Floyd County Historical Society

The Ridgemont Hospital/Marie Williams House is now home to Floyd County Historical Society Museum

217 N. Locust Street (P.O. Box 292) Floyd, VA 24091 • Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday Noon- 5:00 pm

Phone: 540-745-FCHS (3247)

Come see!!  Admission is FREE but donations are accepted!

The first floor is handicap accessible.

“We’ve come a long way”, says Rhonda Fleming Smith (manager), whom I first met during the last weekend in May at the museum’s opening.  “We’ve been working over five years on this project, and are so happy to be receiving visitors to view our displays”.

The Floyd County Historical Society has been in operation since 1976.  It is their ongoing mission to help preserve and share our unique histories.  They have amassed quite a collection of historical artifacts, documents and photographs over the years.

The museum is located in old Ridgemont Hospital, on North Locust Street across from Schoolhouse Fabrics in Floyd.  With the help of grants and gifts from financial supporters, the Society was able to perform renovations on the building itself, and restore many of the features of the old hospital/home.  Now, the stories of the “way things were” are depicted by exhibits, the display of some of the old implements with note card explanations, and intriguing photographs. The Society encourages interest in the history of Floyd County through the collection and preservation of these significant historic materials.  Now, by having these items on display and by the guided tours through the museum, the interest should grow, for sure!

It’s a new view each time – because the museum was a hospital, the once “surgical room” is decorated with items and inventions related to the practice of medicine.  These displays which include items belonging to Dr. F. Clyde Bedsaul and others will be ongoing.  Exhibits like “Postal Memorabilia by Maurice Slusher” and “Bottle Collection from Vernon and Cornelia Harris Estate” are shown on a rotating basis.  The Museum receives numerous donations of memorabilia and collections which are on loan for exhibit, so they change or add to the exhibits as they are able.

While I was there, Connie Mitchell of Floyd brought another item for the museum.  She and her husband John live in the home where Dr. Bedsaul once lived.  Connie has found old relics in the basement, driveway, etc., some of which are currently on display.  The girls (Connie, Sue Quesinberry and Carolyn Shockley (they hosted me at the museum)) went to talking about all manner of things related to history and “stuff”.  Having no idea about most of it, I decided that I should learn more, too, about these many names, traditions, and the useful antiquities of bygone years.

For people like me, it’s a good thing that the Society offers education—by programs, lectures, their many publications, and by community outreach.  Many of their offerings have appeal for all ages.  Rhonda was telling me about a feature which is in process, where you would use your cell phone to tour a particular exhibit without physically being there, and of course, you can view things on the web, too.  According to Rebecca Weeks, president of FCHS, “special events and tours may always be arranged”.

Join the membership of Floyd County Historical Society – Dues are just $15 per individual and $25 per family.

Luis A Garcia
Proprietor / Graphic Designer
FLOYD VIRGINIA publication
(540) 320 1045 – luis@floydmagazine.com

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Fall/Winter 2010 ~Senior Editor Dee Wallace

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