Pamunkey Indian Reservation

Pamunkey Indian Reservation

The major focus of the Pamunkey Indian Museum is to teach about the Pamunkey people and their way of life throughout history, from the ice age to the present. Tools and other items are shown as they would have been seen and used by the Native Americans of that period. Original artifacts are displayed along with replicas based on the most up-to-date information on how things were made, handled, used, and worn out. It is hoped visitors will be inspired by our history and whether by a brisk walk through or studying some period in detail, an interest will be generated about the lives of the people who left this great legacy.

Built to resemble the houses of the ancient Pamunkey, the museum now houses their story. Set within the quiet confines of the reservation, the museum is the only documented history of a tribe that has existed on its present homeland since the Ice Ages and played a significant leadership role in the activities of Virginia's Native American population throughout history.

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Hours

Please call for latest hours to ensure the museum is open.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

General admission costs $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children and seniors.  The museum only accepts cash or checks, no credit cards.

History

Built to resemble the houses of the ancient Pamunkey, the museum now houses their story. Set within the quiet confines of the reservation, the museum is the only documented history of a tribe that has existed on its present homeland since the Ice Ages and played a significant leadership role in the activities of Virginia's Native American population throughout history.

Activities

Built to resemble the houses of the ancient Pamunkey, the museum now houses their story. To walk through the museum is to walk through time. Beginning with the Ice Age, you are made familiar with "The People" (what they looked like, their ornaments, and their personal existence), "Their Natural Environment" (the land they inhabited, and how it looked), "Their Settlement" (the dwelling places of the people), and "Their Subsistence" (the tools they used and how they survived). These four themes reappear in each of the archeological time frames shown until you reach the present.

Set off from the Tribal Council complex at the edge of the woods is the inconspicuous Pottery School. It has been the home of the Pamunkey Indian Potter's Guild since the early 1930s. The Pamunkey Museum Shop literally glitters with the crafts that attest to the industry of the cooperative's members.

At the Pamunkey Shadfish Hatchery learn about the sustained effort to preserve and restore the American Shadfish, one of the Chesapeake Bay's indigenous species of fish who travel the Pamunkey River each spring to spawn. Since 1918, the Hatchery has been hatching and releasing fingerling Shad into the River during the spawning season.

Facilities

The main point of contact for visitors in the Pamunkey Museum and Store, although you can also visit the Pottery School, Hatchery, and the site of Powhatan's grave that overlooks the Pamunkey River.

Accessibility

The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Events

  • There are no events scheduled.

Related Trip Ideas

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Main image: Pamunkey Indian Reservation
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