History and Heritage > Museums


Montgomery County


The Montgomery Museum is housed in the circa 1852 Manse of the Christiansburg Presbyterian Church. The museum's art shows feature local artists and its permanant art collection includes works and prints by well known artists. Various historical artifacts from or regarding the local area are displayed. The museum also houses a library of historical and genealogical texts for use by researchers.

The Montgomery Museum also operates two satellite branches in the communities of Riner and Shawsville. The Riner Branch is located in Riner, VA, in a historic log cabin on the grounds of Auburn High School. The Meadowbrook Branch will be located in the Meadowbrook Center, in Shawsville, VA, and will feature historic artifacts, documents and photos relating to eastern Montgomery County. During the 1800s, the eastern section of Montgomery County was home to six plantations and three popular mineral springs resorts. where vacationers partook of the "healing" mineral spring waters, enjoyed the natural beauty of the region and breathed the "healthy" mountain air.

The Christiansburg Institute, Inc. (CII) was formed in 1996 to promote and preserve its unique place in the history of African American education. Focusing on the preservation and exhibition of African American history, the group is working to archieve restoration of the Christiansburg Institute campus, which would include the Smokehouse Museum, the Shop building, a Memorial Garden, the Principals' Cemetery and the renovation of the historic Edgar A. Long building.

The history of the Christiansburg Institute can be traced to 1866, when a Freedmen's Bureau school was established in Montgomery County. The Christiansburg Industrial Institute, in Cambria, VA, was supported by the Friends' Freedman Association of Philadelphia and was modeled after the Tuskegee Industrial Institute. In 1895, Booker T. Washington was given general oversight over the work of the Christiansburg institution.


The Blacksburg Museum is currently planning for the restoration of the Alexander Black House and the Odd Fellows Hall. The Black House, an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian home will serve as headquarters for the museum and will be a cultural center that celebrates Blacksburg’s heritage while providing space for public and private events. The Odd Fellows Hall will be restored and dedicated to collecting, preserving, and presenting the contributions of African-Americans to the community.

Visitors to the Smithfield Plantation are quided through the home of Revolutionary War patriot, Col. William B. Preston, by costumed interpreters, and may tour the plantation grounds, a slave cabin and kitchen garden. Col. Preston established the Smithfield estate in 1772, after an earlier settlement, Draper's Meadows, was wiped out by an Indian massacre in 1755. The plantation was named for Preston's wife, Susanna Smith. The oldest part of the existing house was built in 1790.

Resource centers, museums and exhibits are operated as components of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, including: the Museum of Geosciences, the Museum of Natural History and the Black Cultural Center.


The planned Coal Mining Heritage Park, at Merrimac, VA, will serve as an outdoor science laboratory and nature center for area schools and as an outdoor historic and archaeological museum. Located along the along the Huckleberry Trail, a walking/biking trail connecting Blacksburg and Christiansburg, the Coal Mining Heritage Park is being developed and built almost entirely with donated materials and volunteer labor.

City of Radford

The main gallery for the Radford University Art Museum, the Flossie Martin Gallery, exhibits a variety of artwork on loan from other museums, as well as work by faculty, students, and alumni. Located on the Radford University campus.

The Glencoe Museum showcases the history of Radford and the surrounding region. The museum is located in the Wharton house, built in the 1870’s by Confederate Colonel, Gabriel Colvin Wharton married Anne Rebecca Radford, the daugther of Dr. John Blair Radford, for whom the City of Radford is named. Some of the artifacts found in an excavated circa-1600 Indian village that once existed in present-day Radford are on exhibit, providing visitors with a glimpse of Native American life in New River Valley region prior to European settlement.

Radford University Planetarium is an educational resource for the Radford University community and beyond featuring a full complement of shows appealing to a wide range of audiences and interests.

The Museum of the Earth Sciences Today is a component of the Department of Geology and the College of Science and Technology of Radford University, serving as an educational resource for earth science related themes for the University, for K12 communities,and for the general public.

Giles County


The Andrew Johnston House / Museum is located on the property of the Andrew Johnston house, built in 1826, which served as temporary military headquarters for Union forces in May of 1862, during the American Civil War.

Pulaski County


The Wilderness Road Regional Museum is housed in a circa 1816 house built by Henry Hance, an early postmaster of Newbern, VA. The Museum contains a library and archive of historical books and records, as well as a large assortment of family records.


The Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Museum is housed in the Pulaski railroad depot, built in 1886 of native sandstone.