Polk County Museum’s ‘Night at the Museum’ deemed huge success

Published 5:58 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

Thursday’s “Night at the Museum” was deemed a huge success by Polk County Historical Association president Pat McCool. 

“Despite cold, rainy weather and a prediction of a winter storm, about a hundred people, half of them students, came out to see historical interpreters bring history alive,” McCool said. “We are most appreciative to see new faces learn and be entertained at our museum “

Echoing McCool’s remarks, board member John Vining said, “Having interpreters in period dress and talking as they lived in the past, brought more people to the museum. We are especially pleased that so many students from our schools came out learn more of our past here at the museum.”

Five members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association drove long distances to join local members of the Polk County Historical Association in presenting various aspects of Polk County history. Ambrose Mills told visitors about his ancestor, Columbus Mills, who led the effort to create Polk County.

Frances McCain told tales of when moonshine was popular in the county, and James Metcalf told of the days when the railroad was the lifeblood of Tryon and Saluda. Retired lawyer Alan Leonard spoke as a Confederate soldier in the military section of the museum.

While R. G. Absher, of Elkin, played colonial tunes on the fiddle, Joe Epley told how Indians slaughtered the Hannon family in the North Pacolet valley during March 1766. Tom Vaughn came over from Bristol, Tennessee, to describe life when the Overmountain men came through the county en route to Kings Mountain. 

Dan Hopping, of Raleigh, entertained and informed with a display of revolutionary war weapons. Displaying various flags of the revolution was Mark Anthony, of Greer. 

The “Night at the Museum” was an experiment to get more people exposed to the museum. Becky McFarland Hudson, who heads the programming committee, said, “Museums should be fun and informative. We proved it could be done, and the Polk County Museum will have more programs like this in the future.”

-Submitted by Joe Epley