Local Relics Vie For Preservation Honors

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Five relics and places in the Valley are in the running to be added to Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts list.

It's a distinction that could end up leading to the preservation of the artifacts and locations. The purpose of the list, which is sponsored by the Virginia Association of Museums, is to highlight the importance of preserving artifacts

The Camera Heritage Museum in downtown Staunton is home to one of the cameras used by a Japanese photographer to document the Pearl Harbor bombings during the 1940s. It's one of almost 5,000 cameras at the museum. The Kodak Brownie Collection, which is housed at the museum, is in the running to be put on the list.

Also in contention are the Wampler Wagon at the Frontier Culture Museum, the Harrisonburg Court Square Spring House Finial, a Mount Vernon map dating back to 1888 and a gown from Woodrow Wilson's inauguration.

David Schwartz, the director of the Camera Heritage Museum, said the cameras used to capture moments in history are worth preserving.

"We need to know where we came from, to know where we are going. We are now a throwaway society. We don't really care about the way its made. If you don't show the fine technology of it, the technical aspects of what these cameras made and how they were made, the engineering is some superior quality," said Schwartz.

He also said that if he gets put on the list and receives a grant, he would use the money for adding space for displays and cases.

Part of the process to being named to the top 10 most endangered artifacts list in Virginia is a public vote, which begins on August 4.

An independent panel of experts will then choose the top artifacts, giving weight to the public votes, by mid-September.

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