The Salem Museum will take visitors back to the colonial era on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a full day of living history. Costumed historians in Colonial-era clothing will bring history to life. A talk on the life of Salem’s Gen. Andrew Lewis will be presented at 11 a.m. All the events are free.
Colonial living historians from the Fincastle Company will bring tools and other objects from western Virginia’s frontier days to demonstrate the professions, trades and crafts that were essential in the era. Members of the group will share stories about the men and women who built a life on Virginia’s frontier and who are remembered for their heroic deeds.
The museum explained that the Fincastle Company is a group of dedicated living historians who portray both military and civilian roles during the time of the American War of Independence. They conduct extensive research into the clothing and equipment of the era in order to be as accurate to the period as possible. The group performs living history displays at various historical sites across the mid-Atlantic region. They specifically portray the Fincastle/Montgomery County Militia which was an actual unit from Southwestern Virginia that served in the American Revolution.
At 11 a.m., Garrett Channell, the museum’s director of education and archives, will reprise his talk about Lewis. In “Pioneer and Patriot: The Life of Andrew Lewis,” Channell, will share the general’s heroic story, how he twice won Virginia’s freedom and which Founding Father he was surprisingly close to.
“The Salem Museum includes exhibits about two of the area’s colonial heroes, Col. William Fleming and Gen. Andrew Lewis. Fleming’s battle sword from the French and Indian War is featured. Fleming was a noted physician and statesman. Lewis is remembered for leading his troops to victory in the French and Indian War and Dunmore’s War. He also drove Lord Dunmore—the last British Governor—out of Virginia just days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence,” the museum said.
On July 4, 2026, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In preparation for the anniversary, the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission (VA250) is encouraging localities across Virginia to commemorate the Revolution with events and activities that showcase local history. The Salem Museum’s Colonial Living History Day is one such VA250 event, focusing on life on Virginia’s western frontier during the colonial era.
-The Salem Times-Register