Virginia Beach History Museums

COVID-19 UPDATE (7/17/20)

As communities continue to feel the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to ensure you that the health and safety of our guests and staff are the top priorities for the Virginia Beach History Museums. The Virginia Beach History Museums will make the following changes:


CALLING ALL VIRGINIA BEACH TEENS! Teens With a Purpose and the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni and Friends Association invite YOU to improve your written and spoken word poetry skills, all while engaging with living local history! In this FREE program, teens will meet, and learn from, (virtually at first) Alumni from Virginia Beach's first high school for African Americans. Teens will then use these conversations as the basis for their writing, which will culminate in a final public performance in April 2021. The next workshop is January 20th, so sign up now! Register today by downloading the registration packet at and emailing the completed forms to #vbhistorymuseums (this event is open to Virginia Beach teens ONLY)

Follow along with our BRAND NEW blog! Staff will share stories and hidden histories, as well as videos, our Beyond the Passage podcast and more.

Join us for virtual, self-guided tours of the Francis Land House and Thoroughgood House, and share your experiences on social media using #VirtualHistoryVB.

Start your tours of these historic homes, here:

Francis Land House Virtual Tour

Thoroughgood House Virtual Tour

We also launched our YouTube channel, and our #VirtualHistoryVB mini-lecture videos of different aspects of our sites! Whether it's a history behind one of the sites, an interesting exhibit or something from a prior lecture, our staff has you covered! Check back regularly for new posts.

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.

Subscribe to the Virginia Beach History Museums Email Newsletter!

Featured Events

Our Museums

Thoroughgood House

One of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia Beach.

Lynnhaven House

One of the most well-preserved examples of early Virginia vernacular architecture.

Francis Land House

Served as the home of Francis Land VI, a wealthy plantation owner.

Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum

The first high school for African Americans in Princess Anne County.

About Us

The City of Virginia Beach History Museums include the Thoroughgood House, the Francis Land House, the Lynnhaven House, and the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are part of the City’s Cultural Affairs Department.

As part of the municipal government of the City of Virginia Beach, the Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities.

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