On October 3-4-5, 2014 the Virginia Telephone Museum celebrated its 24th year with an open house. This Year’s Main Attraction – Our 1892 “Bell Room” Console Desk Set
Presented by: The Pioneers of the Telephone Industry – New Vision Pioneers
Alexander Graham Bell Chapter – Washington D.C.
Old Dominion Chapter – Richmond, Virginia
The Museum began assembly in 1991 in the back of the Pioneer Office at 3520 Elwood Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Dedicated retirees gathered exhibits, wired switchboards to phones, set up displays, cataloged items and finally opened in May of 1993 during the annual Old Dominion Pioneer Reunion. Exhibits expanded over the years, with corporate contributions of equipment representing telephony over the years from outside plant, central offices, pbx’s and private homes. Photos, tools, paper records, manuals and payroll cards represented a portion of items. Building signs, Vail Awards, photographs, newsletters and even some of a retiree’s personal library accumulated in 1999. Bell Atlantic was completing a merger with Nynex and advised staff that the Ellwood building was to be vacated. That move was delayed until the GTE-Bell Atlantic merger formed Verizon. After things settled from that merger, Verizon provided space for the Museum in the 713 E. Grace Street building. Packing began in September 2004, with the move completed in October of that year. Setup at the new location was completed in the spring of 2005, with the official opening in June. All work after the move has again been done by retiree volunteers. The new location has a library space, which holds telephony and Pioneer items for research and simply browsing. Currently the museum is open by appointment, by calling 800-423-3422. School class trips are always welcome. Additional volunteers are always welcome.
click here to view video of the Virginia Telephone Museum.
The Lynchburg Pioneers of the Old Dominion Chapter presented thesauruses to all fifth grade students on their graduation day from New London Academy in Forest, VA. For more than eight years, the Pioneers, working with the New London Ruritans, have presented dictionaries to third grade students and thesauruses to fifth grade students at the New London Academy. The New London Academy was originally founded in 1795 as an all-male school by a charter from the General Assembly of Virginia. It first accepted women in 1879 and was made a Bedford County public school in 1887. (Photo, l-r:) Carl Sensabaugh, New London Ruritans; Art Williams, New London Ruritans; Ray Mueller, Lynchburg Pioneers; and John Harris, New London Ruritans.
On April 8, Old Dominion Chapter volunteers staffed the high bean bag toss booth at the Chesapeake Public School Special Games where more than 1,000 children were recognized for participating in a variety of track and field events. “It was amazing to watch the children try their best to see who could throw the furthest. Every child was so excited and happy to win a medal and it didn’t matter whether it was first place or fourth place,” said Carol Warburton, Tidewater Council president. “I was lucky enough to see a piece of the world through the eyes of a child with special needs. The whole event just warmed me from head to toe.” Funding for the award ribbons was provided by the Verizon Foundation.Volunteers from the Old Dominion Chapter included: Iris Perry, Carol Warbuton, Clyde Perry, Dianne Elings, Margaret Becraft, Myrtle Vick, Joan Powell, Ann Matthews, Jim McDonald, Martha Yarbrough, and Kimberly King.
On April 28, – Lynchburg Council purchased and helped plant six Crepe Myrtle trees at the Fairview Community Center in Lynchburg, VA. The Pioneers, Beverly O’Brien, Ray Mueller, Elaine Callaway, and Beverly’s daughter, were assisted by the Lynchburg City Buildings and Grounds Department. The trees are doing well and are enjoyed by all.
In October, 2014 Old Dominion Lynchburg Council will present another $1,000 check to the Jubilee center, a facility focused on the year-round educational needs of inner-city, at-risk children.