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Pig statue a tribute to Washington legislation

A ceramic pig sits inside George Washington's Office in Winchester. The pig is part of an exhibit opening Saturday that details Washington's role in city legislation that penned pigs for health and safety concerns. Jeb Inge/Daily (Buy photo)

By Josette Keelor

Not since George Washington's time has anyone had to fear the possibility of a pig on the lawn of his downtown Winchester office.

Far from eliciting new fears, an exhibit outside George Washington's Office Museum seeks to excite squeals of delight from children, who are welcome to enjoy the pig in safety.

The exhibit at 32 W. Cork St. is a tribute to the one piece of legislation Washington is known to have signed into law while representing Frederick County for the House of Burgesses in the mid-1700s, banning pigs from running loose in town in an effort to protect the community's drinking water against harmful contaminants spread by pigs.

The fiberglass pig to be unveiled in Winchester at 1 p.m. Saturday will be the first exhibit the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society has added in 10 years, said Executive Director Cissy Shull.

"The last permanent exhibit was probably the statue... that was way back in 2004." The statue of Washington as a young surveyor stands on the grounds of the museum.

Following the pig dedication will be a skit called "Hog Wild in Winchester," written by Shenandoah University professor Sally Anderson and performed by university students.

"The skit's a little tongue in cheek, about how George passed that law," Shull said.

Saturday's event is free and open to the public. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday through October, and tickets are $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $2:50 for children and $12 for families.

"By putting these exhibits up," Shull said, "people can still learn about George Washington and the time he spent in Winchester, after hours."

Contact the historical society at 540-662-6550 or at www.winchesterhistory.org.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com


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