New Exhibit at Slate Valley Museum Recalls World War One
The Slate Valley Museum in Granville, N.Y., will open a new exhibition on Friday, September 1, exploring World War I from 1914 to 1918 through two vantage points; from the slate areas in Wales, and Vermont and New York, titled ‘No Peace in the Valleys: A Call for Service in the Quarries and Beyond.’ The war effort took many men away from the local quarries and mills. Strong national feelings were stirred among the many cultural and ethnic groups that made up the industry when people were transferred to the European front or to factories providing military equipment and supplies. The Welsh experience is provided in panels from an exhibit held at the National Slate Museum of Wales in 2016, and moving stories representing America’s participation in the War come from area museums and local families.
One such family is that of Morris Rote-Rosen, village clerk in Granville for over 50 years, who was born near Warsaw, Russia. According to his recollections, his father had obtained contracts to supply provisions to the Russian army barracks and kerosene for the city streetlights, but he refused an assignment when he learned he would be obligated arrest two revolutionaries each month. He had hoped, in vain, for a special passport to allow him to do business in the interior of Russia, otherwise closed to Jews. After losing much of his fortune, he decided to follow his brother-in-law to West Rutland, where he ran a grocery and dry goods store, arriving in 1901 to become a pack peddler covering a route through the marble quarries.
The exhibit is a continuing effort by SVM to explore the issues and times that led to the Great War in its Centennial year, opening with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 1, and , and will be on view through Armistice Day, Saturday, November 11.
A special free program will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15, titled ‘Well this is all for now…so goodbye; Letters, Writings and Poetry from Veterans,’ at the Stone Valley Arts Center in Poultney, with author and Vietnam veteran Bill Wunder, who will read from his book, ‘Pointing at the Moon.’ Light refreshments will be served.
“The cooperation and willingness to share that was extended from our friends at the National Slate Museum, in Llanberis, Gwynedd, northwest Wales and our neighbors at Telescope Casual Furniture, along with families and community organizations across the region have been fantastic and is greatly appreciated,” states research and education coordinator Bob Isherwood. SVM is located at 17 Water Street in Granville, N.Y. For details, call 518-642-1417 or visit slatevalleymuseum.org .