Dedicated in 1948, the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap chronicles the exploration and development of the region. The museum houses a collection of items from the region. The collection was started by C. B. Slemp, who served in Congress from 1907 to 1923 and was President Coolidge’s personal secretary. A lovely Victorian parlor in the four-story mansion is available to rent for meetings and other small gatherings. The gift shop features many one-of-akind items. The quaint Poplar Hill Cottage is available for overnight accommodations.
The Museum is the setting for Wise Jams, an afterschool music program administered by The Crooked Road. Wise County students in Grades 4-8 learn to play stringed instruments and carry on the region’s traditional music heritage.
Special events include A Stitch in Time: Quilt Show in April through May 31, the Fall Antique Appraisal, and the Festival of Trees in mid-November through Dec. 31. You’ll find it at (Alt. Route 58), just off Route 23 in Big Stone Gap.
Throughout the spring and summer months, you can take experience the “Museum Without Walls” during small bus tours to historical sites.
The museum also offers overnight lodging at Poplar Hill Cottage. See listing under Lodging for details.
SWVA Museum offers group discounts for 10 or more, has a full time interpretive staff, and can provide box lunches or buffet style dining. Special programming and themed tours are also arranged upon request. Contact Museum for more details.