Abingdon, Virginia: Star Museum

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

170 E. Main St., Abingdon, VA
I-81 exit 17. North into town on US 58/Cummings St., then turn right onto US 11/Main St. Across from Washington County Courthouse.
Tu-Sa 1-6 pm, weekends by appt. (Call to verify)
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Star Museum.

Star Museum
Apparel and personal effects of America's celebrities. See Marilyn Monroe's signature on a U.S. Senate letter about an Antarctic Treaty! Or John Barrymore's sock garters! Roadsideamerica.com Report... [11/20/2011]

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Marilyn MOnroe autograph on Senate stationery.

Star Museum

A jewel box museum, opened in July 2007, devoted to over a century of international celebrity, featuring apparel and personal effects, pieces used in performance, autographs, rare stills, wires, letters, et. al., connected to such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, James Dean, Clint Eastwood and many others. Showcasing the Weisfeld Collection, the Star Museum rotates exhibitions seasonally.

For Halloween, Agnes Morehead's 'Bewitched' caftan rules a front window. At Christmas, you can bet Cary Grant's red smoking jacket and Minnie Pearl's Grand Ol' Opry dress, its skirt made from a Christmas tablecloth, will be front and center.

One particularly prized item is an autograph of Marilyn Monroe's on US Senate stationery -- two days before Kennedy's inauguration. A secretary had left Sen. Clair Engel's office with a copy of a letter which she had made shorthand additions to. On her way back to the typing pool, she ran into Marilyn as she toured the Senate Chambers. All the secretary had for Marilyn to sign was this letter [about an Antarctic Treaty].

Monroe signed under the date, locking in a sequence of events. Monroe knew the press corp would be in the nation's capital, so left D.C.and flew to Mexico City -- quietly divorcing Arthur Miller. As Shirley MacLaine once said, "You can bet if Marilyn had lived, her next husband wouldn't have been Eddie Fisher."

[Robert Weisfeld, 10/18/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
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