The Frontier cultural Museum which can be called an Art, Cultural and/or a history museum is located at 1290 Richmond Avenue, Staunton, VA, 24401.
The museum is an agency of the commonwealth of Virginia. It is such a beautiful museum and tells the story of the people that migrated to the colonies of America from all over the world such as England, Ireland, Germany and West Africa. While it shows how those that came to America came as a result of the difficult conditions in their countries (such as religious persecution, financial hardships etc) and also the hope for a better life. It also does a very good job in showcasing those that came to the colonies unwillingly as captives to work on farms and plantations. The museum does a wonderful job of showing how despite the beginnings of all these people from different parts of the world that came here, how they all merged and contributed to the success of the colonies that later became United States of America.
The fabulous thing about this museum unlike most is that it is not just an exhibit museum, it has gone above and beyond in the creation of little villages (if you will) and live “inhabitants” to show the visiting public how the people of different areas and times lived in their homelands before they came to the colonies and how they lived ones they were there. These exhibits include: West Africa, 1600s England, 1700s Forge, 1700s Ireland, 1700s Germany, 1740s America, 1820s America, 1850s America and a school house from 1850. These exhibits are so elaborate and have people going about the villages as the people did back in these times doing their crafts, you can see women baking or taking care of kids and men farming or doing welding etc.
I have to say the exhibit that impressed me the most was the one of West Africa: this area is set up as an early West African village and the huts are built with mud bricks and the roofs with dried palm frowns. Around the village you will see girls going about their day fetching water, preparing meals and taking care of the compounds and their men. The men are seen on the farm or heading their sheep and cattle. It is so authentic down to the smell, the clay pots, the language etc. The actors that are portraying the life then have the accents, clothes, hair styles done very well which makes this very authentic.
The various houses or little villages represent the people from different areas, with the area portraying 1700, Germany you can clearly see that the people are dressed like the modern or current day Amish. You can also see how the era of 1740, America differed from the 1820s or the 1850s. It is so authentically done you can literally see the progression of the people as time went on.
The museum is set up in two areas. The first shows the lives of these people in their homelands and the second shows how they and their descendants lived and how their lives changed ones they got to the colonies and how they survived.
The museum is not only an interactive reenactment of these places and times. You actually have people in every little villages or houses telling the visitors about the history, culture, way of life etc of these people that lived during these various times. So not only are you experiencing it, you actually get to hear about the customs and cultures and how they went about their daily lives.
The museum is also a back stage or backdrop for many activities. It hosts a variety of events such as jazz, wine, Independence Day festivals etc. Information can be found on their website at http://www.frontiermuseum.org/index.html. It is a life changing experience honestly. I was informed of this museum by my director at work whose brother sits on the board. I still can not thank her enough. I have been to so many museums in DC and other states but I have to say this was the most exciting one to visit.
The Frontier Cultural Museum is a one stop place to learn a wide Varity of cultures and the ways of lives of immigrants before they got to the colonies and how their lives were once they were there. You also get to experience how things changed once the colonies became the United States of America. Of course it does not give you the whole story but it gives you a very well balanced and wide perspective of things.