Frontier Culture Museum

Close to the intersection of I-81 and I-64 in Staunton, Virginia laying on the Great Indian Warrior Trading Path known as the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road is one of the best culture museums I have ever seen. The Frontier Culture Museum is a walk-thru outdoor museum with life-sized houses/farms of the American frontier culture. From the 1700s to the 1850s, exhibits represent cultures of the diverse people who settled this country.

Great Indian Warrior Trading Path sign located outside the Frontier Culture Museum

The museum is open seven days a week except for some holidays year around.  Be sure to check their hours of operations for when you plan to visit because they do fluctuate depending on the season.  The museum has ample parking, a picnic area, store, two amphitheaters, and a lecture hall. There are two sections but the layout is an easy walk and maps are provided. If needed, you can request a golf cart to take you around. There is also a shuttle that runs between the Welcome Center and the Early America section of the museum. The tours are self-guided, but you are provided with a description of each exhibit and how it influenced our culture.  The exhibits include a 1600s English farm, a 1700s West African farm, a 1700s Irish farm and forge, a 1700s German Farm, a 1700s Ganatastwi village, and several American Farms from 1740s – 1850s including a school house. Several of the farms have live animals, and if you are there at feeding time, you are welcome to help. Each exhibit also has a person in costume to tell you more about that culture. They also have special events throughout the year and activities for children.

One of the West African farm buildings located at the Frontier Culture MuseumThe 1700s German Farm exhibit at the Frontier Culture Museum.

After visiting all of the exhibits, make sure to visit the museum store. There are items made locally including knitted items from the sheep at the museum. There are also several souvenirs for purchase to remember your visit and best of all they have homemade fudge.  Sometimes we forget that our culture is actually founded on a mixture of cultures from other continents along with the American Indians.  This wonderful museum reminds us of where we come from and challenges the first Americans faced.

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