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Tompkins Cottage, James Store museums to open for season

Two Mathews Court House museums—the Tompkins Cottage Museum and the Thomas James Store Museum—will open for the 2024 season on Saturday, April 6.

Tompkins Cottage

The Tompkins Cottage Museum, a small c. 1820 building located on Brickbat Road, is named for Christopher Tompkins, a local sea captain, planter, prominent local merchant, and member of the state legislature, who lived at Poplar Grove, just south of Mathews village. Tompkins bought the property in 1837 and is the first known owner.

The east room, hall and rear shed room represent furnishings and personal items that would have been used by people who worked and lived there in the mid-1800s to early 1900s. The west shed room is dedicated to Tompkins’ daughter Capt. Sally L. Tompkins, who was the first commissioned officer in an American military unit.

Historical artifacts in this room include Capt. Sally’s c. 1865 wool coat, a poplar bedstead used at the hospital she established in Richmond, her needlework, and a 19...

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