Restoration Village

An historic community created or restored with the specific goal of educating about the lifeways of the American past, these tourist-oriented destinations preserve both the places and artifacts associated with a prior era of history. Created primarily between the 1920s and the 1940s, they are most commonly associated with the European colonization of the Americas and the assimilation of immigrant populations. While initially focused on significant aspects of early American culture, contemporary living history museums take a broadened view, endeavoring to illuminate and/or bring to life seminal historic periods and/or a range of cultures and social customs. Initiated and maintained by a range of public and private entities, the target audience of these collections may be national or local. Restoration villages are apt to express a revival version of a bygone era’s style, such as the Colonial Revival work at Williamsburg, Virginia; when they are staffed by costumed guides interpreting life of the period, they are also referred to as living history museums.