Kinsale Museum


449 Kinsale Road
Kinsale, VA 22488

Open: Friday and Saturday, 10-5.
Others by appointment with Museum Director at 804-450-7651 (cell)

Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.
There is a Gift Shop on Site.
The site is Handicap Accessible.

Contact: Museum Director Lynn E. Norris or
Telephone: 804-472-3001 for the Museum; 804-450-7651 director’s cell.

Since its inception in 1977, the Kinsale Foundation has focused on history and community, with more than 500 member families presently united in this effort to protect the historic riverfront town’s heritage.

In 1992, the Kinsale Museum opened in a building donated by the widow of one of the founders, with exhibits of photos, memorabilia, and exhibits on a broad range of topics, including farming, fishing, canning, steamboats, and historic homes. In spring 2013, the old Kinsale Ice Cream Parlor was refurbished as an annex for additional exhibit space and as a library.

There are Native American artifacts, models of a variety of boats, tomato cannery information, a collection of books and gift shop that include numerous volumes for sale about wars that touched the town, details of the 57 businesses operating in the town’s heyday, information about the James Adams Floating Theater, and details of the Great House and how it was impacted by the War of 1812.

In Kinsale, a treasured Museum donation or loan — so far at least! — does NOT include bejeweled Faberge eggs.

Rather, it tends toward more personal items: a handmade North Carolina Lily quilt, a cow creamer collection, grandmother’s doll, pipes, mortars-and-pestles, tools, arrowheads, a whale’s vertebra.

There are items used in the Museum in its various other uses: as a tavern in the late 1800s and a butcher shop in the early 1900s. We have Cappagold lampshades made in a factory in Kinsale from translucent Capiz shells imported from the Philippines, and maps printed on silk and brought home from duty during World War II on a seaplane tender off the coast of Borneo.

In 2005, under the auspices of the Kinsale Foundation, Kinsale (formally established in 1706) became a historic district, with no architectural restrictions.

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