We have been to this open-air museum before although we can’t remember exactly when. Probably at least five years ago. A lot has changed for the better since we were last here -- and we suspect that a lot will have changed when we come back in the future.
In this case not remembering is a good thing – as we age we can go back to places we have been before and enjoy them all over again.
This part of Virginia was settled during the 1600 and 1700’s by immigrants from England, Ireland and Germany and by those brought here against their will from Africa. The Europeans came here with the hope of a better life by working their own land or at their trades. The captive Africans were put to work on those farms and plantations. Once here they all became Americans and built new homes in colonial Virginia.
The museum tells their stories by means of showing you from where they came and what they created once here. To do that the museum has moved original homesteads from England, Germany and Ireland, recreated a West African Village and an American Indian Village, then moved farmhouses, shed, barns, schools, and soon a church built by descendants of slaves from nearby towns.
The result is an open-air museum staffed by costumed interpreters where you can learn what life was like for these people before they came to America and what they experienced when they arrived and began their new lives as Americans.
Although today was bright and sunny with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees this is not their busy season. Maybe it had something to do with the snow covered fields and muddy paths. Their solution is to operate without their costumed staff and to take small groups around by golf cart with a guide. When we arrived midday there was no one else waiting for a tour so we had a wonderful guide, Andrew Richardson, all to ourselves. Andrew is the Interim Education Director and was very knowledgeable about the entire (outdoor) Museum.
[Once we get back, we will write more about the Frontier Culture Museum. In the meantime, here are come pictures. Don't forget, you can click on any picture to see an enlargement]