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“Ask for a docent”
Review of Moses Myers House

Moses Myers House
Ranked #27 of 70 things to do in Norfolk
Attraction details
Chicago
Level Contributor
272 reviews
138 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Ask for a docent”
Reviewed 3 August 2012

This 1797 Federal style house is located in the Historic Norfolk Freeson District. Admission is free with the option of a free-will donation. Upon entering, guests are given the option of browsing independently or to tour the premis with a docent.....definitely agree to the docent in order to appreciate the history and personal stories that bring that era and the Meyer family alive. The majority of the furnishings are original--some artifacts would go unnoticed without an entertaining guide to ask probing questions and to link the history with the stories of the restsoration. Most notable, the discovery of the original 24 K gold leaf decoration adorning one of the first floor fireplaces, or the priceless Stuart portraits of Mr and Mrs Meyer! The history of the location of the original kitchen in the basement and why it was promptly moved outside and eventually connected to the house by an addition hit home, as I toured the house on one of those over 100 degree days! It was worth every drop of sweat!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank LUchicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Franktown, Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Restored Federal Town House”
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Wonderful original furniture and devoted docents, good restored garden.

Helpful?
1 Thank Fleet D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Step back in time”
Reviewed 13 May 2012

Tour Moses Myers House along with other Norfolk Historic Houses for a most enjoyable day for locals and visitors alike. City of Norfolk has done an outstanding job linking historic places together with a walking tour.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank jwillma7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annandale, Virginia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“A very interesting piece of Jewish history in Norfolk”
Reviewed 3 May 2012

I did not know about this site until I read about it in the Norfolk attractions guide. I am so glad I decided to visit it! It is downtown and within walking distance of the Norfolk History Museum and the Fire and Police Museum, so one can visit all three museums in a short time span. All are free. Moses Myers was an early Jewish settler of Norfolk (if not the first Jewish settler) in the late 18th century and became one of the wealthiest import/export merchants in the United States in colonial times. The house was built about 1795 and housed five generations of the Myers family. In the 1930s, when the younger generations no longer wanted to live in the house, the last owner decided to give it to the city as a museum. Because one family lived in the house for such a long period (over 135 years), about 70% of the furnishings are original. The rooms are fairly sparsely furnished, but you can see how the people lived in that time; it has been restored to the colonial period and restoration is still going on in rooms that are not open to the public. There are signs in each room that give you a bit of history about the family and a timeline in one room that gives you an overview of the activities of the five generations that lived there. The only complaint that I have is that because of a shortage of staff, we were not given a personal guided tour and that would have greatly enhanced our visit because this is a fascinating place and an amazing family and there was so much to learn about them that a casual visitor would not have picked up on by touring the house on their own. The man who was the tour guide was available and walked around to see if we had any questions, which I did, but a tour would have been so much better. When I did ask him questions, he was most interesting and his knowledge of the family and their activities was wonderful; I just wish I would have known more when I actually toured the house. He told me a lot more than were on the signs around the house. I became so interested in this family that I looked them up online and found out many great facts--Myer's son, Samuel, was the first Jewish graduate of William and Mary, one of his sons shot and killed a man who was harrassing his father, Moses, and their great grandson, Barton, was quite a civil leader in Norfolk. So much to learn and know--a shame that a tour was not given. Still, a site absolutely worth visiting. I believe it is the oldest Jewish residence in the United States that is open to the public for viewing as a museum. High recommended!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
8 Thank VAvisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good for history buffs”
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I had lived less than a mile from this house for 2 years, but I never went to it until after I had dome back for a visit 6 years later.

It is a beautiful house with unique ornate decorations and some interesting family history on their involvement and support of the city of Norfolk.

If you are looking to see how Jews lived in the 18th and 19th century you'll be disappointed. There was only one reference in the dining room. But, our three year old was excited to see the very old mezuzah by the front door.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank mike778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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