Jackson House Offers Special Summer Tours

Student at VMI interacts with museum visitors during tour.

Bane London ’25 conducts a tour at the Jackson House Museum. -VMI Photo by Pamela Kouame.

LEXINGTON, Va., May 23, 2023—The Jackson House Museum, located at 8 E. Washington St. in Lexington, is offering two special tours this summer, as part of its ongoing Master Guide Tour series.

“The Enslaved Experience” tour, available during the month of June, focuses on the Jackson House through the perspectives and histories of the enslaved persons: Albert, Amy, Hetty, Cyrus, George, Ann, and Emma. It examines how these individuals came to the Jackson house, as well as their time there, and concludes with their lives after emancipation. From the family’s parlor as a schoolroom, to the garden as Hetty’s respite from Anna’s supervision, every corner of the house is seen in a new light through the experiences of the enslaved persons.

The “Stonewall Legends” tour, available from July through September, addresses myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings surrounding Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was an enigma to many people, mostly because he did not like to talk or write extensively about himself. But as his widow Anna noted in her husband’s memoirs, when Jackson left their home in Lexington to fight in the war, “the life of my husband belonged to his beloved Southern land, and his private life became public history.” People wanted to learn everything they could about him, and the demand for information generated a great deal of fabrication. Through this tour, the staff at the museum will correct much of this misinformation, and answer questions such as: Was Thomas treated poorly by his stepfather as a young boy? Was he really a bad professor at VMI? Did he have a romantic relationship with his sister-in-law? Did he have a falling out with his sister Laura over her Unionist views? Were lemons his favorite fruit?

The Master Guide Tour series allows visitors to the Jackson House Museum the opportunity to explore the history of Jackson and his Lexington home in new and exciting ways through various guided tours, each addressing a specific topic. These guided tours are available twice a day – at 9 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. Tickets for the Master Guide Tour are $15 for adults and $12 for youth under 18, with discounts available for AAA members and/or active and retired military members. Visitors with a Master Guide Tour ticket will also receive access to the self-guided tour. Local residents of Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County receive free admission. Along with the house, visitors can explore the exhibit gallery, which offers a glimpse into Jackson’s life from cradle to grave, as well as the history of the house and the enslaved people who lived there. Visitors may also stroll in the kitchen garden, located behind the house, and browse the museum store for unique gifts.

For more information on the Jackson House Museum, call 540-464-7704 or visit the museum's website.

Marianne Hause
Communications & Marketing

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders