Salem Museum

801 E Main St, Salem, VA 24153 - United States




Free Everyday

The Salem Museum is larger than it looks, with exhibits on five floors. At the heart of the Museum is the 1845 Williams-Brown House, which was originally situated along the Great Wagon Road. Exhibits trace Salem’s history from early Virginia Indian settlements and Salem’s founding in 1802, to Salem’s involvement in the Civil War and through the twentieth century.

The Museum’s Gift Shop features local crafts and hard-to-find books of regional interest. Enter the Museum through a formal herb garden. Adjacent are two cemeteries dating back to the late 1800s, picnic areas and a playground where children can run off steam. Take a walking tour of historic Salem, and enjoy lunch at the White Oak Tea Tavern located in Salem’s oldest home, which is owned by the Salem Museum.


Museum Day is Opening Day for two very special exhibits at the Salem Museum.

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America
At the Salem Museum: September 21 - January 4, 2020
No part of American culture so colorfully and passionately celebrates American ideals as does sports. The Museum on Main Street exhibition Hometown Teams takes a fascinating look at sports in our nation. More than just games—sports shape our lives, unite us and celebrate who we are. We play on ball fields and sandlots, on courts and on ice, in parks and playgrounds, even in the street. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And, if we’re not playing sports, we’re watching them, rooting on the sidelines. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Salem Champions Celebration
New Permanent Gallery opens September 21, 2019
Salem, Virginia, prioritizes education, supports quality of life amenities like parks and recreation, and maintains sports complexes where the nation’s top athletes come to play. As a result, a remarkable number of youth and adults have been recognized as Champions in a multitude of fields. These Champions—in athletics, academics, the arts, civic life, professional achievement, and other areas of success—all have wonderful stories to tell. Their stories exemplify hard work, perseverance, teamwork, fair play, and community spirit—inspiring stories for current and future generations. The Champions Celebration gallery will include both traditional exhibits and a touch-screen kiosk that will enable visitors to search a rich database of stories about Salem’s many Champions, those who have been recognized with a first place win at the state level or above. Student Champions from Andrew Lewis High School, Carver School, Glenvar High School, Salem High School, and Roanoke College will be featured. Salem Champions also include the winners of national championships held in Salem and Salem’s top professional athletes.


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.