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Eastern Shore of VA Historical Society

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Historical Organizations

Mission: The Historical Society's mission is to preserve and interpret the history of the Eastern Shore and to educate the community about its past through our collections.

Programs: History in a Box, yearly Symposiums, History Camp, Lunch and Lecture Series

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

The Eastern Shore of Viginia Historical Society has a Eastern Shore History program each Summer. The class covers the extentive early history of the eastern shore of Virginia. I grew up on the eastern shore of Virginia and never knew the inportant part the shore had in forming America. This program gives the program partipants this knowledge. The program offers admission to interested kids free of charge if they can not afford to pay.

Jack Murray


Rating: 5

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Historic Society is a great organization. Over the years, they have preserved, restored and documents so much history for this area. The staff, board, and volunteers have taken an asset and made it a world class attraction. This group has gone far beyond the dreams of many of the locals. If you come to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, it will be a shame not to stop by Kerr Place and see the rich history of the Shore.

Andy Mason

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Historical Society is headquartered in a beautiful old mansion in the heart of Onancock, Va. Besides the beauty and grandeur of the building and garden setting, (enough on its own!), this organization offers a slew of interesting events that appeal to a wide demographic of the Eastern Shore. It has become ground central for a multitude of events for people to gather. The director, Jenny Barker, has made huge strides in bringing a history center alive for young and old. Off the top of my head, here are just a few events they offer:

free bluegrass concerts on the lawn, history lectures and weekend forums, summer camps for kids, elegant tented dinner parties with must-dance bands, vintage fashion shows, 80s theme Halloween costume parties in an old theater, art festivals, a gorgeous setting for a wedding, wine tastings, and Rug hooking classes.

With that kind of variety and old fashioned FUN, what's not to love?? Kudos to ESVAHS, and Jenny for making it happen.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia from San Francisco just 4
years ago. The Society---on whose board I serve---is rapidly
transforming itself to highlight the fascinating written history of this region,
which began when Capt. John Smith landed in 1608 and encountered
the local Native American tribes. Located in the 200-year-old mansion known as
Ker Place, the Historical Society hosts many different events. Our next major
exhibition brings together priceless 17th-19th century maps, Audubon bird prints
and masterpieces of botanical art by Redouté loaned to us by legendary New York
art dealer Graham Arader. We try to surprise the community and visitors, whether it is with
historic objects, contemporary art, crafts, oyster culture, or music.
And everyone is welcome. ----Barnaby Conrad III

Charlie L


Rating: 5

In 2012 The Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society adopted a strategic plan to address the many challenges they, like many other small museums, faced in continuing viability and sustainability. A energetic, dedicated, and innovative Executive Director has worked tirelessly with dedicated and supportive staff and volunteers to achieve goals set by the plan. Among the many accomplishments have been establishing educational outreach programs and creating well received events and exhibits such as Ride the Tide and Godspeed Festival, Farm Life exhibit, Festival of the Arts, History Lectures, and Music on the Lawn Concerts. In 2102 events and exhibits attracted over 3,000 visitors, in 2013 over 5,000, and 2014 is equally promising. Membership has increased 21%.

Charles A. Landis.
Member and volunteer.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

I am especially pleased to write a review on the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. Their mission statement defines its purpose in one simple sentence: To preserve and interpret Eastern Shore history and to educate the community about its past. My assessment is they are doing this well. Board of Directors, Executive Director, staff, and many volunteers have worked as a team to be faithful to the mission with programs and events. To preserve our history they have established a new room to house their collections and to better serve those who come to research. To interpret and educate they have established lecture series and educational programs for members of the community of all ages.

Charles A. Landis

Review from Guidestar


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this place. I run a B&B in Onancock, Virginia and always recommend my guest go to the museum they operate or take an art class they sponsor. I, myself, have made two handmade Windsor Chairs there. Others have painted floor cloths or hooked rugs...all just as it was crafted in earlier times. How fun is that?

Their blog and facebook pages print lots of fascinating local history.

I particularly like how they involve the whole town. One year we celebrated the book and movie "To kill a Mockingbird." The showed the movie at our local theater. We had local historians give talks on the book and Southern culture of the times. Even the actress who played Scout in the film gave a talk about her experiences.

They serve the Shore and involve every one in their activities. Our area would not be the same without them.