McDowell Battlefield Orientation Center
sponsored by The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

Uniquely Highland

Illustrates the history of Highland County, which was formed in 1847 by combining land from the neighboring counties of Bath and Pendleton,  and was named for it lofty elevation.


Past Artists & Craftsmen

of Highland County

Learn how a Civil War battle fought in Highland County impacted Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign in 1862. A twenty-minute documentary film describes the actions of both armies.

Permanent Exhibits

Changing Exhibits

The museum has two rooms devoted to exhibits that change annually.

In the past these have included quilts, toys, country stores,

the Maple Queen contest, and more:

First Families

This recurring exhibit features pioneering families whose descendants still live in Highland County. 

Check out the First Families page to see those featured in the past. 

Spring 2019 will feature a new exhibit introducing 12 more families.



Highland County Industry and Enterprise

Ever wonder how people made a living in Highland County? Exhibits featuring logging, photography, carpentry, and more.

Clothing and Accessories of the Civil War Era

Discover clothing worn by both men and women during the Civil War. Back then, clothing had more layers, each of which had a meaning. See what a woman would wear in mourning or what a man wore all day everyday during the war. 


Here Comes the Bride

                                                                       Clothing, photographs, and personal items                            highlighting wedding traditions prior to 1965  


Highlanders in War

Showcased Highland veterans who served in

World War 1 through Vietnam. 

Have you ever wondered what all those

patches on the arms meant?

Or what battles your ancestor was a part of? 


Images of Highland County's Past:

An Exhibit of Doug Puffenbarger's Photographs

Doug’s photographs capture the changing face of Highland County.

Perhaps you have photos to share? Please visit

“Images of Highland County’s Past” on Facebook.


Our Sunday Best:

Fashion Trends in Highland County 1860-1930

Come in and see how women's clothing has changed along with the times here in Highland County. Starting with conservative dresses of the 1860s to the scandalously short dresses of the 1930s, this exhibit has a bit of everything.


Highland County:

Living with the Land, A photo and object journey through time

Learn how the people of Highland County have lived with the land throughout time.  Pictures and original artifacts tell how people dealt with predation, grew crops, raised animals and lived with what the land had to offer.

Mills of Highland County

Mills have always been a big part of Highland County, every small community had a mill associated with it. This exhibit will give a background on mills, from their function and workings to a brief history on a few individual mills.


People & Perspectives: Highland County in the Civil War

Learn how the Civil War affected the home front in Highland County. Original artifacts and documents illustrate topics including the diphtheria epidemic of 1862, the dilemma faced by Brethren Church members, slavery, guerrilla warfare, and townspeople caught in the conflict.