Nelson County was officially incorporated in 1807. Filled with historical sites, century farms, country roads, and ancient mountains; the cultural landscape provides a timeless charm.
Pharsalia is an 1814 plantation home with stunning views of The Priest Wilderness Area. Oak Ridge Estate is an 1802 mansion on 5,000 acres of rolling hills, forest, and streams. Swannanoa is an Italianate marble villa atop Afton Mountain. Visit the Walton’s Mountain Museum in Schuyler and Earl Hamner House, boyhood home of Earl Hamner, Jr., creator of The Walton’s TV Show. Oakland Museum is located in an old tavern; it houses exhibits on Rural Electrification, Historic Properties, Roads & Ancient Mountains, Nelson County Schools and Hurricane Camille remnants, a Category 5 hurricane that devastated Nelson County in 1969. The Nelson Heritage Center has an African-American history exhibit and offers community events.
Historic Woodson’s Mill (1794) produces stone-ground grain products. Take a drive through the Historic Districts of Lovingston, Schuyler, Southern Rockfish Valley, Norwood-Wingina and Afton-Greenwood; or meander along the James River from Wingina to Norwood and view the area where some of the first settlers established homes along the river. The Rockfish Valley Foundation Nature History Center features exhibits from the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Exhibits include an array of taxidermied native wildlife. Young visitors will have the chance to experience animal pelts, insects, rocks and other artifacts. The Dodd Cabin is a restored historic log cabin open to visitors on a seasonal basis.
Additionally, two of Nelson’s craft beverage locations have museums on-site. The Virginia Distillery Museum is part of the walking tour of Virginia Distillery Company’s production distillery and includes fascinating historical distilling equipment and three video features. The Bold Rock Cider Museum offers cider artifacts for view and a unique opportunity to learn facts about the history and production of hard cider.