Arlington Historical Museum

The Arlington Historical Society is tentatively planning a reopening of the Arlington Historical Museum on July 4, 2021 with an open house for AHS members. After that the museum will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  Masks will be required.

AHS has made several temporary and permanent exhibits virtual so you can visit the museum online.  Our virtual exhibits enable you to see more images and artifacts from the AHS collection and learn more about each of them.  

Storymap: Images of Arlington in 1920

This interactive “Storymap” showcases photos of how Arlington looked in 1920, the year a state law changed its name from Alexandria County to Arlington. Coordinated by local columnist and history enthusiast Charlie Clark and numerous volunteers, the Storymap shows what Arlingtonians would have seen along local streets in 1920.  The Storymap uses software created by Esri of Redlands, California and it was designed by Arlington-based Blue Raster LLC. Click here for a look at what our forebears would have seen in Arlington in 1920:

Storymap: Images of Arlington in 1920

1920s Arlington in a Dozen Objects (Virtual Exhibit)

In 1920, Alexandria County became Arlington County. View artifacts that give us a glimpse into what the county looked like and how we lived. 

Virtual Exhibit: 1920s Arlington in a Dozen Objects – Arlington Historical Society

Crepe Upon the Doors: Epidemics in Arlington County (Virtual Exhibit)

In today’s battle against COVID-19, the government asks us to shutter businesses, cultural facilities, and schools and it requests residents stay at home to stop the spread of this highly contagious pathogen. Epidemics have swept through America and Arlington in the past. In 1918, Arlingtonians confronted the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic. This exhibit shows how our forebears coped with these devastating impacts.

Virtual Exhibit: Crepe Upon the Doors: Epidemics in Arlington County – Arlington Historical Society

Student Letters to Teacher Sally Loving (Virtual Exhibit)

Sally Loving was one of the original teachers at Washington-Lee (now Liberty) High School. She taught home economics and social studies from the opening of the high school in 1925 until her retirement in 1962. She received many letters  from students who, after graduation immediately went into the military to serve in World War II. Others served their country before or after World War II. These young men wrote to her from basic training, from hospital beds, and in moments of homesickness. Some sent doodles and drawings and all thanked her for her letters to them as a life line to home. Read how they dealt with serving in World War II and beyond.

Student Letters to Sally Loving – Arlington Historical Society

A Short History of Voting in Arlington (Virtual Exhibit)

The way we vote has changed such since the end of the Civil War as we gradually move toward the democratic country our founders envisioned in the US Constitution. 

Virtual Exhibit: A Short History of Voting in Arlington – Arlington Historical Society

Winter Fun in Arlington (Virtual Exhibit)

At the end of each year the Arlington Historical Museum offers an exhibit that shows us some ways in which our forebears experienced the holidays. This year we look at how Arlingtonians had fun in the winter and we have some unique artifacts and photos to share. 

Winter Fun in Arlington (Virtual Exhibit) – Arlington Historical Society 

The African-American Experience in Arlington (Virtual Exhibit)

African Americans have played a foundational role in the creation, growth, and development of Arlington, Virginia. We seek to help honor Black History Month through artifacts that show some of the underrepresented history of the African American experience.

The African-American Experience in Arlington (Virtual Exhibit) – Arlington Historical Society

If you have an idea for an exhibit or any question, please email AHS at: Info@ArlingtonHistoricalSociety.org.

The Arlington Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Historical Society, is located at 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road, close to the Pentagon City and Crystal City metrorail stations. The two-story brick structure was built in 1891 as the Hume School, named for Frank Hume who gave some of the property for the school. It is the oldest school building in Arlington County.

Following extensive renovation in the early 1960s, the building reopened as the Arlington Historical Museum. The building is designated a Virginia State Historical Landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Sites. The Museum is open to the public year round on Fridays 12:30 – 3:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 4 p.m.

Directions to the Museum

View Driving Directions on Google Maps

From Washington, DC:

  • Go South on I-395 to Arlington Ridge Road exit.
  • Turn right on Arlington Ridge Road.
  • Museum is one block on left.

From points south:

  • From South Glebe Road, turn north on Arlington Ridge Road.
  • Proceed past traffic light at South 23rd Street.
  • Museum will be on the right.