Ingles Ferry transported travelers to Newbern

Ingles Ferry transported travelers to Newbern

By WILLIAM PAINE

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History lovers Take note. Saturday, July 28, starting at 10:30 a.m., the Wilderness Road Regional Museum will host an event dubbed “Ingles Ferry to Newbern” which will focus on the Ingles Ferry and its role of transporting travelers on the Wilderness Road.

The story of the incredible determination of Mary Draper Ingles has long fascinated young and old alike. The museum will be partnering with Radford City’s Day of Remembrance, which will be held the same day and will celebrate Mary Draper Ingles and her journey out of captivity.

The Ingles Ferry, which Mary and husband William Ingles established in 1763, transported thousands of settlers traveling westward along the Wilderness Road in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wilderness Road museum volunteers will give tours that focus on Ingles Ferry and its role transporting travelers on the Wilderness Road.

The museum’s permanent exhibit “Into the Wilderness” traces the history of road, which was the western spur of one of America’s first highway systems. Ingles Ferry, which remained in operation into the 20th century, played a key role in this richly drawn tale of American expansion and commerce. Visitors to the museum will learn about the early development of the road and the reasons that tens of thousands moved up and down the road, crossing the New River at Ingles Ferry.

At 2 p.m. local singer and folklorist Ricky Cox will draw from his wide repertoire of ballads and lyric songs to present “Traveling the Road through Song.” A native of Floyd County, Ricky Cox teaches Appalachian Folklore at Radford University, where he is also Coordinator of the Farm at Selu, a replicated 1930s farmhouse. His interests include the literature, music and folk culture of the Appalachian South. He will explain the origins of the ballads and lyric songs, showing how the songs themselves traveled first from the British Isles with America’s early settlers and then later along the Wilderness Road as later settlers moved westward.


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The Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Pulaski County is part of Virginia’s AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ commemoration marking the 400th anniversary of key historical events in Virginia in 1619. It is included on the Virginia History app, which can be downloaded on mobile devices to lead tourists to the key sites. This event is free of charge.

But wait, there’s more! The Wilderness Road Regional Museum invites the community to share in an Enchanted Summer Evening at Rockwood Manor Thursday, Aug. 16, in Dublin starting at 5:30 p.m. A Classic Southern Dinner will be served in a picturesque garden setting beneath Rockwood’s pavilion. The museum’s signature array of homemade desserts will round out the dinner. The evening will include a cash wine and beer bar, a silent auction, tours of the house, and music. Tickets for the event are available for $50 per person online at Eventbrite.com or at the museum. Georgia native and current Wytheville resident, Nate Montgomery, will provide “rural roots music” for the evening.

Rockwood Manor, built in 1875, is a magnificent 10,000 square foot home sitting on 68 acres of land. Registered as a National Historic Landmark, the house features 10 bedrooms, 17 fireplaces, 8.5 baths and furnishings of the period, many of them family heirlooms. Ornate ironwork adorns the outside crown molding above the windows. Guests at the fundraiser may tour the house, led by Dr. Kevin Siers and Samantha Scott.

All proceeds will benefit the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. The Museum is located at 5240 Wilderness Road, Dublin, VA 24084, and can be reached by telephone at 540-674-4835. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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