Historic Blenheim House, c. 1859
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. The house is available for view Tuesday through Saturday during a 1 pm guided tour. Check back for holiday closings. No admission fee except for Fairfax History Day and group tours.**
Historic Blenheim is a c. 1859 central-hall plan Greek Revival-style brick farmhouse built by Albert Willcoxon 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.
Saturday, March 23 - Historic Blenheim
"A Cruel Life in and Uncivil TIme: Julia Wilbur's Struggle for Freedom"
Author Paula Tarnapol Whitacre has written an historical narrative of Julia Wilbur, a 47-year-old single woman from Poughkeepsie, and Rochester, New York who as an abolitionist moved to Alexandria, Virginia in 1862 to aid recently escaped slaves and hospitalized Union soldiers. Following the Civil War Wilbur moved to Washington, D.C. to work and became involved in the women's suffrage movement. Though Wilbur's diaries and historical documents Ms. Whitacre has woven together s story of this strong, independent woman who put her beliefs into action. Book sales and signings will be offered after the presentation. Free event.
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.
*The house is only available for view during the Tuesday through Saturday 1 pm guided tour. At this time the tour is of the 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.
Civil War Interpretive Center
In the Civil War Interpretive Gallery (2008), wall 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.