Behind The Scenes With Conflict & Consequences: Military History of the Greenbrier Valley
Preview by Brehana Scott - Marketing Manager
If you've visited the North House Museum and Archive in the last 10+ years you're probably familiar with the "War Room" exhibit. The "War Room" was a military history display that showcased objects pertaining to regional conflicts, military engagements, and frontier fort history. This year, the exhibit is getting a much needed makeover and will re-open later this March. The exhibit will still be heavily focused on objects and images, while our knowledgeable docents handle the descriptions, themes, and dates.
The newly crafted exhibit, Conflict and Consequences, will start by discussing the complex period of white settlement of Native lands in the Greenbrier Valley before moving on to the War of 1812, the Civil War, and World Wars I and II. We will view these national and international events on a local scale and explore their impacts on our diverse communities, the economy, and the land.
The updated exhibit takes a deeper, more inclusive, look at the contributions of Black Americans, Native Americans, and the women of our area. Black Americans are honored in this exhibit for their roles as protectors of our community and of our nation during conflicts, wars, and other military engagements. These Black men and women fought discrimination, exploitation, and racism in every facet of our history, with times of war being no different and with their services and sacrifices often being overlooked.
Native and Indigenous Peoples are acknowledged in this exhibit for their claim to this land far before European colonization. As Natives retaliated for land lost, frontier forts began popping up throughout the Greenbrier Valley. The conflicts and battles that took place regionally in the name of colonization are complex and must be looked at from both the perspective of the Native Peoples and the European settlers.
Women of the Greenbrier Valley are recognized here for their contributions on the home front, for their role as nurses who cared for wounded soldiers, and for their direct involvement in the fighting and as spies determined to make a difference in the outcome of the war. Women are often overlooked in military history, but their involvement plays a huge supporting role in these conflicts. Visitors will see war as more than just battle maps and weaponry; they will learn about the human experience of war.
While we are excited to announce that Conflicts & Consequences will be a permanent exhibit at the North House, we are always willing to adapt and update the exhibit to recognize more regional characters. Please feel free to email in stories and images of veterans with ties to the Greenbrier Valley to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "War Room" before its glamorous makeover.
Museum Curator, Toni Ogden, yielding two Civil War era Bowie knives.
AmeriCorps Member, Abi Smith, transporting one of the Civil War drums.
Executive Director, Nora Venezky, trimming down exhibit elements.
Toni and I having a bit of fun while transporting the collection items.
Our crew, including 8th grade volunteer, Sophia Nguyen, in the collection department.
A Blank Slate...
With all of the objects and artifacts cleared out of the way it seemed like a perfect time to get a few coats of paint up!
Here Comes the COLOR!
This green color scheme really warms up the exhibit space! Pictured below: 7th grade volunteer, Rowan Woody, painting object display stands
Stay tuned for the AFTER!
To check out the finishing touches, objects, and images we chose to display in the exhibit stay tuned! Conflict & Consequences will open at the North House Museum later this March. Find updates on our social media pages.
At the Greenbrier Historical Society (GHS), we pride ourselves on telling an inclusive and diverse narrative of our beloved Greenbrier Valley. Founded in 1963, GHS has spent the last 57 years serving the West Virginia counties of Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, and Pocahontas. The Greenbrier Historical Society owns and manages three regional properties; the North House, used as our headquarters and offices, the Barracks, used to house our First Settler Escape Room experience, and the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion which is currently undergoing structural renovations.