The museum is housed in a mansion built in the 1880s by Rufus Ayers, a Virginia attorney general. The museum was bequeathed to the commonwealth in 1946 by C. Bascom Slemp, private secretary to President Calvin Coolidge and a member of the U. S. Congress. The museum was officially dedicated by the state in 1948. It features a collection comprised of more than 20,000 pieces, about one third of which is on display at any given time. The museum chronicles the exploration and development of the region during the 1890s coal boom, as well as the pioneer period. It offers activities for kids, scout and school programs, workshops, an annual Festival of Trees program, a quilt show, a music festival and outdoor exhibits. The museum sells archival supplies and offers the opportunity to have pictures of collection pieces copied, as well as copies of reference files. A gift shop at the museum features Victorian-era and pioneer items, local crafts, a large selection of books and Virginia State Parks itmes. The Victorian Parlor there is available for rent for business and social occasions.Southwest Virginia Museum is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Big Stone Gap Edition.
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4 days in Big Stone Gap & Niagara Falls BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Big Stone Gap BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
When I visited SouthWest Virginia Museum there were groups from local businesses, schools, churches, etc. who were decorating each room with Christmas Trees. It was such a treat to see in addition to ... more »
Located in a beautiful home, relevant to the history of the area, life in the history of Southwest Virginia was beautifully displayed. Unique artifacts and lots of historical films and well-described ... more »
Much to see and something for everyone. Captures the history of the region and it's people. Staff was friendly and helpful. We spent three and a half hours and never tired. Also has some unique items ... more »
Loved the time I spent in Big Stone. Wife and I went to the museum a few times. Especially for the Christmas Tree Festival.
Anything that has to do with history is exciting and wonderful everyone should check this out it's great
Great family fun, awesome gift shop, something for everyone!
Best things to do in Big Stone Gap
Side trips from Big Stone Gap
River Rafting & Tubing
Visit for: 3h 30min
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Visit for: 8h
Virginia Creeper Trail
Visit for: 3h
Bristol Motor Speedway
Visit for: 2h 30min
Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium
Visit for: 2h
Cherokee National Forest
Visit for: 4h
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