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Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Events



Calendar of Events for Historic Preservation for december 2018 through february 2019


The Historic Preservation Division hosts a variety of events to introduce the community to Prince William County's rich historic and cultural past. Events are held at four historic properties: 

These events allow visitors to explore and discover the families homes events and the everyday life of Prince William past. We hope you will join us for a step back in time!   

Please note that the sites are closed during the winter season and open again for daily visits in May. Grounds and trails at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Center and Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park remain open daily from sunrise to sunset. The sites will open for the special events noted below during the winter months.  


December 2018


November 30 – December 1

Rippon Lodge Holiday Candlelight Tours

Gates open at 5:00, tours from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; $7.00 per person, reservations recommend, not required.

For two nights only, view Rippon Lodge by candlelight at Christmastime. Beginning with a special tree lighting ceremony with tree ornaments decorated by local schoolchildren on Friday, visitors will marvel at beautifully lit historic grounds and buildings. Tours of the house will take place every 15 minutes to see our special Holiday through the Ages exhibit by candlelight. Interact with living historians, listen to music, enjoy making seasonal crafts, a warm beverage and shopping. Light refreshments on both nights.

Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.


December 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, and 21-22

Holidays through the Ages at Rippon Lodge

11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Fridays thru Sundays); $5.00 per person, children under 6 are free.

Stroll through seasonal celebrations of the past at Rippon Lodge. With interiors and exteriors of the historic house decorated for the holidays, guests view seasonal festivities to depict the holidays from the Colonial period though the 1940's as well as reflect different religions.  Light refreshments, a warm beverage, and shopping for unique Rippon merchandise round out a wonderful holiday experience. Reservations strongly recommended for groups larger than four. Tours begin on the hour on the front porch.  Guests should dress in appropriate attire and comfortable shoes for this walking tour.

Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.


CANCELED  December 8  -- Civil War Christmas at Bristoe Station

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Free, donations accepted

Four wartime Christmases occurred during the Civil War.  Separated from loved ones on a holiday about families being together, these Christmases were hard on both the soldiers and the civilians back home.  Join living historians at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park and experience a Civil War Christmas. 

Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, the parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave., Bristow, VA. 703-366-3049.


CANCELED  December 8 -- Breakfast with Santa

10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.; $20 per adult, $10 per child 2 to 8, under 2 free

In December of 1862, artist Thomas Nast made one of the first known
illustrations of Santa Claus. Enjoy a family breakfast, make authentic 19th Century Christmas decorations and to meet Santa who has dusted off that old 1862 suit and give him your wish list. For those who wish to visit with Santa but not have breakfast we ask for $2.00 to cover the cost of craft supplies. 

Participants are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

The program will be held in the Upper Ball Room of the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Ave.  Manassas, VA 20110.


December 8

Historic Yule Tide Dinner at Old Manassas Courthouse

6 p.m. - 7:30p.m.; $75 per participant, ages 21 and over. 

Did you know that in early Virginia, Christmas had more for adults than it did for kids? Experience the holidays of years past with a historic Yuletide Dinner at the Old Manassas Courthouse, where you can smell the evergreen decorations, taste some of the unique food and beverages of the time, and partake in some of the delightful traditions many partook in here in the 18th and 19th centuries in Virginia. Reservations are required for space is limited; call 703-792-4754 for reservations.

The program held in the Upper Ball Room of the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Ave., Manassas, VA 20110.


December 8

Santa Comes to Rippon Lodge

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; $3.00 per child

You better watch out!  You better not cry! Santa Claus is visiting Rippon Lodge for one afternoon only! Be on your best behavior and keep your name on the "Nice" list.  Parents will be given special "Things Santa Should Know" cards upon arrival. Bring your camera for pictures and dress appropriately for weather as some activities are outside.

With large numbers of excited tots expected, we ask parents bring plenty of snacks and extra activities for young children.

Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.


December 8

Brentsville Holiday Concerts

Concerts from 5 p.m. -7 p.m.; Free donations accepted

Join the Brentsville community for two holiday concerts filled with seasonal music performed by the Brentsville District High School Choir at the beautiful and historic Brentsville Union Church. Enjoy hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire.

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Rd, Bristow, VA, 20136. 703-365-7895.




January 1

First Day Hike

1 p.m. - 2:30p.m.; Free, donations accepted

Bring in the New Year with a guided hike by local historians! You will start at the parking lot for a brief overview. Then walk down the 1863 Trail, and then via the 1862 Trail before walking back to the parking lot. This 90 minute, 3-mile hike will start the year on the right foot! Pets are welcome to join. Pets are welcome to join, but the trail is not accessible for strollers.                      Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park.  The parking lot is located off Iron Brigade Unit Ave., Bristow, VA. For more information call 703-366-3049 or email


January 24

Lecture: The Last Days of the USS Monitor

7 p.m.  Free donations accepted

Christmas Day 1862 was a joyful day for the crew of the USS Monitor. That evening their thoughts turned serious as Capt. John Payne Bankhead told them of the order sending USS Monitor south. They all knew their ship was not seaworthy, and some feared passing Cape Hatteras. Monitor left Hampton Roads on December 29th. It encountered a fierce storm on the after-noon of December 30th. Heavy seas overwhelmed the ironclad with the full crew of 63 men on board. Historian John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center as he takes us through the final days of the USS Monitor.

Old Manassas Courthouse 9248 Lee Avenue. For more information, call 703-792-4754.



Weekends in February

Lucasville School Open House

11 a.m- 4 p.m.: Free, donations accepted.

Join us as we celebrate African American History Month at historic Lucasville School during our open house weekends in February. Visit the reconstructed 19th century school used by the community of Lucasville.  Learn surprising facts of African American history in Prince William County and throughout the Northern Virginia region. Each weekend, enjoy a different activity in the schoolhouse, including tours, crafts and photograph exhibits.

Lucasville School, 10516 Godwin Dr., Manassas, VA 703-365-7895.


February 9

Historic Barnes House Open House

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Free, donations accepted

Get a behind the scenes tour of Prince William County's newest "old" building. The Barnes House was the home to an African American family after the Civil War. Learn about the family's amazing history during the Reconstruction-era and about the restoration of the building. This is a rare opportunity to see preservation in action!

Tours will take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Barnes House is located at the Montclair Community Library, 5049 Waterway Drive, Dumfries, VA. For more information call 703-792-4754.


February 28

Lecture: Professor Thaddeus Lowe & Civil War Aeronautics

7 p.m.  Free, donations accepted

Join Balloonist and Historian Kevin Knapp as we explore Aeronautics during the American Civil War and the life of aeronaut Thaddeus S.C. Lowe and other key members of the fledgling Balloon Corps. Mr. Knapp will also address the use of Professor Lowe's balloon which was launched from the deck of the George Washington Parke Custis, a balloon barge used during the Potomac River Blockade of 1861-62. How did these aviation marvels of the era work? What did it take to keep them operational in field conditions? These and other logistics and science questions will be answered during the presentation.

Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Avenue. For more information, call 703-792-4754.


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