Lorton: History Revisited at Gunston Hall

Lorton: History Revisited at Gunston Hall

George Mason’s home hosts events on life in the 18th century.

Gunston Hall, in Lorton, was the family home of Founding Father George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

Gunston Hall, in Lorton, was the family home of Founding Father George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Photo Contributed


Revolutionary War Weekend will be held on Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Britain on the Green is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, 2017, 9:30 a.m. -3 p.m.


Patriots and Redcoats square off in the ‘Battle of the Deer Park’ during the Revolutionary War Weekend at Gunston Hall.


Celebration of Spring: Kite Festival will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Gunston Hall docent Carol Coose discusses 18th century cooking with second graders from Alexandria’s Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in the hearth kitchen in June.

George Mason’s Gunston Hall is looking for volunteers who love history and would enjoy sharing that passion with young people. Volunteer docents at Gunston Hall in Lorton lead school tours about Mason and his ideas, as well as life in the 18th century. Docents become part of the Gunston Hall Docents’ Association, a dedicated group of volunteers. Visitors to the museum step back in time as they discover the history of Virginia and one of the country’s founders. Volunteers discuss topics such as the American Revolution, the writing of the Constitution, the fight for a Bill of Rights, and George Mason’s masterwork, the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Plus, they help students investigate the lives of people who lived on a Virginia plantation, from the gentry to the people who were enslaved. This historic site is located in southern Fairfax County in a beautiful wooded setting, just minutes from I-95 and US Route 1. Docents help young people learn about these important and fascinating topics by being enthusiastic, friendly, committed to historical accuracy, available on weekdays during the school year. Training starts in October. For more information or to receive an application, call 703-550- 9220 x238 or write to rebecca.martin@gunstonhall.org. George Mason’s Gunston Hall, jointly administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, is a site dedicated to the study of George Mason, his home and landscape, and life in 18th-century Virginia.

Gunston Hall’s mission statement is “to utilize fully the physical and scholarly resources of Gunston Hall to stimulate continuing public exploration of democratic ideals as first presented by George Mason in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights.”

2016-2017 Events at Gunston Hall

  • Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Naturalization Ceremony. George Mason’s Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road, Lorton. Welcome people from all over the globe as they are sworn in as American citizens at this historic location. Admission until 1 p.m. is complimentary. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Archaeology Day. Become an archeologist for the day as you screen for artifacts, piece together objects, and learn about recent discoveries from the Gunston Hall archaeology team. Attend a talk on the region’s native inhabitants; learn about archaeology careers. Included with regular admission. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 22-23, 2016 10 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Open Hearth Cooking Class Level I. Learn to cook using 18th-century techniques and recipes with Gunston Hall’s veteran hearth cooks. Visit www.gunstonhall.org for details and to register.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, 6 p.m-8 p.m. Candlelight and Cocktails. Enjoy an evening at Gunston Hall during this special after-hours event. Sip on period cocktails as you learn to make 18th-century mixed drinks and snacks in the hearth kitchen. Experience the serenity of Mason Neck during an exclusive candlelight tour. Register at www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Thursday, Nov. 3. Symposium. Join Gunston Hall for its annual exploration of decorative arts and material culture. $95 registration fee includes the speaking program, a guided tour, light breakfast, and box lunch. Visit www.gunstonhall.org. to register and for further details.
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Christmastide at Gunston Hall. Experience a historic holiday! Learn about the holiday traditions of years past as you visit with costumed characters and explore the grounds by candlelight. Keep warm by the fire, sample period food in the hearth kitchen, and try craft activities for all ages. $15 adults; $5 children ages 6-18. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Saturday, April 1, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Kite Festival. Come fly a kite in our pastures. Chat with characters from the past. Write with a quill pen. Sample delicacies cooked in the hearth kitchen. Hear music of the Revolution. Bring a picnic or buy one here. Bring a kite, build a kite, or buy a kite. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Sunday, April 30, 2017, 9:30 a.m. -3 p.m. Britain on the Green. See the pasture transformed into a show field for Capital Triumph Register’s annual car show. Explore the grounds, tour Gunston Hall, and enjoy hundreds of Triumphs, MGs, Austin Healeys, Bentleys, Lotuses, and many more. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Saturday-Sunday, May 20-21, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Revolutionary War Weekend. Smell the gun smoke as Patriots and Redcoats square off in the “Battle of the Deer Park.” Visit Continental and British troops in their encampments and watch the infantry and artillery drills. Visit www.gunstonhall.org. Saturday,
  • June 10, 2017, 10 a.m. -4 p.m. George Mason Day and Naturalization Ceremony. Celebrate the 1776 ratification of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Welcome people from all over the globe as they are sworn in as American citizens. Tour the house and grounds. Free admission all day. Visit www.gunstonhall.org.
  • Saturdays in June, July, and August, 2017, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Summer Saturdays. Kids and the young at heart should visit every Saturday, in June, July and August for unique, hands-on adventures. No RSVP required. FREE with admission. Visit www.gunstonhall.org for program updates.