Area residents will be able to step back in time during the third annual Fairfax History Day. It’s slated for Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Hwy. in Fairfax. Admission is $6, adults, and $3, children ages 3-12; children 2 and under are free.
This family-friendly event focuses on the entire 19th century, from the construction of the new Fairfax County courthouse in 1800, through the growth of a town and its people. And there’ll be activities galore for all ages, including music, hayrides, games, Civil War reenactors and demonstrations of daily life in a bygone era.
Wander the grounds to meet a tavern keeper, a laundress, suffragists, a blacksmith, a Yankee schoolmarm and other historians portraying common jobs of that time. Or chat with a naturalist, doctor, attorney or phrenologist – who studied the shapes of people’s heads to determine their traits and characteristics.
Attendees may also see an African American, one-room schoolhouse; sign their names with a quill pen to “become a soldier” in the War of 1812; or even practice their drilling skills with Civil War soldiers.
They can watch camp-cooking demonstrations and learn about the daily lives and food of enslaved people. Attendees can play popular children’s games of the past. This year’s Fairfax History Day also features domestic-arts demonstrations of weaving, spinning, needlework, quilting and women’s clothing.
People may even bring their own crochet and needlework projects and join a sewing bee. Meanwhile, craftsmen will display their skills at brickmaking and carpentry. The fun will also include wagon rides, food – including freshly popped Kettle Korn, live spirituals and string and brass bands.
In addition, the circa 1859 Historic Blenheim House will be open for timed tours of its first floor, where docents will discuss the newest research and discoveries of its Civil War soldier graffiti, plus the ongoing preservation projects. While there, visit the museum gallery and gift shop inside the Civil War Interpretive Center to buy a souvenir or book to take home. Tour reservations may be made at the entrance tent.
This event is put on by the City of Fairfax Office of Historic Resources and Historic Fairfax City Inc. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Historic Blenheim house.
Free parking is available at Fairfax High, 3501 Lion Run, where free CUE Bus shuttles will take visitors to and from the driveway leading to Historic Blenheim. No parking is allowed at the event site.