What does the past mean to you? For many, myself included, the past gives insight to the future. We take from what we learn and as a country, as well as humanitarians, move forward to a brighter future. Sometimes it also helps to put things in to perspective to look back and see how things used to be compared to how they are now. If you are like me and are intrigued by history and would like to learn more about the past of Martinsville-Henry County, then you should definitely visit the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Museum. The museum is nestled on Church Street, beside Chris's Custom Framing, and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-2pm.
For me, the main thing that sets this museum apart from others is the owners; Desmond Kendrick and Carl DeHart. On my last visit to the museum, I had the pleasure of exploring the place and was given the grand tour by Mr. DeHart, or as I'm sure he'd rather me say, Carl. You can tell from the moment that you meet him, that he has not only a vast knowledge of local history but also a passion for sharing his knowledge with younger generations.
There are a variety of items to see and learn about including artifacts on the tobacco industry, on which the local economy was founded, items from drug stores from days gone by, photos and items from the Civil War and more.
With so much to discover, I think that it's impossible to absorb it all in one visit. Of all the knowledge I gained on my last trip, what I most enjoyed was the photos of the local National Guard Company that was in the first wave at Normandy on D-Day; June 6, 1944. To know that so many from our community were there and gave their lives for our freedom, really pulled on my heart strings. As I stood there listening to Carl, my heart was filled with respect and gratitude and I wished that I had the opportunity to meet these men and say thank you.
So maybe it's not the items on display, but the stories from Carl and Desmond and what you learn when you open your mind and heart, which makes the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Museum so special.