Everything old is new again as the museum has yet again transformed itself. Through the generosity of various Middlesex residents, our collection has grown extensively over the past year. Robert Montague, Pat Perkinson, and Helen Morgan have made generous object donations to the museum. Many have also stepped forward to loan objects for display including Vel Gray, Eileen O’Brien, Alvin Hill, Gene Ruark and Steve Shinn. The museum and its stories of the county has become a true community effort.
Childhood is such a wonderful time of fun and games and that energetic outlook has been captured in the new exhibit “Childhood in Middlesex.” Showcasing the formative years, the exhibit includes toys, board games, a 1920’s scooter, metal trains, wooden planes, building blocks and glass marbles. Two paper doll collections, rag dolls, bisque dolls, and china dolls. A wonderful wooden dollhouse replica of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon is also now on loan.
Furniture includes a nursing chair, eighteenth century high chair, 19th century Bentwood cradle. Also included in the exhibit is early 20th century clothing, a christening gown, and baby shoes.
School days are illustrated with school desks, chalkboards, microscopes and typewriters: all surrounded by diplomas from past graduates.
Our new extended fossil collection is also on display with Megalodon Shark teeth and a variety of corals. On loan is an extensive collection of Native American pieces from two private collections of spear points, arrowheads and ax heads.
We also have a 25-piece collection of pocketknives now on display, including a SA Dagger from a WWII German Officer.
Picnics, parties, and get-togethers are discussed in relationship to Middlesex’s social scene in another new exhibit. On display is a 1920’s flapper dress, a 1930’s smoking jacket, various hunt riding attire and a side saddle. Two new portraits of Virginia Governor Andrew Jackson Montague (1902-1906) and his wife Elizabeth are displayed with lighting and furniture from the Victorian era.
Also included in the exhibit is a four-legged resident, the 1918 Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator, who has also called Middlesex home. During his lifetime he won 51 of his 99 races. He even had a children’s book written about him in the 1950s, “Old Bones, the Wonder Horse.” His owner was the heir to the “Swamp Root” fortune and his summer home was located here in Remlick.
Chesty Puller’s exhibit has many new additions including a life-size cutout of the general and many newspaper clippings from his career. We have collected two oral histories now on display of men who served under Chesty during their military service.
An Open-House will be held on Sunday July 26 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in honor of the new exhibits. Robert Montague will host an ice-cream social on the grounds of the museum to celebrate summer in Middlesex. Come and bring the children and grandchildren for a fun afternoon of exploring our local history.