Isle of Wight County Museum

103 Main Street, Smithfield, VA 23430 - United States

757-356-1223

Website

Facebook

Twitter

The Isle of Wight County Museum was founded in 1976, and its exhibits include prehistoric fossils, a turn-of-the-century country store, displays interpreting the Smithfield ham industry and perhaps the museum’s most notable artifact: the world’s oldest, edible cured ham.

Stop in to visit the ham as well as the world's oldest peanut - and check out our 24/7 ham cam!

Exhibits

The World's Oldest Ham!
P.D. Gwaltney Jr.’s famous pet ham currently resides at the Isle of Wight County Museum. In 1902, a cured ham was overlooked, and for 20 years, the ham hung from a rafter in one of his packing houses. By 1924, the pet ham was kept in an iron safe which was opened daily for guests to view. Advertised as the world’s oldest Smithfield ham, Gwaltney fashioned a brass collar for the ham and took it to shows and expos to exhibit the preservative powers of his smoking method. The ham was featured in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” in 1929, 1932 and 2003.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.