Hundreds of people had the chance to learn about the Civil War, Halifax County and more at the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History’s Civil War and Military Collectors Show this weekend.
It boasted artifacts from 52 collectors who could each offer a history lesson with their items and had plenty of people to share them with.
“We’ve already passed years past,” said Jerry Roxbury, one of the show’s main organizers in just the third hour of the two-day show.
The doors opened at 9am on Saturday and by noon 120 people had already passed through their doors and more were arriving steadily. The show also continued on Sunday.
Among the Saturday crowd were Lisa Rhodes and her son Chase from Carrsville.
“We love history, relics, and he’s a history buff with a particular interest in the Civil War,” Lisa said, pointing to her son.
She started taking her son to museums and historic sites when he was three, and then he started collecting artifacts.
“I’ve always loved it,” Chase said of the story, and looking around the room for Civil War clothing, coins, weapons and more, his mother agreed that it was a lot of interesting objects to explore.
“It’s good to learn about American history,” added her mother.
Craig Wofford of Halifax was among the collectors who offered insight into the story.
He had a photo believed to be of General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing, a senior US Army officer, standing among African American soldiers. Also on his table was an 1860 army revolver, a Japanese soldier’s laundry bag, Kentucky rifles and more.
At the age of 70, Wofford started collecting artifacts 55 years ago and he explored all of the southeast.
“I love history and I’m a great metal detectorist. I’m always looking for sites,” Wofford said.
His wife Carol also said, “He can tell you all about the Civil War.”
One of the sites Wofford was able to detect was the Halifax Courthouse during renovations. As a board member of the Halifax County Historical Society, the county allowed him to explore the area.
While exploring the grounds of the courthouse, he was able to find colonial buttons, 1800 coins and a sheriff’s bag under the magnolia.
The county is working to put the items in a display case in the renovated courthouse.
But on Saturday he focused on sharing the story with the “wonderful, great turnout.”
“It’s a way to support the museum. People can go out and look, and if they have an item, they can bring it in and have it appraised…there are collectors here from West Virginia, from Richmond, from Pennsylvania. You can also learn about the county’s history,” Wofford said.
He also said: “This building is ideal. He has character. »
In previous years the fundraiser was held at the museum, but this year it was held at the Factory Street Brewing Company.
Concord’s Mel Kurtz also joined the show, thanks to Wofford.
He wasn’t sure if he was welcome because he has helmets and weapons from WWI and WWII.
But, when he met Wofford at a show in Raleigh, North Carolina, he insisted that Kurtz join the Halifax show.
With many family serving in World War II, Kurtz became interested in collecting artifacts about 15 years ago. It all started with him making shadow boxes for his family members.
“Once I got into the story of this one, it evolved,” Kurtz said.
He began to explore flea markets, collectors’ shows, and others who knew his collection began to add to it.
“It’s something to remember,” Kurtz said of the story behind it all. “It also shows how the material has evolved, especially with younger people.”
Another part of Saturday’s spectacle was the firing of a cannon in Constitution Square.
The barrel of the cannon fired Saturday afternoon was an original Civil War cannon. A Burkeville farmer found the cannon in a creek. His granddaughter kept the cannon in a flower garden for years.
The Confederate Veterans Camp Cabell-Graves, Camp 1402, Danville received it from the granddaughter.
Later, Mrs. Ed Parrish, whose husband was a member of Camp 1402, had the cannon and gave it to Frank Harvey, former commander of the Pittsylvania County Vindicators in Sutherlin. He built the carriage on which the gun barrel is currently mounted. Today it is used for exhibits and gunnery demonstrations as seen on Saturday afternoon in Constitution Square.
Overall, Roxbury was happy with the weekend’s event.
“I am grateful to the brewery and the community has really supported the show. It was a way to support the community and support the museum. It allows people to learn and see history right in front of them. That’s the point of these shows and to really salute the military,” Roxbury said.
The Civil War Collectors’ Exhibit is an annual fundraiser for the museum.
PHOTOS: Civil War and Army Collectors Exhibit