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 2019 will be held on Saturdays June 8, August 10, September 14. 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.  Fees are Adults: $10.  Children 6-12: $5.  Children 6 and under are free. Family rate (three or more) : $25.  For reservations and information call the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 703-385-8414 or 800-545-7950.  All proceeds benefit HFCI’s preservation of the City’s historic properties. For more information on HFCI please click here.

The city has published a free self-guided walking tour brochure, "Courting History," 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 otherwise noted). Check back to find out about additional programs planned throughout the year. Information: 703.385.8414.


Sunday, July 14--Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center - 2p.m.

"Red Cross World War II Wartime Knitting" Learn about this volunteer relief work from Susan Robbins Watson, archivist and manager for historical programs at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C.“

Sunday August 11--Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center - 2p.m.

"A Public Airport for the District of Columbia": The History of Washington Dulles International Airport

Learn about the airport's history and design from independent scholar Ray Clark PhD.

 Sunday, September 8 --Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center - 2p.m.

"From Camp Humphreys to Fort Belvoir.“    Historian and archaeologist Patrick O'Neill will present the story of how today's Fort Belvoir was transformed during World War II.

Sunday, October 13, 2018-- Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center - 2p.m.

"Gay Fairfax" - - Join historian John Olinger for the story of "Gay Fairfax," a pioneering newsmagazine television program and its legacy for LGBTQ civil rights in Northern Virginia. 

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

“Goodbye Booze”: The Music of Prohibition

Dr. Gregg D. Kimball, Director of Public Services and Outreach at the Library of Virginia, will trace the musical legacy of prohibition through spoken narrative, period images, and live and recorded music.  Feel free to sing along!

Sunday, December 8 --Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center - 2p.m.

"Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't" 

Author and tour guide Garrett Peck  will explore how prohibition impacted our capital city.  Book sale and signing will follow the talk.


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, June 22 --Historic Blenheim - 2 p.m.

"Benjamin Franklin 'Frank' Stringfellow: Severely Tried and Never Found Wanting....

Frank Stringfellow became famous or infamous--depending on which side you were on--as a noted confederate spy and Scout during the Civil War.  However, his life took many unexpected twists and turns.  Local historian Eric Buckland will follow him from being thought to  be too small for the military to earning a reputation as "the most dangerous man in the Confederacy," through his post-war achievements.

Saturday, July 27 --Historic Blenheim - 2 p.m.

"Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad"

Enslaved Virginians sought freedom from the time they were first brought to the Jamestown Colony in 1619. Acts of self-emancipation were aided by Virginia's waterways, which became part of the network of the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War.  Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander of Norfolk State University will discuss theses often successful attempts and the watermen willing to help escaped slaves.

Book sales and signing will be offered after the presentation.   Free

Saturday, August 24 -- Historic Blenheim - 2 p.m.

"Col. Sharpe and the Creation of the Bureau of Military Information"

Lecturer Jim Anderson will  tell the story of how the story of how Sharpe went about creating the Bureau of Military Intelligence and formulating professional intelligence practices.  It also will assess the impact of the BMI on the military campaigns that led to the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

Historic Blenheim, September 28, 2019 - 2 p.m.

“The Consummate Citizen-Soldier: Charles Russell Lowell, Jr."

Local historian Jim Lewis will talk about Charles Russell Lowell, Jr, who was born into a privileged family in Boston but took a different route by enlisting in the American CIvil War  where he emerged as one of the Union cavalry's exceptional battlefield commanders.  Learn of his army career, the love story with his eventual wife, Josephine Shaw and his time spent in nearby Vienna.

Historic Blenheim, October 26, 2019 - 2 p.m.

"The Nameless and Faceless of the Civil War."  Author Lisa Samia will read from her collection of 28 poems and 28 essays on the historical representations of Civil War events and everyday soldiers through the narrative of poetry.

Book sales and signing will be offered after the presentation.   Free

Historic Blenheim,  Saturday, November 2, 9:30a.m.-3:30 p.m. $15; optional lunch $10

"Beneath the Paint: Civil War 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 Travers Moffitt, graffiti investigation and conservation at Historic Blenheim.  Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail.

Reservations required: https://apm.activecommunities.com/fairfaxcityrecdept/Acitivity_Search/13003

 Historic Blenheim, Sunday December 8, 2019,  12pm-4pm

“Christmas in Camp and Making Do at Home”

Travel back in time to learn how Civil War soldiers and the folks back home celebrated Christmas.  Meet the soldiers in camp; drill with soldiers; join in with a cease-fire exchange of gifts; house tours; make Handmade Victorian ornaments; write letter to soldiers; sew a "housewife"; pack a food crate for soldiers.




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