By Kelly Hargett
It has been an exciting year so far at the Kernersville Museum. This year Kernersville celebrates its 250th birthday. Kernersville was established in 1771 when William Dobson received a land grant for the 400 acres that Kernersville sits on today. One hundred years later, in 1871, Kernersville was incorporated by the North Carolina government. In 1971, the Town of Kernersville celebrated these events with a weeklong celebration that included a parade, fashion show, clothesline art show, a play created by a local citizen with a cast of 300, and the burial of a time capsule that was to be opened on March 31, 2021.
Due to Covid-19, opening the Time Capsule was not possible on March 31, 2021, so the opening was moved to July 3, 2021. The excitement around this event was palpable during the days leading up to the opening of the time capsule. On the day of the event, citizens gathered around the spot in front of the old Paddison Memorial Library where the time capsule was buried and would be dug up. Others gathered just around the corner in the Farmer’s Market where the time capsule itself would be opened. Everyone was nervous with anticipation. Many remembered being there when the capsule was buried 50 years ago. Many others had been told about the event and were there to collect a letter. Kernersville’s Bicentennial Committee in 1971 had decided to allow citizens to place personal letters to descendants in the time capsule. Two hundred personal letters were placed in the time capsule and many people were there to collect those letters.
It was an exciting and touching event for many people. Letters from parents, grandparents, and loved ones who had long since passed away, were touching and sweet. There were many items also placed in the time capsule from town officials that they thought best described the town and our country as it was in 1971. Among the items are various local church brochures and information, magazines, newspaper articles and even some oral histories recorded on a cassette tape. The Museum spent the following weeks drying out the items and letters that were not collected, cataloging artifacts, and then creating a new exhibit for the Museum from the time capsule items. This exhibit is now on display at the Kernersville Museum.
As we move toward the fall of 2021, the Museum is preparing for our 4th annual Chicken Stew, that will take place on October 16 from 4pm to 6pm. This annual event sold out last year. Tickets for this event will go on sale September 16, so grab yours early to ensure you do not miss out.
Hometown Christmas will be here before we know it and preparations are already underway. As we work to turn our Historical Village into our magical Hometown Christmas Village, with ice skating, Christmas lights, and 15 live trees throughout the village. Trees are already being adopted for this year’s Christmas activities. Each tree is adopted for $250 and decorated by local businesses, civic groups, or families. Last year these trees made our village a unique and magical place in the heart of Downtown Kernersville. If you are interested in adopting and decorating a tree in outdoor village, please contact the Museum at 336-497-4869.
For more information about our upcoming events and exhibits, please go to our website at www.KernersvilleMuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Kernersville Museum. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm and admission is free.