Historic Tours & Programs

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Tours and Educational Programs

Private Guided Tours:  Adult groups and educational programs for students or scouts are available for a fee. All tours are tailored for group needs, educational standards, and interests. Tours require advanced reservations. To arrange educational programs or tours of city-owned historic buildings email Susan.gray@fairfaxva.gov or call 703.385.8415.

Historic Walking Tours: Historic Fairfax City, Inc. (HFCI) walking tours of Old Town Fairfax begin on Saturday, May 6, 2017.   The tours start at 10 am in front of the Historic Fairfax Courthouse located at 4000 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Virginia, weather permitting and last about 90 minutes. Free parking is across the street in the Bank of America parking lot.

For reservations and more information, call the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 703-385-8414 or 800-545-7950. Fees are Adults:$10. Children 6-12: $5. Children 6 and under are free. Family rate (three or more): $25. All proceeds benefit HFCI’s preservation of the City’s historic properties. Other dates for 2017 are  June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept 2, Oct.7. .  For more information on HFCI and the walking tours please click here.

The city has published a free self-guided walking tour brochure that provides a brief history of the city and noteworthy buildings in the Old Town Fairfax Historic District. This brochure is available from the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main Street, or call 703.385.8414.  See Map of History.

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center "Second Sunday" Program

Programs are held at 2 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Unless otherwise noted, programs are held at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main Street. Free (unless noted). Check back to find out about additional programs planned throughout the year. Information: 703.385.8414.

Sunday, May 7, 2p.m. – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“Desegregation of Fairfax County Public Schools” -- Megan Garnett, High School Social Studies Department Chair at James W. Robinson Secondary School will present the research she completed for her master’s thesis.

Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m. – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

"Changes, Challenges and Looking Ahead"--Panel discussion with local officials and educators, Ann Monday--Interim City of Fairfax School Superintendent, Janice B. Miller, City of Fairfax Council Member and former Chair, City of Fairfax School Board, and Dr. Mitchell Sutterfield, City of Fairfax School Board

 

Sunday, July 9—Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“Rural Retreat and Riverine Relaxation: The History of the Mason Family’s Occupancy of Theodore Roosevelt Island”- Bradley Krueger, a National Park Service Cultural Resources Specialist for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, will tell the little-known history of the various ways George Mason’s family interacted with the landscape.

Sunday, August 13 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“Reston: A Revolutionary Idea” –Author and biographer Kristina Alcorn will discuss the history of Reston and sign and sell her book, “In His Own Words: Stories from the Extraordinary Life of Reston’s Founder, Robert E. Simon, Jr.

 Sunday, September 10 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

"The 35th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial”--Janet Folkerts, Curator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection, will share stories of the artifacts left at the Memorial and the soldiers they honor

 Sunday, October 8 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

"America in World War I"--George Mason University professor Dr. Harry A. Butowsky will discuss America’s entry into World War I in 1917.

 

 Sunday, November 12 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

"WWI and WWII Quilts" --Quilt historian Bunnie Jordan will discuss and display patriotic quilts from World War I and World War II.

 Sunday, December 10, 2 p.m. -- Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

"An Early American Christmas" -- Enjoy a culinary journey with Food Historian Joyce White. Tastings of historic holiday treats will follow the presentation.  Program limited to 30 participants. Reservations required.  Cost: $7 per person; payment due December 1. 

Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim

Program Series are free and held at 2 p.m. on Saturdays (unless otherwise noted) at the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Highway.  703.591.0560.  For home page please click here.

2017

Saturday, April 29, 10a.m.-5p.m.- Historic Blenheim

Highlights from the 17th annual Fairfax Civil War Day --Click here.  See images from the recent event.  Next year's event will be on April 28, 2018.

Saturday, May 20 - Historic Blenheim

Loudoun Boundary Line and Stuart's Significant Achievement”-- Local historians Jim Lewis and Chuck Mauro will discuss the creation of the Loudoun County/Fairfax County line and will then chronicle J.E.B. Stuart's onerous journey through our area on June 27, 1863, impacting his arrival time at Gettysburg. 

Saturday, June 24 - Historic Blenheim

“Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County, Part I”- Preservationist, historian, and author Edward T. Wenzel will discuss notable incidents from the first two years of war in Fairfax County that have been included in his day-by-day Civil War chronology. This impressive volume of 618 pages includes 50 maps and more than 350 photos, while his separate index is 200 pages long. Both will be available for sale and signing.

Saturday, July 22—Historic Blenheim

“Artificial Limbs in the Civil War” with Guy R. Hasegawa, Pharm D.  Learn about the wartime provisions  made for amputees in need of artificial limbs—programs that revealed stark differences between the resources and capabilities of the North and the South and that eventually led to the modern government’s role in rehabilitating soldiers.

Saturday August 26—Historic Blenheim

"The Battle of Ball's Bluff," with local historian James Morgan will focus on the causes of the battle, the fighting itself, and the ramifications which were more significant than might be thought for what really just a skirmish., His tactical study of Ball’s Bluff, A Little Short of Boats: the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, the definitive work on that little fight will be available for purchase and signing.

Saturday, September 23, Historic Blenheim

“Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War - For Better and for Worse” ---- Author Candace Shy Hooper will discuss how the wives influenced their husband’s careers.

Saturday, October 28-- Historic Blenheim"

“Col. John S. Mosby’s Combat Operations in (Loudoun) County, Virginia," -- Local historians and authors Don Hakenson and Chuck Mauro will share their latest research discoveries.  Book sale and signing will follow.

Saturday, November 18--Historic Blenheim

"The Benson-Rice Story,"--Storytellers from the historic Sudley United Methodist Church in Manassas will tell the fascinating story of a wounded Union soldier and a local Confederate husband and wife who interacted during and after the Civil War.

 Sunday, December 3,   Noon-4p.m. SPECIAL DATE and TIME

“Christmas in Camp”- Holiday customs, Victorian crafts, music, and camp drills with Company D, 17th Virginia Infantry, “Fairfax Rifles,” C.S.A.  For group reservations, call 703-591-6728.

 

Other Information of Interest

Volunteers and Docents are sought for the city's historic buildings: Ratcliffe-Allison-Pozer House, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center and Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center. Additionally, volunteers may be interested in assisting with walking tours and special events. For information email Susan.Gray@fairfaxva.gov, or call 703.385.8415.

Select historic buildings are open during city special events, including the Chocolate Lovers Festival, Civil War Weekend, Independence Day Celebration, Fall Festival and Festival of Lights and Carols. To arrange group tours of city-owned historic buildings email Susan.Gray@fairfaxva.gov or call 703.385.8414.