You might have heard that here in my state (Virginia) the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general have some troubles on their hands. Well, I took off to Richmond yesterday to set them straight.

Not really. In my pursuit of Franklin County history, I spent the day at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, which is also in Richmond.

As soon as I started trying to track down information on some of our local communities, it occurred to me that the Virginia Museum’s library might have some information to share. In response to a quick message left on their Contact Us page, I got an email from one of their reference pros who had found some actual books for me to peruse!

Reasoning that Richmond was only a three hour drive up the road, I set off bright and early yesterday to traverse the commonwealth and get some answers. About Franklin County, not our executive branch.

The library is a seriously scholarly place. The friendly woman at the front desk had me register as a researcher and explained that if I needed a book, I could look it up on their online catalog and write its information on a call slip (in pencil, you know, because they don’t allow pens or highlighters) (they had pencils to share), and they’d pull it for me. She then indicated a number of computers on the far side of the library.

Some of the computers were located on a nice, spacious desk area, and I headed right for them. “Can I help you?” asked a well-dressed man who looked like he belonged there. “Well, I think I’m okay,” I replied. “I’m just going to set up here and look up these books that I got from your colleague.”

He patiently explained that I had parked myself in the employees-only section of the reference room, but then also showed me to the computers for the regular folks as well as how to look up items in the online catalog, just to show there were no hard feelings.

Did I find all the answers I needed? Hmmm. I still think that Linda over at the Franklin County Historical Society is the real source of Franklin County intel. But it was amazing to learn from a book from 1926.

And I left with a huge appreciation for historians and library professionals. This project — as well as the current events in our state — reinforces for me how very complicated history can be.

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