The Beverly Heritage Center has spent the last several years expanding and striving to bring more visitors to the small town that is full of rich history.
Combining a museum, a Civil War battlefield and several events, the center has become a hub for heritage tourism.
"If we look back 10 years ago, we had one building and were open four or five days a week. We mainly focused on the battlefield (The Rich Mountain Battlefield) - and we've grown to a heritage center with a professional museum that focuses on local heritage as well as the Civil War," said Phyllis Baxter. "This was a very focused growth package."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Anthony Gaynor
Beverly Heritage Center Operations Manager Terry Hackney stands next to a sign promoting the center’s summer theme, ‘Beverly Occupied!’ Events throughout the summer will show visitors what life was like during the Civil War in the small historic town.
She said the Beverly Heritage Center is the collection of four historic building that have been combined into one large structure, with an added gallery. The center combines the historic 1900 Beverly Bank building, the 1808 Randolph County Court House, the 1912 Hill building and the 1856 Bushrod Crawford building that was used as a headquarters by Gen. George McClellan during the Civil War.
The center is a six-year, $4 million project that has included the acquisition of buildings, planning, rehabilitation and construction and exhibit development.
"The last part of the building we finished was the Hill Building and the gallery," Baxter said. "We have one more phase of construction and landscaping to finish."
Hours of operation:?9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Admission:?Suggested $5 donation
The center features professional quality exhibits that tell compelling stories that all ages will find interesting.
"Last summer our focus was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Rich Mountain," she said. "This year we are focusing more on what life was like for the people who lived here during the Civil War."
Baxter said the theme for the summer months will be "Beverly Occupied!" It will focus on telling the story of the people who lived in Beverly during the Civil War. In addition, the center will provide several events throughout the summer to attract visitors.
"We have a number of special event days," she said. "They include concerts and living-history events."
The official launch for the center's tourist season is a lawn party slated for May 19.
"We are inviting local residents to see what we have," she said. "The event will be free and have live entertainment."
Baxter said there will be several other activities at the center throughout the year. Some of the larger events will include Beverly Heritage Days and the Night at the Museum.
"This will be the third year for Night at the Museum," she said. "It features several living-history exhibits."
Baxter said the center has been growing, and the effort will continue to create more activities to keep people coming back to the small Randolph County town.
"The Beverly Heritage center provides an anchor for heritage tourism in the area," she said. "We also operate as a welcome center."
More information is available online at www.historicbeverly.org.