Westmoreland County Museum and Library, Inc.
P.O. Box 247
43 Court Square
Montross VA 22520
Mission Statement
The purpose of  the Westmoreland County Museum and Library, Inc. is to preserve the history of Westmoreland County and its people through its collections, library, research materials, exhibits and educational programs to increase an understanding and awareness of the county's heritage.
Web and Social Media
The Museum was able to complete the facade of the building.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Walter K. Heyer
Board Chair Mrs. Susan Ripol
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired Northern Viginia Educator
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 247
43 Court Square
Montross, VA 22520
Telephone 804 493-8440
Fax 804 493 1312
E-mail wcmuseum@verizon.net
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1944
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $74,000.00
Projected Expenses $78,000.00
The purpose of  the Westmoreland County Museum and Library, Inc. is to preserve the history of Westmoreland County and its people through its collections, library, research materials, exhibits and educational programs to increase an understanding and awareness of the county's heritage.
  1. Completed facade improvements and other exterior work on a 1929 building recently purchased by the museum for expansion purposes.  This building is now regarded as the most significant and attractive building in the Town of Montross.
  2. Initiated work on the creation of a 1930's - 1950's general store and soda shop to recreate an environment remembered and thought by most county residents as being major components of their lives.
  3. Initiated monthly artisan displays both at the museum and in the town and county connected to the partnering with Greater Montross Partnership for Revitalization (GMPFR) in "First Friday" art walks through the town.  These activities have developed a strong following and continued interest and participation from area residents and increased economic benefits for area merchants.
  4. Continue the development of programs and activities such as children's summer camps, historic home tours, lectures, workshops as well as on-site educational and school programs for both residents and visiting adults and children.
  5. Continue with the development and management of a strong tourism promotion program and associated website (visitwestmorelandva.org) to promote and enhance visitation to the county, increasing economic benefits for all residents and businesses.
Currently, the museum has operated at close to self-sustainability.  With the new facility and expanding program offerings additional financial support will be required. The board has determined that the following areas of funding will be required:
  1. Capital support is needed to complete the work already started on the new facility.  $150,000 will be required to complete the first level in order that the building can be opened full-time as a community-use area.  The second level will house a complete overview of the history of Westmoreland County, its cultures and people.  This cost is expected to be approximately $500,000.
  2. There will be a need for converting part-time to full-time staff.  Volunteers will be recruited and trained to help with the increased responsibilities but these will require training and supervision.  There will also be expanded curatorial, educational and management responsibilities to be provided for as well.
  3. Conservation work on the rare and valuable 1768 painting of Sir William Pitt, believed to be the first American work accomplished by Charles Willson Peale. Additional conservation work is also needed for additional artifacts and the original exhibits displayed in the 1940's museum building which require re-design and refurbishment.
The Westmoreland County Museum is thought to be the Northern Neck's oldest museum and one of the few museums in the region open on a sustained six-day per week over the entire year.  The original structure was dedicated and opened in 1941.  It was built as a facsimile of the Wakefield House, the birthplace of George Washington, located at George Washington Birthplace National Monument Site.
This facility was originally built to house the portrait of Sir William Pitt and to exhibit other historical items and components of Westmoreland's rich historical past and heritage. The Peale portrait of Pitt was commissioned by the patriots of the county in recognition and gratitude for his support of the colonies in their dispute over British colonial rule and policies.  The portrait remains an essential focal point but the museum has developed into an important regional institution, concentrating on preserving and exhibiting the rich and important history of Westmoreland County. The museum maintains a major research and genealogical library containing the abstracts, histories and archives of many of the county's early families. The library receives significant use from scholars and researchers.
The museum also manages the county's visitor information center and provides for the overall management of tourism promotion and activities for the county, providing both information and assistance to visitors and support to county attractions and other tourism-related businesses.  It is responsible for general tourism promotion and works closely with the Virginia Travel Corporation regarding the promotion of Westmoreland County.
In 2011, the museum purchased one of the older buildings in the Town of Montross, located on the main street through the town.  It offers strong visibilty and will be developed into a general store/soda fountain and community-use building with a new series of county history exhibits planned for the second level. Both the building and property have strong town and county history attached, dating back to 1800.
Across the street sits the old courthouse which will be developed into the county welcome and visitors facility and a historical and genealogical center.  Plans are currently being developed for this facility to possibly develop into a county-wide artisan center.  This center would coordinate with a new regional artisan trail being developed as part of a statewide system of trails connected to the Artisan Center of Virginia.
CEO Statement
In board development seminars, I often use the following quote from William Jennings Bryant: "Destiny is no matter of chance.  It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is is a thing to be achieved."  I remind board members and directors that nothing is more true for nonprofits.  We must use passion, perseverance and persistence to achieve the results we desire for our institutions.
This fact has never been more evident than with the Westmoreland County Museum.  Over the past eight years this organization has evolved from an institution that was typical of many others; fairly inactive, waiting for the magic wand to be waved which might transform them into a dynamic and vibrant entity that would assume a strong leadership role within its community.  To their well deserved credit, the board and the institution went through a significant change and became a role model of what we would all like to see for our organizations.They began to truly believe in themselves and stopped waiting for the state or someone else to step in and make it happen.
Today, while our job is still not complete, the museum and its board has taken a leadership role, not only within the institution, but throughout the entire community.  The organization went out and made this happen, taking their newly found passion and began to "infect" others with it. Taking a very active role with the Town of Montross Revitalization Project, the museum began the transformation of one of the community's oldest, but most tired looking, buildings into a showplace and shining light that everyone could see and point to as something that could be accomplished if minds where set and determined to make it happen. Now other organizations and businesses are beginning to do the same.
The museum has also changed its way of "doing business."  No longer do we wait for folks and visitors to come see us but we have become aggressive in seeking visitors and clients out.  We have removed the shrouds from the museum and are making it a desired place to visit and, perhaps even more important, a place they want to become involved with. This was accomplished by the board involving the many different components of the community, both as members and seeking out advice and council from many.  We also sent out requests asking folks to tell us what they felt was needed from the museum and what they wanted as part of the new facility. For the first time, people were asked to be a part of our future and their future as well.
While we still have a long way to go, we have seen the light and are moving towards it.
Board Chair Statement
As noted in the history of the Westmoreland County Museum, it was originally built to be the permanent home of the Charles Wilson Peale portrait.  Today, it is still the home of the portrait, but it also features exhibits which tell a great deal more about the rich history of Westmoreland County.  Most visitors and local folks know that the county is the home of George Washington, James Monroe and Robert E. Lee. Westmoreland County is also known for the once prominent industries of agriculture, seafood and lumbering.  It is my hope and the museum's challenge to get citizens of the county and visitors to the county involved in showcasing and promoting these histories.  We would like them to become a part of what we are trying to do.  To help make this happen, we have purchased the Wakefield Building and have begun extensive renovations.  With the Town of Montross Revitalization Project, we were able to secure a grant which enabled us to begin work on the exterior of the building.  We now have one of the more visible and and prominent buildings in Montross.
As for the interior of the building, we have made some progress, but there is still a long way to go.  Eventually the downstairs will house replicas of an old general store and a soda fountain.  Also included in the downstairs are a multipurpose community room, a catering kitchen and restrooms.  The upstairs will have areas displaying the history of agriculture, seafood and lumbering.
Because of the visibility and location of the Wakefield Building , we have already been able to host exhibits and social functions to establish ourselves as a positive influence on the community.  The challenges we now face are coming up with additional capital funding to keep the project moving forward to completion and to find and establish ways to communicate our efforts, successes and needs to others. We are located in an area of Virginia where there are few corporate entities and we lack the communication "pipelines" that are available in the state's more populated and affluent areas.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Westmoreland County
Northern Neck
While we serve the overall northern Neck area, our primary focus is within Westmoreland County and the Town of Montross.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Susan Ripol
Company Affiliation Retired Northern Viginia Educator
Term Jan 1998 to Dec 2016
Email sripol@aol.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. James (Jim) Bell Retired corporate executive, Woodworker, Community Volunteer
Ms. Linda Boatman Artist
Ms. Missey Collins Northern Neck Chevrolet, Community Volunteer
Mr. Frank English Retired Teacher/Librarian Westmoreland Public Schools Community volunteer
Ms. Kathryn (Kacky) Fox Retired Operating Room Nurse, Community Volunteer
Ms. Anne B. Garner Westmoreland County Court Clerk, Community Volunteer
Ms. Rebbeca Gillions Owner, Murphy Seed Services, Community Volunteer
Ms. Anne Glancy Retired but still active with Westmoreland County Schools
Ms. Diane Jackson Gallery Owner, Aritsan, Community Volunteer
Ms. Iris Lane Board Chairperson, Westmoreland County Schools
Ms. Middy Morris Community Volunteer
Mrs. Gwen O'Dell founding family of the Museum, Community Volunteer
Ms. Jan Ohrmundt Retired Newspaper Editor, Community Volunteer
Ms. Susan Ripol Retired Northern VA Educator, Community Volunteer
Ms. Katherine Wittman Educator, Westmoreland County Schools, Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 12
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Commercial General Liability
General Property Coverage
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Walter K. Heyer
Experience working with nonprofit organizations for forty years.  Served with the Commonwealth of Virginia in the museum field for thirty-five years.  Worked with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation for thirteen years in positions such as interpreter, marketing manager and park director at both Jamestown Festival Park (Jamestown Settlement) and the Yorktown Victory Center.
While working in Williamsburg  Mr. Heyer worked closely with tourism development in the Historic Triangle area. He was moved by the Commonwealth of Virginia to Staunton, VA to begin the Frontier Culture Museum and served there as executive director and state agency head for thirteen years. While there, Mr. Heyer established strong relationships with numerous European open air museums. In 1997, he relocated to Richmond to build the Citie of Henricus and worked there for ten years.  After retiring from state service,  Mr. Heyer worked with the APVA (Preservation Virginia) and National Park Service on the Jamestown 2007 Celebration.
During his active employment in the museum field he served as chairman of the state museum directors group and served on the governing council with the Virginia Association of Museums for more than nine years.  He worked as a museum consultant for more that twenty years total and provided numerous workshops, seminars, retreats and other services over those years.  Mr. Heyer also worked with both Blue Ridge Community College and Rappahannock Community College to teach classes and workshops in history and nonprofit management.  He began work as a consultant with the Westmoreland County Museum in 2001 and assisted them with various projects until 2008 when he went to work with them as a part time executive director to help move that institution forward. He still continues consultation work and provides training and workshops in nonprofit and museum management.
Senior Staff
Miss Brianna Morris Educational Programs Director/ Outreach Coordinator
Ms. Kathryn Sullivan Tourism Coordinator
Mrs. Darlene Tallent Historian/Archivist
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 18
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2013
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Westmoreland County - The museum provides tourism marketing and promotion support on a regular and sustained basis.  It has provided a leadership role with the Westmoreland County Tourism Council in the continued development of tourism and economic development for the county.
Town of Montross - The museum is a partner in the Town of Montross Revitalization Project.  With the purchase and renovation work on its new facility, the 1929 Wakefield Building, the museum has demonstrated a leadership position with efforts to develop and enhance the appearance and quality of the downtown area.
Virginia Association of Museums2014
Description The museum offers a wide variety of programs both on and off-site.  We work with the local public and private schools to provide programs and activities that dovetail SOL requirements.  These include programs such as yearly art contests at all grade levels, as well as, specific on-site visits to selected classes and programs at the schools themselves.  We also provide weekend, holiday and summer programs such as teacher institutes, YMCA programs, summer camps for children and special interest activities such as archaeological digs, holiday ornament-making workshops, antique evaluation workshops, family scavenger hunts, holiday programs and rotating or special exhibits and workshops.
Population Served Families
Budget $30,000.00
Short Term Success Success is measured both through the testing and evaluations conducted at the end of the programs and activities.  It is also measured by word of mouth testimonials from attendees and the continued demand and attendance at the programs and activities provided.
Long Term Success
Individuals, and particularly children, will establish a much better understanding and appreciation of the region in which they live and how this area relates to the state and nation as well.
Tracking for program success is done through short evaluations with the participants, in-school testing and written responses from the participants.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $74,000.00
Projected Expenses $78,000.00
Endowment Value $157,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$42,882$43,040$49,024
Individual Contributions$8,191$29,082$54,254
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,845$5,764$7,094
Membership Dues$1,880$3,250$4,690
Special Events$7,848----
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$53,088$48,645$47,881
Administration Expense$18,069$12,532$15,388
Fundraising Expense$1,676$2,444$5,914
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.901.291.67
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%76%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%3%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$820,739$828,188$807,497
Current Assets$201,292$331,590$247,979
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$2,195$2,015$44
Total Net Assets$818,544$826,173$807,453
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities91.70164.565635.89
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose To purchase, initiate and complete renovation work required to finish the recently acquired facility (Wakefield Building.)
Goal $700,000.00
Dates Nov 2004 to Dec 2020
Amount Raised To Date $450,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 12/2015View
Foundation Comments
  • Financial analysis performed with the Form 990s with supplemental information provided by the financial statements.  
  • Form 990 and financial statements prepared by Larry D. Greene, CPA, P.C.