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It's not the size of the space that matters.
It's the depth of the story you tell in that space.

Brownsburg is a historic village nestled between the Alleghany and the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Rockbridge County. The town was established in 1793, so as you can imagine, we have a lot of history to tell—and we love telling it. Brownsburg was once a stagecoach stop between Staunton and Lexington, Virginia. The Brownsburg Museum sits right in the center of the village, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and is also registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark.

We first opened our doors in 2010, and our exhibits change every three to four years. We've covered everything from milling, to country stores, to slavery in the area. That's no easy task for a small museum run by volunteers. But we do it because we believe that small local museums are critical to keeping the community's history alive and benefit the people who live here and those who visit. Big things do come in small packages.

The Brownsburg Museum is a non-profit organization. We are all volunteers and rely on generous donations from the community and visitors to keep our doors open and our admission free. Come visit. The valley is beautiful, and this place is a step back in time and a delightful journey off the beaten path.

President – Julie Fox

Julie’s degree is in Sociology and Spanish with a TESOL certification, but it was 30 years of living in Latin America, West Africa and Europe doing development and volunteer projects and visiting every museum she could that lead her 10 years ago to volunteer at the Brownsburg Museum.  She believes that small rural museums play a vital role in educating visitors and giving them the pleasure that comes with sharing our shared cultural past and present.

Vice President – Coleen Piranian Cosgriff

Coleen moved to Brownsburg from Lexington in 2021. She has always lived in Rockbridge County, except during her college studies. She earned an undergraduate degree and a Master's in Teaching from Mary Baldwin University. She has been teaching ever since and is currently a teacher in Rockbridge County. Coleen and her four children love their home here and love being part of this community.

Secretary – Melanie Pyne

Melanie is the Registrar for the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. She has worked on the reorganization of the collection and data standardization projects, helping to make the artwork and archives more accessible to students and the community.  Prior to her work at UVA, Melanie was the Collections and Exhibitions Manager at Monticello.  Melanie is a graduate of the George Washington Collections Management and Care program, holds a BA in Art History from Davidson College, and has worked in paper and painting conservation. She moved to the Brownsburg area in 2022.

Treasurer – Karen Siegfried

Karen moved to the Brownsburg area in 2017 when she and her husband, John, purchased historic Wade’s Mill, which they owned and operated until February 2024.  Prior to Virginia, they lived with their son in Cambridge, England, for 11 years, where she was the Executive Director of the MBA program at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.  Karen and her family also lived in Maine, Norway, and London, England. Karen received a BA in History from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Nancy Hahn

Nancy and her husband, Paul moved to the Brownsburg community in 1997 and immediately became actively involved with the startup of the Brownsburg Community Association.  When the all-volunteer museum developed, they served on the Museum Advisory Committee in various roles from fundraising to managing the museum docents.  Twenty-two years as expatriates in the Middle East created an interest in the people, history, and culture of the communities where they lived.

Harry Shannon

Harry is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. After practicing as a lawyer in the U.S. and Germany for over 30 years, he retired to Rockbridge County in 2016. He has an undergraduate and law degree from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in law degree from the University of Munich in Germany. He is a member of the board of the Lexington Historical Society and former chairman of the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia Law School.

David Wade

David was a career army officer, serving overseas and in the U.S.  His last civilian position was with IBM.  Several factors brought him full-time to Lexington in 2016.  His grandfather was from Brownsburg, and both grandparents are buried at New Providence Church.  David is involved in the church and other activities in Lexington.  He continues his hobby of traveling domestically and internationally.

Linda Wimpey

Linda was born and raised in Georgia.  She obtained a Bachelor's Degree from North Georgia College and a Master's Degree from Duke University. She and her husband, Frank, lived in California and then Northern Virginia, where they raised their 3 sons.  While in Northern Virginia, Linda did community organizing and then founded and was the CEO of a nonprofit organization, FACETS.  She worked there, providing food, counseling, education, housing, and other services to homeless and low-income individuals and families.  In 2009, she and her husband moved to Spotswood, Virginia, and lived on a farm.


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