Events & Activities

Hometown Teams/Hometown Champions!
Saturday, September 21, 10 am to 4 pm: Opening Day for two special new exhibits:

  • OPENING DAY: Bring your family, bring your team! Opening Day kicks off with a ribbon-cutting at 10 am and the Star Spangled Banner sung by the Salem Choral Society. Wear a shirt or cap to show off your favorite team, explore the new exhibits, and play cornhole. Pickleball clinic from noon to 2 pm–learn how to play this popular new sport! Author Mark O’Connell will sign his book, The Team the Titans Remember. 10am–4pm. Free. Event partners: City of Salem, Salem Parks & Recreation, Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) Sports, and the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce. Museum admission is free.
  • “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…

The Ghost Walk Returns!
October 3-5, Tours begin 6 to 8 pm
Purchase Tickets

Salem’s East Hill Cemetery comes alive after dark just once a year for the Salem Museum’s Ghost Walk! On October 3-5, the living are invited to tour the historic graveyard and meet notable characters from Salem’s past. These walking tours through the cemetery are family-friendly, fun and informative, and not scary.

The tour will introduce visitors to men and women buried in Salem who had great stories to tell of our region’s history. Learn of their heroism during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the invasion on D-Day, and in the fight for a woman’s right to vote. A new ghost this year is Eddie Joyce, Jr., remembered as the star quarterback of the 1971 Andrew Lewis football team. Guests will meet…
• Margie Brown (1864), a mischievous daughter
• Brigadier General Andrew Lewis (1776), Salem’s Revolutionary War hero
• Charles Johnston (1790), captured by Indians
• James Huff (1863), town jailer; jail optional
• Uh oh, underage boys caught in the pool hall (1907)
• Anna Whitner (1920), marched for women’s right to vote
• Jack Simms (1944) landed at Normandy on D-Day
• Carver School alumna with stories from Water Street (1955)
• Eddie Joyce, Jr. (1971), Andrew Lewis HS star quarterback

Walking tours will leave the Salem Museum every fifteen minutes between 6 and 8 PM. Tickets for the Ghost Walk are limited and expected to sell out again this year: $10 for adults, $5 for students of any age, and free for children three and younger. Tickets are available online or at the Salem Museum. 2019 marks the Ghost Walk’s 21st year and all proceeds benefit the Salem Museum.

Good walking shoes are recommended: this is a walking tour of just over a half-mile. As the name “East Hill” implies, the route goes up and downhill, although the walk is not strenuous, and has a number of stops along the way. There are curbs crossing Main Street and a short stretch that is a gravel path.  In case of rain, the event will be held at the Salem Museum.

The 2019 Ghost Walk is dedicated to the memory of Willie Robertson, one of the Museum’s “ghosts” for many years, who now watches over from  East Hill Cemetery among the many characters he portrayed.

Salem Museum Speaker Series
Burial or Exhumation? Caring for the Civil War Dead
Monday, October 21 at 7 pm

On Monday, October 21 at 7 pm at the Salem Museum, historian Scott Crawford will explore a hidden aspect of the Civil War through a detailed look at a late 19th century American painting. His talk is free and open to the public. Crawford was intrigued by a late 1800s painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. While this painting by Linton Park was originally known as “The Burial,” Crawford thought he saw something else. His research on the painting led Crawford to examine one of the challenges of the Civil War that has been long forgotten: how to property care for the dead, and the massive logistical issues tied to finding deceased soldiers, identifying them, and then carrying them to their final resting places. Crawford’s research led the National Gallery of Art to rename the piece “The Exhumation,” arguing that it actually depicted the relatives of a dead Union soldier, claiming his remains to transport them back home.

B. Scott Crawford has roughly 25 years experience in education and is currently the Vice President of VA811. He holds a master’s degree in history with a concentration in American history. Crawford has taught history in a public school division, and at the Taubman Museum of Art, Radford University, Virginia Western Community College, and Virginia Tech, as well as continuing to teach the seminar on business decision making as part of Virginian Tech’s A Toolkit for 21st Century Leaders program. Between 2009 and 2015, he appeared monthly on WSLS Channel 10’s Daytime Blue Ridge as the “Art Detective.” Crawford serves on the Roanoke Arts Commission, where he is the chair of the Collections Committee.