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Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
P. O. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883   Phone (757) 294-0404
E-mail address: surryhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.
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The Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
President's Report for the May 8, 2000 meeting.

Welcome to our annual meeting. Yes, we are two years old, and what a two years it has been.

We have approximately 365 members in forty states and two foreign Countries. Our newsletter reaches around 460 families. We have around $10,000.00 in the bank, practically all from dues. We are solvent.

We have opened our office here in Surry and finally got a phone and answering machine and an old computer with a printer. Our files "runneth over" with information on our county and our ancestors. More comes in weekly. We are on the Internet, which has added immensely to our members from areas some distance from Surry County. Thank you Eve Gregory.

We own Rogers Store and while official notification has not been received, we have been successful in securing a matching grant for $110,500.00 from the State of Virginia for restoration. I would especially like to thank Faye Savedge and Wallace Edwards for their work and influence in securing this grant. We must thank the Board of Supervisors for their support as evidenced by their resolution supporting Rogers Store Museum. We must thank our State Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. They not only supported us, they pushed hard to insure that we received this grant.

Research is being done. Churches are writing their histories. Dennis Hudgins is like a kid in a candy store. He is working on more projects than I can keep up with. We have applied to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for a grant to transcribe, publish and promote the loose papers that are the working file created by the Register of Free Negroes in Surry County. They are unique, no other similar file has surfaced in Virginia. We have every indication we will get help from them.

We have been able to secure excellent speakers for our meetings. They have brought us information and timely programs on our history and what is happening today to promote our rich heritage.

I would like to thank everyone for their support and hard work. Let's pat ourselves on the back, but only once or twice. What that has happened is a beginning, a good beginning but nothing more.

Now comes the hard part! The Society needs help.

  1. We need more volunteers to keep our office open more days of the week, and backstop regular volunteers when they need relief. More and more visitors are coming in, needing help, and joining the society. Don't call me, call or see Margaret Sue Berryman at 757-294-3567.

  2. We must form what I will call the Carsley Bunch. Help must be organized to clean up, and organize the records. This has been neglected too long. I would like to ask those from Carsley or with special interest in Rogers Store to get together and make plans. We must have open house days to show the store unrestored. We have waited too long.

  3. We will have to learn all the details of the grant from the state to restore Rogers' Store. We will have to establish a separate bank account, hire an architect, and put the work out to public bid.

  4. Above all, we must change gears on financing what we want to do. Our grant from the State of Virginia is for matching funds. The Society has to date not asked any member for funds other than dues. This will change. We will be approaching members and friends for tax free donations to support our projects including Rogers Store, research and writing and hopefully, a permanent home in the future.

  5. We have proven that we can get financial help from outside sources. Now we must support the society ourselves, with time and money. It takes both.

  6. Your President, if reelected, needs help with the newsletter. I would like for an editor to surface. I am willing to continue to do some writing, but it takes a lot of time to write, shape, have printed, fold, stuff, address and mail close to 500 newsletters. Being computer semiliterate at best, it's a slow process for me. Remember, this newsletter is our only link with most of our members.

  7. We face the year 2002 and Surry County's 350th anniversary celebration. We must support the plans of the 350th celebration group of the Tourism Bureau. Much must be done. In this respect, I will take a resolution of greetings and request for a Sister County arrangement to Surrey County, England, in June. While there, I will also explore the County and the possibility of a Surrey County, England, tour as part of our 350th celebration.

Also remember, the year 2007 is coming on fast, and the County will be pushed to be ready to take our rightful part in this great event. Much more on this from our speaker tonight.

In closing, we have had two great years of inspiration. Now we must have an equally great year of perspiration. Undoubtedly, other opportunities will arise. I give my thanks to all who have made our progress possible, and hope we will continue this progress well started.

Thank you,

James E. Atkins

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