Grants Help Glencoe Mansion Undertake New Projects

Grants Help Glencoe Mansion Undertake New Projects 1
Sarah Carter, Museum Board Member and Gift Shop and Events Committee Chair, stands in the Glencoe Gallery and Gift Shop. The Gallery is benefiting from a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Image courtesy Waggaman Photography.

Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery recently received three grants, totaling more than $9,000 from Virginia state agencies.

A $3,520 grant from Virginia Humanities will assist the local non-profit in purchasing a new printer, but most important, says executive director Scott Gardner, “it will allow us to develop a new exhibit that attempts to shed light on the history of slavery in Appalachia and enslaved individuals’ lives. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it’s important to show our history and how our nation still reckons with its past and the ensuing legacy of years of oppression,” Gardner added.

The story of Glencoe and its owners, Confederate Gen. Gabriel Wharton and his wife, “Nannie” Radford, provides a rich study of slavery in the western section of Virginia and brings to life the role of African Americans both as enslaved peoples and later as freedmen, Gardner said.  “The development of this exhibit has been assisted by our access to primary sources of more than 500 letters written between the couple during the American Civil War.” The exhibit will open in late summer or early fall.

A second grant of $2,500 from the Virginia Commission for the Arts has provided funds to expand hours temporarily for two part-time employees, who assist in social media development and management of the gift shop and art gallery. In addition, Gardner noted that these funds will help Glencoe expand its advertising at Virginia’s Welcome Centers as well as its presence on social media platforms. The grant was made possible as part of the American Rescue Plan appropriation through the National Endowment for the Arts.

Grants Help Glencoe Mansion Undertake New Projects 2
City Horticulturist, Nick Lancaster, and Andrew Fluke from Radford Public Works plant an Emerald Green Arborvitae at Glencoe as part of a grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry.

The third grant of $3,000 comes from the Virginia Department of Forestry to purchase plantings to help with reforestation and water conservation efforts at the Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Heritage Park as well as the adjoining Glencoe grounds. Located on 1.3 acres overlooking the New River, the park is home to an 8-foot-tall bronze statue of colonial pioneer Ingles, who survived capture by Native Americans in 1755 during the French and Indian War and walked hundreds of miles from the Ohio region back to the New River Valley. The property also includes a train observatory, which was completed in 2019 as a joint project with students and faculty from Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design.

Gardner says the plantings will not only contribute to an improved environment but also will provide educational opportunities for families and make the property more inviting for picnics and walks along pathways. “We’re especially indebted to the Radford City Public Works Department and several groups of volunteers, including the Scouts BSA, for their help in making this project possible.”

The park is open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.