To maintain a non-profit association of persons interested in the history of Patrick County, Virginia and surrounding areas, and to encourage the collection, maintenance and preservation of significant historical material.
In 1971, several citizens in Patrick County decided that an organization was needed to preserve the history of the county. After making inquiries of neighboring counties where historical societies were already functioning and contacting the Virginia Historic Landmark Commission for advice, the Patrick County Historical Society was formed on December 16, 1971.
Officers were elected and Mrs. Nannie Ruth Terry served as the first president. In 1972, the Society’s first priority was to make plans for a museum. An offer was made and accepted on the former office building of Dr. B. A. Hopkins on Buena Vista Avenue in Stuart. After a generous response to a fund-raising drive, the building was purchased and renovated, and an open house was held on March 25, 1973.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Clifton, of Vesta, donated most of their vast collection of historical items to the new museum. Mrs. May Ross McDowell, of Tennessee, founder of the Patrick-Henry Allied Families of Virginia, also donated items from her historical collection. By the end of the 1980’s, the museum collection was rapidly outgrowing its available space due largely to generous donations of items given by county residents and other friends.
When the Patrick County Board of Supervisors voted to undertake the construction of a new library building for the county, the Historical Society offered to donate their museum building to the county in exchange for equal or greater space in the new building. After reaching an agreement between the two Boards, the Historical Society moved to the new location on Blue Ridge Street in the spring of 1991. On Saturday, June 9, 1991, the new library/museum building was dedicated and officially opened with former Virginia Governor and Patrick County native, Gerald L. Baliles, as principal speaker.
Genealogical material was added when the museum moved to the new location, allowing local citizens the opportunity to explore their ancestral roots without having to travel out of the county. In 2018, a new Genealogy Room was created and plans were approved by the Board to reorganize, with renovations scheduled to be completed in 2020.
John Reynolds, President
Beth Ford, Vice President
Gene Stirewalt, Treasurer
Gabrielle Walker, Secretary
Other Board Members: Greg Arens Carolyn Beale
Sylvia Cummings Paula Drady
Douglas Dunlap James Hines Wanda Isaacs Shirley Keene
Mike McKenzie B. J. Nolan Beverly Belcher Woody