How to Make the Most of a Visit to the Kilmarnock Museum

Did you know that three of our first five U.S. presidents were born in the Northern Neck of Virginia? Significant parts of our nation’s history can be traced back to this scenic section of the Chesapeake Bay. Although Kilmarnock, Virginia, is a small town, it has a rich history just waiting to be discovered. Learn all about this community’s fascinating timeline at the Kilmarnock Museum! You can even explore our free Vacation Guide to dive deeper into the history and attractions of the Northern Neck.

Learn the Big History of a Small Town at the Kilmarnock Museum

Find out About the Infamous Kilmarnock Fires

The charming town of Kilmarnock, VA, was once ravaged by several fires. The first occurred in 1909, originating from the Eubank Hotel. A local bowling alley was the starting point for the second fire in 1915. When the flames finally died down, they took major portions of the community down with them. Several buildings were destroyed, but the workers came together to rebuild. However, in 1952, another terrible fire spread through Main Street, stoked by strong winds. These are just some of the remarkable stories you can learn about at the Kilmarnock Museum, the oldest surviving building in town.

Discover the Story of the Robert O. Norris Bridge

Another fantastic piece of Northern Neck history is the Robert O. Norris Bridge. You can view pictures of its construction from the mid-1900s and read insightful newspaper clippings. This essential structure would eventually bridge the gap over the Rappahannock River, changing transportation in the Northern Neck forever. People that once took the ferry could now conveniently travel via car over the almost 10,000-foot bridge.

Explore the Connection With a City in Scotland

You may not know it, but Kilmarnock, Virginia, has a sister city in Scotland with the same name! Robert Gilmour, one of the earliest known settlers of the town, also owned property in this Scottish town and likely named his new home after it. At the Kilmarnock Museum, you can find out about this unique connection from across the ocean.

Visiting the Museum

The Kilmarnock Museum is open from March to December on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but you’re welcome to call ahead and make a specific appointment for a tour. While it is a small museum, there are plenty of interesting exhibits inside, and it’s a great afternoon activity during your stay in the Northern Neck. Plus, admission is free!

For another historical destination, check out the Steamboat Era Museum and learn how these ships changed the course of history throughout the Chesapeake Bay!

Return to the Comfort of the Hope and Glory Inn

Outside view of the Hope and Glory Inn

After an afternoon at the Kilmarnock Museum, we invite you to relax at our luxurious bed and breakfast in Irvington, VA. The Hope and Glory Inn has a unique history of its own, dating back to 1889 when it was a schoolhouse! Today, guests can find elegantly designed rooms, high-quality amenities, and friendly service for an exceptional lodging experience. You can even take a short walk to The Dog and Oyster Vineyard and taste our medal-winning wines or enjoy an exquisite meal at our restaurant. Book your stay today! There’s no better way to experience a relaxing getaway on the Chesapeake Bay!

Don’t forget all of the other activities and attractions waiting for you in the Northern Neck! Request your free Vacation Guide to see them all!