In 1973, co-founders Mike and Henriella Perry decided to relocate from the city of Huntington, West Virginia to a farmhouse on the outskirts of town. It was here they discovered the seed that would birth a dream in the old, hand-hewn logs hidden behind the farmhouse walls.
Efforts to understand the tools and techniques involved in building a log cabin, coupled with their hobby of antiquing, led to the genesis of what would become Heritage Farm Museum & Village. Originally a private collection housed in a nearby barn, they soon began to accumulate authentic period structures and materials that they felt would convey an appreciation for everyday life in Appalachia from the 19th century to the present.
Heritage Farm began with the first "Spring Festival" on May 4, 1996. This yearly event was the only day the village was open to the general public until 2006. Since then, The Farm has added a petting zoo, working saw mill, and Artisan Center, housing the Heritage Farm Artisan Guild.
Heritage Farm Museum and Village has won many awards over the years, most notably recognized as a National Geographic Traveler Prime Destination, Daughters of the American Revolution Medal for Historic Preservation, and selected as the site for two History Channel features, “America’s Greatest Feud” Hatfield McCoy Documentary and “American Pickers”.
Today, the Farm's collection includes more than 25,000 square feet of Appalachian artifacts in seven museums, dedicated to Progress, Industry, Transportation, Children’s Activity, Bowe’s Doll & Carriage, Country Store, and Heritage Museum. Recently named West Virginia's first Smithsonian Affiliate Institution, the property is also home to more than 30 structures, including 2 reception halls for up to 300 people, 5 Log Cabin Inns, a Barn Retreat Center that sleeps 40 people, wired with today’s technology, and overnight train-caboose accommodations.
Artisans and re-enactors bring Appalachian history to life during special Way Back Weekends Saturdays in May through December, when thousands of people from around the world learn from the past, appreciate today, and dream for the future. With over 500 acres, 5 miles of hiking trails, artisan workshops, and new attractions on the horizon, Heritage Farm Museum and Village is proudly positioned to serve Appalachia for many years to come.
To read more about the story above you can buy Mike Perry's book Faith, Family, Friends, and Farm: Stories of and from Heritage Farm Museum & Village at Amazon!
Board of Advisors
CEO, Community Health Network of West Virginia
Executive Director, Region 2 Planning and Development Committee (retired)
Owner, Better Foods Inc.
President and CEO, Laurel Lodge Enterprises Inc.
Chairman and CEO, Arch Coal Inc.
Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts
Managing Partner, Bowles Rice LLP
President, Jackson Gas Company
Former President and CEO, West Virginia United Healthcare System
Former President, West Virginia State Board of Education
Audy M. Perry Jr.
Executive Director, Heritage Farm Foundation
West Virginia State Senator
Nick Joe Rahall
Former West Virginia Congressman
CEO & Chairman of the Board, Champion Industries, Inc.
President, Baisden Brothers, Inc.
Dr. Joe Touma
Vice President for Federal Programs at Marshall University. Director, Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing
Co-Founder, Weisburg Family Foundation Inc.
Mission & Values
The mission of the Heritage Farm Foundation is to be a source of hope and renewal to the people of Appalachia by sharing the stories of their proud, rugged past with the world in ways that inspire an emboldened, vibrant future.
Education: Our main purpose is to educate and inspire Appalachians and non-Appalachians alike. We believe that the history of Appalachia - its ingenuity, its hardiness, and its warmth - is worthy of celebration, and we believe future generations are especially in need of this message. We consider our connection with area schools and children vital, and are continuously exploring means of connecting people with their past to gain an appreciation and perspective for the future.
Hope: Hope is a precious gift, and we strive to make Heritage Farm Museum & Village a place where hope is given and fostered. Our message and programming are designed to provide positive stimulation and growth in a safe and friendly environment for all.
Family: Heritage Farm Museum & Village is a family operated non-profit, and we aim to extend our family to include staff and guests. The hospitality, personal touch, and neighborly spirit of Appalachians are things we wish to communicate to our guests through a guided tour, an event, or overnight stay.
Improvement: Attaining excellence is the goal we set for ourselves at Heritage Farm Museum & Village. We are always adding, changing, and growing to meet the needs of the community and constantly work to attain better results for our organization and guests.
Fun: We value what we do and we have a good time doing it! A fun atmosphere and enjoyable programming are the core of what makes Heritage Farm a desirable place to work, volunteer, and visit. Making things fun is one of the best ways we know of to connect with and inspire people, and we intend to infuse everything we do with the spirit of fun, creativity, and education.
We are proud to be West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Affiliate and want you to enjoy the benefits! Be sure to look for special programming, discounts, and exciting opportunities all year long!
"We are very honored to include West Virginia's Heritage Farm Museum & Village in our family of Smithsonian Affiliates. Heritage Farm gives visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the skills and self-reliance of the early settlers. Both of our organizations draw inspiration from the past, as we provide visitors with experiences to understand the present and shape the future.”
- Harold Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations Director
Smithsonian Affiliations, established in 1996, is designed to facilitate a two-way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and the Smithsonian to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. The program establishes long-term partnerships with museums, education, and cultural organizations to facilitate the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibitions, as well as to develop innovative educational collaborations locally and nationally.
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