The first rotation of the 200 Years of Food Preservation at the South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History kicked off last week with samples of “Joe Froggers” cookies and orange pudding.

That was just two of many samplings offered at a grand opening on Oct. 2 giving approximately 25 guests from all over Southside a taste of what Native Americans or Elvira Henry, daughter-in-law of Patrick Henry, may have served their guests.

Visitors left Jennifer Bryant, museum director, glowing reviews with one comparing the museum exhibit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibit, “Harvest Time, From the Garden to the Table,” begins in 1750 taking visitors through what European immigrants may have cooked and preserved more than 200 years ago.

“It mirrors what others migrating to Halifax County may have been experiencing,” said Bryant.

She said by beginning in 1750 it gives a chance for others to learn about was already available just before Halifax County was established in 1752.

The exhibit continues through history offering the chance to learn about historic figures such as French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, how the railroads and industrial revolution changed food preservation efforts and ending in the 1950s with the beginning of A&P Stores.

But just before talk of those A&P Stores, a tour will lead one to a wall of stores from each of the communities in Halifax County.

The museum director said choosing which ones to include was a difficult task since the county has so many, but she made sure to include a store from every community giving school-aged children the opportunity to see one they may be familiar with and can relate to.

The public is urged to check out the exhibit to learn about the role Halifax County played in food preservation from 1750 to 1950.

The exhibit will be open through Nov. 30 before changing to “Sugar, Salt and Snow – Preparing for a White Christmas.” That exhibit will give visitors a chance to learn about brining, curing and food preservation up to the innovation of the refrigerator.

That exhibit will run from Dec. 4 to Jan. 25 and will give visitors a chance to learn about the hardware stores in downtown South Boston that sold refrigerators.

“Hardware stores in South Boston began selling fridges as early as the 1930s,” said Bryant.

Refrigerators for home use were invented in 1913.

The last exhibit of the 200 Years of Food Preservation will be titled “Brine and Brand – How Science and Chemistry Changed Food Preservation.”

That exhibit will run from Jan. 29 to March 14.

The museum, located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

For more information, visit sbhcmuseum.org or call 434-572-9200.

The South Boston – Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History also can be found on Facebook.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com