The Marines Have Landed at Alleghany Memories!

Alleghany Community Television is airing a new episode of our award-winning series, Alleghany Memories, this month, featuring an interview with Bobby Irwin, Vietnam-era Marine combat photographer and videographer. The current program (and three other, upcoming episodes) was produced in conjunction with the Walter Frank Osborne, Jr. Deatachment 1298 Marine Corps League here in Sparta.

The episode is hosted by current MCL Commandant, John Irwin. Subsequent episodes will feature interviews of J.T. Pardue, Bill Sebastian and Charles Pugh- all Alleghanians and members of the local detachment.

A short slide show of Mr. Irwin’s photography airs at the end of the program. Along with being broadcast (to 6276 homes as of this posting!) on Alleghany Community Television, the episode and others are also available for free, immediate viewing, online, at, Alleghany Community Television’s new streaming page. 

AHGS board member, Jeff Halsey-  ”Every show we produce gets a little bit better and this one is arguably, the best, yet. Mr. Irwin’s awesome images reinforce his already interesting account of the time he spent in Vietnam.”

One of Mr. Irwin’s incredible photos from his time in Vietnam. ©2012 Bobby Irwin

And we’re not finished. The next three interviews with World War II Marine veterans have been taped and are now in production. After those air, we will present a program that features Jeanette Anders, from Ennice, NC. Mrs. Anders talks about her life, growing up on a dairy that is still run by her family.

Alleghany Memories won a Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians, last year, for the premier episode that featured Pauline Jolly and Mildred Torney who are both former county librarians.

Anyone interested in sponsoring, participating in or being featured in an upcoming episode should contact Reba Evans, Alleghany Memories Chairperson, for information, or click the contact link in the upper-right corner of this page.

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Alleghany Memories Available Online at ACTV.ME

Walter Bell. Photograph by Thelma Davis.

With the new streaming page at Alleghany Community Television, viewers can watch any ACTV program at any time. That means people out of our area (all over the world!) can access Alleghany Memories, our award-winning series of interviews that feature regular folks from right here in Alleghany.

This is a huge boost for ACTV and the Historical Society, as we have several interesting and exciting episodes that will soon be ready for air. We will soon be showing a History of Alleghany CARES (Christians Associated for Relief and Emergency Services). We’ve also been working with the Marine Corps League Walter Frank Osborne, Jr. Detachment 1298 and have shot 4 episodes with local Marines, Bobby Irwin, J.T. Pardue, Bill Sebastian and Charles Pugh. The latest interview was with Jeanette Anders from Ennice about life on her family’s dairy farm.Previous shows have featured Pauline Jolly and Mildred Torney, Pauline Meals, Thelma Davis and Walter Bell, Alleghany’s only POW in the Pacific in World War II.If you’d like to sponsor a video, or for more information, contact Committee Chairperson, Reba Evans, at 336-372-4866.

The special short videos being produced by Imaging Specialists, A Trip to the Museum, will also be available for streaming at the new webpage.


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Local Artist Lends Talents to Benefit Alleghany Historical Museum

Jessie Simpson at work in her studio.

Local Potter, Jessie Simpson, owner of Pottery By Jes, is partnering with the Alleghany Historical Museum for a great, new fundraising project. The Museum is now selling vintage style 16-ouncem mugs, specially designed and handcrafted by Jessie in her studio at New Hope, North Carolina. The mugs- perfect for warm, mountain-morning, beverages- were commissioned by Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society for the purpose of raising funds for upkeep and maintenance of the Museum.

Jessie, already an accomplished artist and photographer, studied with Rob Mangum at his studio, Mangum Pottery, in Turkey Knob before venturing out on her own, last year. Jessie is an exceptional young woman who embodies the best of Blue Ridge, having decided to build her career here in the mountains.

The new handcrafted mug by Pottery By Jes available for just $18 ($19.22 with tax) at the Sparta Store. Proceeds go to benefit the Alleghany Historical Museum.

The mugs feature a rich dark brown, chocolaty glaze over a lighter base that evokes a feeling of traditional crockery. AHGS is proud of Jessie’s final product and couldn’t be more pleased to be working with this gifted artist.

Mugs are available, now, at the Museum, across from the Alleghany Courthouse.

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Ernest Joines on I’ve Got a Secret

Ernest Joines, from the Alleghany Jubilee, was on the May 17, 1961 episode of I’ve Got a Secret. Check it out (and hear him play) below:

Ernest is a AHGS member and museum volunteer. We’re glad to be able to share this with everyone!

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Hear Historic Recordings from Alleghany Musicians

Check out these recordings from a few Alleghany musicians who were featured at the Alleghany Historical Museum during the exhibit, “These Hills Are Alive With Music.”

Arkansas Traveler by Paul Miles and His Red Fox Chasers

Katy Cline by Paul Miles and His Red Fox Chasers

Chased Old Satan by Ephraim Woodie & the Henpecked Husbands

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Today in NC History

Now, find out what happened “today,” every day!

Working in conjunction with the North Carolina News Network, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has unveiled a project that focuses on “This Day in North Carolina History.” Brief essays will be posted every day at

From North Carolina leaders, to figures in the arts, to important dates, to historical happenings from the mountains to the coast, “This Day in North Carolina History” tells North Carolina’s story every day.

Contributors include the Office of Archives and History, the Division of State Historic Sites, the State Library of North Carolina, the North Carolina Arts Council and the NCPedia project.

We’ve added links to this project on our Links page and under Resources on the sidebar of the site.

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Trip to the Museum

Imaging Specialists, Inc. featured us in an upcoming video for Alleghany Community Television, Imaging Specialists’ Trip to the Museum. Since the Museum’s opening in 2009, a regular feature of our award-winning newsletter has been “What’s New Old at the Museum?”

The current newsletter only reaches members of the Society (membership’s only $10 a year, scheduled to go up next year), and old newsletters are available online.

We wanted to expand on that feature and make information about the Museum available to even more folks. Watch the video below, over on YouTube, or catch it on Alleghany Community Television. ACTV will use the footage as filler between programs, so it will have a huge potential audience- currently around 5000 homes!

We have been getting great feedback from visitors. Several have told us that they found out about the Museum from the segment we did on North Carolina Now.

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Alleghany Historical Museum Is Featured on North Carolina Now

Recently, Heather Burgiss of the NC Public Television  series, North Carolina Now, visited the museum and interviewed us for the show. No stranger to the Blue Ridge, Heather and her family have been coming here for years. Her father-in-law is Sam Burgiss, a cousin of Tom Burgiss of Thistle Meadow Winery, in Laurel Springs.

Pauline Jolly on the UNC-TV program, North Carolina Now

The episode aired May 1st and is (tentatively) scheduled to re-air on North Carolina Weekend, June 28.

Click here to see the entire episode at the UNC TV site. Alleghany History Museum starts about 5 minutes in.

Thanks, Heather, for including us in this great, statewide broadcast!

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Faith of our Fathers, Living Still

April – June 2012, the exhibit at the Alleghany Historical Museum will be called Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still. It will feature the churches and other places of worship in Alleghany County.

If you have artifacts suitable for display with this exhibit, please bring them to the Museum by the end of this month.

The Museum is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm. Volunteers at the Museum will be able to accept your loan or donation during those times.

Remember, there is no admission charge to visit the Museum, and group tours can be arranged at other times.

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Fashions from the Past on Exhibit this Spring

The Alleghany Historical Museum is featuring fashion this quarter- not the latest fads but styles from past eras. Dresses, men’s wear, underwear, hats, gloves and accessories are all on display through the end of March. Come see how your ancestors dressed for daily life and dressed up for special occasions.

We are learning, with this exhibit, that we could really use mannequins, dress dummies and wig stands for clothing displays. If you’ve got any stashed away in your attic, you’d lend or donate, contact Pauline Jolly at the museum, 372-2115. She can give them a new career in modeling.

The gown at left was worn by Clyde Adella Fields at her graduation from the Normal and Industrial School in Greensboro (now UNCG) in 1912.

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