Ralph Stanley Museum: A Walk Through Primitive Beginnings

Ralph Stanley Museum: A Walk Through Primitive Beginnings

Upon entering the Ralph Stanley Museum the first stop is the Crooked Road section.  Here guests find their first introduction to “the Dickenson County sound.” This is the unique sound found in the county’s hollers and hills. It is derived from its Scotch Irish settlers.

This sound was developed over decades of front porch pick’n and song’s handed down from generation to generation. One person up the mountain might have had a fiddle. A person down the holler might have had a banjo, they would come together to visit and pick music.

Throughout the museum you will learn about Ralph Stanley’s primitive baptist background. In the “Church House” room there is a ten minute introductory video with footage of Ralph Stanley telling the tales of his life from his birth to the museum being built. Much of this video speaks to Ralph’s primitive roots.

The Ralph Stanley Museum walks folks through the primitive beginnings of mountain music to the modern day era of Bluegrass. There’s no better place in the Appalachian Mountains to begin your journey into traditional mountain music.  Pictures, videos, plaques and interactive touch screen exhibits lead you through the museum. You can even stay in the historic museums lodging featuring a two bedroom suite with king sized beds, full bathrooms, living room and kitchen. Along the porch are wooden rocking chairs, so that you may sit back and enjoy the mountain breeze.

Ralph Stanley himself has been heard saying his music “isn’t bluegrass” it’s “mountain music.” He always remained deeply connected to his roots in Dickenson County, honoring the time tested traditions of mountain songs. The museum pays tribute to Carter Stanley, Ralph’s brother as well as their mother, Lucy Stanley. We invite you to visit the museum and walk through one man’s primitive beginnings.