The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park is a Virginia museum, run as a state park, dedicated to preserving the history of the southwestern part of the state. It is located in Big Stone Gap, in a house built in the 1880s for Virginia Attorney General Rufus A. Ayers. It was designed and built by Charles A. Johnson. Construction began in 1888 and was completed in 1895.
The limestone and sandstone used on the exterior walls came from local quarries. Red oak lines the interior walls and ceilings. A small moat once surrounded the house.
The structure was acquired by the state in 1946 from a foundation managed by C. Bascom Slemp. Much of the museum collection focuses on the coal boom of the 1890s; there are also exhibits dedicated to the history of Big Stone Gap and the surrounding…