Julia A. Purnell Museum

Open Now 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Built in 1891, the Purnell museum building was originally the St. Agnes Catholic Church. It was part of the Wilmington Archdiocese, but was never very successful; the Delmarva Peninsula was largely Protestant. At its peak, the St. Agnes Church consisted of 18 members. The church closed near the turn of the century and was used for public functions until the Purnell Museum was housed there in 1957.

Today, the Julia A. Purnell Museum offers interpretive exhibits of many aspects of the lives of Snow Hill and Worcester Countians. A time-line parallels the history of Worcester County with the history of the United States. Kitchen and hearth exhibits show visitors the utensils and methods used to keep a happy home during the 18th and 19th centuries. A "general merchandise" welcomes browsers back to a time when communities were built around the local general store. The Victorian era is also represented, complete with clothing, jewelry and everyday items made of silver and exquisitely carved ivory. Machines and tools show the many "modern" improvements Mrs. Purnell experienced. Even the lighter side of life is remembered, with phonographs, toys, books, and bicycles - the Julia A. Purnell Museum offers something for everyone.

Julia A. Purnell Museum

Recent Reviews

Julia A. Purnell Museum
Steph S. : 5 on 9/30/2019 12:55 am
This museum showcases William Purnell's mother's artwork, as well as miscellaneous antiques, in an old Catholic church. Many of the artifacts are relevant to the Snow Hill area.

The museum is small, as is the parking lot. Carpool if you can. Staff are friendly and helpful.

Adults are $3, children are free. Open 7 days a week. You'll probably spend 30 minutes to an hour here.

If you appreciate local history and Maryland's Eastern Shore, you should visit!
5 5
Julia A. Purnell Museum
Janet Major : 5 on 6/29/2023 5:16 pm
My sister, my mother, and I visited this LOVELY Museum today. What a gem of a place this is. It is in a beautiful little building that used to be a Catholic Church, and it houses many interesting treasures and artifacts.
The Curator, Cindy, welcomed us and gave us an introduction and historical background as well as a self-guided tour pamphlet. She has a wonderful personality and is so accommodating; we just loved her!
If you have kids, it is a great place to give them an appreciation for kid things from yesteryear. There is something interesting for everyone.
We will be returning and highly recommend! Small intimate surroundings to take your time and soak it all in. 💖🔆
5 5
Julia A. Purnell Museum
Chris K : 5 on 8/5/2023 7:52 pm
Small but jam packed with historical artifacts. Really appreciated the brief history provided by the curator of the museum. Particularly interested in the needleworks.
5 5
Julia A. Purnell Museum