Sesquicentennial Fiddle, Museum in the Works

The Sesquicentennial Committee has donated to AHGS the commemorative fiddle, originally won but donated back to the committee by Billy Noah of Mount Airy. The fiddle was created by David Joines and has the Sesquicentennial Seal carved into it by Gracen Lucas. We have temporarily loaned it to the Alleghany Jubilee for display until it has a permanent home in a future historical museum.

Before the closing of the Sparta Teapot Museum on January 31st, we had asked them for the loan of a 20”x 20” pedestal to display the fiddle. They responded by giving us the pedestal.

When STM decided to close, they also gave AHGS a donation stand, a curator’s tool kit, several books on teapots & museum management and historical information on the Teapot Museum for archiving.

Along with all that, AHGS has a real opportunity to benefit from the Teapot Project’s experience. Several board members have agreed to advise us- to share what they’ve learned at the art museum to aid in our efforts to establish a historical museum in Alleghany County.

In another great development, we were able to purchase the fifteen remaining display pedestals and wall cases from STM at approximately 60% of their original cost. The display cases were originally built to design specifications from the Mint Museum in Charlotte and are beautiful, solid, and secure. The 15 cases include (5) 48” wall cases, (3) 59” wall cases, (6) 24”x 32” pedestals and (1) more 20”x 20” pedestal.

So, you can see there are at least some positive developments coming from the closing of the Sparta Teapot Museum. We are also encouraged by the fact that their last four shows were their most popular ever, each dealing in some way with area artistic craft and heritage.

In other news, we are currently working with Sparta Presbyterian Church to rent their unoccupied manse (or parsonage) on Main Street between the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches to use until we have a permanent museum location.

AHGS hopes to have this first version of the Alleghany Historical Museum open for visitors by early Summer 2010. Folks in our region have always been interested in our history and the county’s sesquicentennial and this year’s 75th Parkway anniversary have boosted that interest. Alleghany is rich in heritage and with a proper historical museum our stories can be told in a new and dynamic way.

If you’d like to volunteer or contribute to Alleghany Historical Museum, we’d welcome your help. Contact us at:

Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 817, Sparta, NC 28675 or

Or just join us! Membership is only $10 per year or $100 for a lifetime membership.

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