Located in Highland County, Virginia, the Greek Revival House, also known as Mansion House, was built in 1851. During the Civil War Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1861, the house served as a hospital. Then, the house had become a stagecoach stop on the Staunton to Parkersburg Turnpike and operated as a hotel. After several years,to preserve, create and publish The New History of Highland County, the Highland Historical Society was established in the 1980s. In 2001, the Highland Historical Society purchased the Greek revival house and conducted the restoration and renovation of the house into a local history museum. The Highland County Museum opened on May 7, 2005. The museum houses two exhibit rooms which displays local artifacts and antiques that bring visitors and local community closer to a story of the rural, mountain community of Highland County. Among the exhibit rooms, one exhibit room is dedicated to the Battle of McDowell which displays valuable documentary film in Battle of McDowell. Come and visit there to explore impact of Battle of McDowell on Civil War and on Highland County as well as take a closer look to Highland County’s settlement and development.
The Highland County Museum has designed with
the museum and the orientation center which housed in a Greek Revival House in
the village of McDowell. The museum is dedicated to display the history of
Highland County from the beginning day in 1847 through the Battle of McDowell
till today. Highland County was formed by the combination of land from the
neighboring counties of Bath and Pendleton. This county is a sparsely
populated region of rugged mountains and independent settlers.
To highlight history of Highland County, the story of settlement and
development of this area is displayed in the main exhibit “Uniquely Highland”, which visitors should not miss. Besides, the museum
houses interesting exhibit to display the story of the First Families which
features pioneering families
whose descendants still live in Highland County.
center is devoted to this first victory of Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign
in 1862. Orientation center creates the interesting tour with 20 minutes
documentary film on the battle as well as sets up a display of authentically
reproduced uniforms and accessories based on those used by Jackson.
and local communities also discover the markers of Civil War Trails which lead
“to interpretive signage behind the McDowell Presbyterian Church and at the
battlefield parking lot just east of town”(1). Following an interpreted trail,
visitors can visit the area where most intense fighting took place on the top
of Sitlington Hill. There are also a Family Research Library and Museum Store
are located on the site of the Highland County Museum.
that, there are many following projects that Highland Historical Society and
Museum involved in to build up Highland Historical Museum to be the one of most
interesting destinations in this area:
and cataloguing all of Highland County’s historic sites and structures
all of Highland County’s newspapers dating back to the 1800s
Highland genealogical records and local histories
signs to identify the smaller towns in Highland County
and working with other organizations to provide trails, markers, and parking at
the site of the McDowell Battlefield
_ Working to
save and preserve the McDowell Battlefield in cooperation with the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
the restoration of old and rare Highland County documents.