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Jefferson museum opens display

New permanent exhibit focuses on Long's many travels

POSTED: January 17, 2013 12:30 a.m.

The Crawford W. Long Museum in Jefferson has opened a new permanent exhibit showcasing artifacts related to traveling in the mid-1800s.

“Traveling” takes events from Dr. Crawford W. Long’s life to illustrate the difficulties of moving between cities during that era.

Long began his medical studies in Lexington, Ky., in the late 1830s. He rode horseback from his family home in Danielsville through western North Carolina to Knoxville, Tenn., then on to Lexington, a trip of more than four weeks.

Maps show the route Long would have followed and charts from the time period lists costs of crossing privately owned toll bridges.

Long likely chose to travel through North Carolina because his mother’s family resided in the area west of Asheville, providing him free room and board along the way. Otherwise, he would have followed the established Federal Road through northern Georgia to Chattanooga and points north.

Later in his professional life (1850s-1870s), he traveled by train once per year to Philadelphia and New York on buying trips for his Athens pharmacy. His train trips involved frequent reroutings due to rail line repairs.

Jefferson’s role as an overnight stagecoach stop serves as an example of stagecoach travel throughout the south and west. Unlike depictions from Hollywood, travelers did not arrive at their destination wearing lavish clothing; in fact, stagecoach travel was slow, crowded and dirty. Overnight stops might provide only a straw bed and a glass of milk with cornbread.

The Crawford W. Long Museum located at 28 College St. is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. A special admission price of $1 is offered for January only.

For more information call 706-367-5307 or visit


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