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Who Are We? Details About The Historical Society

By now, you’ve seen our name and several stories on our website. But what is the Pittsylvania Historical Society? What do we do? Let’s go through a couple quick questions to flesh that out.

Question 1: What Do We Do?

The Pittsylvania Historical Society exists to preserve and share the rich history of our county for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of current and future citizens and visitors to the area.​ To accomplish this mission, we:​

  • Collect and preserve manuscripts, artifacts and other materials pertaining to the history of Pittsylvania County.​

  • Preserve and use the county’s historic sites, including the historic 1813 Clerk’s Office and museum in Chatham, the Heritage Museum on Whitehead Street in Chatham, historic Yates Tavern in Gretna, and the historic jail and courthouse in Callands.

  • Identify historical structures, cemeteries and other sites in Pittsylvania County with appropriate documentation and file with the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission.

  • Publish a quarterly newsletter and provide quarterly educational programs to members and other interested parties.

  • Promote and facilitate historical research.

  • Stimulate the youth and adults of the county to appreciate and preserve their heritage.

We also operate the Herman and Helen Melton Historical Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region. The project supports individuals conducting research to document information about people, places and events significant to the county’s history.

Question 2: How Do We Achieve Those Goals?


The Society meets quarterly in the months of January, April, July, and October. Notices pertaining to quarterly programs appear in our newsletter, on our Facebook page, and on this website. Specific locations, dates and times may vary.

The Society’s Board of Directors meets monthly on the third Monday at 5:30pm at the History Research Center & Library, 340 Whitehead Street, Chatham. Committees continue to meet and work virtually to plan future events.


The Historical Society Museum is located in the historic 1813 Clerk’s Office in the heart of Chatham, Virginia, behind the Town Hall at 16 Court Place, Chatham VA 24531.​ Stop by to enjoy our permanent and rotating exhibits. ​

Currently, the museum is open on special occasions and by appointment. Follow us on Facebook right here to learn of upcoming openings or check back here, as we constantly update the website.


Local history and genealogy resources are available at the History Research Center & Library, a branch of the Pittsylvania County Public Library. The History Research Center & Library is located in the restored 1918 train depot at 340 Whitehead Street in Chatham. The hours are 10am-2pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Question 3: Who Are We?

The Pittsylvania Historical Society’s Board of Directors includes:

President: William Guerrant

Co-Vice President: Diane Moon

Co-Vice President: Dianne McMahon

Treasurer: Carol Motley

Recording Secretary: Beth Coles​

Board Members:

Jessie Barksdale, William Black, Betty Camp, Virginia Chapin, James Doss, Wanda Gammon, Glenn Giles, George Harper Jr., usan Hedrick, Cynthia Hewitt, Langhorne Jones Jr., Desmond Kendrick, William Leftwich, Dianne McMahon, Carol Motley, Diane Moon, Kenyon Scott, Leigh Ann Shields, Earl Stanfield, Lisa Tuite

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