Mount Airy

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is nestled right on Main Street in historic downtown Mount Airy in a region that can claim some of the richest music-making traditions in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Radio WPAQ has a long tradition of broadcasting live mountain music, Tommy Jarrell, The Carter Family, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs among others. These musicians and others have graced the hometown of Andy Griffith, who quite often has picked up a guitar and sang.

Thomas "Tommy" Jarrell

Tommy Jarrell was born March 1, 1901, in the Round Peak community of Surry County, about ten miles west of Mount Airy. He grew up in a family where making liquor and making music were longheld traditions. When he was eight years old, he learned to play a banjo from Baugus Cockerham, a fieldhand on the Jarrell farm. Playing the fiddle, however, was his greatest love. By the time Jarrell was eighteen, he had stored in his memory a repertoire of more than one hundred old-time songs learned by ear from his father, uncle, and other musicians in the Round Peak area. Read more.