Historic Blenheim House, c. 1859
Historic Blenheim is a central-hall plan Georgian-style brick farmhouse built by Albert Willcoxon (c. 1859) just prior to the Civil War (1861-65). It is nationally significant for the voluminous quantity and quality of examples of Civil War inscriptions. More than 122 signatures, pictographs, games, and thoughts were left on the house walls by Union soldiers during their occupation of the Fairfax Court House area in 1862-63. This "diary on walls" provides insight into typical soldier life and extends to the effect of this war on local residents--such as the Willcoxon family--and free and enslaved people of African descent.
NOW OPEN: Traveling exhibition:
"Life and Limb" through July2
NEXT PROGRAM: Saturday, June 23 – 2pm
“Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War.” Christopher Newport University Professor Jonathan W. White, PhD., will discuss how the horrors and rigors of war for both Union and Confederate soldiers penetrated their lives at night through sleeplessness and dreams.
Location: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030. Map Directions to Historic Blenheim
Hours: Civil War Interpretive Center and Gallery: 10 am to 3 pm Tuesday through Saturday. We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. No admission fee.**
Guided Tour of Historic House: Please Note: A guided tour of the house is at 1pm! Our gallery with replica attic in the Civil War Interpretive Center is open from 10am to 3pm. Thank you!
The house is only available for view during the 1 pm Tuesday through Saturday guided tour. At this time the tour is of first floor of the historic house and historic features around the site. Meet in the Civil War Interpretive Center. The Historic House is accessible for handicapped visitors Phone: 703.591.0560.
**Group Tours: Private guided tours for adult groups and educational programs for students are available for a fee ($). All tours for 8 or more people are tailored for group needs, educational standards, and interests. Tours require advanced reservations. To arrange group educational programs or tours of historic Blenheim call Andrea Loewenwarter at 703.591.0560 or 6728.
In the Civil War Interpretive Gallery house inscriptions, and pictographs from the house are reproduced with full-scaled photographs in the replica attic. Click here for virtual tour. (Then double click on 19. Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim.) The gallery also includes an illustrated timeline of Civil War events, artifacts that interpret the everyday soldier, biographies of several of the wall signers, and temporary displays.
Soldier Signatures in Cannon drawing in Historic Blenheim Historic Blenheim
Along with the featured gallery in the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim, we also hold monthly Civil War Programs in our center and feature short videos on local Fairfax Civil War topics. The gift shop stocks books, children's toys and games, replica items, and souvenirs related to the Civil War and Fairfax history.
Gift Shop Items: The gift shop stocks books, original signed art prints, children's toys and games, puzzles, replica items, and souvenirs related to the Civil War and Fairfax history. There will be 10% discount to HFCI Members: Information on Historic Fairfax City, Inc. and how to join. Visit our Gift Shops page for current sale items and prices.
Historic Blenheim is a member of the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail. However, please call individual sites to make sure opening times are still accurate. Brochure of Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail. We are also a member of the Virginia Civil War Trails. Brochures are available in both the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center and in the Civil War Interpretive Center.
The Civil War Interpretive Center is available for rentals for private use.For information call 703.385.7858 or visit the Parks and Recreation rental page.
Outside of Civil War Grandma's Cottage Interpretive Center, 2008 c. 1840
On the grounds of the Historic Blenheim estate is Grandma's Cottage, which dates to c. 1840. It was occupied for much of its history by Margaret Conn Willcoxon Farr, the sister of Albert Willcoxon, owner of the Willcoxon farm (later named "Blenheim"). Margaret Farr is buried in the Blenheim cemetery along with her husband, brother, parents, and grandmother.
The cottage is important for its combination of log-wall construction and rare hewn timber framing with brick infill between the studs in the c. 1940 left portion of the house. A log cabin, of unknown date was connected to the 2-story house in 1867. It has been moved twice: in 1962 from its original location at the corner of Old Lee Highway and Route 236/Main Street to Old Lee Highway near Layton Hall Drive, from which it was moved to the Blenheim estate in 2001 after being donated to the city by local descendants of Margaret Farr.
Volunteers: WE CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU! Volunteers are needed and welcome. Please download Volunteer Application Form and return it to Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 10209 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030. For additional information please contact Susan.Gray@fairfaxva.gov or call 703.385.8415.
The City of Fairfax is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability, call: 703-385-8414 or 703-591-0560.