The Franklin County Historical Society
We are a 501(c3) organization operated five days a week
by volunteers.
Hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursday & Sunday

(540) 483-1890


If you are traveling, we
recommend calling to be
sure we can meet you!



The Franklin County Historical Society holds special events throughout the year to foster interest in our area's rich past. We're catching up after the 2020-half of '21 health crisis. Watch for our 2022 event list!

Our only fund raiser for 2021 has been 'Moonshine Memories...Old & New.'  We had a great time Sept. 25 - raised some money - met old and new friends - and enjoyed the hospitality of Jimmy & Nancy Cannoy at their beautiful Snow Creek property. Check out one of the vehicles here - license plate 40SHINE.

Moonshine Memories...Old & New

This year's event included an appearance by national TV personalities Henry Lee & Kenny Law from The Moonshiners TV show. We enjoyed the largest crowd and most vehicles ever. Watch for the 2022 date - and plan to join us!

Sponsors for the 2021 Moonshine Memories...Old & New are: Flowers by Jones, Law's Choice Distillery, Haywood's Jewelers, Bud & Carolyn Blanchard, Marsha Fay, Mary Fulcher in memory of Henry Fulcher, Johnny Bowman.


See It in the Museum!

We're working on a new exhibit featuring the late Dr. Hughes. The contents of his doctor's bag are shown here. Inside, we found the usual - a prescription pad, blood pressure monitor, tongue depressors, etc. - and a bottle of Bufferin (we figure that was for the good doctor himself as he made endless rounds caring for local folks).


Finally ready for viewing is a cabinet full of interesting "doctor stuff."  This picture shows diagnostic snakes - circa 1860s - kept by Dr. Henry Dillard in this Civil War - era whiskey bottle. He kept the bottle on his desk to help patients identify the snake that bit them.

Huge thanks to donors Drs. Frances Amos and Jack Bumgardner for this wonderful collection.



Honoring a Mother - and Patriot

2020 & 2021 events cancelled. We have a project book detailing the history of the Robert Hill Indian Fort and our preservation work. If you'd like one, we have copies for $15 plus $6 s/h. It's spiral bound - with color photos and lots of information about the Hill family's contributions to our local area, the state and nation.

Work is continuing on the latest preservation effort. Master mason Russell Whalen did a great job on rock work. Virginia's Old Carolina Road Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution installed bulbs and plantings in November 2020. The site is on the Christian Heritage Academy campus, Rocky Mount. If you visit during school hours, please remember to go by the school office to sign in. This is part of the security protocols for CHA and us. When we can, we will dedicate a historic marker for Vialetta/Violet Linus Hill, mother of Revolutionary War soldier sons Swinfield and Thomas Hill. Violet herself provided material aid to soldiers. She married Robert Hill in Newgarden, Pennsylvania, Nov. 12, 1741 and journeyed with him to the area that would become Franklin County, Virginia, and later the United States of America. Join us as we honor her and her patriotic family at the ruins of their old home - a blockhouse/fort built to protect the family and neighbors in time of Indian attack. The latest restoration work at the site plus some new benches will hopefully be completed by the time of the new event date. Our thanks to Daughters of the American Revolution Virginia State Regent LeeAnn Turbyfill for providing a grant for this latest work. We also are receiving donations from individuals to supplement the work and appreciate each and every one.


Moonshine Express - Cancelled for 2021.

Our plans for this year did not materialize due health concerns and more. We plan to be back in 2022. Watch for the date.

In the meantime, we've got 2019, 2020, 2021 (and a few previous years) t-shirts available for purchase. Shirts come in a glass Mason jar. Send a message to - or call to leave a message at 540-483-1890 if you're interested. Special pricing on the older versions.

When we can produce Moonshine Express again, we'll STILL have fun and we'll STILL tell tales  - just at another time and in a slightly different way!

Our sponsors for the 2020 event are greatly appreciated and will be featured in the next tour booklet. If you see them, please say thanks on our behalf.  The list is below.

The History Museum stocks books about the likker trade all the time. Plus our own custom-designed T-shirts, other folks' T-shirts, postcards and other gifts for you or others. The Coke & Shine Exposition features neat things to see - and is one of the first parts of our museum to re-open.

Sponsors for 2020 Moonshine Express: The Town of Rocky Mount, Haywood's Jewelers. Carbo Inc., Shively Electrical Co., Henry & Mary Fulcher. Franklin Dental Associates, Franklin County Tourism program, CAPPS Home Building Center, Flora Funeral Service, Lynch-Conner-Bowman Funeral Home, Flowers by Jones, Dillon Docks.

Moonshine Express

Thanks to the moonshiners - we mean "legal distillers" - who help us entertain guests: Joe & Robert Bondurant of Bondurant Brothers Distillery, Chris & Anna Prillaman of Twin Creeks Distillery, Henry Lee Law (and Kenny, too) of Law's Choice and Tim Smith of Tim Smith Moonshine. Thanks to Lane Rakes as well - who talks about the other side of the law - and former ABC agent Buddy Driscoll who represents "the law."

Old Mansion 1820 - Cancelled

We celebrated the 200th birthday of the Boon-Bernard-Crockett house in the Cahas Historic District of Boones Mill in a different way. The professional video is available on line now on the Old Mansion 1820 site. Check out the Facebook page: Old Mansion 1820 for details. and our facebook page as well. Old times truly are not forgotten in Boones Mill! Watch for other details soon about more plans for celebrating this history home and the folks who live/lived there.

Holiday Remembrance

The annual ceremony to remember Confederate veterans buried in the historic High Street Municipal Cemetery, Rocky Mount, was conducted in mini form Dec. 4. Holiday greenery was also placed at the grave of a Spanish American War veteran. (We were able to place nearly 100 flags for Veterans Day on the graves of veterans of all wars. We salute them all with heartfelt appreciation.)

We appreciate the gift of greenery for the holiday decorations from the home of Will & Joyce Young - bows made by Doris Eames - wreath holders crafted by Lee Eames - and the assistance of members of Jubal Early Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy and Virginia's Old Carolina Road Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. A holiday program also was presented in Tanyard Cemetery to honor veterans buried there.

Coke & Shine Exhibition

Plan to visit! The collection is growing. This part of our complex is opening to the public first. We have enhanced exhibits and more items to show. Among them is a collection shared by former Coke employees Jake and Jane Waller, Allen Jones and long-time collector Betty Jones. December opening dates are listed on the home page.

So many people to thank for our June 1, 2019 grand opening/open house.

And thank you, Empire Bakeries for the cake! Not only was it pretty - the cake was very good. So were the moonshine cookies and the Coca-Cola cookies. Thanks to chef Janet Faye West.


During the festivities, we officially thanked "the boss" of the project - our director Henry Fulcher. He kept us in line, oversaw all the work (plus did much of it himself), provided tools, materials and more.

    Among people to thank for our annex becoming the Coke & Shine Exposition are our Platinum donors. The main one had been anonymous until the June 1 opening. We are happy to now announce that this donation is in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Gene Stratmann. Mr. Stratmann is deceased and his wife was hospitalized and unable to attend the festivities. We appreciate this support and interest in history.

      Another Platinum donor remains anonymous.

      We appreciate Gold donors: Mary Fulcher  who made and sold lots of Santa ornaments - aided by Becky Pendleton (whom we also thank for the flooring and more "anonymous" gifts!); Aida Morgan who is  descended from Confederate soldier Edward Trent Bridges; Patricia Woods Baynham  in honor of her ancestor, Franklin County's first sheriff Robert Woods; Peggie Foster, Millard Lemon, L.D. Arrington.

     Many thanks to Silver donors: Robin Burke in honor of her parents Johnny & Feny Robinson; Todd Mason, Elizabeth Webster, Will Young, Marvin Hale, Julia Griffis, Sam & Ruth Cook, Henry & Lynda Messenger, Betty Fimiani in honor of William Buck Perdue; The Sink Family in honor of Confederate Pvt. Jonathan Sink; Rebecca Walker in honor of Linda Stanley.

     We also thank Bronze donors: Frances Dillon in honor of Claude Holland; Virgil H. Goode Jr., Addie Lang, Jackson Hale, Linda Stanley in honor of Martha Young; Lee & Doris Eames.

      And thank you to Copper donors: Steven Young, William 'Pop' Hill, Donald A. Bull, Janice Holland, Nina Payne Ross, Bill & Shelley Clarke White.

      Sincere appreciate is extended to Linda Rucker Hubbard who donated toward the building signage in honor of her brothers Jimmy & Sam Rucker. Thank you to Mary Turner of Indigo Signs for the wonderful antique Coke signs and the design work. Thanks also to Turner Ready Mix for the front porch; Seven Oaks Landscaping; Kirk Willing for carpentry and more. We appreciate all the others including donors who provided the displays and those who worked behind the scenes in many ways.

     Thank you also to Mayor Steve Angle for kind words and to Donna Wray, president of the Community Partnership for ribbon cutting duties.

Here are some of our visitors for opening day: Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Metz, Ruth Meador, David Smith, Betty and Jack Dillon and Ruth Cook.


August 24, 2018

We celebrated our 50th anniversary with lots of friends! Thanks to everyone who came, who bought tickets and didn't make it (but supported us anyway) and especially to those who purchased auction items.

Special thanks to Carilion Clinic who helped us secure music by Ernie Power, Jay Shelton, Rodger Doss and Gene Parker! And to those who made monetary donations including Robin Robinson Burke, Bob Camicia, Henry & Mary Fulcher. We appreciate all of the donors of time, money and stuff!

A great big thank you to Empire Foods for beautiful - and delicious cakes! Some of us are posing with happy faces after seeing the cakes - left to right: Doris Eames, Johnny Bowman, Linda Stanley, Zach Wimmer and Allen Jones. (Thanks to Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce for the sign - which we recycled with the help of Indigo Signs - to make it our own.)

And thanks to the folks who donated items for the auctions and the event and helped make it happen: Franklin County Parks & Recreation, Charles & Sarah McDaniel, Franklin County Distillers, Carter's Fine Jewelers, Haywood's Jewelers, Angle Hardware, The Growing Place, Homestead Creamery, Cliff & Marsha Faye, Johnny Bowman, Kenny's Painting, WoodGrains, Cooper Classics, Ruth Meador, The Willard Companies (Westlake Golf Course/Westlake Cinema), Blooming Deals, Brenda Raine, Frances Dillon, Janet Faye West, Doris Eames, Shirley Dent, Martha Hubbard, Lee 'Butch' Eames Jr. - The Wood Doctor, McDonald's, Flowers by Jones, Zach Wimmer, Henry Fulcher, Ann Lewis Edmundson, Bud & Carolyn Blanchard, CAPPS Home Building Center.