Blog

Follow along with us as we share stories, fun facts, videos and podcasts from the Virginia Beach History Museums! We will post updates at least twice per month. You can click on each image for a link directly to the blog post, video or podcast.

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 first virtual event is October 10, so sign up now! Register today by downloading the registration packet at https://bit.ly/36mYbaj and emailing the completed forms to TWPTeenEvents@gmail.com. #vbhistorymuseums (this event is open to Virginia Beach teens ONLY)











Tours of the Francis Land House consider plantation life; the roles of the household members, both free and enslaved; Federal style; and ways that the formation of the new nation affected private lives. Tour guides also discuss the colorful history of the house in the 20th century, when it functioned as the Rose Hall Dress Shop. While the House remains closed for restoration, check out the video we show guests before they go on tours. We hope to see you again, soon!












As we approach spooky season, Operational Assistant Miriam Jackson discusses the Lynnhaven House Cemetery, which holds centuries of hidden stories!

Lynnhaven House Cemetery












In this special guest segment of #VirtualHistoryVB, we welcome in a Virginia Beach oceanfront treasure: the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at DeWitt Cottage! Museum Director Lynn Hightower goes over the history and importance of wildfowling in Virginia Beach, as well as some of the things you can expect to see on your visit to this historic property. The DeWitt Cottage, celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2020, is the oldest remaining oceanfront property.
(Disclaimer: the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at DeWitt Cottage is not operated by the Virginia Beach History Museums. All special guest segments of #VirtualHistoryVB are intended solely to bring awareness of other history museums in Virginia Beach.)












As we approach September and a non-traditional start to the school year, it reminds us of what it was like for many students during Colonial times. As actual schools were not common in that era, parents were the main source of education, with mothers most often taking the role of home educator. However, unlike today with high-tech Zoom calls and WebEx classes, students back then used simple chalk and slate to learn at home! When you need recess time from virtual learning, consider getting away from the screen, and play with some cool toys such as a Jacob's Ladder, ball-in-a-cup or paddle ball.












Union Kempsville Alumnus Edna Hawkins-Hendrix describes why the fight for education was so crucial in the African-American community in the first half of the 20th century. Learn how the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School came to be after decades of struggle, sacrifice and dedication.














On August 18, 1920, Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the culmination of decades of movements in favor of women’s suffrage. While the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, state loopholes caused many women of color to continue to remain disenfranchised. The fight continued for women and minority suffrage, leading to the passage of the 24th Amendment, which outlawed poll taxes, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Listen to our podcast, where Miriam discusses the history of some of the women featured at our Museums, as well as an interview with Dr. Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA. Miriam and Dr. Gant describe their experiences as women working in the museum industry, and where society still has room for improvement. (image from Library of Congress)












All of our Historic Homes have gardens, including several types of herbs (such as rosemary, dill, sage and lemon balm). Homeopathic medicines have been used for centuries, and have gained popularity, but do you know about their connection to witchcraft? Join Miriam to learn more about why herbs are such a big dill to Virginia history!

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