Street Address
101 Main Street
Smithfield, VA 23430
Mailing Address
101 Main Street
Smithfield, VA 23430
Monday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 5 PM
Monday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 5 PM
The museum is closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
J.L. Williams, Historic Resources Manager
phone: 757-357-0115
Tracey Neikirk, Curator
phone: 757-356-1014


Interpreting local history, the museum’s exhibits include prehistoric fossils, Native American and Colonial artifacts, a country store and the museum’s most notable artifact - the world’s oldest, edible cured ham. The 1902 pork product exemplifies the patented Smithfield curing process.


The Isle of Wight County Division of Historic Resources’ mission is to develop and advance an understanding of the county’s heritage by conserving, interpreting and preserving its sociological, agricultural, archaeological, cultural, military and natural history.


The Isle of Wight County Museum was founded in 1976 by a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of county history. The museum opened its doors to the public on Nov. 21, 1976, in the Old Gambling House, between the Old Courthouse and the Smithfield Inn.
In 1978, the museum moved to its present location in the Bank of Smithfield. Just across the street, the building was constructed in 1913 of Marvilla marble and limestone, which contains identifiable marine fossils. In 1990, the adjacent Folk Building was purchased for expansion, and in 1998, the museum became a department under county government, and at that time, a foundation was established.

Artifacts Collections

Collections include: local eastern woodland Native American pieces, local history and interest, Colonial era artifacts, Civil War artifacts from local sites, material related to the ham and peanut industries.

Research Collections

Ledgers related to the businesses of meat packing and peanut production.

Educational Programs

Exhibits, lectures, special events, monthly curatorial programs, programs for young children. Fees for some programs.


    Owned and operated by Isle of Wight County, Va.


    Access: Students, Scholars, Staff Only, Members

    Appointment required: Yes


    Wheelchair Accessible