Jefferson County Museum

Jefferson County Museum Visit the Jefferson County Museum to discover the people and events that helped shape our county's and nation's history.

The Jefferson County Museum is located in historic downtown Charles Town and shares a building with its partner organization, the Charles Town Library. Since its founding in 1965, the museum has been dedicated to fostering the understanding and love of history. The museum is committed to the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of objects of historical value and relevance to the county and the region. Our permanent exhibits include Early Settlement and the Washingtons, John Brown's Raid and the Civil War, People and Industries, and Jefferson County Photos: Then and Now. We add new exhibits to our gallery each winter, and reveal these when we reopen to the public in the early spring.

Mission: The Jefferson County Museum is dedicated to fostering the understanding and love of history. The museum is committed to the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of objects of historical value and relevance to the county and the region.

#OTD, 100 years ago, Congress passed the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote.  Congress submitted the a...
06/04/2019

#OTD, 100 years ago, Congress passed the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. Congress submitted the amendment to the states to ratify, continuing a slow-moving process towards women’s suffrage.

This telegram from our collection regards the ratification of the 19th Amendment in West Virginia. In the telegram, the Shepherdstown Suffrage Organization urged Senator Milton Burr to reconsider his opposition to the amendment to “avoid this sense of bitter injustice."

On March 10, 1920, the West Virginia Senate passed the amendment, making the state the 34th to ratify it.

#19thAt100 #WomensVotes100 #womenshistory #VotesforWomen #suffrage

#DYK that we have a wedding dress in our collection that was worn by three generations of women from a family in Jeffers...
05/28/2019

#DYK that we have a wedding dress in our collection that was worn by three generations of women from a family in Jefferson County?

The “Ashes of Roses” wedding dress was first worn by Cornelia Engle at her wedding to John Tyler Rhulman in Harpers Ferry in 1869. Cornelia’s father drove her by horse and buggy to Frederick, Maryland where she purchased the ashes of roses corded silk, linen to line the dress, and delicate white lace to trim it. Cornelia passed the dress on to her daughter, Jessie Brown Rhulman, who wore it at her wedding to Noel V. James in Hamden, Ohio in 1891. Jessie in turn passed the dress on to her youngest daughter, Cornelia Moore James, who wore it at her wedding to Dr. William F. Dorgan in Columbus, Ohio in 1935.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Congratulations to the graduates from Jefferson County! Let’s #flashback to the graduating class of Page Jackson High ...
05/21/2019

Congratulations to the graduates from Jefferson County! Let’s #flashback to the graduating class of Page Jackson High School in June 1950.

#JeffersonCounty #localhistory #graduation2019

St. Hilda’s Hall was a school for girls opened by the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese in 1915. The building formerly...
05/14/2019

St. Hilda’s Hall was a school for girls opened by the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese in 1915. The building formerly housed the Powhatan College for Young Women (between 1900 to 1913) and Hotel Powhatan (between 1891 to 1900). In 1921, a dormitory was added across the street from St. Hilda’s Hall known as Peterkin Hall. The school closed in 1931 and the building burned to the ground in 1937.

The below photographs are from the St. Hilda’s Hall 1930 Links yearbook.

#DYK the Jefferson County Museum has been open since 1965! Originally in a small room in the basement of the Charles Tow...
05/08/2019

#DYK the Jefferson County Museum has been open since 1965! Originally in a small room in the basement of the Charles Town Library, the museum moved to its current location after an addition to the building in 1986. These photographs from our collection show the museum as it looked in 1965.

Have you stopped by the museum to see the rare broadside advertising a reward for the return of Henry Wilson, a runaway ...
05/04/2019

Have you stopped by the museum to see the rare broadside advertising a reward for the return of Henry Wilson, a runaway enslaved man, from Kabletown? Come see it before it is taken off of display June 15. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 to 4.

This week we have a #MysteryPhoto for you history sleuths to figure out! Who knows what the apparatus visible in the pho...
05/02/2019

This week we have a #MysteryPhoto for you history sleuths to figure out! Who knows what the apparatus visible in the photo below was used for?

Celebrate #ArborDay with a nice picnic under the trees! This watercolor, ca. 1825, shows a view of Shannondale Springs a...
04/26/2019

Celebrate #ArborDay with a nice picnic under the trees! This watercolor, ca. 1825, shows a view of Shannondale Springs and the Shenandoah river. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

April is #NationalPoetryMonth! To celebrate, here’s a short poem that was included with an invitation card #fromourcol...
04/23/2019

April is #NationalPoetryMonth! To celebrate, here’s a short poem that was included with an invitation card #fromourcollection to a birthday party in Charles Town on March 14, 1902.

“We send with this a little sack;
Please either bring or send it back
With as many cents as years you are old—
We promise the number shall never be told.
We’ll furnish you something nice to eat,
Beside a musical and literary treat;
The M. E. Church, South, with greetings hearty,
Hopes you’ll attend your own 'Birth Day Party.'"

On #VolunteerRecognitionDay, we would like to say a huge thank you to our volunteers at the Jefferson County Museum! We ...
04/20/2019

On #VolunteerRecognitionDay, we would like to say a huge thank you to our volunteers at the Jefferson County Museum! We couldn’t do what we do without the time, energy, and passion of our outstanding volunteers!

It’s #MusCute day, a day to share anything and everything cute in our collection, and what could be cuter than a photo...
04/17/2019

It’s #MusCute day, a day to share anything and everything cute in our collection, and what could be cuter than a photograph showing a baby sitting on a fuzzy rug? #localhistory #JeffersonCounty #cute

04/16/2019

Starting today you can see a rare broadside at the museum advertising a reward for the return of Henry Wilson, a runaway enslaved man, from Kabletown. Stop by the museum to see it before it is taken off of display June 15! The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 to 4.

Jefferson County Museum Shop
04/11/2019

Jefferson County Museum Shop

A great opportunity for the kids (BIG & LITTLE) to HEAR and SEE words & great exhibits! FREE to all!

They’re so cute, we can’t “bear” it. To celebrate #NationalSiblingsDay we dug into our archives and found a phot...
04/10/2019

They’re so cute, we can’t “bear” it. To celebrate #NationalSiblingsDay we dug into our archives and found a photograph of siblings Alexander and Willie, around 8 years of age. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Let’s #flashbackfriday to the site of Charles Washington Hall in Charles Town, ca. early 1870s. Pictured here are temp...
04/05/2019

Let’s #flashbackfriday to the site of Charles Washington Hall in Charles Town, ca. early 1870s. Pictured here are temporary commercial buildings which occupied the site until Charles Washington Hall was built in 1874. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#DYK that we have a handful of mourning brooches in our collection. Popular during the Victorian era, mourning jewelry w...
04/03/2019

#DYK that we have a handful of mourning brooches in our collection.

Popular during the Victorian era, mourning jewelry was a way to remain connected to a deceased loved one. Family members wore bracelets, necklaces, rings, lockets, and brooches that often held a photo of the deceased or a lock of their hair.

The three mourning brooches #fromourcollection that can be seen below contain coiled locks of hair. Some also include a name inscribed on the back. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

It's time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Does anyone know what these not-so-ordinary scissors from our collection w...
03/26/2019

It's time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Does anyone know what these not-so-ordinary scissors from our collection were used for?

It’s #NationalPuppyDay! We dug into our collection and found this tintype that shows a dog sitting on a man’s lap. #...
03/23/2019

It’s #NationalPuppyDay! We dug into our collection and found this tintype that shows a dog sitting on a man’s lap. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

2019 Opening Reception & New Exhibits
03/22/2019

2019 Opening Reception & New Exhibits

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Susan M. Collins on March 16. Ms. Collins faithfully served ...
03/20/2019

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Susan M. Collins on March 16. Ms. Collins faithfully served the Jefferson County Museum for 25 years, including 15 years as curator. Named curator emeritus in 2013, she continued to serve the museum up until her death, advising on the identification and care of artifacts. The museum has lost a dear and devoted friend. We extend our sympathy to her family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown, March 23, 11 a.m.

It’s finally #spring! This photograph from our collection shows a Spring Dance attended by members of the 1925 Ambler ...
03/20/2019

It’s finally #spring! This photograph from our collection shows a Spring Dance attended by members of the 1925 Ambler Class (senior class) of Charles Town High School. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty #firstdayofspring

Today's the day!! Come visit us from 1 to 4 pm for our 2019 Opening Reception! Enjoy new exhibits and refreshments!
03/16/2019

Today's the day!! Come visit us from 1 to 4 pm for our 2019 Opening Reception! Enjoy new exhibits and refreshments!

The museum is open TODAY! Come visit us to see our new exhibits--"Businesses in Jefferson County, 1900 - 1950," "100 Yea...
03/15/2019

The museum is open TODAY! Come visit us to see our new exhibits--"Businesses in Jefferson County, 1900 - 1950," "100 Years of Dolls," and "Four Who Served in World War II,"-- and the recently conserved flag of the Green-Copeland Post 63 American Legion. We're open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm.

This U.S. Women’s Army Corps (WAC) hat from our collection belonged to Madalean Lawson McIver during World War II. McI...
03/14/2019

This U.S. Women’s Army Corps (WAC) hat from our collection belonged to Madalean Lawson McIver during World War II. McIver was the only Jefferson County African-American woman to enlist in the war. After graduating from Page-Jackson High School in 1943, she enlisted and served with the WAC for two years.

You can see this hat and more as part of our new exhibit “Four Who Served in World War II” beginning tomorrow! And be sure to join us on Saturday, March 16 from 1 to 4 pm for our Opening Reception!

Happy national #GirlScoutsDay! Here's a photo from our collection that shows a Girl Scouts troop from Jefferson County. ...
03/12/2019

Happy national #GirlScoutsDay! Here's a photo from our collection that shows a Girl Scouts troop from Jefferson County. #WomensHistoryMonth #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

In celebration of #InternationalWomensDay, let’s flashback to two women in stylish hats who were teachers at a high sc...
03/08/2019

In celebration of #InternationalWomensDay, let’s flashback to two women in stylish hats who were teachers at a high school in Ranson, c. 1907. #ArchivesHashtagParty #ArchivesHerstory

#throwbackthursday to Dr. Daniel Shirley Nichols working at Nichols & Stuck Pharmacy in 1947. You can see this photograp...
03/07/2019

#throwbackthursday to Dr. Daniel Shirley Nichols working at Nichols & Stuck Pharmacy in 1947.

You can see this photograph and more as part of our new exhibit “Businesses in Jefferson County, 1900 – 1950” starting March 15! And come join us at our Opening Reception on Saturday, March 16 from 1 to 4 pm for new exhibits and refreshments!

#DYK that this doll #fromthecollection was known as a “Frozen Charlotte” doll. It derives its name from an American ...
02/28/2019

#DYK that this doll #fromthecollection was known as a “Frozen Charlotte” doll.

It derives its name from an American folk ballad, “Fair Charlotte,” about a girl who refused to wear a coat on a sleigh ride for fear it would cover her beautiful dress. She subsequently froze to death.

Small versions of the dolls, like this one, were also known as penny dolls because they often sold for a penny.

See this doll and more as part of our new exhibit “100 Years of Dolls,” opening March 15. Join the museum for our 2019 Opening Reception, Sat, March 16, from 1 to 4 pm!

This World War I trench knife #fromourcollection was used by Jefferson County soldier Nicholas Carson. Born in Greece in...
02/21/2019

This World War I trench knife #fromourcollection was used by Jefferson County soldier Nicholas Carson.

Born in Greece in 1899, Nicholas Carson immigrated to the United States when he was 16 and came to Charles Town. He enlisted in the US Army in 1917. After World War I, he returned to Charles Town and operated the New Central Restaurant for 52 years. In 1948, he was elected mayor of Charles Town, a position he held for 20 years. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty #WorldWarI

The museum is thankful to the Dolley Madison Garden Club for their tremendous support!
02/13/2019

The museum is thankful to the Dolley Madison Garden Club for their tremendous support!

Dolley Madison Garden Club is proud to announce that our Christmas Market raised $1100 for the Jefferson County Museum. Thank you to everyone who worked to make this event a success, especially to our local sponsors: The Bennett Agency and Bank of Charles Town. Also, we want to thank the Charles Town Library for providing the space, all our members who worked so hard, our wonderful vendors, the Allegra School of Dance, Washington High School Choir, and our Santa (who I'm pretty sure is actually Santa- I don't have a different name for him!).

#FlashbackFriday to an engraving of Powhatan Hotel, circa 1890s. The Powhatan Hotel, also known as Wormley’s Inn, was ...
02/08/2019

#FlashbackFriday to an engraving of Powhatan Hotel, circa 1890s.

The Powhatan Hotel, also known as Wormley’s Inn, was built in 1892 on 3rd Avenue in Ranson. The hotel was founded by James T. Wormley, son of James Wormley, a prominent African American hotelier in Washington, D.C.

The hotel later became the site of the Powhatan College for Young Women in 1900 and then St. Hilda’s Hall in 1915. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

It’s time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Can anyone guess what this object from the 19th century was used for?
02/06/2019

It’s time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Can anyone guess what this object from the 19th century was used for?

In time for the #SuperBowl this Sunday, let’s #throwbackthursday to the Charles Town High School football team, c. 192...
01/31/2019

In time for the #SuperBowl this Sunday, let’s #throwbackthursday to the Charles Town High School football team, c. 1925. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Today’s #ObjectoftheDay is music to our ears! This Stewart-Warner radio from the 1920s has an adjoining megaphone horn...
01/29/2019

Today’s #ObjectoftheDay is music to our ears! This Stewart-Warner radio from the 1920s has an adjoining megaphone horn to amplify the sound.

Originally, a manufacturer of automotive parts, the Stewart and Clark Company merged with the Warner Instrument Company in 1912. In 1925, the Stewart-Warner Company began the production of radios and other radio products.

#DYK even though the museum is currently closed, you can still search the museum’s collection of objects, images, docu...
01/25/2019
Jefferson County Museum : Online Collections

#DYK even though the museum is currently closed, you can still search the museum’s collection of objects, images, documents, and publications through our online collection database at http://jeffcomuseumwv.pastperfectonline.com!

Browse through uniforms, weaponry, household objects, photographs, maps, diaries, newspapers, and more!

This database provides access to the Jefferson County Museum's collection of objects, photographs, archives, and published material related to the history of the county.

#CaptionThis photo from our collection that shows an unidentified man standing in front of a backdrop, ca. 1900s. #local...
01/23/2019

#CaptionThis photo from our collection that shows an unidentified man standing in front of a backdrop, ca. 1900s. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Are you ready for the winter weather? It looks like these kids definitely were! #throwbackthursday #localhistory #Jeffer...
01/17/2019

Are you ready for the winter weather? It looks like these kids definitely were! #throwbackthursday #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#Flashbackfriday to eleven men standing in front of the Post Office located in Charles Washington Hall, 1922. #localhist...
01/11/2019

#Flashbackfriday to eleven men standing in front of the Post Office located in Charles Washington Hall, 1922. #localhistory #JeffersonCounty

There’s something a bit unusual about this book #fromourcollection. Can you guess what it is? #MysteryObject #book
01/09/2019

There’s something a bit unusual about this book #fromourcollection. Can you guess what it is? #MysteryObject #book

**Mark your calendars** Saturday, February 2, former Harpers Ferry NHP park ranger Guinevere Roper will talk about her c...
01/04/2019

**Mark your calendars** Saturday, February 2, former Harpers Ferry NHP park ranger Guinevere Roper will talk about her career and her research into the African American history of Harpers Ferry at the Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry!

Mark your calendars for one month from today for the kickoff of our 75th anniversary speaker series at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park!

On Saturday February 2, we will host former Harpers Ferry NHP park ranger Guinevere Roper as she talks about her career and her research into the African American history of Harpers Ferry.

Time: 2pm
Location: Mather Training Center
We hope to see you there!

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019! Image shows New Years postcard, ca. 1900-1910s.
01/01/2019

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019!

Image shows New Years postcard, ca. 1900-1910s.

‘Tis the season to be jolly about… toys! This mechanical see-saw and swings #fromourcollection is from the 1920s. Wh...
12/27/2018

‘Tis the season to be jolly about… toys! This mechanical see-saw and swings #fromourcollection is from the 1920s. What gifts did you get for the holidays? #localhistory #JeffersonCounty #gifts #holidays

Address

200 E Washington St
Charles Town, WV
25414

General information

Open Tues through Sat 11am to 4pm Regular admission: Adults - $4 Children (under 18) - Free Students (with ID) - Free Members of the Charles Town Library - Free

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(304) 725-8628

Alerts

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Category

Nearby museums