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Calendar of Events

January 2021
TELL ME A STORY
12:05 p.m. January 14
This virtual program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, songs and games. Viewable on the museum’s Facebook page, the program offers craft ideas and the reading of a book. Theme: Shapes.
 

LUNCH & LEARN: 240TH ANNIVESARY OF THE BATTLE OF MACKIE'S MILL
12:30 p.m. January 15
Learn how local county militia troops opposed the southward advance toward Suffolk of Benedict Arnold’s 800-man Crown Forces army following their burning of the newly established capital in Richmond during the American Revolution.
 
BATTLE OF SMITHFIELD WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. January 31

2021 marks the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Smithfield. Meet your guide at the museum for a brief overview of this Civil War battle. Afterwards, program participants will walk to several sites along Main Street and Church Street to note the locations of significant events from January 30 to February 2, 1864



February 2021
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. February 7
From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.
 
TELL ME A STORY
12:05 p.m. February 11
This virtual program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, songs and games. Viewable on the museum’s Facebook page, the program offers craft ideas and the reading of a book. Theme: Tea.
 
RAISE THE ROOF
2 p.m. February 21

Colonial America was rich in magnificent forests that crowded its settlements. The plentiful timber was tall, straight and knot-free and therefore a favorite building material in the New World. Learn about the processes and tools behind the construction of colonial buildings and barns with lecturer Roger Healy. This program will show off numerous tools and the joints associated with strong structures. The event will take place at the museum, and it will be livestreamed on the museum's Facebook page. 



March 2021
LUNCH & LEARN: DEFINING THE COLD WAR
12:30 p.m. March 5

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech which defined the parameters of the Cold War. Visit the museum for a lesson in Isle of Wight County’s role in defending the Atlantic shores during this era.

THE CAMPAIGN FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE IN VIRGINIA
2 p.m. March 7

Join us as author Barbara Batson, exhibits coordinator at the Library of Virginia, discusses the Library’s 2020 exhibition We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia. This signature exhibit runs through March 31 and commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment recognizing women’s right to vote. The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia, Batson’s book written with co-authors Brent Tarter and Marianne E. Julienne, will be available for purchase.

WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. March 7

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.

TELL ME A STORY
12:05 p.m. March 11

This virtual program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, songs and games. Viewable on the museum’s Facebook page, the program offers craft ideas and the reading of a book. Theme: Farms.

IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. March 13

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

PI DAY: A FORMULA FOR FOODIE FUN
2 p.m. March 14

Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14 to allow math fans to recite the infinite digits of the Greek letter π, eat pie and work on fun math problems. Our lecture on vintage cookery will highlight some of your grandmother’s favorite mid-century pie recipes. However, before the pie tasting, you’ll have to wow our math whiz volunteer and former Nike guided missile mechanic Ira Abbott with your recitation of pi. (He will also have some math challenges for those brave enough to re-create some calculations necessary for the launch of Nike-Ajax missiles.)

HAPPY 119TH BIRTHDAY, TOWN OF WINDSOR!
2 p.m. March 15

Today is a celebration of Windsor’s history and railroading. The town of Windsor was founded in 1902, but Windsor Station was established by the Norfolk & Petersburg Railway in 1859. The program will feature an exciting railroad intensive topic involving steam locomotives or some other iron horse adventure that will be interesting to all attendees. Will there be cake? Of course. Location TBA. 

LUNCH & LEARN: VIETNAM VETERANS DAY
12:30 p.m. March 29

As the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, today’s TBA speaker will discuss his experiences during the Vietnam War and encourage other veterans to share their experiences as well.



April 2021
FORT HUGER WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. April 3

Visit this Civil War fort and learn the significance of this gateway to the Confederate capital. Tour meets at Fort Huger.

BATTLE OF SMITHFIELD WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. April 3

Meet your guide at the museum for a brief overview of this Civil War battle. Afterwards, program participants will walk to several sites along Main Street and Church Street to note the locations of significant events from January 30 to February 2, 1864.

TELL ME A STORY
12:05 p.m. April 8

This virtual program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, songs and games. Viewable on the museum’s Facebook page, the program offers craft ideas and the reading of a book. Theme: Spring.

IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. April 10

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY COURTHOUSE COMPLEX WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. April 10

Join us as we explore this 19th, 20th and 21st century site and share the story of its beginnings as well as a few tales of capers and duels. This tour begins and ends at Boykin’s Tavern.

NIKE PARK WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. April 10

Visit one of the Cold War’s few surviving Army Air-Defense Posts. Local historian Albert Burckard, along with former missile mechanic Ira Abbott, hosts a short presentation and a walking tour of this site which contains the original barracks, mess hall, administration and recreation building, officer/non-commissioned officer family housing, fueling area and underground missile magazines. Event begins in the Recreation Hall (former soldier barracks) at Nike Park.



MAY 2021
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. May 2

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.

CANNONBALL INTOXICATION
1 p.m. May 8

On the 259th anniversary of the first heavy naval artillery bombardments of Isle of Wight County’s Forts Boykin and Huger, Albert Burckard, intrepid and life-long cannonball collector, relates the fascinating story of smooth-bore artillery projectiles and their resounding and reverberating impact on our peaceful county. Earplugs not required for this presentation.     

IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. May 8

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

TELL ME A STORY
12:05 p.m. May 13

This virtual program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, songs and games. Viewable on the museum’s Facebook page, the program offers craft ideas and the reading of a book. Theme: Pine Trees.

CHURCH STREET WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. May 16

Join us as we stroll down Church Street to explore the history of this fascinating area. Tour begins and ends at the museum.



June 2021
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. June 6

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.
 
IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. June 12

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.
 
LUNCH & LEARN: THE HISTORY OF TYPEWRITERS
12:30 p.m. June 23

Bring your lunch to the museum for this session on typewriters. Today is Typewriter Day, and it is the anniversary of the 1868 patent for American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes who gave us the QWERTY keyboard. Join Curator Mike Holtzclaw as he discusses the history of the typewriter and shows off a number of examples from the museum’s collection.



July 2021
LUNCH & LEARN: 158th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FORT HUGER BOYS' EFFORTS IN PICKETT'S CHARGE
12:20 p.m. July 2

After their defense of Fort Huger for nine months in 1862, members of the 53rd Virginia Infantry Regiment of Armistead’s Brigade were called to advance at Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge. Learn the story of these soldiers in the former 5th Virginia Battalion.
 
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: THE WORLD'S OLDEST HAM'S BIRTHDAY SLEEPOVER
6-7 p.m. JULY 9
Calling all well-loved teddy bears, dogs, unicorns and hippos for a NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM! The World’s Oldest Ham’s birthday is tomorrow, and he’d like nothing more than to have an evening of fun with some of his friends. Kids are encouraged to put on their PJs and bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll to the museum. Museum staff will read a bedtime story or two before our special guests are tucked in. Kids will head home, but their stuffed animal friends will stay the night. Pick up the overnight guests on the morning of the World’s Oldest Ham’s birthday while hearing about everyone's adventures. Representatives and books from Blackwater Regional Library will also be here to help us celebrate.

THE WORLD'S OLDEST HAM'S 119TH BIRTHDAY
1-3 p.m. July 10

The world’s oldest ham turns 119. 119 is the atomic number of ununennium, the South Korean emergency call number and a 24.48 mile-long highway in Japan. More importantly, 119 is a good excuse for cake. Join us in this annual tribute to the birthday boy. Representatives and books from Blackwater Regional Library will also be here to help us celebrate.

IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. July 10

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.
 
FORT HUGER WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. July 17

Visit this Civil War fort and learn the significance of this gateway to the Confederate capital. Tour meets at Fort Huger.
 
BATTLE OF SMITHFIELD WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. July 17

Meet your guide at the museum for a brief overview of this Civil War battle. Afterwards, program participants will walk to several sites along Main Street and Church Street to note the locations of significant events from January 30 to February 2, 1864.

LUNCH & LEARN: UNDER THE RUG
12:30 p.m. July 23

Join us for an introduction to the widely available yet poorly understood objects known since the late 19th century as Oriental rugs. This broad category includes a wide variety of handwoven pile and flatwoven textiles - some made in the tents of tribal nomadic people and small homes of villagers in the East and others made in city workshops that produce decorative floor coverings and, at the costly upper extreme, large hand-made carpets for court and palatial settings. Jim and Connie Henderson will illustrate the talk with examples they own and several owned by the museum. 

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY COURTHOUSE COMPLEX WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. July 31

Join us as we explore this 19th, 20th and 21st century site and share the story of its beginnings as well as a few tales of capers and duels. This tour begins and ends at Boykin’s Tavern.

NIKE PARK WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. July 31

Visit one of the Cold War’s few surviving Army Air-Defense Posts. Local historian Albert Burckard, along with former missile mechanic Ira Abbott, hosts a short presentation and a walking tour of this site which contains the original barracks, mess hall, administration and recreation building, officer/non-commissioned officer family housing, fueling area and underground missile magazines. Event begins in the Recreation Hall (former soldier barracks) at Nike Park.



August 2021
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. August 1

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.
 
IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. August 7

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

LUNCH & LEARN: THE GREAT SMITHFIELD FIRE
12:30 p.m. August 17

100 years ago today marks the anniversary of the Great Smithfield Fire. This monumental event in Smithfield history drove the town’s focus from peanuts to ham. 



September 2021
LUNCH & LEARN: V-J Day
12:30 p.m. September 2

Captain Bob Lewis was the co-pilot of the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945. Lewis, a Smithfield resident for many years, gave a copy of his World War II memoirs to former Smithfield Times Editor John Edwards who will host this session and share Lewis’ story.  
 
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. September 5

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.
 
TELL ME A STORY
10 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. September 9
This program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, crafts, songs and games. The 10 a.m. session will take place in the museum, and a livestreaming session will be viewable at 12:05 p.m. on the museum’s Facebook page. Theme: Oysters.

IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. September 11 

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.

THE BRIDGES OF ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY
2 p.m. September 26

Bridges provide passage over an otherwise impossible obstacle, but you’ll find no obstacles during this lecture by John Edwards. He will highlight some of the interesting history behind the bridges of Isle of Wight County including the Blackwater Bridge, Broadwater Bridge, Burnt Mill Bridge, Carroll Bridge, Fulgham Bridge, James River Bridge, Joyners Bridge, Sidney Bertram Hazelwood Senior Bridge and Titus Bridge.



October 2021
FORT HUGER WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. October 2

Visit this Civil War fort and learn the significance of this gateway to the Confederate capital. Tour meets at Fort Huger.
 
BATTLE OF SMITHFIELD WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. October 2

Meet your guide at the museum for a brief overview of this Civil War battle. Afterwards, program participants will walk to several sites along Main Street and Church Street to note the locations of significant events from January 30 to February 2, 1864.
 
IVY HILL CEMETERY TOUR
10 a.m. October 9

This walk is a discussion of the signs, symbols and notable burials in this historic rural cemetery which was established in 1887. Tour meets at Ivy Hill Cemetery.
 
FORT BOYKIN WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. October 10

Fort Boykin has been a part of American history since 1623 when a fort known as the Castle was constructed following the 1622 Indian Attack. Today, Fort Boykin constitutes an example of military architecture of the Civil War era. Join us for this free walking tour through history. Meet at Fort Boykin.
 
LUNCH & LEARN: 246th BIRTHDAY OF THE U.S. NAVY
12:30 p.m. October 13

During the 3rd U.S. Congress, local representative Josiah Parker was chair of the committee that authorized the construction of the first U.S. Navy warships. Join us for this session to learn why this Revolutionary War Patriot should be recognized as the Father of the United States Navy.
 
TELL ME A STORY
10 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. October 14

This program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, crafts, songs and games. The 10 a.m. session will take place in the museum, and a livestreaming session will be viewable at 12:05 p.m. on the museum’s Facebook page. Theme: Archaeology.
 
COLD WAR ERA MATINEE
1 p.m. October 17

Curator Mike Holtzclaw will regale us with clips and trivia about classic Cold War-era movies…Failsafe, Dr. Strangelove, The Bedford Incident…this will be an afternoon of popcorn, history and adventure as we give a thumbs up or thumbs down to important and scary moments in film history.
 
ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY COURTHOUSE COMPLEX WALKING TOUR
10 a.m. October 23

Join us as we explore this 19th, 20th and 21st century site and share the story of its beginnings as well as a few tales of capers and duels. This tour begins and ends at Boykin’s Tavern.
 
NIKE PARK WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. October 23

Visit one of the Cold War’s few surviving Army Air-Defense Posts. Local historian Albert Burckard, along with former missile mechanic Ira Abbott, hosts a short presentation and a walking tour of this site which contains the original barracks, mess hall, administration and recreation building, officer/non-commissioned officer family housing, fueling area and underground missile magazines. Event begins in the Recreation Hall (former soldier barracks) at Nike Park.



November 2021
WINDSOR CASTLE WALKING TOUR
2 p.m. November 7

From the site's pre-colonial existence to the present day, Windsor Castle tells the fascinating history of the development of Smithfield. Join us for this free walking tour through history as we tour the house and several of the outbuildings.
 
LUNCH & LEARN: A VITAL CONNECTION...THE JAMES RIVER BRIDGE
12:30 p.m. November 17
Opened November 17, 1928, the James River Bridge has linked Warwick County/Newport News to Isle of Wight County for 93 years. This look-back examines life before the bridge - when colonial ferries and steamers served this purpose. The historical journey begins with the dedication of the original crossing which was hailed as the world’s longest bridge over water. It will continue through the construction of the current structure, and it will further detail the story of how the bridge received its official name.

TELL ME A STORY
10 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. November 18

This program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, crafts, songs and games. The 10 a.m. session will take place in the museum, and a livestreaming session will be viewable at 12:05 p.m. on the museum’s Facebook page. Theme: Sweet Potatoes.
 
LUNCH & LEARN: HAPPY 216th BIRTHDAY, BENJAMIN HUGER!
12:30 p.m. November 22
Join us for this lecture about the life of Benjamin Huger, 1805-1877, the career U.S. Army ordnance officer who fought with distinction during the Mexican-American War and served as a Confederate general during the Civil War. Isle of Wight County’s Fort Huger is named for him. 



December 2021
An Evening with St. Nick
6-8 p.m. December 3

Visit the St. Nick and enjoy an evening of holiday refreshments, crafts and a special reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. Perfect for families. Make your visit with St. Nick a little more special. Bring a wrapped gift for St. Nick to give to your child. Pre-registration will give you the opportunity to provide some information about your child so St. Nick can talk with him or her! Call the head elf for your appointment: 757-357-0115. 
 
TELL ME A STORY
10 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. December 9

This program, geared for children ages 3 to 5, introduces youngsters to the symbols of Isle of Wight County and features books, crafts, songs and games. The 10 a.m. session will take place in the museum, and a livestreaming session will be viewable at 12:05 p.m. on the museum’s Facebook page. Theme: Deer.