Historical museum remembers one of its own

Published 10:32 pm Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another week has gone by and another member of our historical society has passed.

Virginia Smart Bryant passed away this week. The members of the Lawrence County Historical Society will miss her, as will many others.

Virginia was with the museum since it opened. She was the person with the answers when we needed them. She once laughingly said, “I was ‘smart’ before I married a Bryant.” She was on our exhibit committee and contributed in all other areas from the start of the museum.

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We cannot replace her and will always remember her contribution to our historical society.

An interesting item came into view recently. After the Civil War a Confederate widow suggested a time be set aside to place flowers on the graves of those lost in the war.

We were told this was some time between 1865 and 1868. We do know that General Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, early in 1868, issued an order that May 30, 1868 was to be set aside as Decoration Day.

The first parade was one mile long. This is interesting.

Starting June 4, the Lawrence County Museum will be closed on Fridays except by appointment.

This is because we do not have enough docents to maintain Friday hours. You may call Elizabeth Melvin at 646-0824 for an appointment or you may call the museum at 532-1222.

If you would like to be a docent please come to the museum and fill out an application. We hope this is only a temporary situation and men and women will volunteer.

The museum will still be open 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Our appraisal fair was such a success, with people bringing their antiques to be appraised. Our next event is June 19 when the Ironton Garden Club presents “How to care for your garden.”

We really enjoyed the Memorial Day Parade this year. It is said to be one-and-a-half miles long. One feature was the old wagon, displayed on a flat bed, pulled by our president, Bob Cleary, in his truck. The wagon was made in 1840 and was given to us by the Festival of the Hills Committee. It is a very important gift, one of many fine items that have been given to the museum over the years.

Members of the Civil War reenactment group stopped at the museum and we supplied sandwiches, cookies, pop and cold water to them. It is always nice to see our friends from year to year.

Historical fact: Taken from the History of Lawrence County, Ohio, vol. 2.

Alex Tolliver: Born a slave at Russell, Ky., his father traded horses to earn $500 to buy Alex’s freedom from the Paul family. Alex came to Ironton and worked as a coachman for Nannie Kelly Wright.