Southwest Virginia Museum

Southwest Virginia Museum

The Southwest Virginia Museum is housed in the mansion originally built in the 1880's by Rufus Ayers,a Virginia attorney general. The museum was acquired by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1946 from the Slemp Foundation, established by C. Bascom Slemp, private secretary to President Calvin Coolidge and a member of Congress. In the late 1980's, the museum underwent extensive renovations, including the installation of new exhibits. Building upon its extensive collection, the museum tells the story of the exploration and development of Southwest Virginia and the lives of men and women who settled in and around the area.