Frontier Culture Museum 2014 Winter Lecture Series to Feature the American Chestnut

The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia is a living history museum located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Staunton, Virginia. It tells the story of the people who migrated from the Old World to America and the life they created in the Shenandoah Valley. Their frontier life and culture cannot be fully conveyed without including the powerful influence of the American chestnut trees that towered over the mountain landscape of the east for centuries as the dominant hardwood species. The wood was used for everything from furniture to fence rails, and the nuts fed mountain people and their livestock, as well as an array of native wildlife.

The theme of the Museum’s 2014 Winter Lecture Series is “The American Chestnut in the Forests of the Frontier.” This series will raise public awareness of the importance of the American chestnut tree to frontier culture when it was thriving, and the efforts now under way to restore it to its natural habitat.

"The Frontier Culture Museum and the American Frontier Culture Foundation are pleased to dedicate the 2014 Winter Lecture Series to the American chestnut Tree," said Justin Reiter, Director of Marketing for the Museum. "We have wanted the American chestnut tree to be a topic for some time. We are excited to welcome members of TACF to Staunton and the Museum."

The Frontier Culture Museum has put together an outstanding lineup of speakers for their Winter Lecture Series. All lectures will take place in the Dairy Barn Lecture Hall and are free to the public. Doors open at 6:30 pm and all lectures begin at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday February 18, 2014
Donald Davis – “Giving Character to the Landscape: Finding Chestnuts in American Frontier History”

Tuesday February 25, 2014
John Scrivani – “How Chestnut Acquired and Lost Keystone Species Status”

Tuesday March 4, 2014
Harmony J. Dalgleish – “The Ecology of American Chestnut Restoration”

Tuesday March 11, 2014
Ralph Lutts – “Chestnut Trade on the Blue Ridge of Southwest Virginia”

The Museum has also assembled a special lodging package for $99.00 that includes a one night stay at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (single room for two people), VIP Lecture Series Seating (for two), two one-time general admission tickets to the museum (good for one year), and complimentary breakfast at the hotel with the guest speaker the morning following the lecture.

Generous support for the Lecture Series comes from Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, ArborLife, Blue Ridge Lumber, The American Chestnut Foundation, and the Virginia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. For more information, contact justin.reiter@frontiermuseum.org or call (540) 332-7850.