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Museums and Historic Homes: 2021 Discover Richmond Annual Guide
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Museums and Historic Homes: 2021 Discover Richmond Annual Guide

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RICHMOND SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Agecroft Hall hosts the Richmond Shakespeare Festival.

The Richmond region is rich with museums and historic homes that preserve local history and beauty, and many offer seasonal concerts and activities. Days and hours can vary (and may be limited for some sites), so call or check websites before visiting. (Area code 804 unless otherwise noted.)

Agecroft Hall: The 15th-century English Tudor mansion was dismantled in Manchester, England, and rebuilt in 1925-26 on a 23-acre site in Richmond. Collection includes documents, furniture, ceramics, textiles and more. Also home to the Richmond Shakespeare Festival in the summer. (4305 Sulgrave Road; 353-4241; agecrofthall.org)

American Civil War Museum: Collection of artifacts, documents and sites related to the war and its legacy, reflecting multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free American American; soldier and civilian. Collection also features more than 3,000 items relating to African American history and military, social and political life. (acwm.org; 649-1861). In three locations: Historic Tredegar (480 Tredegar St.), White House of the Confederacy (1201 E. Clay St.) and Appomattox (159 Horseshoe Road in Appomattox)

Ashland Museum: Dedicated to the history of the town in Hanover County. (105 Hanover Ave., 368-7314; ashlandmuseum.org)

Congregation Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives: Focuses on local Jewish history and culture; its roots are linked to one of the country's oldest synagogues. (1109 W. Franklin St.; 353-2668; bethahabah.org/bama/)

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia: Now housed in the Leigh Street Armory, the museum is a repository for records and artifacts commemorating the culture and histories of African Americans in Virginia. (122 W. Leigh St.; 780-9093; blackhistorymuseum.org)

Branch Museum of Architecture and Design: Exploring the impact of design, the exhibition includes “The House that Branch Built” – about the Tudor Revival home designed by John Russell Pope. Programs, visiting exhibitions and house tours offered on select days. (2501 Monument Ave.; 655-6055; branchmuseum.org)

Chesterfield County Museum: The museum, a Colonial courthouse reproduction (at 6813 Mimms Loop), houses rotating exhibitions and leads to tours of the 1892 Old Jail. Magnolia Grange (at 10020 Iron Bridge Road) is an 1822 Federal-style house offering tours. A public research library is in historic Trinity Church (at 10111 Iron Bridge Road), which is home to the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia. (796-7121; chesterfieldhistory.com)

Children’s Museum of Richmond: Offering innovative learning experiences through play for children at two branches. (c-mor.org) – Central (2626 W. Broad St.; 474-7062) and Chesterfield (6629 Lake Harbour Drive; 474-7075).

Chimborazo Medical Museum: Headquarters of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Chimborazo was a hospital during the Civil War; current displays highlight medical equipment and hospital life. (3215 E. Broad St.; 226-1981; nps.gov/rich)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum: In the Old Stone House, Poe collection includes manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and a garden designed in 1922. (1914 E. Main St.; 648-5523; poemuseum.org)

Goochland County Historical Society: Court Square includes the county courthouse, which dates to 1825. The old stone jail (c. 1825) flanks one side, while the original brick clerk’s office (c. 1847) also is part of the 10-acre complex. (2938 River Road West; 556-3966; goochlandhistory.org)

Hanover County Courthouse: Dating to the 1730s, the courthouse is where statesman Patrick Henry argued his famous “Parson’s Cause” lawsuit in 1763, and where free summer performances with portrayals of famous historical figures are held (parsonscause.org; 837-4900). The Old Stone Jail nearby was built around 1835. (13182 Hanover Courthouse Road; hanoverhistorical.org)

Hanover Tavern: Across from the courthouse, the tavern, where Patrick Henry once lived with his family, offers self-guided tours and exhibits; it now houses a theater and restaurant. (13181 Hanover Courthouse Road; 537-5050; hanovertavern.org)

Henricus Historical Park: In modern Chesterfield County, this living-history museum features 12 re-created Colonial structures and an Indian village tied to Sir Thomas Dale’s establishment in 1611 of the Citie of Henricus on the James River – it was one of the earliest successful English settlements in North America. (251 Henricus Park Road; 748-1611; henricus.org)

Institute for Contemporary Art: Virginia Commonwealth University’s museum on the Monroe Park campus, at the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets, presents the art of our time and promotes dialogue and collaboration. (601 W. Broad St.; 828-2823; icavcu.org)

Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art and Print Study Center: A forum for visual arts, the museum houses a collection of prints; closed during university breaks. (University of Richmond Modlin Center, 28 Westhampton Way; 289-8276; museums.richmond.edu)

John Marshall House: Federal-era home built by the fourth chief justice of the United States. (818 E. Marshall St.; 648-7998; preservationvirginia.org)

Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature: Gems, jewelry, minerals, fossils, seashells and other natural objects; closed during university breaks. (University of Richmond Boatwright Library, 261 Richmond Way; 289-8237; museums.richmond.edu)

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site: Part of the National Park Service, the home of the pioneering black female bank president, businesswoman, newspaper editor and civil rights advocate is in historic Jackson Ward. (Home is at 110½ E. Leigh St., but visitor entrance is at 600 N. Second St.; 771-2017; nps.gov/malw)

Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park: 1860 living-history farm site and museum present programs on the culture of the rural South. Also features playground, trails, shelters and fishing pond. (3400 Mountain Road; 652-1455; henrico.us/rec/parks)

Pamplin Historical Park: The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier highlights the 19th century and includes exhibits, earthworks, interpreted trails and plantation house at the site of the battle that ended the Siege of Petersburg and led to the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. (6125 Boydton Plank Road just outside Petersburg in Dinwiddie; 861-2408; pamplinpark.org)

Petersburg Museums: Several sites. (petersburg-va.org – select “visitors” and then "museums")

* Blandford Church: Built from 1735 to 1737, the church was a telegraph station during the Civil War and hospital during the Siege of Petersburg. As a memorial to the Southern dead, Louis Comfort Tiffany created 15 windows, 13 of which were paid for by the Southern states. (319 S. Crater Road; 733-2396)

* Centre Hill Mansion: 1823 Greek Revival home that Hollywood often uses as a Civil War film set. (1 Centre Hill Court; 733-2401)

* Exchange Building: Houses city visitors center, with plans for a museum about city history. (15 W. Bank St.; 835-9630)

* Farmers Bank: 1817 building is being preserved to educate visitors on banking, commerce, architecture and life in the first half of the 19th century. (19 Bollingbrook St.; 722-0198)

Prince George Regional Heritage Center: Located in the old courthouse, exhibits explore the county’s history, including a Czech-Slovak gallery focusing on Slavic communities in the county after the Civil War. (6406 Courthouse Road; 863-0212; princegeorgevahistoricalsociety.org)

Richmond Railroad Museum: Located in a former Southern Railway station and featuring displays of historic passenger cars and engines, as well as a large-scale model railroad; offers a computerized simulator that allows visitors to "drive" a train. (102 Hull St.; 231-4324; richmondrailroadmuseum.org)

Science Museum of Virginia: Hundreds of experiential exhibits, artifacts and interactive technologies (some for ages 5 and younger), plus films in the Omnimax Dome theater. (2500 W. Broad St.; 864-1400; smv.org)

Scotchtown: Plantation owned and used by Patrick Henry, first governor of Virginia, and his family in the 1770s. (16120 Chiswell Lane in Beaverdam; 227-3500; preservationvirginia.org)

U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum: History of the Army’s oldest logistics branch includes numerous collections. (2220 Adams Ave., Building 5218, Fort Lee near Petersburg; 734-4203; qmmuseum.lee.army.mil) 

U.S. Army Women’s Museum: World's only museum dedicated to Army women from the Revolutionary War to the present features videos and galleries. (2100 Adams Ave., Fort Lee near Petersburg; 734-4327; awm.lee.army.mil)

The Valentine: Preserves and interprets Richmond’s 400-year history and includes the 1812 Wickham House and a sculpture studio. Offers city tours, school programs and the First Freedom Center (at South 14th and Cary streets),which explores religious freedom in America. (1015 E. Clay St.; 649-0711; thevalentine.org)

Violet Bank Museum: With its Federal design, this 1815 structure became Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s headquarters during the Civil War's Siege of Petersburg; displays feature an array of guns and artifacts, including furniture, textiles and glass. (303 Virginia Ave. in Colonial Heights; 520-9395; colonialheightsva.gov/499) 

Virginia Holocaust Museum: Exhibits portray the historical and sobering personal realities of the Holocaust; includes document archive and research library. (2000 E. Cary St.; 257-5400; vaholocaust.org)

Virginia House: Reconstructed English manor house owned by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, featuring Charles Gillette gardens. Open by appointment only and for Historic Garden Week in Virginia. (4301 Sulgrave Road; 340-1800; virginiahistory.org)

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Among the largest comprehensive art museums in the country – with nearly 50,000 works in its permanent collection spanning 6,000 years of world history – VMFA has renowned collections of Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs, American art and more. (200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.; 340-1400; vmfa.museum)

Virginia Museum of History & Culture: “The Story of Virginia” is the signature exhibit at what was long known as the Virginia Historical Society; array of galleries and exhibits touch on landscapes, military history and Native Americans. Includes genealogical research library. (428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.; 340-1800; virginiahistory.org)

Virginia E. Randolph Museum: Celebrates the life of pioneering African American educator and humanitarian born in 1870 in Richmond to parents who had been slaves; museum is housed in a 1937 brick structure that was the home-economics cottage for the Virginia Randolph Education Center. (2200 Mountain Road; 652-1475; henrico.us/rec/parks)

Virginia Telephone Museum: Created in 1991 by phone company employees and retirees, this museum features old telephones, switchboards and other historic items, plus a library for research or browsing. Call or email (vtmrva@wcast.info) for tour information. (713 E. Grace St.; 691-3498; calink.us/vtm/webpage.htm)

Virginia Union University Museum Galleries: African, Oceanic and African-American folk art. (1500 N. Lombardy St.; 257-5660; vuu.edu – search "museum")

Weston Manor: Built in 1789 overlooking the Appomattox River in Hopewell, the Virginian Georgian architectural mansion is furnished with antiques and period pieces. (400 Weston Lane in Hopewell; 458-4682; historichopewell.org)

Wilton House Museum: An example of Georgian architecture (c. 1753), Wilton has a collection of more than 1,400 objects and artifacts including silvers, ceramics, textiles, paintings, documents and furniture. (215 S. Wilton Road; 282-5936; wiltonhousemuseum.org)

Wolf Creek Cherokee Museum: Both a museum and tribal arts center, scores of artifacts such as tomahawks, arrowheads and dance regalia are featured; also hosts powwows, classes, musical performances and genealogical research. (7400 Osborne Turnpike in Varina; 222-4400 or 387-0655; wolfcreekcherokee.com)

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