101 Cave Hill Road
Luray, VA 22835
P. O. Box 748
Luray,, VA 22835
Rod Graves, MuseumsUSA Contact
The Luray Valley Museum is an intriguing and thorough presentation which celebrates our early Shenandoah Valley culture. Visitors begin the tour at the log Stonyman building which houses an overview of the Valley's history, supplemented with historic documents, decorative arts, items of clothing and artifacts. The museum displays items in chronological delivery from pre-contact Native peoples to life in the bustling 1920s. A 1536 Swiss bible in the German vernacular, the centerpiece of the collection, connects the valley's history and development of the European immigrants who settled the region from Pennsylvania through the ports of the northeast. Natives, Africans and Europeans carved out a life together in the original American frontier.
Beyond the unique artifacts of the Stoneyman building is a collection of historic, local structures which have been transported with care to the site. Restoration is underway and is representative of a small 19th century farming community. The Elk Run Dunkard Church, circa 1800, served as a barracks for hundreds of both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War as attested by the signatures and scrawls that still scatter the interior.
The seven acre site houses nearly a dozen relocated, reconstructed and newly constructed, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient structures which recreate pioneer life in this area. Already complete are early 'Backcountry' buildings such as a large threshing barn, the 1835 home of the county's first judge, the Elk Run Meeting House and a corn crib. A recreated mining station provides a panning opportunity at The Page Valley Mining Company. This giant sluice affords a hands-on activity for children and adults of all ages. Underway is detailed restoration of the area's first school for African American children and the installation of an acquisition from the Smithsonian Institution, a gazebo which depicts Welsh construction. As the project evolves, the property's original farm house will be furnished and opened to the public for viewing.
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