We had a lovely Grand Opening and a fantastic turnout of over a hundred people! Thank you so much to everyone who donated exhibits, played music, and stopped by to help us celebrate.
Our regular hours will be 10 to 4 on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’d like to keep in touch and hear about special events and exhibits, be sure to sign up for news and updates.
You can see more photos of our big day here: Grand Opening Photos
The first person to sign the grand opening register was none other than St. Paul Mayor Kyle Fletcher, shown here looking at the elk display rack he donated to the museum.
His late father, Holland Fletcher and also a mayor of the town for several post WWII years, killed the last known legally taken elk from the Yellowstone herd brought to Southwest Virginia during the Great Depression. Farm families made up 80% of the workforce at that time and the large western elk threatened crops and were eventually wiped out, just as their smaller native eastern elk were driven to extinction by hunters and farmers in the late 1800s.
More recently, western elk have been deliberately introduced to Buchanan County after that county’s leaders requested them for over a decade. The most forested and least farmed county in Virginia, Buchanan County and its residents have been overwhelmingly welcoming and now the elk are the “targets” of frequent tour van loads of camera carrying tourists. Many are visiting the nearby Breaks Interstate Park, also referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East.
For more information about these elk, visit the electronic version of our regional magazine, Mountain Peeks, at www.mountainpeeksmag.com
Hope to see you again soon!