The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum has ranked in this year's "Best of Virginia Awards" by Virginia Living. Awards include Best "Do Not Miss" Tourist Attraction (1st Place), Best Historic Site (1st Place), and Best Museum (2nd place). Virginia Living’s seventh annual Best of Virginia issue acts as a statewide guide to all that is “best” in Virginia—from dining to shopping to entertainment.
The Best of Virginia 2018 lists the more than 1,300 winners from Virginia Living’s annual Best of Virginia Readers’ Survey, conducted in January. Nearly 40,000 ballots were cast in 105 categories covering the best in Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Living & Recreation, Food & Drink, Shopping and Services across the state.
The Best of Virginia 2018 issue hits newsstands May 18. Virginia Living is available by subscription and at quality newsstands and select Barnes & Noble, BJ’s, Wegmans, Harris Teeter, and Kroger stores.
Girl Scouts during 'The Great War'
We have just recently opened a new exhibition entitled, Girl Scouts during 'The Great War,' which explores the role Girl Scouts played one-hundred years ago during World War I and how their service supported the troops and homefront.
The show is presented in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Archives Group. For two years, the committee has worked to recreate a vintage 1917 Norfolk Suit-style adult Girl Scout uniform for the museum. The suit is on display alongside historic photographs of Girl Scouts performing wartime service activities, including needlework, gardening, and selling Liberty Bonds. Visitors will be able to learn about the specific requirements to obtain badges and service awards during wartime.
In 1917, six months after the United States entered World War I, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, asked First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson to become the Honorary National President of Girl Scouts. Mrs. Wilson accepted, saying that she hoped that the organization’s undertakings “may meet in the future with all the success that it has had in the past.” In 1918, the Girl Scouts presented a “Thanks Badge” to Mrs. Wilson that was designed by Cartier in diamonds, emeralds, and a ruby (Edith donated the piece back to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1958).
Mrs. Wilson honored the patriotic service of Girl Scouts and encouraged them to be active in contributing to the war effort by selling Liberty Bonds, knitting clothing for soldiers, learning first aid, and communicating in Morse code -- the same activities Edith undertook as First Lady during the Great War.
In the past one hundred years since Edith’s inauguration, seventeen First Ladies have held this position, modeling the mission of Girl Scouts: “courage, confidence, and character.”
The facsimile 1917 Norfolk Suit was the uniform worn by Girl Scout Captains, Lieutenants, Commissioners, and national and local Councilors from 1919 to 1928. It would have been what Mrs. Wilson would have worn in her role as Honorary President. The suit, fabricated by Jane Garnett and Pat Lucas was donated to the museum by the Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Archives Group.
An online component for the exhibition is found here.
The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum has been awarded Second Place in the 'Best Museum' category by Blue Ridge Country magazine. The magazine released their annual reader poll in their current 30th Anniversary “Best of the Mountains” issue.
Blue Ridge Country magazine was launched in the summer of 1988 with a goal to celebrate the culture, history, geography and wonderful travel opportunities of the Southern Appalachians from the Virginias south through the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky.
Over the ensuing 30 years, the glossy regional publication has lived up to that aspiration with each bimonthly issue, and along the way has won scores of state, regional, national and international awards for its content, design and photography. The magazine’s owner and editor have remained the same over those decades, with their sense of wonder over our beautiful region infused into each issue.
Through the magazine, generations of mountain-loving travelers have come to know and love the very best of these Southern mountains, from beautiful towns and stunning outdoor spots to quirky history and our bounty of culture and craft.
As the longest-running and premier travel publication in this part of the country, Blue Ridge Country is proud to continue its year-long 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2018 with the May/June issue, which is built around reader-poll results for the “Best of the Mountains”, saluting those readers’ favorites in the realms of people, places and much more. These such reader polls are conducted every five years to give our readers a chance to voice their opinions about the mountains they love so much.
Get your free issue today!
On Saturday, March 10, the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum hosted over 50 Girl Scouts from two different Councils. The girls participated in the museum’s Annual First Lady’s Patch Day, which is designed to empower young girls to have them successfully confront life’s challenges and to reach their full potential with confidence.
Scouts explored history with a guided tour of the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum and the Bolling Home where First Lady Mrs. Wilson was born. They learned about Edith’s life “From Wytheville to the White House,” and imagined what life was like for young Edith, who was the 7th of 11 children growing up with her grandmother’s 26 canaries. They also learned about her leadership qualities as a successful women business owner and as First Lady during World War I. The program also featured a visit by “Young Edith,” who shared how her life was similar and different from growing up today. After the program, girls got to take part in a special etiquette lunch at the Bolling Wilson hotel where they learned about proper place settings, table manners, roles of the host, and how to converse with guests.
Edith Bolling Wilson became the first Honorary President of Girl Scouts in 1917. She was named by Juliette Low in 1917 to this position, which began a tradition for future First Ladies. A “Thanks Badge” was specially designed and presented to First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson by the Girl Scout National Board at a ceremony at the White House by the Founder, Juliette Gordon Low. The “Thanks Badge” recognized Mrs. Wilson’s thoughtfulness and encouragement to Girl Scouts. Mrs. Wilson gifted the pin to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in 1958. The emerald and diamond pin is still held in their collection today.
For more about the museum’s Girl Scout Programs, visit www.edithbollingwilson.org/scouts.
This program was sponsored, in part, by Summit Community Bank.
For our first installation of “Bolling Building Stories,” we take a look at Green “Tot” Chapman, who operated a Barbershop in one of the lower level storefronts of the Bolling Building at the turn of the twentieth century. A special thanks to local historian, John Johnson, who brings us this story.
Green “Tot” Chapman: A Black Barber on Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia
By: John M. Johnson
Green Chapman was born in Pulaski County, Virginia, in June of 1852; other records state that he was born in 1857. He was the son of Doddridge Chapman and Tishey Hendrick Chapman. Green married Emma Miller on May 22, 1879.
We are not sure when Green came to Wytheville from Newbern but we are sure he was there when Newbern was still the county seat of Pulaski County. The early Chapman’s played a great part in the organization of Newbern.
By 1865 Newbern’s black population was thriving. Paul Huskins, Henry Peck, Jon Cox, James Ingram, David Rodgers, Doddridge Chapman, and Daniel Hall, made the first black land transaction to purchase land on which an Methodist Church and School building was constructed. The church was built on the land several years before the transaction (a deed signed) to purchases the property.
It was in the publication (A History of Slaves and Freedom in Nineteenth Century Pulaski County, Virginia) where the name Doddridge Chapman was found. He was listed as being born about 1846. Doddridge also had a known brother whose name was Parish. He (Doddridge) was the father of Green “Tot” Chapman, the subject of the research.
Although we say that Doddridge Chapman was the father of Green, there were no other mentioned children found for Doddridge other that Green in the census. Other children of Dodd’s could have been on the 1866 Freedmen’s co-habitation list and left the home before the Federal United States Census.
However, when Green died on February 29, 1928, “Dod” Chapman was named to be his father. Doddridge was also the father of several other children who were all employed in early Newbern, Virginia; their names were not mentioned in the census. His other sons (to include Green) were leather workers; making horse harness, boots and shoes.
The small community of African-Americans at Newbern thrived well shortly after the freedom until the coming of the twentieth century. However, after 1900, young people began to leave; they found employment elsewhere. By 1900 there were only twelve elderly black families remaining in Newbern, Virginia.
The date or year is not know when the Chapman’s left Pulaski County, however, Doddridge Chapman died on September 11, 1881,  and by the time of his death, all of his children had departed and found homes in other parts of America.
However, at least one of Doddridge son’s found his way to Wytheville. We know that Green “Tot” Chapman was here in 1879, because he married Emma Miller on May 22nd in that year. In June of 1880 he and his wife Emma were living in the William Terry abode on Washington Street where Green was employed as a common laborer. Both Green and Emma were twenty-four years old.
On April 16, 1885, Green’s name along with the story of one of his adventures appeared in the Wytheville Dispatch a local newspaper. The story is as follows: “Tot Chapman, the manager of the barbershop first door east of T. P. Wappett’s grocery, while fishing last Saturday in Reed Creek, at the upper edge of the meadows on this side of Mr. Yates’ fastened his hook in something which he says felt soft. Knowing that his line was an inferior one he gave it a sudden jerk thinking of course it would break, but to his astonishment it did not, and when he pulled it out he found the hook to be filled with what he supposed to be human hair. He brought the hair to town and had it examined by some physician who pronounced it such. The town authorities sent some parties down to the creek last Saturday and again on Tuesday, and had it well dragged, but they found nothing. When the hair, which was perfectly black seemed inclined to curl, was shown on the streets many believed it was from the head of someone who had been murdered and thrown into the creek.” 
The article above not only told of Chapman adventure, it mentioned the location of the barbershop where he was employed as a manager. We now know that Chapman was part of a group of barbers perhaps employed in Peter Wilson Gibson (1835-1815) barbershop as early as April 1885. Gibson was a free born and had lived in Wytheville from birth. Gibson’s name appeared in the census as early as 1860 as a “barber.”
Legends state that the Chapman family came to Wytheville (during slavery) from Pulaski County, with the Elbert Lee [E. Lee] Trinkle family. We now know that this is not true because there were still members of the Trinkle family in Pulaski County in 1880, to include Elbert S. Trinkle the father of Elbert Lee. Green Chapman, the subject of this research arrived in Wytheville about 1883. Also, Elbert Lee [E. Lee] Trinkle was born until 1878; thirteen years after the freedom of slaves and the War Between the States.
However, there is a hint about a Trinkle and Chapman connection. When Green died on February 29, 1928, the names his parent were given on his certificate of death. The certificate lists his mother to be “Lettie Trinkle.”
We must be hesitant to say that Lettie was a Trinkle slave because no proof has been found to substantiate that claim. The name Lettie could also be short for “Latisha.” More information is needed before the Trinkle / Chapman dilemma can be solved. Nothing more will be said about this subject.
Green “Tot” Chapman and his wife Emma were the parents of the following children: Charles Royal Chapman 1881-1928, Garland Chapman 1883 - 1985, Floyd Robinson Chapman 1887-1947 and James A. Chapman 1895 – 1962. Garland and Floyd followed in the footsteps of their father and were barbers.
We know from the news article on page two that the barbershop which Green managed between 1885 and 1900 was located on West Main Street, just East of T. P. Wappet’s grocery store. This grocery store was located west of the present U. S. Post Office. The barbershop was located about where the Southwest Virginia Enterprise newspaper establishment is at present. Perhaps this was the same barbershop which was broken into on September 4, 1891. The following article appeared in the Richmond Times: “Another half-grown colored boy broke into “Tot Chapman’s” barber-shop in Wytheville Sunday and took ten dollars. He is also in jail.”
About one year later, on August 2, 1892, a “Bill of Complaint” was introduced in Wythe County Chancery Court; Green Chapman was suing his wife Emma Miller Chapman for a divorce. According to court records, it appeared that Emma had “deserted the Chapman home taking with her the youngest child aged about nine months.” To make a long story short, Green won the case. In a September 4, 1892, decree, Green Chapman was granted a divorce from Emma.
We are not sure if Green remarried again to second woman by the name of Emma. There was no marriage license found to substantiate such claim. However, Emma must have been permitted to return back to the home, because her name appears in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census living in the “Tot” Chapman household, she lived there until her death on June 25, 1923, she was fifty-nine years old.
Because of the difficulty in obtaining records to prove one brought license to open a barbershop in the Town of Wytheville. There was no attempt to find the license or the date when Chapman applied for a permit to operate a shop, in the Town of Wytheville record book for 1900.
In the same year, we know that he was operating his own barbershop in what is known as the Bolling Building on Main Street in Wytheville. Chapman Barbershop was referred as the “Sanitary Barbershop.” In the 1910 Green Chapman had employed one of the sons in the shop. Charles Royal Chapman was born in 1881 and worked in the “Sanitary Barbershop” until his death on June 11, 1928; he was forty-seven years old.
James A. Chapman, another son of Green enlisted in the U.S. Army during WW-I on October 2, 1917. After his discharge from the military from the 317th Engineers on March 31, 1919, he too worked in his father’s barbershop. However, this was short lived. Perhaps military life directed James in another direction because on April 7, 1930, he was employed as an automobile mechanic.
After the death of Green, the Sanitary Barbershop was sold to Matthew Gray. Matthew operated the shop until his death in 1932. As for the sons of Green Chapman, James A. Chapman commenced working at the George Wythe Hotel which was constructed in 1927. James A. Chapman commenced his employment there between 1930 and 1940. He remained employee as a “bellhop” until he retired. James died on September 2, 1962.
A note about Matthew Gray:
Matthew was born in Wythe County, in August 1973 the son of James and Mar Lyles. He was born with a birth defect in his left leg which was three inches shorter that the right. The foot on the left leg was turned outwards 90 degrees to his right foot. He stood on a specially made a3 inches high box to contemplate for the shortness of that leg. Mr. Gray passed on March 20, 1932 and is buried in the Oakwood Memorial Garden Cemetery.
 Gravestone at the Oakwood Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia. Hereafter Oakwood.
 Certificate of Death Commonwealth of Virginia. Hereafter certificate.
 Killen, Linda, A History of Slaves and Freedom in Nineteenth Century Pulaski County, Virginia, Department of History, Radford University May 1996. p. 90.
 Certificate of Death for Green Chapman in the possession of the compiler
 1880 United States Federal census, Pulaski County, Virginia, Newbern Township, p.
 Killen, Linda, A History of Slaves and Freedom in Nineteenth Century Pulaski County, Virginia, Department of History, Radford University May 1996. p. 90.
 1880 Wythe County census, Evansham School District, lines 47-48, p. 23/469.
 Wytheville Dispatch, Wytheville, Virginia. April 16, 1885.
 Johnson, John M. Freedmen’s Bureau Cohabitation Records, Color People of Wythe County Cohabitating Together As Husband and Wife, February 1866 – August 1866, p. 24.
 Wikipedia, an internet encyclopedia.
 The Times (Richmond, Virginia) Friday September 4, 1891, p. 2
 Green Chapman vs. Emma Chapman, 2nd August 1892 rule, chancery case file # 1892-35CC.
 Certificate. Buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Wytheville, Virginia.
 Certificate of Death in the possession of the compiler.
 Application for headstone in the possession of the compiler.
 Application for grave headstone in the possession of the compiler.
 Certificate of Death in the possession of the compiler.
 Information known by the compiled taken from oral history over the many years.
The museum welcomed over 90 visitors on Saturday, February 10th for the Bolling Building Block Party. The day featured special deals and activities at each of the four Main Street businesses: Skeeter's World Famous Hot Dogs, Rockstar Gems, P.R. Sturgill Fine Jewelry, and the museum.
The Bolling Building is a Wytheville landmark. It was originally constructed in the 1840s, and remains the only Antebellum commercial building downtown. In the building’s 170 year history, it has always housed commercial storefronts on the lower level, including a bank, general store, and barber shop. The second story, mostly used as a residence, was the birthplace home of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson. The Bolling Family occupied the building from 1866-1899.
At this special event, visitors were able to learn about the history of the building through free tours of the Birthplace Home offered by the museum. Additionally, reenactors from the museum’s living history program were on hand to tell more about Mrs. Wilson’s journey from Wytheville to the White House, and her role as First Lady during World War I. To honor Mrs. Wilson’s legacy as the first honorary President of Girl Scouts, a local Girl Scout troop sold cookies.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Bolling Building Block Party!!!
Program focused on how a flock of sheep helped win 'The Great War'
The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum recently partnered with Pulaski County Public Schools to present a county-wide Professional Development In-service for fourth grade teachers. The January 5th workshop provided an overview of the life and legacy of Mrs. Wilson, focusing on her efforts as First Lady during World War I.
Joyce Covey, a retired Pulaski County School teacher and volunteer for the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, served as the presenter for the workshop. The workshop incorporated the museum’s educational book, "How the Sheep Helped Win the War," which details when President and Mrs. Wilson placed a flock of sheep on the lawn of the White House to free grounds laborers for wartime duties. The wool from the sheep, named “White House Wool,” was auctioned off raising nearly $100,000 for the American Red Cross.
The workshop provided an engaging framework for teachers to integrate the story into the classroom. The program’s teaching aids correlate with Virginia Standards of Learning and provide students with an introduction to World War I. Debbie Wilkerson, the Museum’s Education Coordinator, facilitated the workshop giving an overview of First Lady Mrs. Wilson and her place in history. Wytheville resident and retired educator, Betsy Ely, portrayed the First Lady, and shared information about her life in Wytheville and in the White House. This school year, each fourth-grade student in Pulaski County Schools will receive a copy of the museum’s educational book.
Mrs. Elinor Farmer, a member of the Pulaski Friends of the Library, organized funding for the Professional Development Day. Area businesses and organizations supporting the outreach program and book distribution included: Friends of the Pulaski County Library, Dublin High School Alumni Association, Count Pulaski DAR, Delta Kappa Gamma (Nu Chapter), Pulaski County Retired Teachers Association, The Coffee Grinder Restaurant, Dublin Lions Club, Carla Hallstead, Dr. Holly Welty Miller, Linda Grey (in honor of Dorothy Sanchez), Elinor Farmer, and Judith Barr.
Additionally, the Nu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma provided refreshments for the teachers. Delta Kappa Gamma is an international teachers society promoting professional and personal growth of educators and excellence in education. Several members of Delta Kappa Gamma attended the workshop and encouraged Pulaski County teachers to join their organization and learn more about scholarship opportunities available.
The museum is currently expanding teacher and student programs. Please contact us about bringing this unique educational opportunity to your school!
Edith Bolling Wilson’s 1904 Automobile Operator's Permit Listed on Virginia’s 2017 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts List
The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum owns one of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts, according to the Virginia Association of Museums. Last year, the museum acquired First Lady Edith Bolling [Galt] Wilson’s original Automobile Operator's Permit, and is seeking funds for conservation of the object through the program.
The museum’s document is one of ten unique artifacts from across the state and spanning Virginia’s extensive history from the 1700s to the 20th century that was chosen following a thorough review process by an independent selection committee of collections professionals from partner organizations, such as the Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The complete list of artifacts and contact information for each honoree can be found at Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts webpage.
In 1904, Edith Bolling Galt became the first woman licensed to operate an electric car in Washington, D.C. Like many other early women drivers with independent methods of transportation, Edith questioned gender roles and societal expectations. Edith’s recollections of driving her Columbia Elberon Victoria Mark XXXI are relayed in her 1939 autobiography, "My Memoir." Wilson scholars note that when police officers in Washington recognized the future First Lady driving, they would stop traffic and obligingly wave her through street intersections.
The Operator’s Permit was issued on September 7, 1904 by the Office of the Commissioners in Washington, D.C. At that time Edith was married to her first husband, Norman Galt, owner of Galt & Bro. Jewelers, a prominent business in Washington D.C. The document indicates that Mrs. Galt was authorized to operate a vehicle of the “electric type.” The cost of the vehicle amounted to $1600 in 1904 (equivalent to about $44,000 in 2017). This particular model was marketed to women and advertised as a carriage for “light pleasure service,” ”park riding,” and “social functions.” It would reach speeds of up to thirteen miles per hour and run for forty miles on a single charge.
The artifact, measuring 5.25 x 8.125,” is fragile and in poor condition with separation, staining, and yellowing due to increasing levels of acidity. The object has been adhered with scotch tape for many years, causing more damage to the document. Its current condition prevents it from being on display. With conservation, the museum hopes to permanently display the object and create educational and exhibition content focusing on early women drivers and electric cars.
Shiloh Holley, Executive Director of the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, states that she is thrilled about the designation. “This object not only speaks to the legacy of Edith Bolling Wilson as a forward-looking individual who, despite of her gender, embraced the world around her, but also relates to early twentieth century women's history, technology, and environmental issues.”
After Norman Galt’s death in 1908, Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in December 1915. She served as First Lady until 1921. Her birthplace home in Wytheville, Virginia now operates as a museum. As one of only eight historic sites across the country dedicated to the interpretation of a First Lady, the museum tells the story of the overlooked, yet vitally important role that Edith Bolling Wilson played in the White House at a pivotal moment during World War I. Museum hours are Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am. - 2:00 pm. For more information visit edithbollingwilson.org.
Starting January 15, the public is invited to vote for Edith Bolling [Galt] Wilson’s Automobile Operator's Permit as their favorite artifact to help support its conservation efforts. Thanks to a generous donation from the Blandford Rees Foundation, the Virginia Association of Museum’s renowned program will for the first time provide conservation awards totaling nearly $19,000 to the honorees, which will be granted by the Selection Committee or through the outcome of the online public voting competition taking place January 15-24, 2018. The public is invited to help bestow $9,000 of these conservation awards by voting for their favorite endangered artifact. The two artifacts receiving the most votes will be recognized as the People’s Choice Awards and receive $5,000 and $4,000 respectfully to conserve their artifacts and care for its continued preservation. Those wishing to make a lasting impact on preserving Virginia’s history are encouraged to vote for their favorite artifacts during the online public voting competition.
December 28 marks President Woodrow Wilson’s birthday, who was born in Staunton, Virginia in 1856. The date is also the anniversary of the death of Edith Bolling Wilson, his beloved second wife. Mrs. Wilson died in 1961, at the age of 89. On that day, she had planned to be the guest of honor at the dedication of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, connecting Virginia with Maryland over the Potomac River.
Yesterday, representatives from the museum stood alongside Bolling Family members and staff of the Woodrow Wilson House gathered to witness the annual wreath laying and prayer service in honor of Woodrow Wilson at the National Cathedral. The ceremony was presided by Reverend Doctor Olivia Hilton, who included a prayer written by President Wilson as the Nation was entering World War I:
"Almighty God, ruler of all the peoples of the earth, forgive, we pray, our shortcomings as a nation; purify our hearts to see and love truth; give wisdom to our counselors, and steadfastness to our people; and bring us at last to the fair city of peace, whose foundations are mercy, justice, and goodwill, and whose builder and maker you are. AMEN."
The United States Armed Forces commemorated President Woodrow Wilson's 161st birthday with a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor wreath-laying ceremony. The wreath was placed by Brig. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II, director of operations readiness and mobilization, Department of the U.S. Army. Ambassador Hovhannissian of the Embassy of Armenia to the United States also honored President Wilson with a floral tribute sporting the Armenian flag. President Wilson played a special role in the history of Armenia. Through his leadership, Wilson arbitrated the boundary between the First Armenian Republic and Turkey as determined by the treaty of Sevres in 1920. He is also remembered for his efforts to save hundreds of thousands refugees and orphans after the Armenian Genocide.
A special orchid tribute to First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson was provided by Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc of Richmond, Virginia.
President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Wilson are the only presidential couple buried in Washington, D.C., and they are both interred at the National Cathedral.
You can watch a live feed of the ceremony provided by the U.S. Army here.
Photos courtesy of Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation, Woodrow Wilson House, Sarah Andrews, and the Embassy of Armenia to the United States.
This past weekend, we celebrated Edith Bolling Wilson’s 145th Birthday by hosting two very special events.
On Saturday, the museum welcomed eighty guests to the opening of the new exhibition, "World War I: From Wytheville to the White House...and Abroad.” This exhibition serves to present the First Lady in a scholarly-light by detailing her participation in and contributions to America’s effort in World War I. Throughout the day, special VIP tours were given, including a talk by exhibition advisor Dr. Lynn Rainville, a historian who specializes in Virginia’s role in World War I.
An Orchid Blooms
The following day over 175 guests gathered at Loretto, one of Wytheville’s finest historic homes, to honor the life and legacy of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson. The event served as the official release party for a new hybrid Cattleya propagated by Chadwick and Son and named after the First Lady. On display at Loretto, was a pop-up exhibit of twenty-five watercolor paintings of local historic homes, created by local artist Beth Pendleton over the past thirty years. The distillery A. Smith Bowman sponsored a bourbon tasting bar (Mrs. Wilson was known to occasionally partake of Bowman’s). The President and Mrs. Wilson were also in attendance (portrayed by Betsy Ely and Jim Gearhart).
We thank everyone involved for making Edith Bolling Wilson’s 145th birthday so special!
Tuesdays – Fridays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Closed on all major holidays.
145 E. Main St., Wytheville, VA 24382
The museum is located downtown across from the Bolling Wilson Hotel.
Free entry to the museum, $5 for a tour of the Bolling Family Home, available during museum hours.