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“Great little museum. Unique and interesting. Beautiful location.”

Isle of Wight County Museum
Ranked #4 of 15 things to do in Smithfield
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Attraction details
Owner description: Museum chronicles the history of the Isle of Wight County with a special emphasis on water, ham and agricultural industries. The exhibits include prehistoric fossils, Native American and Colonial artifacts, a turn-of-the-century country store, displays interpreting the Smithfield ham industry and perhaps the museum’s most notable artifact: the world’s oldest, edible cured ham.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

This museum was a fantastic surprise.

I strongly recommend that you drive out of your way to visit the town of Smithfield and this museum. You'll be pleasantly surprised, like I was.

You will not believe this, but I learned about the Isle of Wight County Museum when my 10-year-old nephew did a book report on "Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express" by Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds. In the book three guinea pigs take a road trip that has them crossing the James River Bridge and visiting Smithfield, VA. The Guinea Pigs find the world's oldest ham and peanut (yes, a real hundred-plus-year-old ham and peanut) at the museum. I had the see the place. I drove from Virginia Beach to Smithfield for one purpose, to see that ham and peanut. Seriously, I did. I wanted a photo in front of the ham to show my nephew.

Wow. I did indeed find a ham and a peanut that are more than 100 years old. But, I also found a great video about the region, archaeological artifacts dating as far back as 1500 BC, and the history of Smithfield ham (a very interesting story). There was even a fun, recreated 100-year-old shop with an audio narration. Adults might find the audio narration kind of cheesy, but the kids will love it. I liked it. I even blew $20.00 at the gift shop on oldest-ham memorabilia.

2  Thank 7,268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IOWHistResources, Administrator at Isle of Wight County Museum, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2012

Thank you for the wonderful review. We didn't know about the book until you mentioned it during your visit; what wonderful publicity! Maybe you can bring your nephew on a return visit? We are glad you had a great time.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 - 70 of 70 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2012

A small but informative museum. Little gift shop, friendly staff and a nice selection of displays.

Thank Danielle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2011

We visited this museum on september 22nd when we were travelling from Norfolk to Williamsburg to take the ferry Scotland-Jamestown.
There is a free parking next to the museum. There is no fee for this museum. It is located in the former bank building. The vault still exist. You can see the oldest and the biggest Springfield ham.
It has a diorama of a local store dated 1900 with a Sears catalog of 1902.
There is a room where the children can get dressed in old clothes and get information of working/playing at that time.
They need to give more information on their website, because it is certainly worth while to visit this museum.
Aferwards you can stroll in this picturesque village.

2  Thank AmarilisVos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

If you're interested in going off the beaten trail and enjoying a relaxing day, Smithfield fits the bill. The museuem highlights the history of the area and of the famous ham production that made the town what it is today. There is no admission cost, so it's well worth a half hour of your time to brouse the exhibits there.

1  Thank technomage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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