Lantz Mills Traveling Exhibition

Explore the history of the Lantz Mills Deaf Village in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Between 1740 and 1970, Lantz Mills, Virginia, was home to many families with a mix of hearing and deaf parents and at least one or more deaf siblings. When both the hearing and deaf members of a locality use a shared visual language to communicate, that is known as a shared signing community. Those familiar with deaf culture may know that Martha’s Vineyard, the island off Massachusetts, was home to a shared signing community where 25% of the population was deaf. But few know that Virginia had a deaf village and shared signing community in Shenandoah County.

This six-panel traveling exhibition features the history of prominent deaf villagers such as the Hollar and Christian families, deaf members’ involvement in local businesses, and even a budding romance within the community. Each panel includes a QR code that links to ASL interpretation of the text featured.

For more information on this exhibition or how to bring it to your area, please contact Barbara C. Batson, exhibitions coordinator, at or 804.692.3518.

For more information about the commonwealth’s deaf culture, visit the Virginia Deaf Culture Digital Library.

This exhibition is made possible in part with federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

4/3/2023–4/22/2023Library of Virginia
4/24/2023–6/3/2023Massanutten Regional Library
6/5/2023–7/15/2023Eastern Shore Public Library (Parksley)
7/17/2023–8/26/2023Waynesboro Public Library
8/28/2023–10/7/2023Pulaski County Library
10/9/2023–11/18/2023Washington County Public Library (Abingdon)
11/20/2023–12/30/2023Samuels Library
1/1/2024–2/10/2024Botetourt County Libraries (Blue Ridge)
3/25/2024–4/12/2024Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Howell)
4/16/2024–5/3/2024Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Salem Church)
5/6/2024–6/15/2024Jessie Peterman Memorial Library, Floyd
6/17/2024–7/27/2024Bowman Library
7/29/2024–9/7/2024Tazewell County Libraries (Bluefield)
9/9/2024–10/19/2024Museum of the Shenandoah Valley