Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park

The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park is a Virginia museum, run as a state park, dedicated to preserving the history of the southwestern part of the state. It is located in Big Stone Gap, in a house built in the 1880s for Virginia Attorney General Rufus A. Ayers. It was designed and built by Charles A. Johnson. Construction began in 1888 and was completed in 1895.[3]

Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park
Southwest Virginia Museum, September 2013
Location10 W. Street N, Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Coordinates36°51′48″N 82°46′49″W
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1895 (1895)
ArchitectJohnson, Charles Ralph, Sr.; Campbell, Edmund Schureman
Architectural styleQueen Anne
NRHP reference #02001362[1]
VLR #101-0001
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 22, 2002
Designated VLRSeptember 11, 2002[2]

The limestone and sandstone used on the exterior walls came from local quarries. Red oak lines the interior walls and ceilings. A small moat once surrounded the house.[3]

The structure was acquired by the state in 1946 from a foundation managed by C. Bascom Slemp. Much of the museum collection focuses on the coal boom of the 1890s; there are also exhibits dedicated to the history of Big Stone Gap and the surrounding area, and the story of the pioneers that migrated westward during the 18th century.[4] The museum is also the location of the Southwest Virginia Walk of Fame.[5][6][7]

The museum building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.[1]

See also


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  3. Hensley, Clayton (27 July 2014). "Big Stone Gap awaits its time on the big screen". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. J. Daniel Pezzoni (July 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying two photos
  5. "WALK OF FAME, Southwest Virginia Museum". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  6. "Walk of Fame of Southwest Virginia". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  7. Bristol Herald Courier, Joe Tennis. "People who shaped our culture honored on Walk of Fame". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
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