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Steamboat Era Museum opens new exhibit

The Steamboat Era Museum, Irvington, has opened a new exhibit: “Children’s Lives Around the Northern Neck: 1880s-1930s.”

The exhibit covers the lives of children during the height of the Steamboat Era. For these children, growing up was not so different from today’s youth. The advent of steam power opened up their world in much the same way as computers have done today, a release stated. Steamboats touched every aspect of life in the small towns where these children lived; delivering classroom materials, sports equipment, toys—even teachers.

Education is a major theme in the exhibit. Like their 21st century counterparts, school days filled most of these children’s waking hours. The museum spotlights a teacher, Miss Julia, who arrived by steamboat to take on her teaching post and boarded with a family in town. She became part of tight-knit community that believed in the value of education.

The exhibit will introduce visitors to other teachers like Sallie Holley and A.T. Wright...

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