TAZEWELL, VA – JANUARY 18, 2021 An up to a $100,000 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Tourism Capital Improvement Matching Grant Fund was closed recently for the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell County.

The funds will be used to finance building(s) construction, expansion and rehabilitation, the construction and development of new exhibits and other improvements.

“This project centers on the capital needs of the museum center, according to the application,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “VCEDA has been a long-time partner with the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park, assisting this tourism venue in its growth and development through the years. In the process, the tourism industry has been increased in the region and the history of the area has been preserved.”

Specifically, repairs to the metal roof, expanding and renovating the visitor bathrooms, upgrading the permanent exhibition gallery and expanding the storage capacity of the collections and general storage areas are among the areas the grant funding will be used.

According to the application, the project also includes structural repairs needed at the 1907 Pisgah Store and to other structures within the Pioneer Park.

Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park just celebrated its 40th year as a non-profit museum and educational institution. 

“Our mission remains, to identify, collect, preserve, interpret and promote the diverse Appalachian cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region,” said Cynthia Farmer, executive director of the Historic Crab Orchard Museum. “We maintain a museum center along with 14 log and stone buildings from the 1800s.  Fortunately, the stewardship of this 23-acre campus and facilities continues to be a reality, due largely, to our relationship with the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).  

“The opportunities and support provided within VCEDA’s grant programs ensures the success and protection of what so many have worked so diligently to preserve for future generations,” she added.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.