About the Frontier Culture Museum
The mission of the Frontier Culture Museum is to increase public knowledge of the formation of a distinctive American folk culture from a blending of European, African, and indigenous peoples.
Our Cultural Origins
The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia tells the story of the thousands of people who migrated to colonial America, and of the life they created here for themselves and their descendants. These first pioneers came to America during the 1600s and 1700s from communities in the hinterlands of England, Germany, Ireland, and West Africa. Many were farmers and rural craftsmen set in motion by changing conditions in their homelands, and drawn to the American colonies by opportunities for a better life. Others came as unwilling captives to work on farms and plantations. Regardless of how they arrived, all became Americans, and all contributed to the success of the colonies, and of the United States.
Genesis of the Museum
In conjunction with the celebration of American independence, in 1975 a group of ambitious individuals proposed the creation of an expansive outdoor museum that would interpret the contributions made by settlers from backcountry communities of England, Germany, Ireland, and West Africa that pioneered our Western frontier in the 1700s. In 1978, the Virginia General Assembly authorized the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation to prepare a feasibility study for the land at the junction of I-64 and I-81 as the potential museum site. The study concluded that the site was exceedingly well suited for what would be become the celebrated Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. Today, the Museum operates as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additional support for the Museum comes from generous donations. Incorporated in 1982 as a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization, the American Frontier Culture Foundation is empowered to accept all private donations for the museum. Donations support current and new permanent and temporary exhibits, the acquisition and reconstruction of historic buildings, the reproduction of historic buildings and furnishings, and the preservation of historic buildings and artifacts at the Frontier Culture Museum. Donations also provide the Museum with resources for illuminating teacher education programs, entertaining lectures, workshops, special programs and much needed school field trips to the Museum.
The Frontier Culture Museum’s Leadership is composed of Executive Staff and the Board of Trustees. To learn more about either entity, please click on the links below.
The Code of Virginia § 2.2-3704.1. requires government entities to publicly post information and links to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Council on each agency’s official government website. An audit of compliance with this requirement is currently being undertaken by volunteers with the Virginia Society of Professional Journalists. Be sure to check the Code requirements and make any needed fixes. Please see:
The Frontier Culture Museum is a state agency and requires any and all vendors we work with to be registered with eVA – Virginia’s Marketplace.
American Frontier Culture Foundation
The American Frontier Culture Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Frontier Culture Museum. It is our mission to provide funding for this extraordinary outdoor living history museum.
Together with your support, we are committed to providing resources for student field trips, classroom outreach programs, and specially-curated tools and resources for homeschoolers and online educators.
We also support summer camp scholarships, lectures, exhibit materials, and anything the Museum needs to make learning fun. Donations to the Foundation directly support the Museum’s educational and interpretative mission.
We rely on your generous support to help the Museum programs and exhibits remain strong.