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Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Virginia photo from U.S. Library of Congress collection. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Re: the editorial “Protect Virginia’s natural wonder,” May 30:
I agree that the Natural Bridge should be preserved for future generations; however, I found one remark very upsetting.
You mentioned the wax museum as a tourist trap when, in fact, the Natural Bridge Wax Museum was researched very carefully so it would be a historical connection to the Natural Bridge, and tell the stories, folklore and legends of Natural Bridge and the surrounding area.
The Civil War scenes include Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and many other soldiers who tie directly to the recruiting station in Lexington.
I resent that you identify the wax museum as a tourist trap when it illustrates the history of the Natural Bridge. Our scenes illustrate various Indian legends of the “Bridge of God”; George Washington carving his initials in the bridge; John Saillings, who, after being held captive by the Indians, was the first white man to see the bridge; Col. John Buchanan’s preservation of the earliest written records of the bridge, as well as Thomas Jefferson receiving a grant in 1774 to buy the Natural Bridge for 20 shillings from King George III of England.
We have been here since 1978, and have had very good response from the public. Students enjoy the telling of history in a medium they understand. Our life-sized figures help tell the events that formed and made Virginia what it is today.
Teachers have responded by stating that their “students’ attention spans are very short, but your scenes educate, entertain and hold their interest in telling the story of our State.”
Yes, we do charge an admission; it allows us to expand and add new and interesting scenes of Virginia history.
We are an important part of the Natural Bridge complex, amplifying how Natural Bridge and our surrounding areas have contributed to the founding of our nation.
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