by Judith Bailey on the Hidden Gem of the Roanoke Heritage Art Gallery and Military Museum
Fall days can be rainy, as demonstrated by the last week or so. Visitors are always looking around for something fun to do on a rainy day.
I'd like to suggest a visit to my favorite museum in Manteo, NC.
It is operated by Herbert Bliven, a famous local artist and illustrator. His friends call him "Hubby." He does all the frames for my paintings so I have the opportunity to stop by his museum on a regular basis.
Hubby has spent time scouring Roanoke Island for treasures of the past for the last 20 years and has quite a collection: Glass bottles, old milk jars,
civil war clay pipes, bullets, even a "Quaker" cannon! You might wonder what that is -- It was a cannon put up during the Civil War that was made of wood. Both sides used them to confuse the enemy about armament strength. It was actually a fabulous fake.
But everything in Hubby's museum is real, from the muskets and Garand rifles to the uniforms from every war.
He also has an extensive helmet collection and a case full of Native American artifacts, a donation from author, Suzanne Tate.
I asked Hubby how he could sum up the place and he said, "You can tour Dare County in 20 minutes and see everything -- history, wildlife, everything is here."
There are decoys, driftwood, some Christmas art, and of course, Hubby's own original paintings and prints for sale.
Sometimes there are cats lounging around the yard at the front of the building and they inspired his son to write two books about "Stumpy, the Pirate Cat." Dad illustrates it and is working on the illustrations for a third book. I got a sneak preview and it was a fun read. You can read more about that by following this link: http://www.stumpythepirate.com.
You can find Hubby and the museum by turning off Hwy. 64 onto Ananias Dare St. at the Manteo Baptist Church and the new ice cream shop. Go just a little ways and you will see the sign beside a two story white house on the right. Hours are 8-5 pm, Mon.-Sat.