Last updated: 8/28/2012
Dayton, Virginia
Street Address
382 High Street
Dayton, VA 22821
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 716
Dayton, VA 22821
April thru November (call to confirm)
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday1 PM - 5 PM
Monday: Closed ( Genealogy Research by appointment ): Also closed most holidays
Rest of Year
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday - Mondayclosed
Monday: Closed ( Genealogy Research by appointment ): Also closed most holidays
Adults - $ 5; Under 18 - Free ! ; Combo of Museum & CT House - $ 8; Group of ten or more - $ 3 each
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Penelope Imeson, Executive Director

Here we tell the story from the Indians to Contemporary Industry.

"Invincible Spirit: History in the Heart of the Shenandoah " tells the history of Rockingham County and Harrisonburg from pre-Columbus times through the present. Here, you can learn which Native American groups utilized the Valley, understand the local impact of our nation's wars, explore a pioneer toolshed, discover what industries fed the pre-Civil War economy, and appreciate the new diversity of our community. And, don't miss the sixteen-foot neon pencil that formerly 'pointed' the way to Service Stationers on Market Street for years. You can pay that old friend - bright as ever - a visit right here at the Heritage Museum.

A Display of Artifacts unique to Rockingham County.

"The Art of Tradition" is the permanent exhibition of Shenandoah Valley Folk Art at the Heritage Museum, offering an introduction to a variety of objects that all reflect traditional decorations and forms found in the region. The items in this exhibition are utilitarian, with the decorative qualities of folk art. This ornamentation may take the form of painted designs or simply an attractive shape and often reflects the ethnicity and religious background of the groups who originally settled the Valley--Germans and Scots-Irish. A wide range of material is represented, including pottery, quilts, furniture, frakturs, wrought iron, elaborate longrifles and hand-woven baskets. Come and see what our ancestors developed.

President Lincoln's Rockingham Roots

Opening on the birthday of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, this exhibit tells the story of Lincoln’s ancestors in the Shenandoah Valley. This exhibit changes several times a year.

An historic house exhibiting early furniture and household items

The original farmstead consisted of the house, a log barn, log smokehouse, log springhouse, and other outbuildings on 10 acres. The present log rear section was built about 1811. The front brick part was built about 1840. This house contains architectural features which show a German influence. Particularly the roof subtructure. Shannon Trumbo, an attorney who grew up in the house that his grandmother, Sarah Cromer, purchased in 1889, gifted the home to the Society. The house contains the Mary Spitzer - Etter collection of Victorian and early twentieth century household items, toys, and decorative arts.

Artifact Collections

The museum collection includes a large number local artifacts. Many are stored for preservation. The Collection is available for viewing on the HRHS museum software at the Society.

Research Collections

A Decade of data collection.

For many, many years, HRHS has manually entered name information into various databases. From a variety of historical sources, names and key events of individuals continue to be indexed to make a search for a relative or ancestor easier to find.

These names and the source are also compiled into a master database to facilitate lookup. When a name is found, the source of the material is referenced for detailed information. This 'master' database is located on the Genealogy library computer.


Many of these sources have been entered into the Family Search Database that is availble in the library. This database contains about 500,000 records. This database is available on line; it lists names, events (marriage, death, etc.) and where the source of information exists in the HRHS library.

The personal papers of local historians and genealogists are available for study. For instance, the correspondence and notes of Flavia Converse may be called for in the library.

The Rockingham County Courthouse in Harrisonburg has many original legal documents, including the "burnt records" that were partially burned during the Civil War. Copies of many of these are in the HRHS library.


Appointment required: No

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    March 11 - March 14, 2023
    Harrisonburg, Virginia
    Virginia Association of Museum's 2023 Annual Conference!
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    March 14 - March 17, 2023
    Memphis, Tennessee
    2023 Tennessee Association of Museums Conference: Unfinished Revolutions
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    April 23 - April 26, 2023
    San Antonio, Texas
    Texas Association of Museums 2023 San Antonio
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    Charles Town, West Virginia

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