Has the fast pace of modern life made you pine for the “good ol’ days?” If it has, or if a couple of hours immersed in the sights of a bygone era sounds appealing, then a trip to the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum might be just the ticket for you. Part of Ferrum College, the Blue Ridge Institute has been documenting and preserving the rich traditions and culture of our unique region for the past twenty years and is located about an hour southwest of Smith Mountain Lake on Route 40 West. There visitors can tour the Institute’s Galleries of Exhibits to learn about everything from bluegrass music to moonshine, visit the Blue Ridge Farm Museum to experience farm life in the 1800’s first hand, or search through the Blue Ridge Heritage Archives for photos, documents, audio recordings and much more.
Don’t have time to visit the Museum itself? Then try their website for a treasure trove of information from lyrics of traditional ballads to the dates of all the Institute’s upcoming festivals. The Blue Ridge Institute has also created sister websites, such as Blue Ridge Music, a guide to traditional music along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Virginia Heritage, a guide to exploring Blue Ridge folk life throughout southwestern Virginia.
What is it about Appalachian culture that you really love? The toe-tappin’ music? The rich historical legacy? Whatever it is, you can find out more about it at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum!