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The Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is an interactive way for children to learn about science and Appalachian history. The Youth Museum is an award-winning museum, and was awarded the prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Museum Service Award in the year 2000.


  • The Youth Museum is inside four authentic boxcars.
  • The Youth Museum is a popular destination for local schools.
  • The Youth Museum also features a recreation of the Appalachian frontier.

Composed of four authentic boxcars, the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is a fun place for children of all ages to learn about science, history, and much more. The museum features new exhibits yearly, but always features one of the smallest planetariums in the nation. The planetarium opened on October 6, 2012, and is updated seasonally to correctly mimic the visible planets and constellations of the night sky. The planetarium features a 15-foot dome, and presentations that last 15-30 minutes. Upon request, visitors can view "Rocket Man," a video dedicated to Homer Hickam. 

After viewing inside of the museum, visitors can head outside behind the museum and tour the Mountain Homestead, a recreation of the Appalachian frontier. The Mountain Homestead features reconstructed buildings from 1840-1910, and is composed of the following: a weavers shed, a one-rooms school, a barn, a blacksmith shop, and a general store. Each building is complete with artifacts, and a trained interpreter to teach visitors about the significance of each building. 

According to the beckley.org website, "In 2000, the Youth Museum was awarded the prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Museum Service Award. The award was presented in Washington D.C. by President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton and was given in recognition of the Museum’s vital community outreach programs." 


"Youth Museum" Accessed August 7, 2017
http://www.beckley.org/youth-museum/

"Planetarium" Accessed August 7, 2017
http://www.beckley.org/youth-museum/planetarium/

"The Mountain Homestead" Accessed August 7, 2017
http://www.beckley.org/youth-museum/the-mountain-homestead/

"The West Virginia Encyclopedia" Accessed August 7, 2017
https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/wv/16