JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Historical Society met last Thursday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center to discuss upcoming plans and possible projects. Among them were the ideas for “digs” in Jonesville, the hours for the history center, and the painting of the duct in the museum.
The Jonesville Historical Society is working with a local university team to schedule visits to an archaeological dig in the area. Interests in visiting a local dig piqued over a year ago after several sites were identified in the river basin in Jonesville.
“The historical society has had an interest in local ‘digs’ since regional universities and colleges began to research historic nomadic tribal sites in the Yadkin Valley,” said society President Judy Wolfe. “We have shared many of these stories and references in our ‘Jonesville Trails and Tales’ radio program and online websites. The purpose is to get kids interested, positively. My concern is we want it to be a positive experience where kids can identify with the goals of studying history.”
The goal is to create a history club for students at Elkin and Jonesville elementary schools, including shared day-trips and other ventures into the area rich local history. Home-schooled and charter school students also will be invited to participate. Archaeological dig skills will be taught to students during their visitations.
Interested visitors (including adults and students) may sign up by emailing the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org: including name, address, age, and school.
The society is also grateful for the Jonesville Tourism Development Authority’s contribution in helping the group set up a new heating and AC unit in the Jonesville History Center. The installation cost nearly $4,000. According to Wolfe, the museum’s old machine was just barely working and was costing the society “an arm and a leg” to operate. The electric bill already has gone from $300 to $400 a month to just about $120.
During the board meeting, the society held two brainstorming sessions on how to proceed for the display of new exhibits and the painting of the duct-work for the new heating and AC system in the history center. The duct will be cleaned and primed before being painted on directly. Virginia Montgomery, Allison Leeds and other members of the society will be working on the painting for the duct. The painting is hoped to hide the duct and make it a part of the history museum itself.
“We’re going to do sketches from history,” said Wolfe. “For example, we’ll do a scene of an oxen-pulled wagon, scenes of the river, and the early buildings of the town. The painting will help it blend in with the museum.”
The society anticipates opening the history center on Saturday and Sunday afternoons with tentative hours being held 2 to 5 p.m. Weekday appointments also can be made as requested. Optional hours for Mineral Springs Park also will be given.
Repairs were made to the cannon at the Jonesville War Memorial last Wednesday evening after the site suffered from suspected vandalism. Damages included the front end of the cannon’s barrel having been knocked off and several plaques being removed from the tables. Later observations at the site found a two-by-four near the river which could have been used to knock the cannon barrel off, Wolfe said.
The repairs were made Wednesday evening by members of the Poorboy’s Variety Store. Members of the community and the society got together at the war memorial as the barrel was reattached to the cannon. The Air Force plaque also was returned to its spot on the table. A new plaque for the Marine symbol will be arriving this week.
Another idea discussed was the prospect of holding classes to be part of the Heritage Craft School, which is under development. Some of the classes being conducted in the Yadkin Valley Senior Center already include weaving and frame quilting. Plans for future classes are in the works, including for painting, decoupage, pottery and woodworking. The Jonesville Historical Society is also on the search for a site to hold more activities and classes and is even willing to go outside of Jonesville.
Wolfe was happy with this month’s meeting and is looking forward to seeing what the next month has to offer.
“We have a lot of history,” said Wolfe. “One of the things that I have fought for so long is that someone once said that nobody cares about old Jonesville stuff. But given the chance for it to be seen, people do care about it and the history behind it.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.