May is Historic Preservation Month and the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division has a variety of programs planned for people to learn all about the county's history.
Walking Tours of Historic Prince William Towns – Join local historians on the first Friday of every month this summer for a special walking tour of historic towns in Prince William County. Explore Nokesville on May 3, Haymarket on June 7 and Dumfries on July 5. The series will finish in Colchester, on August 2. Colchester, in Fairfax County, along the Occoquan River, was once part of Prince William County. For the tour on May 3, meet at the Weems-Botts Museum at 3944 Cameron Street in Dumfries. Call 703-365-7895 for more information. The tours are free. Donations are welcome.
Architectural Tours of Ben Lomond – On May 4, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., experts at Ben Lomond House will give a tour focused on the 1832 architecture of the house, located at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas. Learn how the house was built without modern technology, how the styles and needs of the time influenced the design of the house, and about the people who built it. Portions of the house not normally open to the public will be included in the $5 tour. Children under 6 can tour the site for free.
Special Potomac Blockade Boat Tour – On May 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., set out on the pontoon boat Miss Rivershore to tour sites that were critical to the Confederate forces' successful blockade of Washington, D.C. from September 1861 through early March 1862. The boat will float past preserved batteries at Freestone Point and Possum Nose, as well as Evansport and Shipping Point. A walking tour of the Possum Nose - Cockpit Point Gun Battery site will be included. The hike is steep in places, so wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The $70 tour includes lunch at Tim's Rivershore Restaurant. The tour will start from the dock at the restaurant. For more information, call 703-792-4754.
Jamestown 1619-2019 Bus Tour – On May 11, take a bus to the Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown to commemorate three important events that took place in Jamestown in 1619. The first was the meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first elected representative body in the western hemisphere. The second is the arrival of the first African to Virginia and the third is the heightened role of women in assist the new Virginia colony. The $90 trip will include a special guided tour of the new exhibit "Tenacity: The Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia," which examines the role of women in the founding of Virginia. The trip will also include a visit to Historic Jamestown to see the original site of the James Fort and learn about the recent archaeology that has uncovered the church where the first Virginia House of Burgesses met in July 1619. Tour includes transportation, admission to sites and lunch, and leaves from Williams Ordinary, 17674 Main Street in Dumfries, at 8 a.m. returning at 5:30 p.m.
Celebrate Spring! Nature Day at Brentsville Courthouse – On May 11, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., celebrate spring at the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre by learning about nature and history. Local experts will lead nature walks where visitors will learn about native and invasive trees. Local beekeepers will show how bees help the environment. Special crafts and activities will also be offered at the free event. Tours of the historic site will be available on the hour. Donations will be accepted.
Mother's Day Tours
– On May 11 and 12, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., all Prince William County Historic Preservation Division sites will offer free tours to mothers and children under 6. Visitors will see beautiful historic houses, picturesque gardens, and hear juicy, dramatic stories of the past. Free refreshments available as well. Visit www.pwcgov.org/history
or call 703-792-4754 for more information. Admission for dads and children older than 6 is $5.
Brews and Brains with Tucked Away Brewing Company – On May 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., join the Historic Preservation Division and Tucked Away Brewing Company to examine the gruesome, scandalous and exciting little-known history of the area. Grab a pint and listen to experts during talk about Northern Virginia Railroads. Bring food to the brewery at 8420 Kao Circle in Manassas. The event is free. Donations are welcome.
Ben Lomond's Antique Rose Garden Tea – On May 18, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., celebrate the arrival of spring by spending an afternoon in the antique rose garden at Ben Lomond at 10321 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas. Enjoy historic tea and garden-themed treats. The $30 admission includes tea, light refreshments, and a special talk about roses and spring flowers in one of the largest antique rose gardens in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Historic Barnes House Grand Opening – On May 18, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., join local historians for the grand opening of the Barnes House exhibit. The exhibit explores 200 years of the people who lived in the house that was built in the 1790s. The house was moved to the Montclair Community Library site, at 5049 Waterway Drive in Dumfries, in 2014 for preservation and restoration. The ribbon cutting and opening ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with guided tours of the house offered throughout the day. For more information, please call 703-792-4754.
Museum Kids Monday! – On May 20, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., children are welcome at Ben Lomond Historic Site to explore history through sight, sound, smell and touch using hands-on activities and crafts. The $5, monthly program typically includes subjects such as farming, archaeology or 19th century toys. Parents must be able to participate with children. Call 703-367-7872 to learn about the subject of the month. Reservations are not required.
Visit pwcgov.org/history for more information about the county's historic properties.