Southwest Virginia entrepreneur honored in museum exhibit

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Nominated as one of the Virginia Women in History in 2007 by the Virginia Library and recently memorialized in the Virginia Women’s Monument in Richmond’s Capitol Square, Laura Lu Scherer Copenhaver is a Southwest Virginia legend.

Now Copenhaver is being honored in an exhibit at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon. The WKMA said Copenhaver’s Rosemont Industries “bolstered the economy of Southwest Virginia for almost 100 years.” Its exhibit Superabundance: The Legacy of Laura Lu Copenhaver is a tribute to her entrepreneurial spirit and features the furniture and textiles of Rosemont Industries.

In the early 1900s Rosemont Industries produced rugs, bedspreads and other woven, knitted and crocheted items. She hired Southwest Virginia women to craft the home goods that became world-renowned.

Copenhaver, who also was an early member of the Virginia Farm Bureau, died in 1940 at age 72. After her death, the business was incorporated as Laura Copenhaver Industries and operated until 2012.

The museum exhibit began in February and will run through Sept. 13. It was organized in collaboration with the Copenhaver family.

The WKMA, 415 Academy Drive NW, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit williamkingmuseum.org.


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