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Port Republic Museum

6 Reviews
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Port Republic Museum

6 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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David B wrote a review Jun 2018
Richmond, Virginia28 contributions10 helpful votes
The Port Republic Museum is housed in the first floor of a antebellum house on Water Street - one of the two main streets. One room focuses on the village and counties pre-Civil War life and includes a number of nice exhibits that describe local businesses and shipping activities (hence the name "Port Republic) that were critical to the town's development before the Valley Pike was completed. Another room discusses the Civil War's effect on the village, with a focus on Jackson's victory at the Battle of Port Republic which scattered the Union forces sent to defeat him and enabled his Corps to join Lee in time for the Seven Days battles outside Richmond in 1862. The third room focuses on education in Rockingham County and Port Republic and 20th Century life in the surrounding area. The last room has a little shop and bookstore. The people who designed the exhibits did a wonderful job - they are informative, well-designed and yet have sufficient room to move about. The only drawback is that the museum is only open on Sundays and by appointment, however, given the size and location that's completely understandable.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Kathy V wrote a review Jul 2016
Port Republic, Virginia11 contributions2 helpful votes
This is a great little museum chock full of area and Civil War memorabilia all attractively displayed. Very educational and interesting. Turner Ashby's body was laid out here after he was killed in nearby Harrisonburg and Stonewall Jackson paid his respects. Two battles were fought in the area. There is a nice walking tour through the village of Port Republic also. I live in the area.
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Date of experience: July 2016
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grand9mom wrote a review Jun 2016
Rock Hill, SC210 contributions87 helpful votes
Our visit coincided with the anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Port Republic - a Confederate victory which let Stonewall Jackson slip away to help Lee's defense of Richmond in 1862. The museum only has regular hours on Sunday afternoons, but volunteer docents often are wiling to open at other times if one calls ahead. The lady who gave us this privilege was wonderful! She pointed out her favorite displays in the three rooms: settlement up to industrialization before the War; Civil War; and post-war slow recovery from The Burning (1864) and from two massive floods. She then showed us a film about Jackson's narrow escape from capture and from canon fire June, 8, resulting in victory up the road at Cross Keys. She brought a book to read so we would not feel rushed in browsing the wonderful displays in all three rooms. (Talk about REALLY nice!) The suggested donation is only $2 pp . We felt it was worth far mare and responded accordingly. Probably not for pre-school children, but from elementary on up. would be a good option. There is a scavenger hunt available for kids to look for specific items among the displays. Every school child in the area ought to come - and it would be a great place for moms to bring bored kids this summer! While in the area, also check out the historic marker signage for both the Port Republic and Cross Keys battles. There are also picnic tables near some of them.
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Date of experience: June 2016
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Taylor B wrote a review Aug 2015
Chicago, Illinois6,569 contributions5,316 helpful votes
Port Republic is an unincorporated town in Rockingham County, Virginia, at the south end of the Shenandoah Valley, east of Harrisonburg. It was chartered in 1802. It is located at the confluence of the South River and North River, which join to form the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. On June 9, 1862, Stonewall Jackson recorded the most significant victory of his storied Valley Campaign at Port Republic. It was a fierce contest between two equally determined forces and was the most costly battle fought by Jackson's Army of the Valley during Shenandoah campaign. Together, the battle of Cross Keys (fought the day before) and Port Republic were the decisive victories in Jackson's campaign. The two victories forced the Union army to retreat and left Jackson free to reinforce Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia for the Seven Days Battles outside Richmond. On the battlefield, the most interesting site is the Coaling, a hilly area overlooking the river where the Union forces placed five artillery pieces. The Confederates attacked and captured the Coaling, then lost it in a Union counterattack, then recaptured it and turned the guns against the fleeing Union troops. The Union position became untenable and the Union withdrew as Jackson advanced. The battlefield still retains much of its wartime, agrarian ambience. Make a point to visit the Port Republic Museum, housed in the former Frank Kemper House that was built in the early 1800s and used as a hospital during the battle. Jackson headquartered at the other end of the village at Madison Hall, which was the home of Dr. George Whitford Kemper, father of Frank Kemper. When General Turner Ashby, a Confederate cavalry hero, was killed on June 6 near Harrisonburg, his body was brought to the Frank Kamper house. In 1992, the Society of Port Republic Preservationists bought the home to serve as a visitor's center and museum. It contains four rooms--the Turner Ashby Room, which describes the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic, the last days of Jackson's Valley campaign and the death of Turner Ashby and Jackson's escape from capture during the battle; the River Room, which illustrates the town's history from a settlement in the mid-1700s to its peak as a major river port when fleets of barges set out for Harper's Ferry and Baltimore; the Discovery Room, a major research center for visiting scholars; and a room that interprets the town's history since the Civil War. Port Republic isn't much larger than it was in the 1860s but the townspeople take great pride in their community and have done a lot to make sure that visitors know it.
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Date of experience: July 2015
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Joy K wrote a review Mar 2015
Charlottesville, Virginia6 contributions3 helpful votes
Founded by the The Society of Port Republic Preservationists in 1993, the Port Republic Museum is located between Port Republic and Cross Keys Battlefields in the Shenandoah Valley. Housed in the 1830's Kemper House where Stonewall Jackson's Cavalry Commander Turner Ashby laid in state after being shot through the heart during actions at Cross Keys, the Museum chronicles Port Republic's history as a colonial river port town and setting for two Civil War battles. The exhibits include artifacts spanning several centuries, a documentary film about the history of Port Republic, and a research library. This little gem of a Museum includes a gift shop and gardens and is the starting point for the Society's walking tour of the well-preserved historic village of Port Republic that passes by Madison Hall, Stonewall Jackson's headquarters during the Battles of Port Republic and Cross Keys. The walking tour is truly a step back in time as the layout of Port Republic has remained essentially unchanged since its 1802 charter, and most of the structures have been restored or are in the process of restoration. On my visit to Port Republic Museum I followed the self-guided walking tour of the village and received a personal guided tour from one of the docents covering battle actions that took place along the river near the museum. I spent a wonderful afternoon in Port Republic and would recommend this museum to history and Civil War buffs.
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Date of experience: June 2014
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