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“Amazing Gem of History & Genealogy!”

The Heritage Museum
Ranked #2 of 6 things to do in Dayton
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Heritage Museum, home of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, offers excellent exhibits depicting the rich history of the Rockingham County and Harrisonburg area; an electric map highlighting Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862; a distinctive Shenandoah Valley folk art collection; an extensive genealogy library with guides to assist your research; and a bookstore and gift shop with a unique selection including local interest, Civil War history, and family research. The neighboring Cromer-Trumbo House historic home is filled with the early 20th-century household items, toys, and decorative arts of the Mary Spitzer Etter Collection.
Reviewed 30 April 2017

We were amazed at how wonderful the museum displayed the history of Rockingham County. The interactive map and audio displaying and telling the story of Stonewall Jackson's defense of the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War was so interesting. For such a small museum they have done a wonderfully creative job of their displays. We then went to the 3rd floor to see if we could find anything on some of our ancestors who lived in the area. Everyone was so friendly and helpful! We were able to locate some great information and copies of important documentation. Thanks and kudos to all the Volunteers and the Curator of this gem of a historical museum!

3  Thank gwhitehair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Executive D, Manager at The Heritage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2017

You make our Monday morning smile! Thank you for taking the time to share your review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and that you were able to take advantage of all of our resources. Best wishes for happy travels and successful searching!

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"shenandoah valley"
in 10 reviews
"electric map"
in 5 reviews
"interactive map"
in 2 reviews
"stonewall jackson"
in 4 reviews
"civil war"
in 11 reviews
"gift shop"
in 2 reviews
"campaign"
in 8 reviews
"depicting"
in 3 reviews
"volunteers"
in 3 reviews
"artifacts"
in 3 reviews
"roots"
in 2 reviews
"library"
in 2 reviews
"history"
in 15 reviews
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8 - 12 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 24 April 2017 via mobile

When we entered, we were greeted by a beautiful and kind lady who asked us where we were from, how our visit was going & if we'd been there before. She then set us up to explore the museum as she set out to ask the historian about a question we had. There's much history not only in the Valley but also in Dayton & the county. I did know Abe Lincoln's family was from the area & his cousin saved Dayton from being burned by the Northern Army. So much to learn about this area. It's nice to see so much history and artifacts in one place. Very nice!

2  Thank Uncle_Snugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Executive D, Manager at The Heritage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2017

It's true! There is wonderful history to discover in Harrisonburg & Rockingham. We can't tell all of the stories at once, so please come back for a visit. Thank you for your positive review. It will be a pleasure to share your comments with the staff. Happy trails!

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Reviewed 1 December 2016

I saw a brochure for this museum when I stayed at the Stonewall Jackson Inn in nearby Harrisonburg. What intrigued me was their electric map depicting Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign. The map gives a good overview of the campaign and gives visitors a good visual idea of the vastness of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. There is also a museum dedicated to local history, the Civil War being only one small part of Rockingham County's story. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln's cousins lived in this area during the war? Rockingham is the Turkey capital of the world! It also tells the story of small town America. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They are a great resource on local genealogy, even if you are not from the area.

2  Thank Steven W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Executive D, Manager at The Heritage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2016

Thank you for taking the time to share your review. It is true that there are a lot of history stories in the galleries - and certainly many more to tell! Do come back to see what's new! Best wishes for happy travels.

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Reviewed 17 October 2016

While visiting the Harrisonburg, VA area, we ended up with an open afternoon. We found a brochure for this museum at the Green Valley Book Fair site. It is an amazing, local museum. Much of it is underground. Unlike many Cilvil War themed museums, this one takes you back to Ice Age in the Shenandoah Valley. Thru well thought out displays and narratives, it brings you forward to modern times. This is well worth a visit.

2  Thank looking4birds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Executive D, General Manager at The Heritage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2016

How generous of you to share your comments. Thank you for the wonderful review! While Civil War history is an important part of our story, we do strive to share our heritage through many times and themes. The exhibits are constantly changing, so please do drop by if you are in the area again. Happy travels!

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Reviewed 21 September 2016

We are a group of five; 2 from Maryland, 2 from Kentucky, and 1 from Tennessee spending two weeks in the Luray, Virginia area. Today we drove from Luray to Dayton, Virginia to visit The Heritage Museum. One member of our group loves the history of the this area. This museum has an electronic map of the battles and the travel of the troops involved in these battles. The museum volunteer was very welcoming and informed about the area and its history. The map was an excellent tool in assisting us in fully understanding the troop movements during the battles. This is truly a hidden treasure. We enjoyed our visit very much.

2  Thank Rebeljan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Executive D, General Manager at The Heritage Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2016

How generous of you to post such a glowing report! We are delighted that your trip to Dayton was a success, and hope that you continue to discover more wonderful Valley history. Thank you, and do come back to see us again sometime!

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