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Students' work will aid center
Monday, September 20, 2010
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Work that some Henry County sixth-graders did more than 40 years ago is helping fund an expansion project at the Bassett Historical Center.
All profits from the sale of a new book, "Folklore of the Blue Ridge Foothills," will go to the center, according to Tom Perry, an author and historian.
The book originally was edited and published in 1969 by Doug Belcher, who taught at the former Samuel H. Hairston School. Sixth-grade students at the school submitted the stories for the book, which includes tales, superstitions and traditions about the folklore of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Piedmont Virginia, Perry said.
The book also includes student illustrations and has chapters titled "Weather Signs," "Household Superstitions," "Animal Superstitions" and "Country Medicine."�
Belcher's former students at Samuel Hairston School who contributed to the project include: Wayne Ashley, Jill Baily, Jerry Belcher, Debra Boardwifle, Ronnie Bryant, Doug Campbell, Debbie Cassell, Perry Cassell, Terilda Clark, Ann Clement, Danny Cline, Kathy Coleman, Debra Craig, Kirk Craig, Mary Craig, Roger Craig, Sandra Craig, Herbert Dellinger, Deborah Dillon, Lisa Draper, Richard Fitzgerald, Sharon Foley, Delairie Fretwell, Wanda George, Robin Gilley, Karen Gray, Ann Grogan, Harriet Grogan, Mickey Grogan, Joe Hairston, Paulette Hairston, William Hairston, Wanda Harbour, Jimmy Hearl, James Hendricks, Darryl Holland, Patricia Hughes, Tony Hutchens, Patricia Hylton, Sandra Hylton, Paul Johnson, Deborah Jordan, Michael Joyce, Charlotte Kellam, Steve Kendrick, Ray Lawrence, Judy Marshall, Jerry Martin, Sammy Martin, Debbie McAlexander, Marsh Merriman, Susan Milton, Susan Morris, Debbie Mullins, Ronnie Mullins, Darlene Murphy, Leon Nelson, Donna Nester, Owen Overby, Doretha Penn, Doris Penn, Richard Penn, Willie Penn, Tim Philpott, Dianne Rakes, Dean Randall, Vanessa Redd, Valerie Reed, Charlene Reid, Elbert Robertson, Michael Scales, Linda Shively, Paula Shough, Lee Smith, Linda Smith, Brenda Spencer, Jacob Spencer, Pamela Spencer, Pansy Spencer, Roger Spencer, Cindy Stone, Debris Stone, Philip Stone, Sandy Stone, Susan Stone, Cheryl Strader, Gail Taylor, Renniette Thomas, Velma Thomas, Janice Thompson, Vickie Tolbert, Linda Townsend, Telisa Triplett, Alonzo Turner, Edward Turner, David Vaughn, Dennis Via, Charlotte Ward, Carolyn Watkins, Howard Wigington, Wanda Wood and Barbara Yates.
Samuel H. Hairston School closed in 1991, 33 years after it was founded as a school for black students.
The book costs $10 and is available online and at the historical center, Perry said.
Belcher's book also is the first one published by Laurel Hill Publishing that was not written by Perry. It is the first book in a new series called the "Bassett Historical Center Series," which will benefit the center.
Profits from the sales of two DVDs also will go to the expansion project, Perry said. The DVDs include discussions of the Bassett Historical Center Symposiums on Stoneman's Raid and William J. Palmer, with a focus on Martinsville and Henry County at the end of the Civil War.
"Reflecting on J.E.B. Stuart" also is available, with part of the sale proceeds earmarked for the building fund, Perry said.
The historical center's expansion project is under way. Plans are to double the current size of the center by adding 4,195 square feet to the building at an estimated cost of $800,000.
For more information, visit www.freestateofpatrick.com.