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 for 2018 will be held on Saturdays May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug 11. 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 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, April 8—Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

Ready to Serve by Storyteller Ellouise Schoettler. Performance of three monologues based on letters written by nurses from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, who served in the U.S. Army in France during World War  1.

Saturday, May 5 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center – SPECIAL EXTRA PROGRAM

Ode to Flanders Field:  World War 1 Quilts and Textiles – Join Sue Reich, quilt historian and collector, for a discussion of the fabrics and designs of World War 1 quilts.

Sunday, May 6—Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon—Adam Erby, Assistant Curator at Mount Vernon, will explore Washington’s influence over the gardens at Mount Vernon and the preservation of the landscapes by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. Book signing and sale will follow the talk.   

Sunday, June 10—Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“The Yanks are Coming (Eventually): Hearing America Change, 1914-1919”

Historical performer and music historian Michael Lasser will discuss songs from World War 1 and how the era’s popular music traced the changes in American attitudes toward the war. 

Sunday, July 8 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

Virginians in the Great War: Uncovering One State’s Role in Mobilizing For, Fighting, and Commemorating World War I” – Talk and book signing with Dr. Lynn Rainville, Associate Dean, Sweet Briar College.

 Sunday, August 12 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center


 Sunday, September 9 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“Bringing Our Boys Home: Arlington National Cemetery, The First World War, and the Cration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”  Christopher Warren, Senior Historian at Arlington National Cemetery, will discuss the impact of World War I on the cemetery and the history behind the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Sunday, October 14 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center



Sunday, November 11 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center




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.  


Saturday, April 28, Historic Blenheim $  NEW EVENT!

Fairfax History Day-  10 a.m. – 5 p.m.,

Explore the nineteenth century in Fairfax with living history presentations, exhibits, and historic tours. Meet a scientist and a tradesman and learn about African-American life.  Enjoy period music, family activities, tours of the Historic Blenheim House and its Civil War Union soldier graffiti, wagon rides, pony rides and much more!

   $5/Adults * $3/Youth- 3-12 * Free/2 and under

Visit https://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/historic-resources/fairfax-history-day/-fsiteid-1 for more information!

Saturday, May 19—Historic Blenheim

“Graffiti Symposium”   Speakers and topics include:  Kim O’Connell, the history of Civil War Graffiti; Conservator Chris Mills, the technical side of graffiti conservation, and Conservator Kirsten Moffitt, graffiti investigation and conservation at Historic Blenheim.  Sponsored by “The Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail.” Call 703-591-6728 for fee/registration details. Space is limited.

Saturday, June 23—Historic Blenheim

“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.


Saturday, July 28 - Historic Blenheim 

"This Sorrowful War": A Veterinary Surgeon in the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Based on a memoir written by Gustavus Asche-Berg—a German-born veterinarian who served with the 4th New York Volunteer Cavalry during  the disastrous 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Phil Teigen, PhD, Retired Deputy Chief, History of Medicine Division, National Library Of Medicine. Asche-Berg ; it includes details about daily life in a cavalry regiment;  it provides a nearly unique account of horses in the Civil War, with details about their training, their use, and their "sorrowful" fate.


 Saturday, August 25—Historic Blenheim

Walt Whitman in Washington.” Author Garrett Peck will speak of Walt Whitman’s definitive decade in DC.  His journey to the nation's capital at the height of the Civil War to find his brother George, a wounded Union officer, culminated with Whitman serving as a volunteer "hospital missionary" for three years. With the 1865 publication of Drum-Taps, Whitman became poet laureate of the Civil War.

 Saturday, September 22 – Historic Blenheim

“Women Soldiers of the Civil War.”   Tracey McIntire and Audrey-Teller Scanlan will speak about the experience of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.  They will explore individual stories, gender roles and military culture of the era.


Saturday, October 27 –Historic Blenheim


 Saturday,  November 17 –  Historic Blenheim

Ever the Gray Ghost: Colonel John Singleton Mosby and the Lincoln Conspiracies. How much did Mosby know, and was he complicit in an attempt to murder the President of the United States?  In his new book, author Dave Goetz offers new insights and focuses on numerous attempts to capture or kill Abraham Lincoln and is the first to write a book considering Mosby as an integral part of the Lincoln conspiracies.


Sunday, December 2, Noon-4pm - Historic Blenheim, SPECIAL TIME AND DATE

"Christmas in Camp and Making do at Home"

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, 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.