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History's Town Center

Local officials, business owners have suggestions for state group

August 2, 2009
By SHAWN M.TOMLINSON, The Leader-Herald

EDINBURG - History happened everywhere.

Yet, aside from the occasional roadside historic marker, the casual tourist out for a ride might not have a clue about those who trod the same ground and what they did.

That is except in Edinburg. Town Historian Priscilla Edwards makes it a point to give such casual visitors a glimpse into the area's past.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Shawn M. Tomlinson
Edinburg Town Historian Priscilla Edwards opens one of the shadow boxes at the Town Hall Thursday. The four boxes hold historic exhibits.

"I started doing the interpretive signs about 10 or 11 years ago," she said Thursday. "I got the idea from my sister, Linda Hurst. She lived in Kentucky for a while and they had these signs in the national park near there. I thought it was a neat idea."

So she asked local resident Fred Bleyl to make the signs for her. There are four now, plus another that will go up soon.

Each sign actually is a display case in which Edwards places photocopies of old photos and short captions. She makes them on poster boards and gets help from her son-in-law, George Blackwood, and her grandson, Elijah.

The signs are located at the Nellie Terrell Museum, the Copeland Covered Bridge, across the street from the old Batchellerville country store and one in the town park at the base of the Batchellerville Bridge.

The new sign will be erected on Tennantville Road near the original settlement.

"I like to create exhibits," Edwards said.

With that thought in mind, town Supervisor Jean Raymond got the idea of placing "shadow boxes" in the new town hall when it was built several years ago on Military Road.

There are four of these and they give Edwards the opportunity to work with more than just photos.

"I did one on needlework from my own collection," she said. "I did one of business cards and labels from local businesses past and present. I did an old school exhibit."

Since the shadow boxes - again built by Bleyl - are at the town hall, many people who visit get a chance to see the history of the area.

Along with the two museums in the town, the interpretive signs and shadow boxes give a wide range of historic information to the local visitor.

Shawn M. Tomlinson is the editor of The Sunday Leader-Herald. He can be reached at



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