Loudoun Museum

A museum dedicated to preserving and sharing the long history of Loudoun County With a collection of over 8,000 artifacts, we have something for everybody.

We have artifacts on display from many events and eras in Loudoun County's past, and plenty to learn about Loudoun’s role in everything from wine production to the Civil War. Right in the backyard of Washington, D.C., our history is the Nation’s history, but our county is one of a kind. Come by and find out for yourself.

Operating as usual

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 06/09/2021

While the Maryland Campaign was underway in 1862, some Loudoun unionists found themselves in a dire situation at Harpers Ferry. Confederate forces were surrounding the town, and Union commander Dixon Miles planned to surrender. Before doing so, around 2,000 cavalry escaped. Within that group were members of the Loudoun Rangers, a U.S. unit raised in Loudoun. The Rangers operated often between Harpers Ferry, Loudoun County, and around the Point of Rocks area in Maryland. The Rangers didn’t have the best record during the war, but in this instance, they survived to fight another day.

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 05/29/2021

After the Civil War, various communities across the country held displays and started traditions to pay tribute to fallen soldiers. Decoration Day eventually became a holiday adopted by each state for remembering those who died during the War. Over time, the day most commonly became known as Memorial Day, and during WWI, it became a holiday to commemorate military personnel who died in all US wars. In 1968, congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act establishing Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. In Loudoun, we have a national cemetery at Balls Bluff Regional Park and soldiers buried in local cemeteries from all US wars going back to the American Revolution.

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 05/14/2021

Thank you to all who came out for History on Tap in Upperville last night! And to our guests Alison Herring and Bishop Gulick for sharing some of their recently found research.

04/30/2021

Today we say a bittersweet farewell to Andrea, our Visitor Experience Manager, as she will soon be moving out to California. Over the last two years, she’s worked tirelessly to care for the Museum’s collection and to help us interpret Loudoun’s history in engaging ways.

No image is more fitting to display her valuable contributions to the Museum than one from our collections building, giving a behind the scenes tour earlier this week. Join us in thanking Andrea for her dedication and hard work, and wishing her good luck out west!

Today we say a bittersweet farewell to Andrea, our Visitor Experience Manager, as she will soon be moving out to California. Over the last two years, she’s worked tirelessly to care for the Museum’s collection and to help us interpret Loudoun’s history in engaging ways.

No image is more fitting to display her valuable contributions to the Museum than one from our collections building, giving a behind the scenes tour earlier this week. Join us in thanking Andrea for her dedication and hard work, and wishing her good luck out west!

04/27/2021

Already thinking about the weekend? Make plans to stop by to see our exhibit, “Vintage Pursuits,” which looks at the history of Virginia’s wine industry.

Already thinking about the weekend? Make plans to stop by to see our exhibit, “Vintage Pursuits,” which looks at the history of Virginia’s wine industry.

04/22/2021

Do you notice the thumb print? When we exposed some of the original brick to help restore the north wall, it allowed us to look closely at the bricks made circa 1840. Finding finger prints is another reminder of the history within the walls of buildings. Who made the bricks? Were they enslaved laborers? Where were they made? Now, we get to not only help preserve the building, but hopefully bring to light more about its past.

Do you notice the thumb print? When we exposed some of the original brick to help restore the north wall, it allowed us to look closely at the bricks made circa 1840. Finding finger prints is another reminder of the history within the walls of buildings. Who made the bricks? Were they enslaved laborers? Where were they made? Now, we get to not only help preserve the building, but hopefully bring to light more about its past.

04/16/2021

Pour Over History

We were joined by Dr. Maureen Connors Santelli for our latest Pour Over History to talk about her new book, The Greek Fire, from Cornell University Press. Grab some coffee and hear about the American response to the Greek Revolution in the early 19th century!

04/12/2021

Our next Pour Over History interview will be out Friday morning! Our Director will talk with Dr. Maureen Connors Santelli about her recent book, "The Greek Fire," and some of the connections between her research and our latest exhibit, "A Fragile Republic." The interview will be posted on Facebook and the Museum's YouTube channel.

Our next Pour Over History interview will be out Friday morning! Our Director will talk with Dr. Maureen Connors Santelli about her recent book, "The Greek Fire," and some of the connections between her research and our latest exhibit, "A Fragile Republic." The interview will be posted on Facebook and the Museum's YouTube channel.

04/09/2021

We are reopen! Stop by this weekend to see our latest exhibit, “A Fragile Republic.” We are open 10-4 with FREE admission!

We are reopen! Stop by this weekend to see our latest exhibit, “A Fragile Republic.” We are open 10-4 with FREE admission!

Loudoun Museum to reopen April 9, introduces new post-Revolution exhibit 04/02/2021

Loudoun Museum to reopen April 9, introduces new post-Revolution exhibit

We are ready to reopen next Friday, April 9th! Stop by to see our exhibits on display, including "A Fragile Republic."

Loudoun Museum to reopen April 9, introduces new post-Revolution exhibit After closing in January for a two-month renovation, Leesburg’s Loudoun Museum is scheduled to reopen while also introducing a new exhibit April 9.

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 03/26/2021

New exhibit ✅
New display case ✅
Old artifacts ✅

Staff and volunteers are spending the day cleaning and putting some artifacts on display in our upcoming exhibit, A Fragile Republic. We look forward to reopening soon!

03/18/2021

History on Tap: Luck of the Irish

History on Tap is LIVE! Grab a drink and join the Historians as they celebrate St. Paddy’s day with historic Irish tales and stories of incredible luck! Sláinte!

03/16/2021

To celebrate Give Choose today, we are revealing the logo for our upcoming exhibit, A Fragile Republic. All donations received through Give Choose will go toward new archival quality exhibit display cases. Every bit counts! If you would like to take part, the link to our donation page is below.
http://www.givechoose.org/loudounmuseum

To celebrate Give Choose today, we are revealing the logo for our upcoming exhibit, A Fragile Republic. All donations received through Give Choose will go toward new archival quality exhibit display cases. Every bit counts! If you would like to take part, the link to our donation page is below.
http://www.givechoose.org/loudounmuseum

03/16/2021

Give Choose day is here! All donations received are going toward exhibit display cases at the Museum. To celebrate Give Choose, stay tuned to our page this afternoon as we will be posting the logo for our newest exhibit that will be on display next month! Donations can be made at the link below. We appreciate your support!

http://www.givechoose.org/LoudounMuseum

Give Choose day is here! All donations received are going toward exhibit display cases at the Museum. To celebrate Give Choose, stay tuned to our page this afternoon as we will be posting the logo for our newest exhibit that will be on display next month! Donations can be made at the link below. We appreciate your support!

http://www.givechoose.org/LoudounMuseum

03/08/2021

Happy International Women’s Day! If you haven’t seen it yet, make a celebratory visit to our outdoor exhibit “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.”
Located at the back of our historic log cabin, this exhibit was developed by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment and the power of female activists throughout history.

Happy International Women’s Day! If you haven’t seen it yet, make a celebratory visit to our outdoor exhibit “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.”
Located at the back of our historic log cabin, this exhibit was developed by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment and the power of female activists throughout history.

Retro Recipes: Macaroni & Cheese 03/05/2021

Retro Recipes: Macaroni & Cheese

Check out the first installment of our new blog series, Retro Recipes! These blogs will feature historic recipes that are researched, tested, and reviewed by Loudoun Museum staff Paige Armstrong.

This week Paige explores the history Macaroni and Cheese and tries out a recipe from a 1910 cookbook!

What historic recipes should we try next?

https://www.loudounmuseum.org/post/retro-recipes-macaroni-cheese

Retro Recipes: Macaroni & Cheese This blog is the first installment of our new series, Retro Recipes. These blogs will feature historic recipes that are researched, tested, and reviewed by Loudoun Museum staff Paige Armstrong.

03/02/2021

Early giving for Give Choose 2021 opens today! We are raising money for new archival quality object display cases, which will be on display in our upcoming exhibit.
https://www.givechoose.org/loudounmuseum

Early giving for Give Choose 2021 opens today! We are raising money for new archival quality object display cases, which will be on display in our upcoming exhibit.
https://www.givechoose.org/loudounmuseum

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 02/25/2021

After switching to work on floor and wall repairs, we are back repairing the brick on the north side of the museum. The bricks that have deteriorated too badly from moisture are being replaced. The bricks replacing them are circa 1840s and were once a part of buildings in the Hagerstown area. The mortar is also being repaired. We are getting to the final stages of the renovations!

02/12/2021

Loudoun Museum’s collection is ready for a close up! LM staff and volunteers photograph artifacts as part of a regular inventory of our 8,000+ object collection.

Loudoun Museum’s collection is ready for a close up! LM staff and volunteers photograph artifacts as part of a regular inventory of our 8,000+ object collection.

02/12/2021

History on Tap: Relationship Goals

LIVE! Grab a drink and join the Historians on Tap as they tell tales of historic romance and heartbreak. Our special guest this week is interpreter and historian Katharine Pittman!

02/07/2021

A great snowy morning to walk around Balls Bluff Regional Park! Plenty of historic places to visit in Loudoun in any weather.

Black-Owned Businesses in Leesburg: A Brief History 02/03/2021

Black-Owned Businesses in Leesburg: A Brief History

February is Black History Month and a reminder to highlight and promote black narratives in the history of our community. To learn more about black-owned businesses in historic Leesburg such as the "Do Drop Inn," a popular restaurant and social club that shared the same building as the Loudoun Museum, check out our blog post from last June.

https://www.loudounmuseum.org/post/black-owned-businesses-in-leesburg-a-brief-history

Black-Owned Businesses in Leesburg: A Brief History Post-emancipation, African Americans in the United States gained access to more opportunities and utilized their skill sets to create their own spaces in a generally unaccommodating society. In Leesburg, we can see the physical manifestations of these efforts in churches, schools, fraternal lodges,....

01/29/2021

The Winter's War: Civil War Soldiers In Camp & On Campaign During Cold Months

LIVE! Watch Loudoun Museum Executive Director Dr. Rizzo join a panel of historians in a discussion about Civil War soldiers camping and campaigning in the harsh conditions of winter.

Photos from Loudoun Museum's post 01/19/2021

Looking good isn’t always easy. Today we removed damaged plaster in order to reveal some of the historic bricks! We then treated the brick for mold and will begin to repair the damaged areas, but we are excited to show it off when it’s complete!

[01/08/21]   🚨Exciting News!

The Museum will be starting renovations this month in order to get ready some upcoming exhibits. In order to be able to do these renovations, the Museum will be closed for the next several weeks. We are aiming to re-open to the public in April when the construction is done and our next exhibit is installed! Follow us here and on Instagram for updates on the changes in addition to some upcoming virtual programs.

01/05/2021

Thank you to the McLean County Museum of History for facilitating the homecoming of this piece of Loudoun County history 192 years after its creation! This sampler will now be a part of our 8,000+ artifact collection, which includes a variety of textiles and sewing samplers.
According to museum records, Ann Tavenner from Hamilton, Virginia sewed this sampler under the instruction of Hester Boone Janney, a neighbor, in 1829. The building depicted may be a rendition of the 1812 stone house the Tavenners occupied before part of the family moved to Ohio, where the donor of this object lived before gifting it to the McLean collection in the 1980's.
Sewing samplers were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries to teach girls basic needlework skills. They typically depict alphabets, numbers, and floral patterns and many included the name of the creator as well as dates, locations, and instructors names. These qualities make them unique and significant objects that provide a glimpse into the lives of young women in early America.

storymaps.arcgis.com 12/29/2020

Collecting COVID Memories

Phase 2 of our pandemic virtual exhibit is now available to view! We now have two virtual exhibits for the project - one that documents, collects, and shares the experiences of Loudoun residents during the COVID pandemic, and another that gives some history of past pandemics. Both are viewable with the link below.

storymaps.arcgis.com Documenting Historic Times Today

12/19/2020

Historians on Tap

LIVE Christmas on Tap: Holiday Spectacular! Grab a drink and join the Historians on Tap and some very special guests for festive tales of local history!

Join us for true tales of holidays past with some of our favorite guests of 2020!

12/18/2020

Looking for some last minute gifts? Consider a Loudoun Museum 2021 membership! Stop into the Museum for a membership and you’ll receive this commemorative stemless wine glass for our “vintage Pursuits” exhibit. New members will also receive our book The Lure of Loudoun. We are open 10-4 all weekend!

www.loudounmuseum.org/donate

storymaps.arcgis.com 12/15/2020

Collecting COVID Memories

The pandemic has brought about many hardships, but it is also historic. In the spring, the Loudoun Museum started to document and preserve your quarantine stories. These experiences—as digital documents, photographs, or physical objects—are evidence of our community’s resilience and creativity during tough times.

We not only want to collect your stories but also make them accessible. The first phase of "Collecting COVID Memories" is now available to see. We are still collecting stories, so we hope you will contribute! Thank you to the Loudoun County Government Office of Mapping and Geographic Information for the support in developing this site.

storymaps.arcgis.com Documenting Historic Times Today

12/07/2020

The Smithsonian exhibit “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” is now up at the back of our log cabin! Stop by next time you’re in downtown Leesburg to read about the long fight for women’s suffrage, which was achieved 100 years ago.

12/01/2020

We are thrilled to have offered more virtual and in-person programs in 2020 than any other year! But the year is not over and we have some exciting news. This month we will be launching our virtual exhibit showcasing the experiences of Loudoun residents during the COVID pandemic. We will also be completing an outside exhibit on women's suffrage written by the Smithsonian that will be available to read 24/7! The programs and exhibits would not be possible without you. On this #GivingTuesday day of charitable giving, we ask for your support to continue to offer free programs and admission to the Museum.

https://www.loudounmuseum.org/donate

11/19/2020

208 years later, and we are still the best deal in town! This is a clipping from a November 1812 issue of the Alexandria Gazette, advertising their local museum, which charged 25 cents for "grown persons" and 12.5 cents for children. Whether you're a grown person or not, your admission is free at the Loudoun Museum! We are open 10-4 Friday-Sunday.

youtube.com 11/14/2020

Pour Over History: Bronwen Souders

Grab some coffee and listen to local historian Bronwen Souders talk about some of Waterford's history and her new historical fiction book, The Thinkin' Rug. Proceeds of the book are going to the Waterford Foundation Inc. and the Black History Committee at the Thomas Balch Library. You can find the book for sale on the Waterford Foundations' website!

youtube.com Executive Director Dr. Joe Rizzo interviews local historian Bronwen Souders about African American life in the town of Waterford and her book "The Thinkin' R...

11/13/2020

Tomorrow morning we will post the next interview for our Pour Over History series! Our director interviewed local historian Bronwen Souders about her new historical fiction book, The Thinkin’ Rug, which is a story about an African American family from Waterford. Grab some coffee and watch along.

Our Story

With a collection of over 8,000 artifacts, we have something for everybody. In our Discovery Room, kids can dress up in period costume, play in our 19th century period kitchen, and learn by doing. For the military buff, we have artifacts on display from arrow heads to WWII memorabilia, and plenty to learn about Loudoun’s role in the Civil War. We have antique clothing, furniture, and more.

Right in the backyard of Washington, D.C., our history is the Nation’s history, but our county is one of a kind. Come by and find out for yourself.

Videos (show all)

Pour Over History
Grab some coffee and watch our latest Pour Over History interview! This week we spoke with Dr. Adam Domby about his new ...
Are you wondering how to document your experiences for our virtual exhibit? Our director interviewed The Tattooed Histor...
Pour Over History - Interview with Dr. Lauren Thompson.Our director interviewed Lauren about her upcoming book - Friendl...
Richard Gillespie joined the Museum's director to talk about Loudoun during the World War II era for our Pour over Histo...
Ever wonder what American soldiers and newspapers wrote about D-Day and the Normandy invasion? Our Director interviewed ...
Live with Ric Murphy’s lecture, cohosted with Loudoun County Public Library.
Join us for a lecture by James Broomall, Director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at She...
Join us on Facebook Live for tonight’s lecture by Jake Wynn of the National Civil War Medicine Museum #civilwarmed

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16 Loudoun St SW
Leesburg, VA
20175
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