Atlas of Virginia ArchaeologyNorthern Region

Alexandria African American Heritage Park
Holland Lane, just south of 1700 block of Duke Street
Alexandria, VA

An eight-acre memorial park, including a preserved one-acre nineteenth century African American cemetery, where 26 graves were identified via archaeological excavations.  Six marked headstones survive in their original locations.  The cemetery was established in 1885 by the Baptist Cemetery Association and it is believed that the graves are African American and date to the late nineteenth century.

Open year-round from dawn to dusk.  Free admission.


Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street, #327
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838-4399

The museum exhibits artifacts recovered during excavations in Alexandria. Also, it interprets the process of archaeology by allowing access to the working laboratory of Alexandria Archaeology, a division of the city's Office of Historic Alexandria. The collection is comprised of more than two million artifacts recovered from more than 100 archaeological sites. Prehistoric artifacts from several Archaic and Woodland period sites are included, although the great majority of the materials in the collection date to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to the changing exhibits, a wide variety of public education programs are offered, including opportunities to volunteer for both field and laboratory work, a week-long summer camp for 12 - to 15-year olds, and a 10-day, college-level summer archaeological field session.

Open year-round Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is free, but admission and reservations are required for some public events and educational programs.

Alexandria Canal Lift Lock and Pool No. 1
Canal Center Plaza
Foot of Montgomery Street along the Potomac River
Alexandria, VA

The reconstructed tide lock and pool are part of the Waterfront Walk, a three-mile trail that runs the length of the Alexandria waterfront.  The original canal and lock were revealed via archaeological excavations and remain preserved beneath the reconstruction.   The Alexandria Canal was chartered in 1830 and the locks were completed by 1845.  Interpretive signs are located at the site.

Open year-round from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

Belvoir Plantation Historic Site
Fort Belvoir, VA

The masonry ruins of the eighteenth century Belvoir mansion and associated outbuildings have been stabilized.  Interpretive signs based on a series of archaeological excavations are in place.  The plantation was the home of the influential Fairfax family.

The site is open year-round from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

On the grounds of Fort Belvoir, from Route 1 via the Pence Gate, south on Belvoir Road, left on 21 Street, right on Belvoir Drive, right on Fairfax Drive, parking in circle.


Camp Roosevelt
Lee Ranger District
109 Molineu Road
Edinburg, VA 22824
(540) 984-4101

Camp Roosevelt was the first Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the nation, active from 1933 to 1942.  While the camp was supervised by the U.S. Army, the Forest Service supervised enrollee projects.  Stone foundations and stone-lined paths have been cleared and interpreted for visitors who want to view the layout of this historic camp.

Open from May 1 - mid-September.

Located off State Route 675, 5 miles northwest of Luray.

Carlyle House Historic Park
121 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-2997

The Carlyle House Historic Park primarily consists of the restored home of John Carlyle, original builder and owner. Erected between 1751 and 1753, the house exemplifies the high status residences built by the most influential men of the young town. Period rooms are furnished to interpret the era of Carlyle. Archaeological excavations were conducted as part of the restoration program in the 1970s. An educational program for students, "Discovery Through Trash," serves as an introduction to archaeology by focusing on selected eighteenth century artifacts and various questions and themes associated with them.

Open year-round Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Admission: $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 11 to 17.

Cedar Creek Battlefield
8437 Valley Pike
P.O. Box 229
Middletown, VA 22645
(540) 869-2064

A visitors center and museum interprets the Civil War battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864.  Artifacts from the battle are on exhibit.  A premier living history event occurs every October.  Thousands of re-enactors, extensive living history displays, and programs bring to life the realities of America's Civil War.

Open April - October, Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; November - March, by appointment.  Admission to the exhibit area is $2.

Located 2 miles south of Middletown on Route 11.

Center for Historic Preservation
Department of Historic Preservation
University of Mary Washington e
Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5358
(540) 654-1041

The University of Mary Washington's Center for Historic Preservation both supports the academic offerings and opportunities of the Department of Historic Preservation and engages in public outreach programs, including lectures, conferences, periodic exhibitions, and an annual summer college-level field school in archaeology.  

The center is open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except holidays.  Free admission.


Daniel Harrison House
P.O. Box 366
Dayton, VA 22821
(540) 879-2280

Known locally as Fort Harrison, the Daniel Harrison House is a stone structure built circa 1749 and restored in the 1980s.  As part of the restoration, the Massanutten Chapter of the Archeological Society of Virginia undertook excavations adjacent to the house and at the recently opened summer kitchen.  Artifacts from this work are on display.

Open on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., from mid-May to late October and by appointment.  Donations are encouraged.

Located on Route 42 in Dayton; I-81, exit 63.


Elizabeth Furnace
Lee Ranger District
109 Molineu Road
Edinburg, VA 22824
(540) 984-4101

The Forest Service cabin and information station was constructed in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps from lumber recycled from 1830s structures.  The archaeological remains of Elizabeth Furnace Iron Community is located off Pig Iron Interpretive Trail.  The iron furnace, constructed in the 1830s, halted production during the Civil War, restarted ca. 1888 only to close a few years later.

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Located off State Route 678 in Fort Valley, 10 miles southeast of Strasburg.

Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitors Center
1013 Lafayette Boulevard
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
(540) 373-6122

The visitors center offers exhibits of Civil War era artifacts related to the various major actions that were fought in the Fredericksburg area.  These include the battles of Fredericksburg (1862), Salem Church (1863), Chancellorsville (1863), and the Wilderness (1864).  In addition, driving tours of the battlefields, featuring both ruins and reconstructed/restored elements of the Civil War era landscape, and guided and self-guided walking tours are offered.

Open year-round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with expanded hours in the summer; closed Christmas and New Year's Day.  $2 fee for viewing the 22 minute movies at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville for those ages 10 to 61.  Over the age of 61, the fee is $1.

Gadsby's Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838-4242

A brick-lined, 18th-century ice well located adjacent to the tavern has been stabilized and is open for public viewing.   The well was investigated by archaeologists in the 1970s and the circular brick shaft, 15 feet deep and 17 feet in diameter, was partially excavated.   A plaque adjacent to the viewing window interprets the ice well.

Open November - March, Wednesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.; April - October, Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday 1 to 5 p.m.  Admission: $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 11 to 17.


George Washington's Ferry Farm
268 Kings Highway
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 370-0732

Ferry Farm, a National Historic Landmark, is rich in history.  George Washington grew to manhood here, moving to the farm at age 6 in 1738, and leaving in 1752.  Legend claims that the cherry tree story ("I cannot tell a lie") and his powerful toss of a "silver dollar" across the Rappahannock River took place at Ferry Farm.   During the Civil War, Union troops camped here during the Battle of Fredericksburg.  From Ferry Farm, Union artillery bombarded the city, and the Army of the Potomac built a pontoon bridge on the site of the old ferry.  Archaeological excavations at the site of the boyhood home are ongoing and are available to view by the public during regular opening hours during the summer months.  An exhibit that includes archaeological artifacts and interpretation is on display in the visitor center. 

Open daily February 18 - December 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..  Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25, 31 and from January 1 - February 17.  Admission:  $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 17 and students.

Located on Route 3, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg.

George Washington's Gristmill and Distillery
Mount Vernon Highway, Route 235
(703) 799-8626

Originally built in 1770 by George Washington, to grind wheat and corn grown at Mount Vernon, this merchant mill was reconstructed in 1932 and restored in 2001 to be a fully operating gristmill.  Nearby the Gristmill is the site of a stone building that was erected in 1797 to serve as a whiskey distillery.   The remarkably well preserved site was excavated over a five year period and is currently undergoing reconstruction.  The distillery is scheduled to open to the public as a fully functional 18th-century whiskey distillery in April 2007.  Exhibits and a video detailing the history of the site and providing information on the archaeological investigations will be offered.

Open daily April - October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..  Admission: $4 adults, $2 children ages 6 to 11.

Located 1/4 mile south from US 1 or 3 miles west from Historic Mount Vernon.

George Washington's Office Museum
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society
32 West Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 662-4412

George Washington used the center log room of the building in 1755 as an office while he supervised the construction of Fort Loudoun.   Artifacts from an excavation at Fort Loudoun are on display in the museum.  Numerous artifacts from a recent excavation on the museum grounds have yet to be cataloged and placed on exhibit.

Open April 1 - October 31, Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.  Admission: $5 for adults, $4.50 for senior citizens, and $2.50 for students ages 7 to 18. 

Graves Mountain Lodge
Route 670
Syria, VA 22743
Contact: Jim Graves (540) 923-4231

This family-owned lodge/restaurant has been in operation since the 1850s and includes several historic structures.  An exhibit located in the dining area features Native American artifacts from the collection of Kate Graves.  Miss Graves was a member of the Archeological Society of Virginia, and from the 1940s-1950s amassed an extensive collection of artifacts from Madison County.

Open daily from the last weekend of March - November.  No fees to view the exhibit.

From Culpeper: Route 29 south, right on Route 609, right on Route 231, left on Route 670, 4 miles.

Gunston Hall Plantation
10709 Gunston Road
Mason Neck, VA 22079
(703) 550-9220

Gunston Hall is the home of George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, who wrote: "That all men are by nature equally free, and independent, and have certain inherent rights."  Mason was among the first to call for freedom of the press, tolerance of religion, and other fundamental democratic principles.   Set on 550 scenic acres on the Potomac River, the plantation includes the eighteenth century mansion, reconstructed outbuildings, formal gardens, farmyard with livestock, and active archaeological sites.  Archaeological remains include the formal garden and several known outbuildings.  Also on the property are the remains of Newtown, the seventeenth century home of George Mason's father. Programs with specific emphasis on archaeology include:  tours during Virginia Garden Week, Hidden History Archaeology Tours, and archaeology demonstrations during Virginia Archaeology Month.

Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.  Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for students, and free for children age 5 and under. 


Historic Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA 22121
(703) 799-8626

The 500-acre site includes the home of George  and Martha Washington, associated period outbuildings, gardens, grounds, reconstructed buildings, and two museums. The on-going permanent archaeological program has investigated numerous sites over the last decade. While the focus of study is the period of the Washington family occupation, from ca. 1735 to 1858, prehistoric remains dating back to the Archaic Period have been uncovered. Opening in the fall of 2006, the Donald W. Reynolds Educational Center will feature two major exhibits on the life and times of George Washington.  Archaeological materials excavated from various sites on the property are included in the exhibits. Other public programs include: interpretation at the site of the current excavation, and a brochure on the archaeology program which includes a self-guided walking tour of the property's archaeological past.

Open year-round daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (April-August), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (March, September, October), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (November-February).  Admission: $13 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for children ages 6 to 11.

James Madison's Montpelier
P.O. Box 67
Montpelier Station, VA 22957
(540) 672-2728

This historic house, owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by the Montpelier Foundation, interprets the life of James and Dolly Madison. Eight principal sites on the grounds adjoining the house have been excavated over the past 15 years:  1) the original Madison family plantation (Mount Pleasant, 1723-1770) consisting of the remains of the main house, a detached kitchen and several outbuildings; 2) a blacksmith shop (1760-1810); 3) two quarters for enslaved domestics (ca. 1780s-1830s); 4) a detached kitchen associated with the Montpelier house (1760-1810); 5) the grounds of the Montpelier mansion--featuring landscape features of both the mid 18th century and early 19th century; 6) the "Home Quarter"--a 5-acre site complex of quarters for field slaves and work areas--all in an unplowed context; 7) the Gilmore Farm, a farm and cabin built by a former slave of James Madison (1867-1920); and 8) a confederate encampment (winter of 1863-1864).  Most of these archeological features are interpreted on the landscape and the Confederate encampment and Gilmore farm feature a newly established interpretive trail with information panels.   Excavations are ongoing throughout the year at various sites at Montpelier and the public is encouraged to view the excavations in progress.   In addition, the Montpelier Archaeology Department has an active, year-round volunteer program and is open to new volunteers.  A college-level field school with housing is offered each summer for four to eight weeks in conjunction with James Madison University and the State University of New York at Potsdam and summer-long internships with housing and a stipend are available.  Over the past two years one of the quarters for enslaved field hands (located in the "Home Quarter") has been the focus of excavations, but for the 2006-2008 seasons we will be focusing on the formal landscape of the mansion grounds..  

Open year-round daily, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission: $110 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 14.

Madison Arcade
Madison County Historical Society
P.O. Box 467
Madison, VA 22727
(540) 948-5488

This ca. 1790 structure displays exhibits relating to the history of Madison County.  These include archaeological materials from the excavation of the mid-nineteenth-century Kemper Mansion, home of Governor James L. Kemper, and Native American artifacts collected by Claude Yowell.   The Yowell collection consists of more than 3,000 artifacts dating from the Paleo-Indian through the Late Woodland Periods.

Open Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Free admission.

Madison County Library
P.O. Box 243
402 N. Main Street
Madison, VA 22727
(540) 948-4720

The Kate Graves Room houses a cabinet of Native American artifacts from Miss Graves' collection.

Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Free admission.

Manassas Museum System
9101 Prince William Street
Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 368-1873

The Manassas Museum interprets the history of the Northern Virginia Piedmont area. The modern museum building houses artifacts derived from numerous archaeological excavations and selected objects are on display as part of the permanent exhibit. The site of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth has been excavated and is interpreted via interpretive signs and the outlined footprints of the school buildings. Mayfield and Cannon Branch Forts, the last surviving confederate earthworks in Manassas, is open to the public.

The Museum is open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Admission: $3 for adults and $2 for children and seniors. The site of the Industrial School is open daily. Free admission.

Massanutten Regional Library
174 S. Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 434-4475

Rotating displays of Native American and Civil War era artifacts are derived from the Charles Henry Rife collection. Acquired in the late nineteenth century, it primarily consists of prehistoric Native American stone tools from Rockingham County dating from the Early Archaic to Late Woodland periods, along with various Civil War military artifacts.

Open Monday - Thursday,  9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday,  9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 12 to 4 p.m.  Free admission.

Newtown History Center
5408 Main Street
P.O. Box 143
Stephens City, Virginia 22655
(540) 869-1700

Stone House Museum, built in the fourth quarter of the eighteenth century, interprets the history of the town of Stephens City, formerly Stephensburg, chartered in 1758.  Archaeological exhibits on "The Life of a Potter, Andrew Pitman" include panels describing the Pitman family of potters, and cases contain examples of his pottery--rims, glaze, form, and decoration.

Open June - August, Tuesday -Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.; September - November, Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.  Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 16. 

Reuel B. Pritchett Museum
Bridgewater College
Box 147
Bridgewater, VA 22812
(540) 828-5462

Located in Cole Hall on the campus of Bridgewater College, the museum houses the collections of Reuel B. Pritchett. Gathered prior to 1954, the collection includes more than 10,000 items. Prehistoric Native American artifacts from the eastern United States, including the Shenandoah Valley, comprise a portion of the collection on display.

Open Monday - Friday, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Free admission.

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
54 S. Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 722-2020

The Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum for families and school groups.  A stop along the Moccasin Trail is a life-size house with Indian replicas of tools and clothing.  Educational programs explore the culture of Eastern Woodland Indians.

Open year-round, Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday,  1 to 5 p.m.  Admission: $5.

Spring Creek Town Hall
7764 Thomas Spring Road
Bridgewater, VA 22812
Contact: Linda Waggy (540) 828-3260

Houses an exhibit on the prehistory of the Shenandoah Valley, including Native American cultures and the paleo-environment.   Artifacts recovered from local sites and replicas of bone tools and ceramics are featured.   

The exhibit is available for viewing by the general public by appointment.  Admission is free.

Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp's Hill
33229 Old Valley Pike
Strasburg, VA 22657
(540) 465-5884

The museum is built adjacent to trenches dating to the 1864 Valley campaign.  It serves as an interpretive center for the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.   In addition to Civil War military and domestic materials, the collection also includes both Colonial era and Native American artifacts.  Various public programs focus on interpreting the Civil War.

Open Monday - Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, students, and children ages 6 to 16.