15 January 2009

No Bailout Needed

My hometown museum, the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, is opening a new exhibit tomorrow, January 16th. The exhibit focuses on early Waynesboro banks and will run through May. The WHM is actually housed in one of Waynesboro's old bank buildings. As a WHM member, I received a postcard announcing the exhibit and was reminded of the framed "Half-Century Confederate Memorial" which I own and which is shown here. (Click image to enlarge.)

This was a wall-hanging and calendar issued circa 1916 and includes images of Jeff Davis, General Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and other Confederate notables. Also pictured in the center of the print is the old Waynesboro National Bank building that used to sit catty-corner to where the WHM building is today. The Waynesboro National Bank building was torn down many years ago. The poster also had two calendars - 1917 and 1918 - at the bottom and notes that the bank has a surplus of $5500.00 - probably more than many of the banks seeking bailout money have; and their surplus was backed by gold!

This piece has an interesting history. When my grandmother died the day after Christmas in 1975, my father ultimately inherited the home built by his grandfather, Charles "Mr. Charlie" McGann. Mr. Charlie was the son of John McGann (Pictured in the family photo in front of the picket fence in my title header) who fought in the 51st Virginia during the Battle of Waynesboro, defending the very land that his son, Charles, would later build a home upon. That was the home inherited by my father. One day, when going through the attic, he came across this old calendar/poster in a dusty corner of the attic. It was in remarkably good condition, considering it had been stored in that hot/cold, humid/dry attic for over 25 years and is now approaching the century mark. When my father passed away in 2000, my stepmother passed the calendar on to me.

Back to the exhibit . . . so after finding out about the bank exhibit, I contacted the director at WHM and offered to loan this framed print for the exhibit. I dropped it off yesterday morning and the director, along with the curator, were estatic over being able to include it. A reception will be held Friday evening from 5 to 8 pm to kick off the new exhibit. If you're in the area any time soon, please stop by WHM for a visit.


SEChapman said...

That is so cool! I wish I could have been raised nearer my kin in South Carolina and had been notified when my grandfather's house was sold.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

It is amazing the things folks here in the Shenandoah Valley still have stuffed in the dusty corners of attics! Thanks for reading and commenting.