Schedule of Events


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Lectures, Programs, and other Events - 2012

(These are held at the Museum unless otherwise noted. Lectures are free, check with the museum for cost of other programs)


  • President Lincoln's Rockingham Roots.

  • The present Featured Exhibit: "The Mostly Forgotten Story of the American Civil War President's Southern Heritage."

    This exhibit highlights the President’s connection to his Rockingham roots through his own handwritten letters to his cousin, David Lincoln, at Lacey Spring and through the President’s meeting with Representative J.T. Harris, of Rockingham County, on the eve of the Civil War. It contrasts the dirt floor log cabin of the President’s birth with the stately Lincoln Homestead, built by the President’s great uncle, Jacob Lincoln, still standing on Linville Creek.


  • Slavery in the Valley.

  • Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Eric Bryan, Deputy Director of the Frontier Culture Museum.

    During the 1600s and 1700s, nearly 250,000 Africans were brought to colonial America to serve as enslaved agricultural workers, domestic servants, and artisans. The great majority were members of West African cultures that lived on the Atlantic coast. Their population was highest in South Carolina and Virginia. Beginning in the early 1700s, Virginia tobacco planters imported increasing numbers of captive Africans to work their plantations. Nearly 40% of the Africans imported into Virginia during this time were brought from a part of the West African coast called the Bight of Biafra. Many of these captives were Igbo, a people living in the upland area north of the Bight of Biafra in what is now the nation of Nigeria. The West African Farm represents life in a free Igbo household in the Biafran hinterlands in the 1700s.


  • The Rise of the Confederate Sharpshooter.

  • Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012. 12:00 p.m. Speaker: Mr. Jeremy Hilliard, Living Historian and Preservationist with the 10th VA Vol. Infantry Co.
    The presentation will provide an overview of how the Sharpshooters were formed with a focus on their service at the Battle of Cross Keys. Come learn more about the history and tactics of the Special Forces of the Civil War. Noon luncheon followed by lecture. Cost $15.00.


  • Woodworking at Lincoln Homestead.

  • Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Mr. Ray Pine. No charge.


  • Civil War's Valley Campaign.

  • Date: Saturday, March 24, 2012. 10:30 a.m. Speaker: Mr. Ben Fordney. Hosted by Park View Initiative.


  • 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment and Spring Drill.

  • Date: April 14 and 15, 2012. (Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm) The 10th Virginia Infantry Living Historians return to The Heritage Museum grounds offering an authentic look at 1862 camp life and the 10th Virginia common infantry soldier.


  • Lincoln's Attitude Toward the South.

  • Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Mr. Phil Stone. No charge.


  • Brocks Gap Heritage Day.

  • Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012. (11 am - 4 pm) Fulks Run Elementary School

    There will be 130+ posters of old photos of family groups, churches, schools, and local landmarks. Other researchers will attend to gather and share information. This is the 22nd annual celebration of this event. Last year, in spite of heavy rains that flooded some roads, there were 270 visitors, from 17 different states plus one person from South Africa.

    There will be two special programs during the day. Bonnie Paul will present a program on fraktur, the German-language certificates that our ancestors liked to make for births, baptisms, and special occasions. There was a fraktur artist from Brocks Gap, and Bonnie will talk about his work. Also a tentatively scheduled program on World War II soldiers from Plains District/Brocks Gap who were killed in action.

    The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society will be there with books for sale and information about the Heritage Museum and programs.

    More details about Brocks Gap Heritage Day are at


  • Shenandoah Valley Mountain Music: The Tradition Continues.

  • Date: Saturday, May 12, 2012. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy the living history of local parlor, campfire, and dance hall music while learning about the key instruments of this musical heritage with music duo Me & Martha.


  • Sensation, Science, and Scandal: The Popular Press in Antebellum America.

  • Date: Thursday, May 24, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Professor Mark Sawin. No charge.
    Dr. Mark Sawin, Professor of History at Eastern Mennonite University, will give a lecture about how other dimensions of the economic, technological, and social changes underway in Antebellum American society manifested themselves in the national culture in surprising ways. The innovations of the mass printing press made possible the first popular newspapers and advertisements (especially in the cities), and fueled an explosion of printed material—from women's sentimental novels to classic works of literature to inflammatory abolitionist tracts. The rapid communication made possible by the telegraph facilitated the advent of mass spectator sports, in which men in saloons hundreds of miles from a horse race or boxing match could receive rapid updates on the progress and outcome. The new practice of photography dazzled Americans everywhere; they sent one another their portraits through the mail, purchased pictures of celebrities, famous political leaders and even erotic nudes, and received photographic evidence of whipped and abused slaves (whether they wanted to see it or not). The patriotic rhetoric championed by Andrew Jackson's administration empowered the common white man to feel as though he was an important part of the political culture. Partisan political machines created by both parties organized huge torchlight parades, transforming political participation into a spectacle of democracy, motivating the highest voter turnouts in American history.


  • Civil War Firsts.

  • Date: Sunday, June 3, 2012. 2:00 p.m. Speakers: Irvin and Nancy Hess. No charge.
    Income tax, US Secret Service, Home delivery of mail - Irvin and Nancy Hess present a few of the many 'firsts' that came out of the American Civil War.


  • Stonewall's Narrow Escape.

  • Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Dr. Irvin Hess. No charge.
    Dr. Irvin Hess will speak on the surprise Federal cavalry raid at the village of Port Republic on the morning of June 8, 1862 that nearly led to the capture of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.


  • The Metamorphosis in Stonewall Jackson's Public Image.

  • Date: Friday, June 8, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Robert K. Krick. No charge.
    This public lecture will be held at the Turner Ashby High School Auditorium (On Rt. 42 just north of Bridgewater). This event is sponsored by the Harrisonburg - Rockingham Historical Society and the local Shenandoah Valley Civil War Roundtable.


  • Turner Ashby and the Development of Cavalry.

  • Date: Thursday, June 21, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Dr. David Dillard, JMU Professor.


  • New Civil War Exhibits Open.

  • Date: Sunday, July 29, 2012.
    The Civil War Galleries and Exhibits in the museum have been completely updated.

    Here is a description of the dynamic new Civil War production at The Heritage Museum. Agricultural wealth and strategic geography turn Rockingham County into a field of battle and destruction in The Heritage Museum’s new Civil War Gallery. A high-definition video on a 42-inch screen tells the story of the war through breathtaking landscapes and historic drawings and portraits. Maps orient visitors to troop movements in major campaigns and locate where homes, barns, and other sites can still be seen today. Touch screens allow visitors to explore high-resolution maps by Jedediah Hotchkiss, General Stonewall Jackson’s mapmaker, and to flip through photos and stories about men from the county who served as soldiers.
    Visitors can hear any or all of 50 stories recounted by historian John Heatwole. Recorded in 2004, the stories are incredibly vivid accounts of the Civil War on the home front and the battlefield.
    In all, there is an introductory four-minute HD video on a 42-inch plasma screen, three interactive 22-inch touch screens, and three 3-panel alcoves and exhibits that depict 1) War Demands Tough Choices (Those Who Serve, Those Who Refuse, Those Who Object, and Those Who are Denied); 2) Challenges at Home (Chancy Communications, Enemy at the Door, Staying Home or Going Away, and Children in the War); and 3) The Burning (Stories from the Burning, The Order to Burn Dayton, Execution of Davy Getz, Burning of Court Records). The final exhibit is entitled “Toward a New Dawn” showing the aftermath of the war.


  • The Hopkins Civil War Letters, New Exhibit

  • Date: Sunday, July 29, 2012.
    A recent discovery of a number of letters written during the Civil War are on display. These have been transcribed so they are easy to read. The Hopkins family has made these available for you to enjoy.


  • The Virginia Pacificator Repeating Rifle: The Rest of the Story.

  • Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Gary Sheffer.
    Mr. Sheffer of Fort Defiance, Virginia has done extensive research on this topic and will present his findings in a fascinating story about his ancestor, William Shaffer, the man who built the rifle and the controversy surrounding the origin of it.


  • The Civil War According to the Rockingham Register.

  • Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012. 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Dale MacAllister .
    Dale MacAllister examines the Civil War as witnessed by citizens of the Shenandoah Valley and reported by the regional newspaper, The Rockingham Register.


  • HRHS Annual Banquet.

  • Date: Friday, October 26, 2012. 6:30 p.m. $40 / person Location: Spotswood Country Club, 1080 Country Club Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.
    Program: The Rail Splitter and the Wigwam: The 1860 Republican Convention in Chicago presented by Gary Ecelbarger, noted Civil War Historian and Author.

    Mr. Ecelbarger is a prolific and popular writer of 19th century nonfiction. A leading authority of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley he has written eight books including military histories of the Valley campaign. Also biographies of Civil War generals "Black Jack" Logan and Frederick W. Lander.
    He is a Lincoln scholar as well. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and three children.

    The Annual Banquet provides an opportunity for members to socialize and celebrate the success of The Heritage Museum’s mission. The Banquet and Silent Auction serve as the museum’s largest fundraiser. Silent auction items include American Shakespeare Center tickets, a P. Buckley Moss print, museum passes, wine tasting passes, and books by local authors. New Trustees will be elected and the Volunteer of the Year will be honored.

    The Annual Banquet and Silent Auction is an opportunity to invite some friends and join us for a fun, informative, and festive evening.



    H.R.H.S. APPRECIATES YOUR PATRONAGE. Every Membership and Donation counts.

May 15, 1863



Rockingham County learns of Stonewall Jackson's Death.