Every exhibit in Cumberland has a story to tell

Published 12:39 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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By Barbara Gamage

Special to The Farmville Herald

Every exhibit tells a story. And that’s especially true at the Cumberland County Historical Society, where the museum features a number of items donated from the lives of local residents through the years. 

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On display for January and February is the wedding dress of Mrs. Hans Martens along with some other items from their home. The wedding picture of Mr. and Mrs. Martens is on display as well, along with a book of poems by Marlene Martens. Their two sons loaned the museum these pieces, Eddie and Peter. Both sons attended Cumberland High School and the Martens were active members of the Cumberland Ruritan Club and helped when the Ruritans moved the Old Log Cabin to its present location. 


Another recent donation to the museum is two National FFA jackets that belonged to Lennie H. Gamage. Lennie was a student at Cumberland High School and graduated from VPI in 1958. He was president of the Virginia FFA in 1953/54 and a National Vice President in 1955/56. His duties as National Vice President took him all over the United States. After graduation Gamage worked for the National FFA until his retirement. In 1971 he was awarded a gold Chevalier du Merite Agricole medal for service to French agriculture for his work on an exchange program for French and American students. Lennie now resides in Henderson, North Carolina with his wife Eija who he met in his travels with the FFA.

What is the Historical Society?

Now, for those new to this column, the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Cumberland Museum are located in the Old Clerk’s Office in Cumberland Court House. Each month we will tell you about some of our displays along with news from the Historical Society. The Society meetings are held at 2 p.m. in February, April, June, October and December of each year. Special meetings are held periodically during the other months.

We are open during the week, usually in the afternoons, but it is always best to call to be sure someone is available to let visitors in and answer questions. (804-492-3348)