Martinsville, Virginia


Fall Exhibits in Martinsville-Henry County Museums

Did you know that Martinsville-Henry County has a wide variety of museums to explore? Wondering what you can see at Martinsville-Henry County museums and historical centers? Here is a quick breakdown of the current exhibits and galleries in the area:



Virginia Museum of Natural History 

• The Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Hall of Ancient Life - This is the first exhibit that greets visitors to the museum, which includes many different displays of modern science intermingled with ancient creatures such as Eobalaenoptera, a 14-million year old baleen whale specimen collected by museum scientists north of Richmond in an area once deep under water.
• Dinosaurs - This temporary collection features a variety of dinosaur specimens and displays from the collections of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Life-size casts of dinosaurs dominate the exhibit, but plenty of other prehistoric artifacts and models are present as well.
• Uncovering Virginia - This exhibit features all things that are the natural history of Virginia. Explore the state from its earliest beginnings to its current landscapes and features. With displays from various research sites, lab experiences, video animations and more, this gallery is an interactive experience for all!
• How Nature Works - This rocks exhibit includes dramatic landscape models that reveal how the world is shaped by geological forces that are themselves powered by the enormous energy deep within the planet.
• The Hahn Hall of Biodiversity - The Hahn Hall of Biodiversity features the spectacular African mammal collections of Dr. Thomas Marshall Hahn Jr., President Emeritus of Virginia Tech. Come learn about many different animals from a lion and leopard to 26 different types of antelopes. Whose side are you on: predator or prey?


Piedmont Arts

Weight of the Ribbon

• It's All Greek To Me - Come explore the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans through this exhibit on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Learn about democracy, natural history, warfare, politics, art, and more!
• Weight of the Ribbon - This exhibit features the work of photographer Curtis Brown and supports National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Featuring dancers from the Carolina Ballet, the photographs take visitors through the emotional experiences of those battling breast cancer.
The Portrait - This exhibit also features Curtis Brown photos taken of participants in the Vote Against Project. The Vote Against Project members were opposed to Amendment 1 in the N.C. legislature which would ban and nullify same-sex marriages and civil unions.
• Making A Splash - This gallery features the work of Debra Alcorn. The works feature various forms of water including rivers, oceans, and more.



Bassett Historical Center

• Portraits, uniforms, jackets, diplomas, trophies, newspapers, and more of/from historical figures from the collections of Dyane (Spencer) Brown, George Cox, and Jean (Ross) Matthews.
• New collections from Amogene (Reynolds) Belcher, Clarence Belcher, Mary Elizabeth (Bassett) Morton, and Nettie Clifton.
• The war memorabilia display features uniforms, shells, books, and more relating to various wars during our country's history.
• The history of local industries are also only display featuring historical artifacts from prominent companies such as Fieldcrest Cannon, Bassett Furniture, Bassett-Walker, and DuPont.
• The center also has a Native American collection featuring arrowheads, carvings, and more.


Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center and Museum

Heritage Center

Collectors' Gallery:

- History of Tobacco Industry in Martinsville-Henry County:This exhibit features numerous items relating to the tobacco industry of the area, particularly the B.F. Gravely family, such as antique tins, tobacco tags, advertisements, and certificates as well as photographs, family portraits, and more!

- Faces and Places of Martinsville-Henry County: this exhibits features portraits of prominent figures and families of MHC's past such as the Philpotts, Martins, and more as well as past photos of important area landmarks such as the Martinsville Speedway and Uptown Martinsville.

Deed Room - Timeline of Martinsville-Henry County featuring artifacts, photographs and articles on Native American fish weirs, the Civil War, tobacco and local industries.

• Various vintage clothing, antique tools, moonshining and furniture history displays are throughout the museum. The renovated courthouse upstairs serves as a historical artifact of our judicial system and is home to a portrait of Patrick Henry. 


FAHI African American Museum & Cultural Center

The FAHI museum collects, preserves, and interprets African American experiences and community life in Martinsville-Henry County. This is achieved with the use of displays and exhibits to highlight more than 100 years of local history and culture.



Rucker's Communication Museum

Rucker's Communication Museum contains a variety of information of the history of telecommunication. From a replica of Alexander Graham Bell's first prototype to modern day cellular devices, numerous displays can educate younger generations in the progression of technology. Come by and learn about the wonderful world of phones!


Martinsville-Henry County Historical Museum

On display are artifacts and photos concerning the tobacco industry, on which the local economy was founded, as well as recent industries and businesses. There are photos and items from the Civil War, World War I and World War II, and you can even see the local National Guard Company that was in the first wave at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. We invite you to see, learn and listen to the wonderful stories from the history of Martinsville-Henry County!


Philpott Lake Natural and Cultural History Exhibits

The Philpott Lake Natural and Cultural History Exhibits include number of displays, such as: the Four Seasons of the Whitetail Deer, Fish that reside in Philpott Lake and Smith River, American Black Bear, American Beaver, regional Native American and local history. Local lore includes interpretive panels featuring construction activities associated with the massive Philpott Dam as well as historic photographs of flooding that used to occur in nearby towns before dam was built. **This museum is currently closed during the government shutdown**