Glencoe Mansion Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Glencoe Anniversary
Scott Gardner
Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery

Glencoe Mansion is pleased to announce the celebration of its 25th anniversary on Saturday, December 2, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, with a special program of recognition taking place at 4:30. The event is open to the public, and there is no admission charge.

12 1 glencoe Opening 1998
Opening 1998: The Ribbon cutting for the opening of Glencoe as a museum in 1998. (Glencoe photo)

The Glencoe Mansion was completed in 1875 as the home for Gen. Gabriel C. Wharton and his wife Nannie Radford Wharton. The house remained in family hands until 1981. According to Director Scott Gardner, “It is really amazing that we can still talk with Wharton descendants who knew Glencoe as a house and not a museum.” He adds, “They are very glad that their ancestral home can serve as such a great part of the community.”

When the Wharton family sold Glencoe it was purchased by the Kollmorgen Corporation, which was looking to expand their facility. As part of their campaign, they built the large parking lots that line West Main Street. During their improvements, they also cleared the many trees and shrubs that had obscured Glencoe from the view of the community. For many, this century-old home was a new discovery. In 1996 Kollmorgen donated the Glencoe structure to the City of Radford for the creation of a museum that City leaders had wanted to develop for the community.

The City of Radford began the restoration of Glencoe in 1997. It was a massive project that entailed far more than anyone had imagined. There were major structural repairs that had to be made, but in the end, they saved a City treasure. Tom Starnes, the Mayor of Radford at that time, was a keen advocate for the museum. Starnes recently said, “Twenty-five years later as I reflect upon actions taken to preserve Glencoe and a portion of Radford history, I am convinced that it was the correct decision.”

When the restoration was completed in 1998, the City of Radford tasked the nonprofit Radford Heritage Foundation with the operation of the museum. The doors were opened to the public on October 10, and have been open since that point. The City of Radford and the Radford Heritage Foundation, now 25 years later, are still partnering to provide a major asset to the local community.

“The celebration of the 25th anniversary is an opportunity for us all to look back and reflect on all the individuals who have worked over the years to make Glencoe a success,” says Director Scott Gardner. The development of the museum has been a team effort, and it is hoped all those teammates through the years will come to celebrate.

The celebration is Saturday, December 2, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. There will be refreshments. There is no admission charge, and the public is welcome as Glencoe Mansion celebrates 25 years as a museum.