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Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
P. O. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883   Phone (757) 294-0404
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Surry County, Virginia Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
Post Office Box 262
Surry, Virginia 23888

October 1, 2006

Dear Members and Friends,

In 1998, a small group of people with a deep mutual interest in the history of Surry County met to discuss establishing an historical society to preserve and promote that history. No one present that night envisioned the phenomenal success of such a venture in only eight years.

Today, the Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc. boasts almost 500 members from 47 states and two foreign countries. A dedicated volunteer staff receives, records, and files voluminous records on Surry County families and historical events that tell the story of the county since its earliest beginnings as part of the original Jamestown settlement. These volunteers graciously assist many visitors from across the country at the Society's office in the "Old Jail" on the courthouse grounds to research their family roots. School children and others meet their ancestors, many for the first time, and experience a taste of life in the nineteenth century through the priceless records and artifacts at the Society's Rogers' Store Museum in Carsley, Virginia, opened to visitors in 2003. This past year the Society took the first step in saving a fine example of early ferry transportation on the James River with the acquisition of the deckhouse from the 1923 Capt. John Smith Ferry. Quarterly meetings, open to the public, feature distinguished historians and experts on the county's history; quarterly newsletters to members and friends highlight historical events and "tales from the past" that enrich the body of knowledge about the county's history.

Now The Historical Society is preparing to take another exciting and necessary step - construction of new facilities with the space and amenities required for the many important services it provides. Faced with vacating its present office due to expansion plans for the new courthouse and the widely acknowledged fact that the Society has simply outgrown its space, plans are underway for construction of a new facility that will meet the current and future needs of a thriving historical society. The Society's 2.5 acre property near the courthouse, a generous gift from a member of the Society, will be the site of our future home. The new building will feature increased research capabilities in harmonious surroundings, critically needed archival space for storing valuable papers and artifacts, museum space for displaying rare historical objects and documents, a gift shop, and larger work areas far processing records and providing other services for our members and the general public.

The estimated cost of the project, including site development and landscaping, is $400,000. Construction will begin as soon as the financial resources for the new building is assured. Opening the Society's new headquarters would be a great way to celebrate the Jamestown 400th Anniversary in 2007. Toward that goal, in May the Society authorized a funding campaign to underwrite the project. It will take the generous support of all our members and others to reach this goal, but we are well on the way.

This is an especially critical time to make a gift or pledge toward our new headquarters. The Society recently received an anonymous $100,000 challenge grant to encourage members and friends to support the construction of our urgently needed new facilities. A very generous donor will match all new contributions to the project to a total of $100,000. The deadline to meet the challenge is the end of this year -December 31, 2006. To meet the deadline to receive this significant gift, we need your generous support. This is a rare opportunity to double the impact of your gift and move us closer to making our dream a reality! Success in meeting this challenge, combined with gifts and pledges already in hand, will put us well over half way to the $400,000 goal for the project.

Your contribution may be made as a single gift or over two years. Please use the response form below to indicate your support. Also, there are memorial and honorary naming opportunities of $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 available in the new building. A representative from the Society will be glad to discuss these with you in more detail.

Thank you for your support of the mission and work of the Surry County Historical Society and for your consideration of a gift for the Society's new home.


James M. Harrison

Please view our   Gift Response Form.

For updates on this important project, see  the most recent Newsletter.

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