Arlington Historical Museum

The Arlington Historical Museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. It is located at 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road, Arlington, Virginia. Admission is free and so is the parking. 

What You’ll See:

  • ALL OF ARLINGTON HISTORY from Native Americans to 9/11 in a self-guided tour of a series of exhibits.
  • HISTORIC SCHOOLROOM: The museum is housed in the oldest existing schoolhouse in the county. Built in 1891. Ring the schoolbell!
  • A NEW TEMPORARY EXHIBIT: Public Health and Medicine in Arlington (through November 2022)

The Hume School has a unique history as a school and as a museum in Arlington.  See a video recorded in May 2021 discussing its history and AHS plans for the future. The video is: Hume School: Past, Present, and Future and has a run time of 48 minutes.

New Exhibit: Treating Arlington: Pharmacies, Doctors, and Medical Care in Arlington

From home medicines to apothecaries and doctors, a new temporary exhibit at the Arlington Historical Museum shows a history of medicine and health care in Arlington County through rarely seen artifacts.

The new exhibit is open through November.

If you have an object or photo that relates to Arlington history, please email us at info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org and let us know about it. Maybe we’ll feature it in an exhibit, too!

Permanent Exhibits

  • Native Americans
  • The Ball-Sellers House
  • The Antebellum Era in Arlington
  • The Civil War
  • Industrialization in Arlington
  • World War II
  • The African-American Experience
  • The Arlington Brewery Company
  • Two Generations of U.S.S. Arlingtons
  • The Little Tea House
  • The Pentagon
  • Changes in 20th Century Technology

Virtual Exhibits of the Arlington Historical Museum

AHS has turned several temporary and permanent exhibits into virtual exhibits so you can see some of 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. 

Upton’s Hill: Many Layers of Arlington History (Virtual Exhibit)

The impressive house that stood for generations atop Upton’s Hill symbolized the historic nature of the site, but Arlington history surrounds the house in many layers on the hill and around the hill. Through this exhibit, the Arlington Historical Society shows the historic nature of Upton’s Hill from top to bottom. This exhibit would not have been possible without the knowledge and expertise of Peter Vaselopulos who spoke at the AHS public program in April 2021. We also gratefully acknowledge artifact loans from Arlingtonians who prefer to remain anonymous. To see a video of the AHS monthly free public lecture held in April 2021 with Peter Vaselopulos please click on: Rediscovering Upton’s Hill History

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

In the battle against COVID-19, the government has asked us to shutter businesses, cultural facilities, and schools and it has requested that 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.

Storymap: Images of Arlington in 1920 (Virtual Exhibit)

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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 through through artifacts that show some of the underrepresented history of the African American experience.

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. 

New Virtual Exhibit Coming Soon

Volunteers at the Arlington historical Museum are turning the recent holiday exhibit “Stirring Up Memories: Arlington Cookbooks” into a virtual exhibit. This exhibit features cookbooks from churches, schools, and organizations from 1927 through the 21st century.  The Arlington Historical Museum received more than 40 loaned cookbooks and several donated cookbooks that when added to the cookbooks already in the AHS collection more than overwhelmed the exhibit case at the museum. Here in this virtual exhibit, we’ll be able to show all of them and provide more information about the cookbooks, the organizations, and historical stories they tell about Arlington.

If you have an idea for an exhibit or a 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 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 Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 4 p.m.

  • If you would like to help AHS preserve and renovate the Arlington Historical Museum, please visit our DONATE page.  Every penny will go to good use and will be sincerely appreciated.
  • Want to volunteer as a museum docent, help with exhibits, or offer some other talent, skill, or your time? Please contact us.
  • Were you a student at the Hume School? Please contact us.
  • Have an artifact to donate? Please email a description and/or photo to  info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Directions to the Museum

View Driving Directions on Google Maps