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Mathews Maritime Museum

Owned and operated by the Mathews Maritime Foundation, the Mathews Maritime Museum houses artifacts, documents, and photographs depicting the history and legacy of Mathews County and the Middle Peninsula of Virginia. This area has a varied, rich maritime history from colonial times through today, playing a vital role in all the major events of our country, the Chesapeake Bay, and world-wide commerce.


Our museum is regularly OPEN Friday and Saturdays, May-November, from 10AM-2PM. For tours by appointment, please contact us at (804)725-4444. We are located in downtown Mathews, at 482 Main Street, Mathews, VA, 23109.

OPENING EARLY IN 2024 - We will open early this year, on April 19 and 20, 10AM-2PM, AND host a Nautical BOOK SALE at the same time. We have too many books, not enough space for them all! Take a book for a donation of any amount. The museum will continue to open on weekends after that through November. Stop in, browse our sale, take a tour. We'll see you there.

Steamboat Era in Mathews

Collections & Lending Library

We currently have over 2800 local items. Displays include waterman artifacts, boatbuilders and boatbuilding tools, and model boats throughout the museum. We have a Navy and Merchant Marine room, and an exhibit on the History of Boatbuilding in Mathews that focuses on Fitchett's Wharf. We also have information on slave emancipation and its connections to Mathews.

  • Lighthouses
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  • Boatbuilding Tools
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  • Watermen Tools
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  • Boat Artifacts
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  • Nautical Books
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  • Models of Boats
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  • US Navy Relics
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  • Civil War Memorabilia
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  • Merchant Mariner Artifacts
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  • Navigational Tools
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  • Navigational Charts
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  • Photos, Photos, Photos!
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  • Education
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  • Nautical Clothing and Gear
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  • Commercial Maritime Items

What's Ahead?

Our enthusiasm for preserving history is always growing, and so is our collection! Help us continue to restore historic boats, fund programs like family boatbuilding, and preserve relics that represent maritime in Mathews.

Going forward, we hope to move the museum out of it’s current public facility and into a new home for artifacts, research media, and educational activities.

Your tax deductible donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.

Museum Gift Shop

Our Museum Gift Shop has a variety of items, including books, DVD's, decals, and more. Check out the new embroidered Peggy of New Point and Mathews Maritime Foundation ball caps.

Recording Oral History

The Oral History Program documents local stories and memories of how things used to be, so that these valuable accounts will not be lost to future generations. Share your story. Contact one of our volunteers at (804)725-4444.