The festivities to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Surry County have successfully begun with the kickoff event Surry 250 in August, followed by the newly minted ‘Rediscover Rockford’ celebration in mid-September. With a slate of programs to continue the sestercentennial, plans for an upcoming bus tour of historical sites of Surry County have been changed.
An October outing to visit historical sites of interest in areas west of Dobson has been postponed to spring 2022. Nathan Walls, Assistant to the Surry County Manager, noted “recent Covid numbers are a cause for concern. On a bus, you’re sitting close to people and it really doesn’t allow for any social distancing.” Of concern to Walls also was the potential demographic makeup of these tours, which may have found large numbers of older or more vulnerable passengers in close proximity to one another.
The planned big bus tour of Surry County sites in October was to have included sites such as the Edwards-Franklin House, Flat Top Primitive Baptist Church, Kapp’s Mill and the Tuck House. Plans for this tour will be carried over into next year with Walls adding, “We will monitor the numbers and revisit the tours in the spring.”
Plans for additional bus tours of Surry County historical sites have already been mapped out for 2022. In April the plan is for the group to tour the areas around Elkin. The month of May will find the big bus jaunting around the sites of Mount Airy. Exploration of the Westfield area is the focus of the June tour. Currently, the final scheduled big bus tour is set for August with the tour taking in the historical sites of south-central Surry. October’s outing to Dobson has yet to be rescheduled.
Touring the historical sites of Surry County is not a new idea. Marion Venable with the Surry County Historical Society noted that similar tours were done in conjunction with the bicentennial celebration in 1976. “It always seems to be a real popular thing, for people to be able to go to a site, hear the story, really become part of the experience.”
Next on the Surry 250 calendar is the lecture series which begins on Nov. 28 with a talk on Surry County architecture. “The lecture series is being looked at on a case by case basis. At this time, the November event is a go,” said Walls.
The lecture series will also continue into 2022 with the January topic focusing on the area’s rich tradition of music. Continuing topics for the series will include Native American history in February, and natural heritage and history in March. May will break from form and look forward to the future of Surry County.
Additional information on the ongoing Surry 250 anniversary can be found on http://facebook.com/surry250 and www.surry250.com.