The Blue Ridge Institute & Museum (BRIM) of Ferrum College recently opened a new exhibit highlighting Franklin County history, “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Dorothy Cundiff Collection.” Museum studies students including recent graduates Caleb Bailey and Kelsey Smith played a significant role in planning and producing the exhibit.
A prominent businesswoman and local historian, Cundiff collected local photos, stories, memories, and books about Franklin County throughout her life. She also published a series of more than 40 booklets titled Yesterday and Today. The Cundiff family donated her extensive collection—including photographs, newspaper articles, bills, receipts, memos, books, pamphlets, and antiques, with subjects covered ranging from local businesses to local genealogy—to the BRIM for preservation.
“It is rare that the collections of a woman historian are gifted to museums. We are especially proud to add her work to our collections because it provides another perspective to our archives,” said Ariel Dalton, curator and archivist at the BRIM.
Cundiff spent her life devoted to others, including her family and the local community at large. She was the driving force behind many community events including the Fun Festival and the annual Rocky Mount Christmas Parade. When viewing “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Dorothy Cundiff Collection”, BRIM visitors will see her love for Franklin County and what it meant to her.
The exhibit will be on display at the BRIM through the end of June.