The Ashland Museum
P.O. Box 633
Ashland VA 23005
Mission Statement

To acquire, document, protect and preserve, and exhibit the unique physical and cultural history which reflects the story of the Town of Ashland.  The Museum’s additional but not lesser mission is to research, exhibit,promote and publicize the rich historical and cultural heritage of the town for the benefit of residents and visitors.

CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Rosanne Groat Shalf
Board Chair Ellen Wulf
Board Chair Company Affiliation Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Associates
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 633
Ashland, VA 23005
Telephone 804 368-7314
Fax 804 xxx-xxxx
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2011
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $30,730.00
Projected Expenses $30,730.00

To acquire, document, protect and preserve, and exhibit the unique physical and cultural history which reflects the story of the Town of Ashland.  The Museum’s additional but not lesser mission is to research, exhibit,promote and publicize the rich historical and cultural heritage of the town for the benefit of residents and visitors.


Accomplishments in 2015 and 2016

  1. Created our third major exhibit "Bringing in a New Century, Ashland Becomes a 20th Century Town, Ashland, Virginia 1900-1940." 
  2. Began work on Ashland Museum Inside Out, a program to take the Museum outside to people who cannot visit the Museum during regular hours. We received grant from CultureWorks championed by Altria which partially funded this project. Program included:  Adding three interpretive signs in Town; Creating a free app with tours of Ashland.
  3. Continued our collaboration with Ashland Main Street Association (AMSA) on the Historic Marker program honoring another building in 2016.
  4. With AMSA, established an award to honor the late Art McKinney, a steward of historic preservation in Ashland. In 2016, four individuals will receive the Art McKinney Historic Preservation Stewardship Award for their work in restoring and revitalizing an abandoned 1928 gas station.
  5. Established in 2015 and continued in 2016 a history day camp for rising 2nd through 5th graders.
  6. Continued our collaboration with three other non-profits to present Untold Stories.
  7. Continued to host walking tours of the Historic District and historic Woodland Cemetery and to host speakers at the Ashland Library.
  8. Updated our archives system and moved the archives into a larger space.
  9. Increased the hours we were open to the public.

Plans for late 2016 and into 2017

  • Add additional tours to our app
  • Host with other non-profits a Mercy Street Premiere Reception fundraiser.
  • Restore our 1858 Camp Robinson lithograph.
  • Celebrate the 100th anniversary of local businesses.
  • Expand our railroad memorabilia exhibit.
  • Expand our coverage of Ashland in World War I.
  • Expand our membership and volunteer base.
  • Continue walking tours, cemetery tours, and speakers program.
  • Co-host in February 2017 the fourth Untold Stories program.
  • Continue to expand our hours.

  1. Funding to expand Ashland Museum Inside Out including the app programming costs.
  2. Funding to restore the 1858 Camp Robinson lithograph.
  3. Expanded volunteer base.
  4. Stable building with larger exhibit space.

The push for a history and culture museum for Ashland came out of the year-long 150th anniversary of the town's incorporation in 1858. A museum steering committee began meeting in January of 2009, received its nonprofit status in May of 2011, and created a virtual museum on the internet:  The board leased the Ashland Red Caboose as an exhibit in late 2011 and in early 2012 it leased a storefront next door at 105 Hanover Avenue.  With a seed money grant, the museum cleaned and created signage for the storefront and created a 5-panel exhibit on rolling exhibit walls that opened for Train Day in November of 2012.  In addition, the museum collaborated with Ashland Main Street Association to create a marker program for the Ashland Historic District and began a collaboration with Hanover County Schools to create a graphic history.  Hanover Arts & Activities Center also gave the Museum a room to use as archives at 500 S. Center Street as part of that organization's mission.  The archives room is furnished with shelving and archival boxes and folders ready to hold the many papers and documents that have begun pouring in.  The museum is open weekends year-round with the help of volunteers. 

CEO Statement The museum is entirely volunteer-run.  Board members and other volunteers serve as executive director, archivist, historian, and educators.  We do expect to hire an executive director in the years to come, but we need to develop our programs and finances before we can do that.  
Board Chair Statement
It is difficult to be in a town with history that only began just before the Civil War in a County like Hanover with a history that reaches to colonial times, and which contains the homes of national heroes dating to those times, and where there were major Revolutionary and Civil War battles.  Ashland, on the other hand, has a rich, mostly ignored, mid-nineteenth century social and industrial history.
  1. The rise of the railroad and the beginnings of the industrial revolution;
  2. Civil War history that has some skirmishes and minor battles but is mostly social, with the training of cavalry soldiers for the Confederacy, the plight of refugees, and the creation of a cemetery for the soldiers who died in battles nearby;
  3. the relocation of a small Methodist college to the town after the war that saved the town from bankruptcy;
  4. the creation of a "streetcar suburb" with stately Victorian homes and a Victorian/Edwardian era downtown business area lining the railroad tracks that is mostly in tact.
Until recently, especially after 2008, townspeople did not realize how full of rich history the town was, and that is why we have the Ashland Museum today.  True, there are only minor characters and events that created national turning points, but the history of the ordinary person, who has to deal with the events of the day, such as segregation, integration, the rise and fall and rise again of the railroad, the ravages of war and fire, the thrill of technological improvements such as electricity and the telephone---all of these stories Ashland has to tell.  And because the historic district in Ashland is so large--over 200 structures--there is a lot of architectural history as well from antebellum through the 1920s and 30s Colonial Revival and even a few bungalows and Sears Houses. So Ashlanders want to preserve the history and to tout it, and Ashland Museum was created to help them do that.  It is also difficult to start a nonprofit museum in the beginnings of this great recession, but somehow, we have exceeded our financial expectations each year of our existence.  Ashlanders have been more than generous with their time and money.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Hanover County
Metro Richmond
Ashland, in the center of Hanover County, is the only incorporated town in the rural/suburban county. Its history is intertwined with the county's. In addition, because of the railroad's connection to Richmond and also US Route 1 and I-95, we are an integral part of the Richmond region. We entertain almost as many Richmonders in our museum, restaurants, and galleries as we do Ashland and Hanover residents. The Museum preserves history from the town but also from the surrounding area. The town and area zip code is 23005.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ellen Wulf
Company Affiliation Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Associates
Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2020
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Ann Martin
Company Affiliation Retired
Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2020
Board of Directors
Board Members
Barbara Boor Retired Educator
Jennifer Chambers community volunteer
Nelson Flippo Flippo Lumber
Gregory Glassner former editor, The Herald-Progress Newspaper
John Hodges Retired Assistant County Manager, Hanover County
Dr. Alphine Jefferson History Professor, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA
Elizabeth LaPlace Community Volunteer
Ann Martin Retired, Community Volunteer
Angie Miller community volunteer
Diane Stoakley Retired Chemist, NASA, Langley Research Center
Anne Turner Taylor Former office manager, Town of Ashland
F.W. "Woody" Tucker IVHistorian
Jane Wait community volunteer
Ellen Wulf Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Associates
Tom Wulf WulfTeam Productions
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 95
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
We began this Ashland Museum venture during the height of a recession, a time that was difficult to raise funds for arts and culture organizations.  In spite of that, we have been able to remain financially viable and even provide high quality programs for our town. One of the reasons we have been so successful is the enthusiasm of the Board of Directors. We have nearly 100% attendance at the meetings and sub-committee meetings.  100% of our board members donate personal time and money to the museum. Even when a board member must resign, most continue volunteering. Our community has risen to the occasion as well by making membership donations. Each year they have exceeded expectations.  
Executive Director
Executive Director Mrs. Rosanne Groat Shalf
Experience My professional qualifications: I have a BA in History from Randolph-Macon College; Ihave completed an internship in archeology with the National Park Service; and I completed an internship in museology with Valentine Museum. I worked 8 years as grants writer for Randolph-Macon College and just over a year at The Science Museum Foundation. My personal experience with Ashland: When we first moved to Ashland in 1975, I was struck by it's unique layout along the tracks and the huge number of historic homes and businesses.  It seemed few others valued them except as old fashioned white elephants. I helped the DHR write the nomination for the successful Ashland Historic District. I was so inspired that I wrote "Ashland, Ashland: the story of a nineteenth century railroad town."  Since that time, awareness has grown and with the year-long 2008 150th birthday celebration of the town's incorporation, the urgency to save what had come forward during that year -- the oral histories, the family histories, the business histories, and photographs--was palpable.  That is what spurred the Ashland Museum Steering committee to meet starting in January the next year.  With a lot of dedicated volunteer work, both from the board and from others, and with seed money from the Ashland Foundation that was a child of the 2008 celebration, the Museum has so far been a story of success--small, but success nevertheless. In January 2015, the board conducted a self-evaluation and goal setting exercise with the help of Vice President, Ellen Wulf. After setting the "Wildly Important Goal" of becoming a full-time museum by 2017, each committee committed to "baby wigs" of their own, listing goals and ways to reach the goals.  In January 2016 the board will evaluate our successes and failures and rededicate ourselves to our "WIG."
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 120
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
The Ashland Main Street Association
The Hanover County Public Schools
The Hanover County Historical Society
The Hanover County Black Heritage Society
The Ashland Foundation 
The Hanover Arts & Activities Center
Virginia Association of Museums2011
Patrick Henry Leadership AwardHanover County Historical Society2016
Description Exhibits and archives are our core missions.  Once completed, our exhibits will describe the history of the town from it's beginnings in 1836 to mid-twentieth century. There are associated programs with the exhibits, but the exhibits themselves are 4 x 8 panels of photos, maps, drawings, timelines, and explanations that appeal to the casual reader as well as someone who wants more in-depth information.  We have two kinds of archives, digital and hard copy.  We have been scanning family photographs and storing them digitally even before we received our nonprofit status or had an archives room. Each exhibit has a cost for production reflected below at $4,000. 
Population Served Families
Budget $4,200.00
Short Term Success With these exhibits, we are aiming to tell the overall story of Ashland, with workshops and other programs, documentaries,  brochures and graphic histories to fill in more details.  The digital archives provide us graphics for the exhibits, so that scanning program is already a success.  While we do have a furnished archives room, we need an archivist to help us order our processes.  Success with that program will be just getting someone to do just that.
Long Term Success We track the number of visitors to our exhibits but are not ready to publish the statistics yet.  We take criticisms and suggestions seriously and move to improve our exhibits as soon as possible--examples are the addition of period music in background, bonnets and caps for children to try on, and a train layout for children of all ages to play with.
Description Ashland Museum Inside Out is a program to take the Museum outside reaching people who cannot visit the Museum during regular hours. In 2015, we received a grant from CultureWorks championed by Altria which partially funded this project. We added three interpretive signs in Town covering the early development of Ashland and the train station, the downtown busniess district, and the historic district. We designed five tours around town that are available on the app. We have three more tours in development now.
Population Served Adults
Budget $5,000.00
Description Historical House Tours begin at the museum with an overview of what the attendees will see. After the tours, the attendees regroup at the museum for questions and answers and some refreshments. Cemetery Tours take place at Woodland Cemetery and give attendees an overview of some of Ashland's significant citizens. Four tours were scheduled in 2016. We don't anticipate significant costs.
Population Served Adults
Budget $1,500.00
Short Term Success We have already experienced short term success with these tours.  We try to limit the numbers to 15 and they are routinely over-subscribed so that we have to offer the same tour at a later date.  Word of mouth turns out to be our best advertisement.
Long Term Success We expect that these tours will provide the heritage tourist and the Ashlander who wants more details about the town's architecture some food for thought, because the normal walking tour covers the entire district and none of the buildings can be entered.  These tours last as long, but the numbers of buildings are smaller and many we can enter and see architectural details from the inside.  We expect that these tours will provide that special museum goer a richer experience.
Description This program takes place the first week of August. It has been running for two years. It is open to rising 2nd through 5th graders and offers kids a look into mid-19th century life. Activities include cannon ball physics, laundry 1860s style, quilts, Civil War triage, and discovering relics on the old hotel site. 
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success We've had about 10 campers each summer and some returning campers this summer.
Description In collaboration with the Ashland Main Street Association, the Ashland Museum has installed 2 markers.  The markers are expensive and we have established a protocol encouraging owners of businesses and residences to contribute to the cost. We have also established rules for eligibility and wording. The third marker will be installed in September 2016. 
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $1,500.00
Short Term Success After the first marker was installed, a family and an owner of a different building approached the museum asking for another marker.  That was a short term success story.  We hope more building owners will come forward in the future.
Long Term Success With each marker, detailed research into the building's history is conducted, with the aim that eventually, Ashland's entire historic district will be well-researched.  The Marker Program will educate Ashlanders and Heritage Tourists about the history of the town.
CEO/ED/Board Comments Exhibits are especially expensive, and we wanted to create high quality ones. Archives are also expensive.  It has been a challenge since 2011 to create a new museum AND create exhibits to go in it and to furnish an archives.  We were fortunate that so many skilled people came forward to help. Our graphics were done by an Ashland graphic designer gratis.  The rolling exhibit walls were also built with volunteer labor and materials at cost.  We appreciate the donated time, but ethics makes us feel bound to try to pay the cost of the design and building work when we can get a grant to do so.  In 2013 we were able to pay a nominal sum for the exhibit design.  Home Depot and volunteers constructed parts of the exhibit. Our wonderful website was created gratis and now we only pay a yearly fee.  We have a volunteer board member who maintains it. In the summer of 2015, the board designated $1,000 for an archives and collections intern. We were fortunate to find an experienced person who has evaluated our processes and our collection and made some recommendations to bring us up to standard in that area.  Our next push will be to hire someone for a year to implement her recommendations and to train a volunteer to carry on.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $30,730.00
Projected Expenses $30,730.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$20,164$13,548$16,746
Administration Expense$4,348$1,023$1,607
Fundraising Expense$0$1,984--
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.432.242.43
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%82%91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%9%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$62,257$54,738$34,273
Current Assets$62,257$54,738$34,273
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$62,257$54,738$34,273
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2017View
Organization Comments We do not have financial information prior to 2011 because we had no expenditures in 2010.  We received our EIN that year, but had no expenses.  We have year end reports for 2011 and 2012 and 2013, 2014 and an approved budget for 2015.  We have no audits.  We have engaged an accountant familiar with Quickbooks for non-profit to assist our treasurer in making sure our books are set up properly.
Foundation Comments
  • If an organization has gross receipts that are normally $50,000 or less, it can choose to file Form 990-N
  • Financial information is from statements provided by the organization