Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Wishes Made at Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum Come True

The small pond at Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum was built by former employee and now volunteer Eddie Atwell.  It was a way to take advantage of a low lying, sort of marshy area, in the landscaped grounds and place a feature that visitors could enjoy. It became a wishing well. Visitors began tossing coins in it and making wishes.  Little did we know how much it appeared to affect people. Time and time again visitors who had tossed a coin, made a wish, kept coming back to tell us over and over that their wish has come true.

One we remember well was a young couple who made Wolf Creek Indian Village their first date. On the way out to the parking lot they both stopped, tossed a coin and made a wish at the pond to find their special someone.  (With hopes that maybe it would be each other.) A year later the young man came in to set up a special surprise. The following Saturday he would bring the same girl who was now his longtime girlfriend back to Wolf Creek Museum, the site of their first date, and ask her to marry him.

We set up the engagement ring in the Gift Shop in a jewelry case with the question of "Will you marry me?" Thank goodness the answer was yes.

Other stories have came through such as asking for answers for troubles and health for themselves or family members by tossing a coin making a wish. Visitors returned to tell us their wishes came true. Now we can't verify any of this.  It is just what visitors tell us. Maybe it is because it is just their want to believe or maybe it is that Wolf Creek Museum is a special place.  What ever it is we want to save the wishing well.

But we have had problems with the wishing pond.  We are on the fourth water pump and the coins tossed oxidize making them not much appreciated when we we clean the pond to gather them and put them in bank rolls. They also put metal chemicals in the water. Not very healthy for the tadpoles that appear every year.  With something that has been appreciated by visitors so many times to do away with it just doesn't seem right.

This year, Eddie Atwell has pledge to sponsor a new wishing well in honor of his family. Justin Miller, a master stone mason has offered to donate his skills to build a wishing well safe for tadpoles and still with the ability to possibly grant wishes for those that believe in tossing a coin and making wishes.

To make this happen in the next month or so what is needed is a source of our native field stone at least 3 to 5 inches thick to add to the stone we will use from the old pond.  Do we have anyone out there that has a source of field stone maybe piled up in their farmland fields that you would like to contribute to this project?  Please call the museum at 276-688-3438 or email us at

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Green Corn Festival Canceled for 2011, Resume for 2012

News Release January 16, 2011

Annual Green Corn Festival in Bland, VA Canceled for 2011, Resumed for 2012
Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum in Bastian, Virginia has decided to cancel the All Nations Green Corn Festival for 2011 in order to focus on village reconstruction and museum improvements. Sam Wright, General Manager of WCIV states, “ We are focusing all our resources on the rebuild of the replica of the 500 year old Indian village that once existed here. We are also working to obtain funding to enhance the trails, and increase parking. Our plans are to resume the festival for 2012.”
Denise Smith, Museum Programs Coordinator, stated, “I think this is a good move to postpone the festival to next year, so we can focus on rebuilding the entire village. Our thoughts for the future are to rebuild the village and get more parking here so we can hold events such as the All Nations Green Corn Festival at the sight of a recreated 500 year old First Nation's village. It would be an awesome development to have American Indians dancing with drums here at the village for the Green Corn Festival. It is their history.”

There are several festival events scheduled in the region for 2011 that the Green Corn Dancers, and vendors may be found attending. A representative of Wolf Creek Indian Village will attend the Strong Sun Powwow July 8-10, 2011 in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Drums of Painted Mountain Powwow September 16-18, 2011 at Southwest Virginia Community College in Cedar Bluff, VA. Information links will be posted at

In addition to the village reconstruction, museum staff are busy developing new exhibits in the museum and also programs to benefit the local community. An exhibit for the 150th Sesquicentennial of Bland County will focus on Native Americans and their part in the Civil War.

April 2nd 2011, is our opening for the season. We have a Blessing Ceremony and an open house for the museum plus a 5k run in the works.

“Selu's Garden” is a new program to benefit the local community that will donate excess produce from the gardens at Wolf Creek to the Bland Ministry Center's food program. “We use non-hybrid seed just as the First people did and this produce, if you want to save the seed, you can and grow it again next year. There will be instructions with the produce on how to do that for those that receive it. Even if you don't plant a garden you can grow produce in a pot.” explains Denise Smith. The museum is also looking to develop after school programs in the future for the community.