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Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Events

 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY COVID 19 REOPENING SCHEDULE


PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY CONTINUES TO EVALUATE OPERATING SCHEDULES IN LIGHT OF THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19. AS SUCH, THIS SCHEDULED CLOSURE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE VISIT EMERGENCY.PWCGOV.ORG FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY FACILITIES. 


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 several historic properties including: 

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 open 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. 


Online registration for programs can be completed at www.pwcparks.org/historicprograms

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION



november

 

November 7

Into the Woods Walking Tour

11a.m.& 1 p.m.; $5 per person, free for children under six.

For Native American Heritage Month in November, join us for a walk along the nature trail as we rediscover Prince William as a colonial frontier. "Into the Woods" explores the mythical power the woods held over both the Europeans and Easter Woodland indigenous peoples of the American continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Learn how mutual fear and respect for the endless forests dictated complicated rituals and delicate treaties that were mediated by a wide range of characters, the go-betweens and negotiators that thrived in this dark, formidable wilderness.

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

 

November 7

Early Days of Prince William County

11a.m. - 3 p.m.; $5 per person

Rippon Lodge, one of the County's oldest homes, welcomes you to Early Days of Prince William County. Experience living history demonstrations and reenactors, from Colonial life and military encampments from various conflicts. Self-guided tours of the historic lodge will be available, limited to 7 people at a time. Masks are required indoors.

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

 

November 14

Brentsville Stories Campfire

6:30 p.m.; $5 per person, free for children under 2

Enjoy a campfire at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre as you enjoy stories of the rural town that once held Prince William County's seat. Hear stories of adventures and mishaps from jousting, floods, watch towers and more from the 19th and 20th centuries.

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

 

November 14

Campfire Tales

6:30 pm; $5 per person

Come join us by campfire at Rippon Lodge to hear the story of the Silent Sentinels and their night of terror at the Lorton Workhouse.

Masks are suggested with required social distancing space. Reservations only. Content may not be suitable for children under 10.

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

 

November 21

History Walk on the Boardwalk

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m., $10 per person.

Learn history along the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk. This history walk explores the story behind the indigenous peoples who inhabited the local area before English settlement. Leashed pets are welcome to join, but not all parts of the hike are accessible for wheelchairs. Tour limited to 10 people. Limited social distancing space; masks strongly suggested. Reservations required. For more information, call 703-499-9812.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Neabsco Creek Boardwalk, 15125 Blackburn Rd., Woodbridge, VA 22191.


december 


December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20

Holidays through the Ages

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Fridays thru Sundays); $5.00 per person, children under 6 are free. Reservation only.

Stroll through seasonal celebrations of the past at Rippon Lodge Historic Site. With interiors and exteriors richly decorated for the holidays, guests view seasonal festivities over the centuries.  Reservations require and no groups larger than 10 at a time. Tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Masks are required.

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

 

December 12

Historic Holiday Tours at Brentsville Courthouse

11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.; $5 per person, free for children under six. 

Experience the holidays of years past with a historical tour at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre. Each of Brentsville's historic buildings were built in a different year for a different purpose. Learn about holidays past at Brentsville, how local residents celebrated, and how they enjoyed the winter weather in the 18th and 19th Centuries! Tours are limited to seven people and masks are required.

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


JANUARY 2021

 

January 1

First Day Hike: Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park

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

Bring in the New Year with a guided hike with 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 new year on the right foot! Pets are welcome to join, but the trail is not accessible for strollers. Masks are required when indoors, and are recommended when outdoors.                                                                                  

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

 

January 1

First Day Hike: Neabsco Creek Boardwalk

9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; $10 per person, free for children under six

Welcome the New Year with a guided hike across Neabsco Creek with local naturalists and historians! Starting at the parking lot, guests take a brief hike up to Rippon Lodge Historic Site to view the 1747 homestead, then proceed to the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk and finish their walk at the Julie J Metz Neabsco Creek Wetlands. This 120 minute, 5+mile hike exploring nature and history starts the New Year on the right foot! Leashed pets are welcome to join, but not all parts of the hike are accessible for strollers.                

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Neabsco Creek Boardwalk, 15125 Blackburn Rd, Woodbridge, VA.

 

January 16

Prince William County During the Gilded Age Virtual Presentation

5 p.m.; Free, donations welcome.

The Gilded Age is lesser known era in American history from the 1870s to the turn of the century marked by industrialization, as well as rapid economic and population growth. Join historic interpreter, Warwick Steer, to learn more about this brushed over period of history and what was happening in Prince William County. Link for this virtual program will be sent out after registration.

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

 

January 28

Prince William Historic Preservation Virtual Lecture Series: Assassination of a President

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., donations welcome.

In American history, four sitting United States Presidents have been killed in office. One of the key players in the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley has close personal connections to Ben Lomond. Learn more about Ben Lomond's link to the assassination of a President of the United States from Ben Lomond Historic Site Manager Kevin Pawlak. This lecture will be conducted online. A link will be emailed to those who register in advance.

Call 703 367-7872 for more information.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Weekends in February

Lucasville School Open House

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

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. No more than five people will be allowed in the school at one time and masks are required.

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

 

February 13

African American History at Brentsville Courthouse

11 a.m. & 1 p.m., $5 per person, free for children under six

Explore the lives of African Americans in 19th century from the perspective of Brentsville Courthouse. As we tour the site, learn about how they lived, their experiences, and how they were treated in the community. Hear about the hardships they faced, such as enslavement and a lack of rights, and the triumphs they achieved before the county seat moved in 1893. Tours are limited to seven people per tour and masks are required.

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

 

February 13

Winter Encampment with the Second Virginia at Rippon Lodge

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. $5 per person, free for children under six.

The Second Virginia Regiment was authorized by the Virginia Convention, July 17, 1775, as a force of regular troops for the Commonwealth's defense. The Prince William District included Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Come to Rippon Lodge to meet members of the Second Virginia, see their encampment, ongoing historical interpretation, cooking, drilling and more. Tours of the historic lodge are included.

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

 

February 20

Everyday Full of Work:  The African-American Experience at Ben Lomond

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.  $5 per person, free for children under six.

Explore the historic home and the original slave quarter to learn about the enslaved population living at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War. Visit spaces not ordinarily open to the public and experience the interactive virtual reality exhibit in the Ben Lomond Slave Quarters. Learn about some of the chores that enslaved men, women, and children, were expected to complete, as well as the lives of the enslaved community. Masks are required when indoors and are recommended when outdoors.

Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA. 703-367-7872.

 

February 25

Prince William Historic Preservation Virtual Lecture Series: The Story of Jennie Dean

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., donations welcome.

Historian Marion Ransell Cohen will share the incredible story of Jennie Dean. Jennie Dean was born into slavery in 1852 and recognized the importance of education and faith for black Americans in the post-Civil War era. Ms. Dean strove to teach valuable life skills and, in 1893, opened an industrial school for black American children. This lecture will be conducted online. A link will be emailed to those who register in advance. Call 703 367-7872 for more information.

 

MARCH

 

March 6

Women's History at Brentsville Courthouse

11 a.m. & 1 p.m., $5 per person, free for children under six

Explore the role women played in the 19th Century from the perspective of Brentsville Courthouse. As we tour the site, learn about the woman's role in the family, in society and how they lived. Hear about the different types of hardships they faced, such as during childbirth, a lack of rights, and more. Tours are limited to seven people per tour and masks are required.

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

 

March 6

Feisty, Friendly, and Fearless: Women of the Lodge

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $10 per person, free for children under six

Who were the women of Rippon Lodge? This special tour will focus on three or four of the ladies of Rippon Lodge, their lives, and their accomplishments, along with a look at the women they raised or who worked for them.

Masks required indoors and strongly suggested outdoors. Space is limited.

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

 

March 13

Women's History Tours of Ben Lomond

11 a.m. & 1 p.m..; $5 per person, free for children under six

Celebrate Women's History Month with two exclusive tours of Ben Lomond Historic Site focusing on the female personalities of the property. Tours are $5 per person and will last approximately one hour. Masks are required when indoors, and are recommended when outdoors.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA. 703-367-7872.

 

March 13

Virtual Heraldry Virtual Workshop from Brentsville Courthouse

1 p.m. – 2 p.m., $5 per person, free for children under two

Everywhere we go, we see heraldry displayed in symbols all throughout Virginia and Prince William County depicting historical importance, location, family, and more. Join us virtually from your home to visit the 4th Prince William County Courthouse to learn about the types of heraldry used throughout Virginia's history. Learn what they mean and even spend time around your family table designing your own family crest based on your history and traditions! 

Link for this virtual program will be sent out after registration.

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

 

March 20 & 21

Scrambled Egg Hunts at Brentsville Courthouse

11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., & 2 p.m.; $30 per egg hunt.

Enjoy a unique spin on an egg hunt this year at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre. Peter Rabbit created trouble again at Brentsville by taking all the candy and toys in our eggs and replacing them with puzzle pieces. He won't give back the goods, unless we solve the puzzle! Can you find the eggs he hid to get all the pieces and solve the puzzle?

 

Egg hunt areas are divided by family groups of six or less, with a time limit of 30 minutes for each egg hunt. Once your puzzle is completed, turn it in to receive a gift basket for the family to take home filled with treats, prizes, and more. Masks are required outside of reserved egg hunt area.

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

 

March 20

Gourds to Tools: Crafting Crops into Dishes

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; $5 per person, free for children under six

It has been said that early Americans not only grew their own food but also their own dishes! Gourds were used often as bowls, dippers, cups as well as shelters to attract birds that were essential for insect control in agrarian habitats. Join us as we turn the gourds that were grown in the garden last summer into functional tools that will be used to enhance the interpretation at Ben Lomond. Masks are required when indoors and are recommended when outdoors.

Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA 703-367-7872.   

 

March 25

Prince William Historic Preservation Virtual Lecture Series: An End to Innocence, The First Manassas Campaign

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., donations welcome.

Award winning historian and author John Hennessy will present on the first major battle of the Civil War that took place right here in Prince William County. Mr. Hennessy will address the battle itself and the effect this battle had on the people of the county. This lecture will be conducted online. A link will be emailed to those who register in advance. Call (703) 367-7872 for more information.

 

March 27

Rippon Lodge Easter Egg Hunt

Timed hunts between 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; $5.00 children under 4, $10 per person over the age of 5.

The Easter Bunny has created a fun activity trail at Rippon Lodge. Look for hidden objects, do physical tasks, tell a joke, and more as you walk to receive your eggs. Reservation required. Bring your own basket. Timed walks for age groups, social distance required, family units no larger than 5 allowed at one time due to limited space.

 

Masks required indoors and strongly suggested outdoors for all in attendance. Walking along uneven ground, grass, and gravel surfaces. Parental supervision required along trail. Hunt times are: 10:30-11:00 am for children 4 and under; 11 am to12pm for ages 4-6; 12:30 to 1:30 pm for ages 4-6, and 2:30 to 3:30pm for ages 7 to 11.                                                                        Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA. 703-499-9812.

 

March 30- April 1

Spring Break History Camp  

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; $50 per camper, ages 8-13

Join us for a fun and historical Spring Break that explores the history of Prince William County through the eyes of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre! Enjoy crafts and activities every day of camp focusing on a different era of history from the tools and trades of Native Americans and the farming activities of the 19th century, to detective work in the Brentsville Courthouse and Jail. Register online at www.pwcparks.org/historicprograms  or call 703-365-7895.

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

 

APRIL

 

April 3

American Battlefield Trust Annual Park Day – Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join the staff at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park and the American Battlefield Trust at Park Day 2021! Park Day is a nationwide event that encourages Civil War enthusiasts to help maintain, restore and preserve Civil War sites through volunteerism. Join us for a fun and rewarding day of work at Bristoe Battlefield. Projects will include litter pick up, cleaning cemeteries, and trail maintenance throughout the 140-acre park. Wear sturdy work shoes, bring gloves and remember sunscreen. Tools and snacks will be provided. Meet in the parking lot off Iron Brigade Avenue. Please no pets.

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

 

April 10

Science & History of Gardening at the Halisp Hall House

10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $5 per person, free for children under six

Bring your family to the Haislip-Hall House for a day of science and history while helping us plant the vegetable garden at the Historic Haislip-Hall House this spring! Learn about the agricultural history of Prince William while you help us plant the heirloom garden plots, learning about what different types of plants were grown and how they were used. Conduct your own soil and water experiment to learn about pollution and irrigation. Program will run rain or shine, please dress appropriately and bring gardening gloves. Reservations are required for space is limited.

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

 

April 17

Civil War Tours of Brentsville Courthouse

11 a.m. & 1 p.m., $5 per person, free for children under six

As the seat of Prince William County, Brentsville saw a lot of activity throughout the Civil War. Debates took place within the courthouse, troops mustered in for service, and the town suffered heavily at the hands of both armies over the years. Join us for a special tour of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre to learn more about what happened at Brentsville during the Civil War. Tours are limited to seven people per tour and masks are required.                                                                                                                 Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Road, Bristow, VA. 703-365-7895.

 

April 17

The Ellis' Magnificent Garden

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; $7 per person, children under six free

Wade and Dessie Ellis' 'country home' Rippon Lodge was featured in Virginia's Historic Garden Week from the late 20's to the late 40's.  Visit Rippon Lodge for this socially-distanced outdoor program with staff and the modern day gardeners that make the lovely landscaped surroundings possible to learn more about how the outdoor landscape has evolved from a tobacco plantation into a public park!

This program is approximately 90 minutes and will involve outdoor walking over uneven terrain. Tour will begin on the front porch of the 1747 Lodge down the paved walkway from the parking lot. Masks required indoors and strongly suggested outdoors.

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

 

April 22

Prince William Historic Preservation Virtual Lecture Series: James Longstreet After the Civil War: The Controversy Explained

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., donations welcome.

Join Dan Paterson, a descendant of James Longstreet, as he explores the postwar legacy of James Longstreet, the South's most controversial soldier. Mr. Paterson will present a detailed timeline showing how events during the postwar period predated the Gettysburg controversy that was based upon the General's support for black suffrage, as well as membership and support for the Republican Party. This lecture will be conducted online. A link will be emailed to those who register in advance. Call (703) 367-7872 for more information.

 

April 24

Calligraphy Class in the Brentsville Schoolhouse

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; $15 per person, ages 13 and up.

When the Brentsville Schoolhouse was in use between 1929 and 1944, one of the skills taught to students was penmanship. Have you ever wanted to improve your handwriting skills or be able to make your own invitations? Join historic preservation staff at the historic schoolhouse for a beginner's introduction to the art of calligraphy! During this 2-hour workshop you will learn about the historic importance of writing forms, a few basic traditional calligraphy styles, have the chance to try out your own new calligraphy skills, and learn some history along the way. Advanced registration is required.

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

 

April 24

Pre-Revolutionary War Rippon

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $5.00 per person, free for children under six

Meet the PWC Independent Company of Cadets at Rippon Lodge as they discuss what pre-rev war Virginia was like for the militia. See cooking demonstrations, learn about frontier and colonial life, and tour the historic building.

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

 

May 1

"A County to Be Named Hartford"

Sixth Annual Prince William – Manassas History Symposium

$10 for all day symposium (8:30a.m. – 4p.m.). Spaces are limited, reservations required. All attendees are required to wear a mask during event. 

Our community has a long and rich history. Founded in 1731, Prince William County is one of the oldest counties in Northern Virginia. Join several local historic organizations as we commemorate this history at our Sixth Annual Prince William-Manassas History Symposium. Topics include:

 

9:30am – Bill Backus, Freedman's Bureau in Prince William County

10:30am – Dr. Chris Mackowski, The Legend of "Stonewall"

11:30am – 1:30pm LUNCH BREAK ON YOUR OWN

1:30pm – Mark Wilcox, Prince William County's Frontiersman:  Simon Kenton

2:30pm – Robert Teagle, The Life of Robert Carter III, Virginia's First Emancipator

3:30pm – Ellen Butler, WWII Lady Spies of the Office of Strategic Services


Release of the Third issue of the Journal of Prince William History, which will be for sale for the special one-day price of $5.00.

Symposium to take place under a tent at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, VA 20136. Co-sponsored by the Manassas Museum, Prince William County Historic Commission and Historic Prince William. Reservations required, for more information contact 703-792-4754 or historicpreservation@pwcgov.org. Register online at www.pwcparks.org/historicprograms




















 

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