Port Royal Museum of American History
506 Main Street, Port Royal, VA, 22535. Our museum is a must see for anyone interested in national and local history. We have permanent displays of numerous historical artifacts, as well as quarterly, special interest exhibits year round. We are open to the public on Saturdays, 10am – 4pm (except holidays), and by prearranged tours. Please visit our Events and Places to Visit sections for more information.
Historic Port Royal, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995, invests in Port Royal by restoring structures, operating museums, and keeping alive the town’s legacy and rich history. Settled in 1652, the area was first inhabited by the Algonquian Tribe of Native Americans. The town was chartered in 1744 around Roy’s Tobacco Warehouse and soon became an important center of commerce and trade.
The Civil War touched Port Royal directly in May 1863 when elements of the 24th Michigan and 14th Brooklyn Regiments attacked the town. In April 1865, John Wilkes Booth, infamous for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, sought refuge in Peyton House on King Street.
The 20th Century saw a rise and fall of businesses due to changing traffic patters from Route 301 to I-95. A resurgence of interest in the town’s restoration began in the 1970s and continues today, through efforts of concerned home owners and the driving force of Historic Port Royal.