an exhibit. This has just been a huge volume of items for us to deal with.”

Alyssa Meyers, alyssa.meyers@pilotonline.com

7/11/2019

Workers from the Virginia Beach History Museum will slowly re-locate these items to a long-term spot. The goal is to preserve them.Author: StaffPublished: 6:22 AM EDT July 8, 2019Updated: 6:14 PM EDT July 8, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The City of Virginia Beach is beginning to remove the mass shooting memorial at the Municipal Center.

The memorial has been up since the May 31 shooting took the lives of 12 people inside Building 2.

The items from the memorial were left by people from all over the country as well as here in Hampton Roads.

There's a lot to go through. Workers from the Virginia Beach History Museum will slowly re-locate these items to a long-term spot. The goal is to preserve them.

Ali Weatherton 13News Now@13AliWeatherton

Anne Miller with the Virginia Beach History Museums is collecting items to take to preserve. Some of the items will go to the victims’s family members. #13NewsNow

311:19 AM - Jul 8, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy
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Everything except flowers, balloons, vases, baskets and lawn ornaments will be carefully documented. They will also be available for the victims' families or stored for potential future uses.

The City will begin to explore options for a permanent monument or memorial in the coming weeks.

7/11/2019

Officials with the Virginia Beach History Museums will begin collecting items from the temporary memorial at the Municipal Center.Author: Erin PattersonPublished: 9:28 AM EDT July 2, 2019Updated: 10:26 AM EDT July 2, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It has been over a month since the deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center where 12 people were killed and 4 were injured.

A temporary memorial was set up in front of the Municipal Center and has been there ever since.

Officials with the Virginia Beach History Museums will begin collecting items on a regular basis from the temporary memorial to ensure the long-term preservation of the contents starting on July 8.

virginia beach memorial tent

Megan Shinn, 13News Now

Staff will collect both general memorial items and those associated with each victim.

Memorial items will be carefully documented and made available to the victims’ families or stored for potential future uses.

At this time, the city of Virginia Beach is concentrating on healing and collecting from the memorial. The City will begin to explore options for a permanent monument or memorial in the coming weeks.

Museum staff will not collect flowers, real or artificial, vases, baskets, lawn ornaments, balloons, or wet or moldy items (unless customized/exceptional).

Anyone with questions should email News@VBGov.com or call 757-385-4679.

1/4/2019

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) In an update to the press release from Thursday, the Virginia Beach History Museums and the Virginia Beach Historic Houses Foundation have postponed the previously announced public input session for January 17, 2019.

The virtual town hall hosted on PublicInput.com, the City of Virginia Beach’s engagement hub, will remain open for citizens to voice their input. Interested citizens may access it at this link: https://publicinput.com/francisland The online session is open through January 16, and results will be shared at the in-person session. For more information about the Virginia Beach History Museums, please visit our website: www.museumsvb.org

1/2/2019

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) The Virginia Beach History Museums and the Virginia Beach Historic Houses Foundation will host a public input session on January 17, 2019. The input session will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, and will focus on a planned changing exhibit at the Francis Land House.

The public input session will include a discussion of survey results from the December 8 open house event. Attendees will also be invited to participate in facilitated discussions to help shape the exhibit and collection. For those who cannot attend the public input session on January 17, there is a virtual town hall hosted on PublicInput.com, the City of Virginia Beach’s engagement hub. Interested visitors may access it at this link: https://publicinput.com/francisland The online session is open from January 2 through January 16, and results will be shared at the in-person session on January 17.

For more information about the Virginia Beach History Museums, please visit our website: www.museumsvb.org

About the Virginia Beach History Museums: The Virginia Beach History Museums include the Francis Land House, Thoroughgood House, Lynnhaven House, and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are owned and operated by the City of Virginia Beach Department of Museums, which provides stewardship of the City’s historic resources and programs to educate the community about local history.

# # #

9/4/2018

See what's happening at the History Museums for this season!

FREE. FUN. SATURDAY

Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House

The Francis Land House will be open for tours and old games and toys for Free. Fun. Saturday., celebrating a different theme each month. In September, celebrate Classical Music Month by making your own instrument. In October, learn about the workings of a plantation harvest and assist in making cider. Free. Fun. Saturday will feature "out-of doors" games from the 19th century in November, and enjoy a tour of the historic Francis Land House in December. Admission is free, donations are welcomed!

SECOND SATURDAY STORYTIME

Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Francis Land House, Thoroughgood House

Join us for our Second Saturday Storytime. Storytime takes place on the second Saturday of each month from 11:30 AM-12:15 PM. Storytime will take place in the Francis Land House for the month of September and October, and will continue in the Thoroughgood House in November and December. It includes a short story and engaging activity for young learners, ages 3-5. It’s free to participate in Storytime Saturday! Suggested donation – $1. Does not include general admission to historic house.

MUSEUM DAY

Sept. 22; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House; Thoroughgood House

The Virginia Beach History Museums are excited to celebrate Museum Day- an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Get your Museum Day ticket, which provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

*NOTE: Participating historic houses are the Francis Land House and Thoroughgood House. Search Francis Land House or Thoroughgood House when downloading tickets on site. One ticket admits two people to either the Francis Land House or Thoroughgood House.

REMEMBER THE GH'OUL TIMES

Oct. 13; 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Francis Land House

Remember the Gh’oul Times as we learn about witches and women of the past at the Francis Land House! Join us for a campfire, s’mores, and crafts, and see who roams the Francis Land House—after dark! $8 per participant; 4 and under, free. Program is from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a possible second program from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

A WOMAN ACCUSED: THE GRACE SHERWOOD STORY

Oct. 19; 6:30 p.m. Lynnhaven House

Get an inside look on one of the most infamous trials in colonial courthouse history from the perspective of a Justice on the Princess Anne County Court, the Queen’s Attorney, and Grace Sherwood herself. Learn from the men who prepared it, the woman who experienced it, and then vote on Grace’s guilt or innocence. Performances at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. Not recommended for young children. Tickets will be available beginning on September 14. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the show to allow time to check in and partake in our trail walk. Seating is limited. This is an outdoor event.

GIRL SCOUT SPOOKTACULAR: GHOULS' NIGHT OUT

Oct. 20; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thoroughgood House

Join us at the Thoroughgood House for our Girl Scout Spooktacular: Ghouls’ Night Out. Paint a beastie, eat a s’more, sing a campfire song, learn about women from the past, and explore a real witch bottle from long ago. Program runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. $8 per participant.

HAMILTON-BURR DUEL

Nov. 3; 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Francis Land House Relive one of history's most infamous duels at the Francis Land House! There will be one performance at 1:30 p.m. and another at 4:30 p.m. The performance includes Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr reliving the events leading up to their showdown, as well as the duel itself. May not be suitable for all audiences. This performance is outdoors under a tent. Seats are provided. Please dress for the weather. Tickets are $12.

1775 MEET UP

Nov. 10; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thoroughgood House Step back in time to Princess Anne County, 1775, at the Thoroughgood House. Meet your neighbors–the citizen-soldiers facing the British army, the craftsmen who provide the goods you need, or the enslaved families contemplating the chance of freedom. Enjoy a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations, short performances, and mini skirmishes by Revolutionary War re-enactors. Event is free! Guests can call (757) 385-5100 or visit the History Museums website for more information about these events. The Francis Land House is located at 3131 Virginia Beach Blvd., the Lynnhaven House is located at 4409 Wishart Rd., and the Thoroughgood House is located at 1636 Parish Rd., all in Virginia Beach.

6/19/2018

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) Witness one of the most infamous duels in history or enjoy a historic flavor of ice cream, all at the Virginia Beach History Museums’ summer events!

A Midsummer’s Day Fairy Party June 23, Seatings from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lynnhaven House Join us for a Midsummer’s Day! Enjoy a tea party with light snacks, create a take home craft, participate in an interactive story time, and take a picture with a real fairy! This event is for children age 4 to 8. Tickets are $10 per participant and available by session time on our website.

Thoroughgood House Under the Stars June 30, 6:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Thoroughgood House Join us for a fun evening as the sun sets on the Thoroughgood House. This is a chance to visit the Thoroughgood House after-hours, learn about witches’ bottles and superstitions from the colonial period, play outdoor garden games from long ago, and enjoy s’mores around the campfire. Then, if you like, pitch a tent, sleep under the stars, and wake up to a sunrise snack before departing. Guests are responsible for providing their own camping equipment. This event is $8 for the 6 to 9 p.m. program and $20 per tent plot to camp overnight. Tickets are available on our website or can be purchased at the door.

Spies, Sabotage, Seduction, and Secret Pockets: Lady Spies of World War II July 5, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Lynnhaven House Best-selling and award-winning author Ellen Butler highlights famous lady spies of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and those local to Washington, D.C. Women of the OSS were critical to Allied success during World War II, and audiences have been thrilled by their exploits in novels and on the screen, yet their very real accomplishments have been ignored for generations. Butler discusses their contributions, skills, training, weapons, and overall importance to the Allied cause. Following the presentation, Butler will be signing her best-selling historical fiction novel, The Brass Compass, which places one female spy in the spotlight. Books will be available for purchase on-site. This program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Free. Fun. Saturday. July 7, August 4, September 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House The Francis Land House will be open with guided tours, old-school games and toys, and Ye Olde Selfie Station. Each month will feature a special activity. Free admission, donations welcome.

Dawn at Weehawken: Hamilton-Burr Duel July 7, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Francis Land House Relive one of the most infamous duels in history as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr square off. The contest will begin at 1:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Between duels, Hamilton and Burr will host meet and greets. Tickets are available online.

Second Saturday Storytime July 14, August 11, September 15; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Francis Land House Storytime takes place on the second Saturday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. It includes a short story and engaging activity for our learners age 3-5. Free to participate, suggested donation of $1.

Ice Cream Festival July 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with ice cream-themed games, ice cream relays, and an old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream machine. Admission to the event is free, and ice cream vendors will be on-site with sweet treats available for purchase. New this year, guests are invited to try the Founding Flavors, a program that highlights the origin of ice cream and includes tastings of historic flavors, all for $6.

Guests can call (757) 385-5100 or visit the History Museums website for more information about these events. The Francis Land House is located at 3131 Virginia Beach Blvd., the Lynnhaven House is located at 4409 Wishart Rd., and the Thoroughgood House is located at 1636 Parish Rd., all in Virginia Beach.

About the Virginia Beach History Museums:

The Virginia Beach History Museums include the Francis Land House, Thoroughgood House, Lynnhaven House, and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are owned and operated by the City of Virginia Beach Department of Museums, which provides stewardship of the City’s historic resources and programs to educate the community about local history.# # #

5/22/2018

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) Explore the history and culture of African American music at the African American Music Month Festival on June 9. Performances are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the lawn at the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum, located at the Renaissance Academy at 5100 Cleveland Street in Virginia Beach.

This event, sponsored in part by the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni Association, LLC, features performances by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, the Gospel Music Workshop of America- Tidewater Chapter, and the Mosaic Steel Drum Orchestra. The Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra plays instruments similar to those utilized by early enslaved Africans. The Gospel Music Workshop of America- Tidewater Chapter will sing selections bridging the period of slavery and the civil rights movement. The Mosaic Steel Drum Orchestra highlights Afro-Caribbean music traditions in the 1930s. Additionally, visitors will be treated to history of African American music segments throughout the day. The event is free to attend and a food truck will be on-site. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or towels to sit on during the performances. The festival will be moved indoors in the event of rain. The Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum will be open for tours. More information, including the full schedule, can be found on the Virginia Beach History Museums website at www.museumsvb.org.

About the Virginia Beach History Museums:

The Virginia Beach History Museums include the Francis Land House, Thoroughgood House, Lynnhaven House, and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are owned and operated by the City of Virginia Beach Department of Museums, which provides stewardship of the City’s historic resources and programs to educate the community about local history.# # #

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