The Electric Map is a vertical 14-foot relief map of the Shenandoah Valley stretching 150 miles from the Pennsylvania line to Staunton, Virginia. More than 300 LED lights illuminate the Valley Campaign of General Stonewall Jackson during 1862 as an accompanying soundtrack describes the action of the competing armies.
The map was created for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Centennial Commission by the staff of Joseph Ney’s department store in downtown Harrisonburg for the Civil War Centennial Commemoration. Dedicated on March 23, 1962, the cash book lists 30 viewings with sales and donations totaling $45.80 for the remainder of that month. The Historical Society acquired the map in October 1968.
Now 60 years old, the Electric Map is an artifact itself and a lesson in history interpretation. Unique to a bygone era of museum displays, the lighting and original soundtrack create an experience which can now be used to interpret the context of American history in the 1960s.
NOTE: The technology of the Electric Map (updated in 2000) runs on a Windows 2000 computer. Recent concerns for the stability of the program have suspended viewing. Rocktown History is seeking grants to create a video recording of the map program for its preservation and future interpretation. Thank you for your understanding. July, 2021.