Historical Attractions

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is home to the George Washington National Forest and some of the most historic communities in the entire state. Filled with stately plantation homes, cultural museums and old cemeteries, our region has lots of things to do if you enjoy learning about history. Visiting historic Staunton and Charlottesville, vacationers can explore and tour the homes of several great American Presidents including Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful estate, James Monroe’s sprawling farmhouse, and Woodrow Wilson’s quaint birthplace and Presidential library. Our Virginia Mountain Cabins are located right in the middle of all of the great activities and outdoor attractions. Below we have listed a few of the infamous historic places in our area. If you are looking for vacation accommodations and Virginia Cabin Rentals near Wintergreen Resort and Sherando Lake, our Virginia Mountain Cabins are located central to everything in the region. Contact us today to book your trip!

Antique Fire Engine Museum 500 N. Augusta St. Staunton, VA 540-332-3886 Stop in and see the 1911 Robinson fire engine that was completely restored by the City of Staunton's volunteer fire department. This model is the only surviving fire truck of its kind in existence and was the first motorized fire truck to be used in the state of Virginia. Staunton's fire department is also one of the oldest and most historic fire department's in the state, having organized in 1790. Stop in 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., free of charge.

Ash Lawn-Highland 1000 James Monroe Pkwy Charlottesville, VA 22902 434-293-9539 Ashe Lawn-Highland is located in Charlottesville Virginia and is the home of the 5th President of the United States, James Monroe. President James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, owned Ash Lawn-Highland from 1793 to 1826, and during its time as a 535 acre working farm it was the epitome of southern charm. Ash Lawn-Highland opened to the public for visitation in 1931 and today is operated by the College of William and Mary, the alma mater of James Monroe. Visitors enjoy the spring blooms and the Summer Festival of children's events, traditional music, and opera in the Boxwood Gardens.

The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia 1290 Richmond Road Staunton, VA 24401 540-332-7850 The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia is a living history museum in Staunton Virginia. It showcases the lifestyle and history of the people and groups that came to Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley between the 1600's and 1800's. The museum houses five different farms and a shop: The German Farm, The Scots-Irish Farm, The English Farm, The American Farm, the Bowman House, and the Blacksmith's shop. Other exhibits feature reassembled outbuildings and a soon to open Indian and West African exhibit, as well as a working grist mill.

Thornrose Cemetary 1041 W. Beverley St. Staunton, VA 540-886-8241 This largely Confederate cemetery was established in 1849 and is marked with several monuments for soldiers. Some 1,777 soldiers were buried here, many of them have since had their remains removed. Featuring beautiful architecture, walls, and cast iron urns this is truly a beautiful, sacred place.

Woodrow Wilson's Presidential Library and Museum 18 N. Coalter St. Staunton, VA 888-496-6376 Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States and this is the site of his birthplace and museum. Here you can tour and learn about his life and browse his historic library. Fees: Adults $12, children 6-12 $3, seniors 60+ $10.00, AAA discount $10.00. Credit cards accepted, wheelchair accessible, public restrooms. Call for hours and more information.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Monticello is the sprawling preserved estate of Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation's great historical figures and third President of the United States. Situated atop an 850 foot peak just south of Rivanna Gap near Charlottesville VA, Monticello is Italian for "little mountain", however Jefferson's estate was anything but small. The construction of Monticello Estate began in 1768 and the design was largely inspired by the Villa Capra La Rotonda which is located near Vicenza. It is an example of a classical style of Palladian architecture, and by 1809 the home was basically in its completion, featuring a beautiful dome. Including the main house the estate also has other function buildings such as dairy houses, store houses, a nail factory, a stone weaver's cottage, and numerous slave houses dot the estate's rolling hills. The main house was the center of the plantation which is over 5,000 acres. Jefferson's Monticello Estate is now a museum and visitors can tour and view rooms on the ground floor and cellar. It became a World Heritage Site in 1987, a feat it shares with no other private home in the United States. An image of part of Monticello was featured on the reverse side of the 5 cent coin, featured between 1938 and 2003, with the image returning in 2006. Truly a magnificent place, Monticello is a must see!

Plumb House Museum 1021 West Main St Waynesboro, VA 540-943-3943 The Plumb House is a historic US home located in Waynesboro, built in the early 1800s. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic places, and currently serves as the Plumb House Museum. The Museum provides information on the Plumb family who lived in the house for five generations, as well as a history of the Battle of Waynesboro fought here in 1865 during the American Civil War.

Humpback Rock Pioneer Farm Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 5.9, the Humpback Rock Visitor Center is also home to the Pioneer Farm. This FREE exhibit of an Appalachian area farm shows what life was like in the early days. Complete with home, barn, and numerous outbuildings. Costumed interpreters can be seen many weekends throughout the summer.

Cyrus McCormick Farm 128 McCormick Farm Circle Steeles Tavern, VA 24476 540-377-2255 The McCormick Farm at Walnut Grove is the birthplace of the mechanical reaper, the predecessor to the combine. Cyrus McCormick designed, built, and tested the reaper all within a six week period. The farm was built in 1809 and remained in the McCormick family until 1954 when it was donated to Virginia Tech as an agricultural center and Farm Memorial.

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