Museum Information

Essex and its county seat, Tappahannock, lie on the beautiful Rappahannock River in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. The Essex County Museum, founded in 1996, and the Essex County Historical Society joined forces in 2006 to celebrate the heritage of the town, county, river, and its people and is now the Essex County Museum and Historical Society (ECMHS).  

Located at 218 Water Lane in Tappahannock, the Museum houses a number of exhibits that include pre-historic through modern displays of life in Essex and on the Rappahannock River. In addition to these collections, the museum has a research room with a small library as well as a Gift Shop with handcrafted jewelry, home accessories, art, books, children’s toys and games, and more!   All proceeds from the shop benefit ECMHS’s programs and operations.

Outreach is an important component of the Museum’s mission and ECMHS collaborates with other museums on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula to bring a “History on the Go” program to local elementary schools. The Essex County Museum also has a variety of other educational programs that are offered either at the museum or in another venue as well as live and virtual programs throughout the year that are offered to the community.

Our Mission: Preserve, Educate, Inspire

To preserve the rich heritage and history of the county; to educate citizens of Essex County and visitors through stimulating educational programs, publications and displays including historic memorabilia; and to inspire an interest in further research and appreciation of the unique traditions that a part of Essex County

We are located at 218 Water Lane, Tappahannock, VA  22560

Our phone number is (804) 443-4690 

Our mailing address is PO Box 404, Tappahannock, VA 22560.

Hours of Operation

The Museum is temporarily closed for repairs to the ceiling. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will visit when we reopen!

Museum Now Reopen on Tuesdays and Saturdays

The Essex Museum has reopened on a limited basis!  Starting May 1, the Museum, and the Rappahannock Gift Shop, located at 218 Water Street in the heart of Tappahannock, is open from 10 am to 3 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. All federal and state guidelines will be...

“Arbor Team” plants trees in the new Max Silver Memorial Courtyard

Thanks to our "Arbor Team", Dorothy Miller, Robert LaFollette and David Henderson, for planting oak and dogwood trees in the new Max Silver Memorial Courtyard next to the museum last week! Now that the site is prepped and the larger trees have been put in, we are...

View the “Voices in Black History” Program Online

Miss our “Voices in Black History” program? Presented last Thursday by The Performance Guild of First Baptist Church under the direction of Gina McGuire, it is available to view online. View Here!    

The Museum is now open on a limited basis!

The Museum and the Rappahannock River Gift Shop will be open in March and April on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for shopping!  All social distancing and safety guidelines will be followed and guests will receive 50% off on our “back room” items.  Be sure to stop...

ECMHS Launches New Website!

Essex County Museum and Historical Society launches their new website. With the redesign, we hope to be able to reach an even wider audience and keep our members up to date. You too can stay updated on the goings-ons of ECMHS. More importantly, you can become a...

The Museum Gift Shop open Saturdays in March and April

The Museum Gift Shop is open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for shopping in March and April! We are following social distancing and safety guidelines. In addition, guests will receive 50% off on our “back room” items. Stop by and check us out!

Update on Prince Street Lot

If you have been downtown this week you may have seen site preparation of the lot on Prince Street next to the Museum for the new Max Silver Memorial Courtyard. This new outdoor space in the heart of town will feature historical markers, educational kiosks, an event...