The Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia was founded in 1987. It is a nonprofit, primarily donor supported institution, located on U.S. Forest Service land.
The purpose of the museum is to tell the story of the people who settled the mountainous southwest corner of Virginia and how its unique culture was developed. Visitors discover this as they move through the museum's Visitor's Center, 1890's School and Farm.
The Migration Story of the people who came to these mountains in the mid-1700s is told through a series of displays in the Visitor's Center. This is a tale of two groups, the Scotch-Irish and the Germans, who carved their farms from the wilderness and formed the mountain culture. Beginning as early as 1710, immigrants from Europe began starting new lives in America. Because Philadelphia was one of the largest ports in English holdings, many early immigrants initially settled in Pennsylvania. As their numbers increased, land in the valleys of Virginia became attractive, and beginning in the 1730’s many moved into the region. Both the German and Scots-Irish people left behind a combined legacy of culture and heritage that is unique to the Appalachian mountains.
The restored 1894 Lindamood School is a prime example of this self-sufficient culture that created its own schools generations before the state claimed responsibility. Know by a variety of names such as field schools, subscription schools and blab schools, the one room school house also served as both a place of learning and a community center. Often, town meetings, church services, dances and picnics were held there.
The farmhouse and nine outbuildings has the look and feel of an average farm in this area 100 years ago. Restored and furnished in the 1890s time frame, visitors to the farmhouse will better understand how the people of the area lived, worked and played! Visitors can see the many different household items and furnishings as well as a variety of farm tools common to the era.