Who We Are


Our Mission


The Hunter House Victorian Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 historic house museum with a mission to ell the human stories of late 19th and early 20th century life through the lens of the everyday experiences and collections of the Hunter Family, their staff, and their local community in order to foster a commitment to preserving local heritage, inspire an appreciation for the broader historical narrative, and reach diverse communities through inclusive, accessible, educational, and innovative programming.


We accomplish this mission by offering guided tours of the facility, educational programs, and special events throughout the year which promote lifelong learning and community involvement.


Our Vision


We envision a more inclusive, accessible world starting with change at the community level. We offer a variety of educational programs and tours geared towards providing the public with information about our collective past so that we may be better informed in the creation of our future. We promote historic preservation, community-driven programming, and lifelong learning. We strive to be a community cornerstone.


Our History


The museum officially opened its doors to the public in 1988, nearly 23 years after the death of the last surviving member of the original Hunter family, Eloise Hunter. The Hunters dedicated their lives to genealogical, historical, and philanthropical endeavors. As stewards of their endowment, we have endeavored to fulfill their wishes through over 30 years of educational tours, programs, and exhibits that tell the stories of their lifetimes and help us formulate plans for robust futures for the community at large.


Our Impact


Through educational programming, the museum serves visitors from the Hampton Roads region, Virginia, the country, and all corners of the world. We regularly serve boy and girl scouting troops, homeschool groups, school-aged and college-aged children and young adults, senior citizen groups, social organizations, and philanthropic societies. We exist exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. Our reach includes providing internship and volunteer opportunities for people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds. We are a proud supporter of inclusive and accessible practices and demonstrate those ideals in our hiring practices and collaborative partnerships.


Ways to Support our Mission


Programming Contributions: Tangible Impacts


$5,000 can provide

  • Two paid internships to local students interested in preserving our past and designing their own purpose-filled futures.
  • Restoration of the museum’s dining room area, which needs to be reinterpreted to ensure accuracy of information and education.
  • Preservation of a section of the sandstone architectural details on the façade of the building, which naturally deteriorates over time.


$2,500 can provide

  • Catering for six afternoon tea events at the museum, the proceeds from which fund our educational outreach and programs and offer educational opportunities themselves.
  • Continuing education opportunities and trainings for our dedicated volunteer staff to learn more about diversity, equity, accessibility, education, and inclusion in museums.
  • Refinishing of the wood surfaces throughout the museum, which should occur every five years.
  • The development of a new exhibit on interpreting servant life at the museum from Irish Immigrant and African-American perspectives.


$1,000 can provide

  • Restoration of at minimum 5 museum items held in our archival space.
  • Purchase of 10 archival boxes and acid-free paper for storing our items.
  • Annual cleaning needs of the draperies, rugs, and other furnishings in the museum.
  • One archival quality mannequin for displaying our unique clothing collection.
  • All of the fresh greens needed to decorate the home for the holiday season.


$500 can provide

  • The purchase of new plants to bring our museum garden to life, or the upkeep of the garden itself.
  • New statuary for our garden to be used to discuss STEM, iconography, and outdoor art in the Victorian Era.
  • One girl or boy scout opportunity for an entire troop to gain up to three badges or patches.
  • The production of 1,000 self-guided tour brochures for our English-speaking guests.


$250 can provide

  • The production of 500 bilingual self-guided tour brochures for international visitors from countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and Russia.
  • The repair of two books in our Hunter Family Library.
  • The production of 500 scavenger hunt booklets for the local community to take self-guided tours of the Freemason District.
  • The production of 1,000 scavenger hunt worksheets for schoolchildren to use when visiting the museum.


100 can provide

  • Floral arrangements for our dining table that are used to discuss STEM topics, nature, and social customs such as the Language of Flowers during the Victorian Era.
  • One full week of cleaning services for the museum collection.
  • One continuing education tour for our volunteers to visit an area museum.


In return, you can expect:

  • Promotion of your business on our website and on social media pages
  • Membership for 2 individuals from your organization
  • Complimentary tickets to at least one event annually
  • A handwritten thank you letter from our museum's director, because we are real people and want to have personal connections with you


There are many opportunities for your organization to support our mission, including in-kind donations for raffles, silent auctions, and donations of food and beverages for community events. We are always looking for performers to donate their time and talents to us as well.


To learn more about how you can support our mission, please contact Museum Director Jackie Spainhour at hhvm1894@gmail.com or by phone at (757) 623-9814.


Thank you for considering sponsoring the Hunter House Victorian Museum.

%d bloggers like this: