Virginia Beach's rich heritage is represented in its variety of historic homes. Some of the oldest surviving brick houses in America are in Virginia, and two of those–the Thoroughgood House and the Lynnhaven House–are located in Virginia Beach. The Francis Land House is a larger, later example of plantation living in Princess Anne County. These houses offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time and discover stories of risk and opportunity, expanding definitions of equality, and the bonds of family and community.
Slavery and the efforts of people of African descent to overcome prejudice and adversity are part of our shared past. The best account of local African American history can be found in the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. The museum tells the story of the struggle, and ultimate success, of the African American community to build a high school for black children during the era of segregation.
Virginia Beach's history is surprisingly broad, and the Virginia Beach History Museums provide memorable experiences for those wishing to discover the true hidden treasures of the Atlantic coast.
The City of Virginia Beach History Museums include the Thoroughgood House, the Francis Land House, the Lynnhaven House, and the Union Kempsville Museum. They are part of the City’s Department of Aquarium and History Museums, which also operates the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
As part of the municipal government of the City of Virginia Beach, the Department of Aquarium and History Museums provides educational services to citizens and visitors; works to conserve the natural environment and preserve our historic treasures; and engages the community in these processes.