When the Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the site in 1946, Mr. James True, the first Curator, went to work expanding the core collection donated by C. Bascom Slemp and his sister, Janie Slemp Newman. Two local brothers, Edward and W.M. Gibson, put on loan to the museum in 1947, many items reflecting the pioneer history and culture of the area. Some of these wonderful items included: a loom, spinning wheel, bear trap, ox yoke, and many other household and farming implements. A number of these items have been on display, throughout the museum, since its opening in 1948.
In 2010, Glenn Gibson of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, wanting to preserve his family’s contributions to the museum and ensure these items would be enjoyed by generations to come, donated these items to the museum. The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park extends appreciation to Mr. Gibson for preserving the history and culture of the area.