SMITHFIELD, Va. – The Isle of Wight County Museum is holding a birthday celebration for their most famous exhibit — the World’s Oldest Ham!
According to the museum, in 1902, one of P.D. Gwaltney’s cured hams was overlooked and hung from a rafter in a packing house for 20 years! After it was discovered, it was kept in an iron safe and shown off to guests as the world’s oldest Smithfield ham. Eventually, Gwaltney fit the ham with a brass collar and took it to shows and expositions. It was featured on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in 1929, 1932, and 2003!
Today, the ham sits on display in a climate-controlled glass case at the Isle of Wight County Museum alongside two other famous hams. It’s also not far from one of the museum’s other famous exhibits — the World’s Oldest Peanut!
The birthday celebration will take place Saturday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. – Noon at the museum!
If you can’t make it out, there’s a live camera on the ham running 24/7 so you can check it out online!
The ham also has a very active Twitter account!
There’s also a contest running all summer involving the ham! To enter the “Pan Ham” contest, visit the museum’s website and print out a picture of P.D. Gwaltney and the ham. Take it with you on your summer adventures and snap a pic with the pic! Post that pic to the Isle of Wight County Museum’s Facebook page to be entered! The winner will be chosen on September 12!