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Steamboat Era Museum

Address: 156 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA 22480
Phone Number: 804-438-6888
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Ranked #2 of 8 things to do in Irvington
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Attraction details
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Thu - Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

This is a top notch museum dedicated to the little known history of steamboats on the Chesapeake Bay. Back in the day they were the prime means of transportation up, down, and across the bay for passengers. livestock, and cargo. What the steam engine train was for the interior of the country, the steamboat was for communities around the bay,... More 

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Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
17 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

I really enjoyed my visit to this ambitious and beautiful little museum. The handcrafted models of ships, wharves, and shipyards are exquisite. The short film at the beginning of the tour is educational and professionally produced. Overall, the museum does a superb job of presenting a slice of American history which has come & gone, and a form of transportation... More 

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Wilmington, North Carolina
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

Wonderful insight into the bygone era of travel and commerce on the Chesapeake via steam ships. The culture, the rugged beauty and charm.

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Lakeland, Florida
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
5 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

From the outside you wouldn’t expect this museum to be as entertaining and informative as it is. It gives a big, sweeping overview of this important era to the region, and does a darn good job of it. The video is a nice start to your tour. The main room features the current exhibits, which were aptly referenced on their... More 

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Deltaville, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

We visited the Steamboat Era Museum in Irvington, VA, for the first time in two years, and found very complete displays presenting the amazing history of steamboat commerce on the Chesapeake Bay. In the century before highways and bridges connected the cities, communities, and farms around the Bay, hundreds of these steamboats carried passengers and cargo up and down the... More 

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Irvington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

I'd been to the SEM several times two to five years ago and, while it was ok it did not really grab my interest. There was too little to see and what was there was not well presented. In fact, it didn't feel like a museum at all. It felt like a conglomeration of old stuff from someone's attic which... More 

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Burke, Virginia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

What a unique experience. Our guide was very informative and had first hand experience riding the steamboats. Video presentation was excellent. We had no idea what an important part the steamboats played in that part of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay region.

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Heathsville, Virginia
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
31 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

For its size and location, this is really quite a nice little museum. Well worth going to Irvington to see this.

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

We never realized that steamboats plied the Chesapeake Bay during the late 1800's to around 1935. Baltimore was generally the originating port. Sleek boats (not like the Mississippi River boxes) with overnight accommodations and fine dining.

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St. Petersburg, Florida
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
13 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

This small, special museum is filled with the aura of steamboats--a period in our history usually overlooked. It is unique to the Northern Neck of Virginia and totally fascinating. Our tour guide is the granddaughter of the captain featured here, and she knows EVERYTHING about the era and captivates your attention. This one is a DON'T MISS FOR SURE!

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