As the Ham Capital of the World, it's no surprise that Smithfield and Isle of Wight's history is enmeshed in its local ham industry. But our historic attractions tell more of the story from Isle of Wight County, one of the original eight shires in the 1600's, to the Schoolhouse Museum from the 1930's. We've planned a one day itinerary that will give you a taste of our ham-inspired past.
First Stop: Our newest attraction!
Windsor Castle Park Historic Outbuildings and Barns
705 Cedar STreet, Smithfield
Windsor Castle Farm was originally part of a 1,450 acre parcel patented in 1637 by Arthur Smith, an ancestor to the Town's founder, Arthur Smith IV. Today's Windsor Castle Park (208 acres) is anchored by the circa 1725 manor house and its eleven outbuildings. Sellf-guided tours of the newly interpreted and furnished smokehouse, farm manager's Office, slave quarters, kitchen and laundry are now available.
Hours vary. Go to https://www.windsorcastlepark.com/walkingtours.html or call (757) .542.3109.
Click here to take a virtual video tour of the Outbuildings.
Second Stop: Get an overview of the area's history.
Isle of Wight County Museum
103 Main Street in Downtown Smithfield
Founded in 1976, the Isle of Wight County Museum tells the story of the county through its interactive exhibits including a turn-of-the-century country store as well as displays interpreting colonial history, the Smithfield ham industry, the Blackwater River, the Civil War and the Cold War. The museum is also the home of the World's Oldest Ham, the World's Oldest Peanut and the HAM CAM!.
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 4 p.m.
Third Stop: Just across the street from the Museum is this historic gem.
1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse
130 Main Street in Downtown Smithfield
The Old Courthouse of 1750 is located in the historic Town of Smithfield. Originally modeled after the Capitol Building in Colonial Williamsburg, the building is beautifully restored. The Courthouse is available any day or time for group tours with prior notice. It is also available for rental for special occasions.
Hours vary. Please call ahead at (757) 356 - 9016 or contact the Smithfield Visitor Center at (757) 357 - 5182..
Lunchtime: Dine is a historic inn!
The Smithfield Inn
112 Main Street in Downtown Smithfield
Travelers have made their way to the Smithfield Inn since it was built in 1752, including (legend has it) George Washington.
The Smithfield Inn’s restaurant offers traditional Southern fare including their world-famous Smithfield ham, sliced thin atop a fresh-baked yeast roll. Formal, informal and al fresco in the outdoor garden is available.
Hours vary. Please call ahead at (757) 357 - 1752.
Fourth Stop: Stroll down Main Street to visit this unique museum.
The Schoolhouse Museum
516 Main Street in Downtown Smithfield
An African-American History Museum of Public Education built in 1932. The museum features period desks and books, and offers oral histories of those who attended the school.
Hours vary. Please call ahead at (757) 365 - 4789.
Last Stop: Located just out of town is this National Landmark.
St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum
14477 Benns Church Blvd., Smithfield
St. Luke's has enjoyed a long and vibrant history . Built in the 17th-century, this National Historic Landmark is located four miles south of Smithfield's Historic District. Explore the grounds of this renowned historic site on a journey through over 400 years of vibrant, American history.
General Admission is $8. Children under 6 are free.
Hours vary. Please call ahead at (757) 357 - 3367.