Date: Sunday, December 13, 2015
Location: House Mountain Inn
Time: 2:00 to 4 p.m., reception and displays to follow
The Haunts of House Mountain: Oral Histories, Hollows, and Homes
After September’s journeys to Rockbridge County’s southerly namesake at Natural Bridge, RHS turns this December to another local landmark in a joint presentation by Sarah Clayton and Jennifer Law Young that will center on the communities nestled around House Mountain. Though the Bridge’s majestic span may be the signature for outsiders, the icon for many local residents is the familiar profile of House Mountain (indeed, its double profiles, for those here who know its twin ridges).
The December program will provide a visual and narrative tour of the histories, hollows, and homes that surround those paired mountains. The afternoon’s presentations, exhibits and film will draw from an inventive, ongoing project that’s being developed across a number of multimedia platforms by two Rockbridge residents. Sarah Clayton is an award-winning writer and photographer, and author of a book on this terrain; Jennifer Law Young is a veteran, Emmy award-winning filmmaker and journalist, whose documentary film on this subject, “Lost in Time,” is being prepared for public television.
As their work continues to grow and evolve, the two women draw on a remarkable series of more than 100 recorded interviews; a wide variety of original and historic photographs; the evidence of geologists, botanists and archaeologists; and the rich resources at Washington and Lee’s Special Collections, including those belonging to RHS. In addition to previews from Young’s film, the audience will be treated to a slideshow, and readings from diaries, letters and interviews, as well as the chance to browse displays of historic maps and artifacts both ancient and more modern.
Particular welcome on the day goes to the participants and families who contributed to the project, and whose interview transcripts will eventually join the RHS archives of local history. Before and after the presentation, neighbors and guests can enjoy the opportunity to visit together and examine the displays in detail.
House Mountain has long been an icon here, highlighted by recent concerns about its historic and environmental preservation. But what distinguishes these presenters’ collaborative approach is their depth of inquiry and witness, their colorful variety of testimonies and media. Clayton and Young will share intimate, distinctive stories of the House Mountain settlements and families, illuminated through their sustained, creative efforts. Together, they bring to life both personal memoirs and long local traditions, through these new modes of public history.
Please invite a current – or prospective – Society member to join you for this, the final RHS program of the year. House Mountain Inn is a 25-minute drive northwest of Lexington at 455 Lonesome Dove Trail; for directions, look at housemountaininn.com or call 540-464-4004.