On May 15, the National Park Service announced its placement of the Freeman Store and Museum, 131 Church Street NE, on the National Register of Historic Places. The Freeman Store and Museum was previously listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and is the only structure in Town to hold these highly sought after designations.
Since January 2011, Historic Vienna, Inc. (HVI) has worked to have the Freeman Store and Museum recognized as a historic structure and applied to have the building listed on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. In September of 2011, the Freeman Store was officially listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and a plaque unveiling ceremony was held in April of this year to recognize the momentous occasion.
The addition of the Freeman Store and Museum to the National Register of Historic Places signifies the end of a long journey to recognize the structure for its historical significance and the role it played in the Town’s history.
The Freeman Store and Museum earned a place on this elite list based on its association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history (commerce, military, politics and government) and its association with the lives of significant persons in our past, including Leon Freeman, the first president of Vienna’s Volunteer Fire Department.
Built in 1859 and originally known as Lydecker Store, The Freeman Store and Museum operated as a general store until the late 1920s and then served as a residence until 1955. The building also operated as a post office and served in various capacities for both the Federal and Confederate armies during the Civil War. It was sold to the Town by Leon Freeman’s daughter Dorothy in 1969 and was restored by the Town of Vienna in 1976 as a United States Bicentennial project. Since then, the Freeman Store and Museum has been operated by HVI volunteers.
A ceremony will be held later this year to recognize this significant achievement. To view the listing or for more information on the National Register of Historic Places, visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/history/nr/nrlist.htm.