Exhibit Manager, Vicky Ferguson gives us an update on the Monacan Living History outdoor museum at Natural Bridge

Monacan Indian Living History Exhibit

This is an update on the building of the Ceremonial Lodge in the exhibit located past the Natural Bridge on Cedar Creek Trail. IMG_20140513_170617_658 (1)

All the exterior bark has been applied to the long house at the Monacan Exhibit and we have added additional lock poles to hold the bark in place.  We have a few more ties to apply, the two smoke hole covers to add and then the log benches can be added before the house could be considered as complete. The long house structure is 20 ft wide and 36 feet long.  When completed it will be the largest bark covered long house in Virginia.  This house is based on the post hole patterns from the Buzzard Rock site in SE Roanoke.  Our version is a little shorter than the 56 ft original.  Later this summer we would like to pack clay around the bottom of the house and would like to get help from local Boy Scouts to help with that project.  The clay will help divert water away from the inside of the structure.
Long House barked
The completion of the long house will allow us to have a place for the school  tours when it is raining a place for special activities like story telling.  I would very much like to ask the Monacan Children’s council to have a meeting in there so they can experience the past and get a dose of history.

The following things have been completed:

  • Fence had 64 uprights replaced and took three weeks to wattle
  • Kitchen reworked
  • Women’s work shelter has a new bark roof which was completed last week
  • Completely new European Trade area built
  • Garden planted and a fence has been built and the wattle is complete there
Clothing construction is an ongoing project.  I have been able to sew period appropriate clothing including moccasins for the staff but all  brand new employees will require time to complete articles of clothing.

Next project:

Men’s work shelter will be built to provide a place for tool construction.  The old shelter is approximately 12 years old, is too small and it leaks.  This will take a couple of weeks and we plan to work it around the guest visits.
The hide tanning area will require a new fleshing beam area and some general maintenance.
The 20 foot diameter round house (living house) will begin construction as soon as the work shelter is complete.  This dwelling will be built on the end of the exhibit where we should be able to keep people at a safe distance while allowing them to see the progression of the house.
This is a brief update and I hope everyone can visit the site soon.
Thanks for all the support,
Vicky Ferguson
Monacan Exhibit Manager