Vintage puzzles sell for a fraction of the prices listed on online sites.
Photo by Donna Manz.
Freeman Store and Museum, on Historic Church Street, kicked off its 2015 season on Feb. 28, introducing vintage puzzles and toys, and antiques to its collection of Vienna-logo, made-in-Virginia and American-made nostalgic products. Known locally as Freeman House, the store and museum is owned by the Town of Vienna and operated by Historic Vienna, Inc.
“We’re focusing on pieces made by American artists, especially local ones,” said Historic Vienna, Inc. store committee chair, Nancy Moats. To that end, HVI board members are visiting craft shows around the metro D.C. area, seeking items that harmonize with HVI’s mission of preservation and education. Functional wood art, such as bowls, handmade garden ornaments, and recycled ice cream urns from Thelma’s are to be on the floor this spring. The store plans on selling artwork produced by area high school students. The “penny” candy – which, actually, costs more than a penny-a-piece, is still one of the store’s most popular items with children. Grave’s Mountain preserves, a made-in-Virginia product, and Virginia peanuts anchor the food stock.
Shopkeeper Patti Bentley works closely with HVI president Anne Stuntz and Moats to bring in more artisan-style pieces.
IT ISN’T JUST INVENTORY taking a new focus. HVI plans on adding special events throughout the year, particularly on Church Street Sunday, starting in May, when Historic Church Street closes down for a few hours and becomes pedestrian-friendly. HVI and Freeman House plan on a more-visible presence along the roadway on Church Street Sunday.
Spring events, currently planned, include the annual Easter Egg Roll, Saturday March 28, 10:30 a.m., Freeman House lawn; Historic Vienna Annual Used Book Sale – new dates - April 17, 18 and 19, Vienna Community Center; Walk on the Hill - Sunday April 26, (rain date May 3), 2 to 5 p.m. Historic Windover District; Secession Vote Reenactment, TBA – May, Freeman House.
FREEMAN STORE AND MUSEUM, located at 131 Church Street N.E. Vienna, is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Freeman Store and Museum is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark. The building was constructed in 1859 as Lydecker Store, operating as a general store until the late 1920s. It was used by both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.
HVI is looking for another employee to job-share the shopkeeper’s position. Contact shopkeeper Patti Bentley at 703-938-5187 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.