A Northern Pacific Railroad survey crew, including a Japanese immigrant, poses circ. 1885 near the Green River, Washington Territory. (Exhibition photo from the University of Washington libraries.)

By Roanoke College News

Smithsonian exhibition makes stop at Roanoke

A partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils brought a history exhibition to Roanoke College in November 2015 that documents, through storytelling, how our ancestors came to America.

"Journey Stories" is an exhibition by Museum on Main Street, which brings exhibits to small-town museums and exhibit spaces. "Journey Stories," featuring vivid images, and audio and video recordings, is housed inside the newly renovated first floor of the College's Bank Building. Terri Cobb '95, registrar for Museum on Main Street, helped bring the former traveling exhibit to the College. Cobb arranged for "Journey Stories" to make a special appearance at Roanoke after Dr. Mark Miller, a history professor at the College, contacted her to ask about an exhibition that could be featured in the new gallery space.

“The great thing about ‘Journey Stories,’ it’s talking about transportation through personal stories, through quotes and recordings. You hear personal impressions.”

Terri Cobb '95

The timing was perfect to send "Journey Stories" to Salem, Cobb says. The exhibition was closing in California and shipping back to the East Coast, after traveling to 30 different states over the past six years.

"It's great to have it out one more time and at my alma mater," said Cobb, who was part of the team that created the exhibition. Cobb came to Salem to clean the exhibit and install it at Logan Gallery, with help from several Roanoke students. While on campus, Cobb, who majored in history and international relations at Roanoke, also discussed the exhibition's significance with students in a public history class. "The great thing about 'Journey Stories,' it's talking about transportation through personal stories, through quotes and recordings," Cobb said. "You hear personal impressions." The exhibition "tells the important story of the settlement of America," Miller said. "It's accessible and awfully engaging on a broader level."