Events & Activities

Last Call for Pavers Before the Holidays!
November 15

Pavers make great gifts! Order your paver by November 15 for installation before Christmas in our Front Walkway or Veterans’ Plaza.

Salem Historical Society Annual Membership Meeting
Monday, November 18 at 7 pm

The Nominating Committee of the Salem Historical Society has put forth the following slate to be voted on at the Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, November 18 at 7 pm:
President: Susan Mini, CEO, Sherwood Memorial Park
President-Elect: Lisa Bain, Business Development, SERVPRO of Roanoke
Treasurer: CAPT Tom Copenhaver, JAGC, US Navy, retired
Secretary: Jeanna Murphy, Docent and Volunteer
Past President: Cindy Miller, University of Pittsburgh Press, retired

Directors to be elected for a 3-year term:
Susan Kirby, Radford University professor, retired
Bruce Lucado, Owner, Bill Henry Plumbing
Iris Parks, Community Liaison, Salem Health and Rehabilitation
Bob Penn, Teacher, Andrew Lewis Middle School
Meg Smith (2-year term), MKB, REALTORS Director of Innovation and Development

Salem Museum Speaker Series: Bringing Back the Dilly Dally
Monday, November 18 at 7:30 pm at the Salem Museum
Tuesday, November 19 at 7:30 pm at First Christian Church, 712 Front Avenue across the street from the Dilly Dally

Like many, Lisa and Reid Garst had dreamed about buying the Dilly Dally, a South Salem landmark. When it went on the market in 2018, they took action. Lisa will talk about historic preservation, community development, and bringing back the Dilly Dally. Her talk is free and open to the public. Because of the great interest in Dilly Dally details, Lisa will give her talk twice.

For over a century, the Dilly Dally and its predecessors on the corner of Eddy and Front streets had been a vital part of the neighborhood. Constructed in 1910, the building housed several businesses before the Dilly Dally, including a grocery store, a beauty salon, an antique shop and a church. There was also a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Raymond McNulty opened the Dilly Dally in 1981 as a drop-in spot for snacks and beverages and named the shop for customers who would come in and just “dilly-dally” around. McNulty’s brother Roger bought the business in 1985 and ran it until his death in 2010. The much-loved country store and convenience shop closed in 2011, and the building had been empty until the Garsts purchased it a year ago.

Since then, the Garsts have secured a historic designation and begun work to bring the building back to life. The Garsts’ vision is to make the new Dilly Dally an active part of its tight-knit neighborhood as a market and general store that offers convenience items, ice cream, and— with the greenway nearby—possibly fishing supplies and bike rentals, also.

Lisa grew up in Covington and has lived in Salem for 20 years, serving on Salem City Council for two terms. Reid is a Salem native. They love their small town roots and want to be invested in the things that matter to the community. They have a daughter, Ashby, and two dogs, Auggie and Mango.

Salem Museum Book Talk & Signing: Murder in Roanoke County
Saturday, November 23 at 1 pm

Historian John Long will give a talk about his newest book, Murder in Roanoke County: Race and Justice in the 1891 Susan Watkins Case. A drama played out in the mountains of southwestern Virginia in 1891 that attracted nationwide attention and held the citizens of the Roanoke Valley spellbound. It was a story of violence, bigamy, race and a quest for justice. The tale of the trial of Charles Watkins for the murder of his wife was marked by threats of lynching, a fugitive manhunt, a disappearing witness, mistaken identities, claims of insanity and finally a secret letter to break the case wide open. In its day, the story was as closely followed as a modern televised murder trial. Despite the rapt attention of the public then, it has entirely faded from the history books—until now. Long resurrects the truth of who killed Susan Watkins. Long’s talk, followed by a book signing, is free and open to the public.

John D. Long is the director of education at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, and the former director of the Salem Museum. He holds degrees from Roanoke College and the University of Virginia and has taught history at Roanoke College, Radford University and Virginia Western Community College. A contributing columnist for The Roanoke Times, he has also written extensively on local history and the Second World War.

Hometown Teams/Hometown Champions!

  • “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America.” Watch the trailer... A traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, “Hometown Teams” captures the stories that unfold on fields and courts: the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats. Sports are everywhere in America. Through January 4, 2020. Read more…
  • “A Winning Tradition: Salem Champions Gallery.” Salem, Virginia is the City of Champions and Virginia’s Championship City! The new, permanent gallery will include local team and individual champions in many fields: athletics, academics, the arts, and civic and professional life. Read more…