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“Wonderful museum to explore the history of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and it's people.”

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 24 September 2017

This interesting museum in the small town of Dayton VA just outside of Harrisonburg VA is well worth the visit. The films and exhibits which change periodically will introduce (or remind) you of the area's heritage starting from its beginnings right through present times. There is an emphasis on the area during the civil war where some surprising facts are displayed. An example: Lincoln's grandparents and father were natives of this area. The museum has large rooms displaying local arts and crafts and memorabilia. History buffs as well as those interested in tracing their roots in the Valley won't be disappointed in this hidden gem. Today's docent, who is a long time resident, was gracious and generous with her time. Do stop here and enjoy.

1  Thank pattysoule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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"
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in 15 reviews
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5 - 9 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2017 via mobile

I was absolutely blown away by the extensive historic exhibits of this small, local museum. The electronic map, depicting the pivotal 1862 Valley Campaign of Stonewall Jackson, is by itself worth a visit. It is extremely well done and should be a MUST visit for all Civil War enthusiasts. I went specifically for the map and was as impressed with all the other historic exhibits offered. We ran out of time and were unable to do justice to everything. We are planning a return visit to concentrate solely on the exhibits other than the map and then plan on exploring the quaint town of Dayton. It would appear that one could spend an entire afternoon here.

1  Thank Mike M
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 9 August 2017

Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm! We are thrilled to exceed your expectations and look forward to sharing more stories when you return. And yes, it's easy to fill your day in Dayton. Happy exploring!

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Reviewed 21 May 2017

I am sharing from their website because it states it wonderfully. This presentation will acquaint one with the roads, battlefields, towns and mountains that were instrumental in the critical battles of the Shenandoah Valley campaign. We loved our stay in Harrisonburg and enjoyed every mile around it. Thank you. :)

2  Thank judy177
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 22 May 2017

We're so glad you enjoyed your visit to the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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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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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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