2020 Virtual Lecture Series

The Origins of American Frontier Culture

For 2020, the Museum’s Annual Lecture Series is being expanded to a yearlong program that will explore the origins of American culture as it developed here in the Shenandoah Valley. 

All lectures are FREE and will take place in the Dairy Barn Lecture Hall
Lectures will run approximately 60 minutes
Light snacks will be provided


The Lecture Series is funded by a grant from

Hotel Accommodations For Guest Lecturers Provided by


Tuesday, January 21: 7:00 pm

Frontier Iron: Historical Iron-Making On The Frontier
Norm Scott, Author & Independent Scholar

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, February 18: 7:00 pm

Farms, Mills, and Shops:  An Overview of Economic Activity in the Shenandoah Valley, 1750-1850
Ken Koons, Professor of History, Virginia Military Institute 

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, March 24: 7:00 pm (Canceled)

Exploring the Wilds: The Violin in Early America

Tim MacDonald, Independent Scholar

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, April 21: 7:00 pm (postponed – Date TBD)

Virginia Beer: From Colonial Roots to Craft’s Golden Age

Lee Graves, Independent Scholar

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, May 19: 7:00 pm (postponed – Date TBD)

Moonshine in the making? Exploring the role of alcohol in early modern Ulster and the American backcountry

Audrey Horning, William & Mary

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, June 16: 7:00 pm (postponed – Date TBD)

Colonial Conflict among Racial, Ethnic and Religious Groups on Virginia’s Appalachian Frontier

Wilma Dunaway, Professor Emerita – Virginia Tech

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, July 21: 7:00 pm

Border Wars: The Pennsylvania/Virginia Boundary Controversy

Robert Dunkerly, NPS Park Ranger

Event Information and Lecture Abstract


Tuesday, August 18: 7:00 pm

Unfree Labor in early English Virginia

Steven A. Harris-Scott, George Mason University

Event Information


Tuesday, September 15: 7:00 pm

Revisiting Virginia’s Frontier Icon: Black Lives at Natural Bridge, from Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, to The Green Book

Eric Wilson, Rockbridge Historical Society

Event Information


Saturday, October 3: 7:00 pm

Forging an American Identity Through Clay: Ceramics and the Early American Frontier

Brenda Hornsby Heindl, Independent Scholar

Event Information


Tuesday, October 20: 7:00 pm

Death of the Cemetery: An Assessment of Historic Family Plots in Augusta County, VA

Rachel Sites, FCMV Historical Interpreter and Independent Scholar

Event Information


Tuesday, November 17: 7:00 pm

Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style: The History and Culture of Untaxed Liquor in the Mountains of Virginia

Bethany Worley, Blue Ridge Institute and Museum

Event Information