From Our Collection 

  The Museum features exhibits on all three floors of our beautiful (former Masonic Lodge) building which was built in 1895. The first floor is primarily the Genealogical Library and Gift Shop interspersed with local memorabilia including but not limited to a portrait of Jimmy Steptoe who was the first Clerk of the Court in New London (the former county seat of Bedford), artifacts from local high schools and the Bedford Fireman's Band. 
  The second-floor highlights Bedford's Native American history, Bedford's black history, the history of WWI & WWII in Bedford as well as a room dedicated to Company A, 116th Battalion, 29th Infantry (The Bedford Boys). The second floor also includes a temporary exhibit which changes every 6 to 18 months. You can see more information about this changing display below. 

Native American Exhibit 

Local Native Americans created this exhibit to tell the history of their ancestors who inhabited the land around the Peaks of Otter, Taylor's Mountain, and present-day Smith Mountain Lake. Visitors will learn of the importance of the "Three Sisters" (corn, squash, and beans) to these communities while archeological artifacts on display give insight to their culture and daily activities.

Black History Exhibit

African Americans played a significant role in shaping the history of Bedford County. This exhibit showcases some of those contributors to our history, including artifacts from Susie G. Gibson and the high school named after her, as well as items from Dr. Pogue, a local Black doctor who served his community with pride. In addition, the Black History exhibit features local veterans who fought for this nation from World War I to Vietnam. Visitors will also find artifacts and images of local African Americans who continue to make history today.

  World War I & World War II

Whenever our country is drawn into war, Bedford answers the call to arms. The exhibit on World War I & World War II honors those who have served our country in uniform and gives special tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. On display are the uniforms and tools these brave servicemen and women wore from World War I to today's battlefield. Visitors can also read about local heroes such as Basil Murray who fought as a pilot in both World War I and World War II. Of course, no military history of Bedford is complete without honoring the Bedford Boys of Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division who fought galanty storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and whose sacrifice during this campaign led Bedford to being selected as the home of the National D-Day Memorial. We have a room dedicated to Company A, included in this exhibit are photos of the 19 men from Company A that lost their lives on June 6, 1944, and the two others from that company that died around that time. There are also several artifacts from those that served in Company A, 116th Infantry, 29th Division from World War I through today, including those that lost their lives on June 6, 1944. One of the items is the baseball from the 1943 European Theater of Operations World Series Championship Baseball team, signed by all the players. It also features pictures of those deployed in 2004 and 2010. 

Changing Exhibit

Our changing exhibit is updated every 6 to 18 months. This gives us an opportunity to highlight local anniversaries or even display some of our artifacts in storage. Our past exhibits have featured displays on moonshine, villages, Liberty Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Elks National Home, the longest-serving Virginia House of Delegate member Lacy Putney, and Law Enforcement. Our latest exhibit is "Scouting in Bedford County". We are always looking for new ideas for future exhibits.

Various displays throughout the museum

Throughout the museum, there are several displays that showcase local history and memorabilia. One such display contains 19th century medical items from Lyle's Drug Store. Another contains a rock initialed by George Washington's father. Also, don't miss the magnificent artwork produced by a former resident of the Elks National Home. 
~ Special thank you to Kathy Furr of Southern Hound Photography for taking the pictures of our exhibits. We appreciate it very much!! 

Get In Touch

Handicapped access is available in the rear of the building.

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Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday 10AM - 5PM
Saturday 10AM - 3PM
Closed on Sundays and National Holidays

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