Events & Activities

Our Christmas Train rolls again!

It’s just not Christmas without a model train! Alex Burke, our assistant director, and his father Jim Burke, are once again graciously sharing Jim’s childhood set with all of our visitors! Come see this vintage American Flyer layout that takes you back to the 1950s and ’60s to visit the charming village of “Plasticville.” Kids can blow the whistle!

New this year: the Plasticville Airport, and a WWII-era plane has just landed! In addition to the trains and buildings of all sorts, there’s an interesting cast of little characters, playing in the snow–some in ways you wouldn’t expect! Pick up a scavenger hunt to help you find all the fun!

Salem Museum Speaker Series: Echoes From Catawba
January 20 at 7 pm (snow date: January 27 at 7 pm)

Ted Carroll

In early 2018, Catawba native Ted Carroll began to write a series of non-fiction books about life in Catawba in the first half of the 1900s. On January 20 at 7 pm at the Salem Museum, Carroll will speak about the cultural heritage and history of this beautiful, Appalachian community. In case of inclement weather, his talk will be postponed until January 27.

In 2018, Carroll published Echoes From Catawba, Volume One: Growing up in Catawba Valley Appalachia. This first book in the series is a compilation of a dozen stories featuring families and individuals, Keffer’s General Store, Morgan Farm/Homeplace Restaurant, and the history of Catawba’s one-room schools and the Catawba School (1928-1981). Echoes From Catawba, Volume Two: Granny Taylor of Possum Holler is a biography of Winnie Earl Taylor. This extraordinary woman, Carroll’s aunt, chose to live a primitive lifestyle for 103 of her nearly 109 years. Volume Three is underway with a target release of November 2020.

Possum Holler

Ted Carroll was born in Catawba, Virginia to a mother who was the seventeenth and last child of William and Luemma Garman who settled there in 1889. Carroll was milking a cow at a young age and worked on the Morgan farm through high school and college. He worked for 25 years as a member of the Virginia Tech Extension faculty and served four terms as the Mayor of the Town of Orange, Virginia. Answering a call to the Ministry, Carroll studied at the Southeastern Baptist Seminary Extension in North Carolina, became an ordained minister and pastored a church in North Carolina for 14 years. Carroll is a graduate of Andrew Lewis High School and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Virginia Tech.

“Hometown Teams”–extended through February 1!

  • “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 February 1, 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…