The School Rooms

 Mr. Gilliam with just a few of the thousands of pictures available for viewing.  Mr. Gilliam says that if you or anyone in your family attended any of these schools, he probably has a picture of them.

Mr. Gilliam showing a pair of football "cleats" from days gone by.



The collection includes many sports and band uniforms as well as  school jackets.





An antique "pie safe" holds a complete collection of Annuals from Big Stone Gap, East Stone Gap, and Powell Valley High Schools, as well as a growing collection from Appalachia High School.

Nestled on the second floor of the June Tolliver House resides a treasure of information about the schools in our area.  Here, you will find school memorabilia, monograms, sweaters, uniforms, musical instruments, school annuals (year books), and thousands of pictures all telling the story of the Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Bland, Central, East Stone Gap, and Powell Valley High Schools.

The  curator of this exhibit is Mr. Garnett Gilliam, a retired Wise County educator.  Mr. Gilliam has a wealth of knowledge not only about the schools of our area but also about our history and about the people whose personal dedication and sacrifices made us who we are today.

A photograph collection honoring Mrs. McChesney, the founder of the Appalachia and Big Stone Gap High School Bands.  Mrs. McChesney  was the first female band director east of the Mississippi.

Spring and Summer Hours:
Open Tuesday through Sunday
Weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Also open prior to  performances of
"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" drama

Fall and Winter Hours:
Open Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please call 276-523-4707 or e-mail Mr. Gilliam at

Attention out of town visitors:  If you are in Big Stone Gap and would like to view the exhibit when the June Tolliver House is not open, please call one of the telephone numbers posted on the front door of the Tolliver House.  One of the volunteers will give you a tour of the exhibit.


We sincerely appreciate those who have made this exhibit possible through their contributions of money, materials, and information.


Admission is free.  Donations are accepted to help defray the costs of operating the exhibit.