“home to the world's oldest ham”
The Isle of Wight County Museum was founded in 1976 by a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of county history. The museum’s exhibits include prehistoric fossils, Native American and Colonial artifacts, a turn-of-the-century country store, displays interpreting the Smithfield ham industry and perhaps the museum’s most notable artifact: the world’s oldest, edible cured ham. P.D. Gwaltney Jr.’s famous pet ham currently resides at the Isle of Wight County Museum. In 1902, a cured ham was overlooked, and for 20 years, the ham hung from a rafter in one of his packing houses. By 1924, the pet ham was kept in an iron safe which was opened daily for guests to view. Advertised as the world’s oldest Smithfield ham, Gwaltney fashioned a brass collar for the ham and took it to shows and expos to exhibit the preservative powers of his smoking method. The ham was featured in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” in 1929, 1932 and 2003.
Great place to visit. We spent almost two hours and was greatly impressed with the information and exhibits
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Isle Of Wight Arts League
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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