30th Anniversary Celebration



The Frontier Culture Museum turns 30 this year, and we’ll be celebrating with many special events & activities!  The Museum opened to the public in September of 1988 with just a handful of exhibits.  It’s grown quite a bit over the last 30 years, but our Mission has remained the same!

The Mission of the Frontier Culture Museum is to increase public knowledge of the formation of a distinctive American folk culture from the blending of European, African, and indigenous peoples. The Museum uses historic structures artifacts, and living history interpretation to represent how immigrants to America lived in their homelands, crossed the Atlantic,and traveled from coastal ports into the Shenandoah Valley. These travelers built farms along the early western frontier and their descendants formed a new American culture.

Sept 1-30:

Special 1988 Admission Prices

For the month of September, you’ll be able to visit the Museum for the price you would have paid during its inaugural year.

  • Adults:  $3
  • Youth:  $1  (ages 6-17)
  • Children:  Free  (5 and under)

Sept 22:

Annual Pass Holder Pancake Breakfast
8:30 – 10:30 am:

As a thank you to our Annual Pass Holders, the Museum staff will host a pancake breakfast on the Cochran Pavilion.  Hint – It’s not too late to get your annual pass and join the fun.

  • Free to Museum Pass Holders
  • Please RSVP to the Welcome Center at 540-332-7850

Sept 22:

Guest Lecture & Book Signing by Alison Hoagland
2:00 – 3:00 pm:

The Log Cabin – An American Icon
For roughly a century, the log cabin occupied a central and indispensable role in the rapidly growing United States. Although it largely disappeared as a living space, it lived on as a symbol of the settling of the nation. In her thought-provoking and generously illustrated new book, Alison Hoagland looks at this once-common dwelling as a practical shelter solution–easy to construct, built on the frontier’s abundance of trees, and not necessarily meant to be permanent–and its evolving place in the public memory.

Hoagland shows how the log cabin was a uniquely adaptable symbol, responsive to the needs of the cultural moment. It served as the noble birthplace of presidents, but it was also seen as the basest form of housing, accommodating the lowly poor. It functioned as a paragon of domesticity, but it was also a basic element in the life of striving and wandering. Held up as a triumph of westward expansion, it was also perceived as a building type to be discarded in favor of more civilized forms. In the twentieth century, the log cabin became ingrained in popular culture, serving as second homes and motels, as well as restaurants and shops striking a rustic note. The romantic view of the past, combined with the log cabin’s simplicity, solidity, and compatibility with nature, has made it an enduring architectural and cultural icon.

Alison K. Hoagland, Professor Emerita in Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University, is the author of Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country and Buildings of Alaska.

The author will be signing books after her lecture. We recommend you order your copy in advance to ensure availability: Click here to buy a copy of THE LOG CABIN – AN AMERICAN ICON.


Concert featuring Amythyst Kiah (solo acoustic guitarist)
6:00 – 8:00 pm:

Tickets:  Click here for discounted online tickets.  Advance purchases will be $15, at the door $20 and FREE to Annual Pass Holders.  Amythyst Kiah –  A professed Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter based in Johnson City, TN, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. Accoutered interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), Amythyst’s toolbox is augmented by her scholarship of African-American roots music. Her eclectic influences span decades, drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the ’50s-’70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae).

Recent tours in Scotland and the U.K. have seen Amythyst performing for audiences at the Americana Music Association UK Showcase, the Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the U.S., has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival. Provocative and coolly fierce, Amythyst Kiah’s ability to cross the boundaries of blues and old-time through reinterpretation is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable.