Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog
ShareRSS  

Posts Tagged ‘history’

Historic Holiday Home Tours

by Casey | Posted on December 4th, 2012

It might not be exactly what you’re thinking it will be. In fact, it’s probably better. Take time to tour Virginia’s historic homes this season and you’ll walk into various centuries of decor and celebration.

Maymont
Maymont

Renowned Historic Homes

Endview Plantation, c. 1769, will be decorated for the 1861 holidays this month. Learn about this home’s Civil War history when you tour daily between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Newport News. $6 per adult; $4 per child aged 7-18.

Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg dates from 1798 with construction of the Federal-style mansion following establishment in 1804. Experience Christmas at Oatlands all month long with grand decorations, but don’t miss the special candlelight tours available from 5 to 7 p.m. December 16, 21-23 and 26. $12 per adult; $8 per child aged 6-16.

The finest Federal home on the Eastern Shore is Ker Place in Onancock, built between 1799 and 1803. Ker Place is now the home of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, but its previous occupiers consisted of only two families (1801-1960). Join in for a Holiday Open House this Saturday, December 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. and enjoy entertainment, games, homemade sweets, carols and a visit with Santa Claus. Free.

An 1893 Victorian Christmas awaits you this Sunday, December 8. Make time for an Old-Fashioned Christmas at Maymont (noon to 5 p.m.) where the formal rooms are decorated in grand style with ladies and gentlemen to welcome you. Horse-drawn carriage rides, food, drink, music and even St. Nick make this one merry occasion in Richmond. $5 per adult; $3 per child up to age 12. Carriage rides additional $5 and $3, respectively.

A variety of eras are represented at Agecroft Hall in Richmond this Sunday from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Move from 1640s England to 1850s London and of course, 1940s Richmond as you encounter interpreters like Charles Dickens reading his A Christmas Carol. $8 per adult; $5 per child 6-18.

Presidential Homes

George Washington’s Mount Vernon will be open for candlelight tours this weekend and next, December 8-9, 15-16 from 5 until 8:30 p.m. Mount Vernon has a storied history. The mansion actually began as a modest farmhouse in the 1740′s and was twice re-built and expanded from the foundation up. Today’s Mount Vernon reflects its 1799 appearance. Candlelight tours include fireside caroling with hot cider and ginger cookies, as well as a walk through the first and second floors of the authentically decorated mansion. $20 per adult; $14 per child

Monticello

Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello dates to 1769 (when construction began) and  is open for an intimate evening tour and reception to show you how that presidential family celebrated the season. Enjoy period culinary delights and take home a recipe, too, after you tour the home and the rarely-seen dome room. December 14 and 16 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. $75 per person. Monticello is the only home in the United States recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.

James Monroe’s home, Ash Lawn-Highland, is decorated all month long with fresh boxwood, fruits and holly to bring a special holiday emphasis to the early 19th century dwelling of the fifth President of the United States. The home Monroe called his “cabin castle” became his primary residence in 1799 though the home conveyed with his land purchase in 1793. Visit daily (closed Christmas Day) between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. $12 per adult; $6 per child aged 6 to 11.

Did you know Monticello wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s only home? Visit his retreat, Poplar Forest (built between 1806 and 1821) for a free tour this Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food donation and enjoy period decorations, music and living history interpretations, children’s activities and fun storytelling.

Montpelier

Montpelier

The Father of the Constitution and fourth President of the United States, James Madison, grew up in and made his adult home Montpelier. His father, James Madison, Sr., completed the original portion of today’s mansion in 1764. In 1797 the second portion of the mansion was began by the younger Madison – an “townhouse” style addition to the abode his father still resided in. Upon his father’s death in 1801, Madison inherited the other half and worked to unify the structure. Tour Montpelier by candlelight this weekend, December 7-9, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Be greeted by Dolley Madison for a tour and enjoy carolers on the front lawn. Period-dressed waltzers will delight guests in the Salon while refreshments and wine await you in the duPont Gallery. $30 at the door

Tour Several Historic Homes at One Price

Homes dating from 1796 to 1888 are on tour in Fincastle this Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, a marketplace of 30 local and regional artists can alleviate some of your shopping stress. $15 per person.

Mark your calendars with more Holiday Home Tours.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



Events, History, The Holidays | 1 Comment

The Year of the Virginia Historic Home

by Casey | Posted on October 25th, 2012

Virginia celebrates historic homes each and every year since the state is considered the “Mother of Presidents.” We boast eight United States Presidents total and enjoy the homes of six of them. However, 2013 marks the bicentennial of another historic Virginia home – the Executive Mansion.

Virginia Governor's Mansion

Virginia Governor's Mansion

Governor McDonnell has proclaimed 2013 the Year of the Virginia Historic Home to recognize more than 100 historic homes across Virginia along with the Executive Mansion, the residence of the Governor of Virginia (the Mansion’s 54th) and his family. The Mansion is the oldest occupied Governor’s home in the United States.

Executive Mansion tours are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., but are subject to change without notice. Tours are free and last about 25 minutes. Please kindly make a reservation if you have more than 10 people in your party (no more than two months in advance). Smaller groups are taken on a first come, first served basis. Tours are limited to 15 people.

- Holiday Home Tours

- Virginia’s Historic Homes

 LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request your free Travel Guide. 



History | Comments Off

LOVE a Good Ghost Story?

by Casey | Posted on October 18th, 2012

With more than 400 years under our belt, you can bet Virginia has some of the best ghost stories America has to offer. Walk along with a tour guide to encounter (or at least hear about) spirits from the past.

Gadsby's Tavern by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Gadsby's Tavern by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Guided “ghost tours” take on a more authentic feel when walking some of America’s most historic sidewalks. The Haunts of Richmond tours use the Edgar Allan Poe Museum as the base for one of its nighttime walking tours.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Peyton Randolph House and George Wythe House are considered to be among America’s most haunted abodes. Those are two of the stops on the Spooks and Legends Haunted Tours on which door knobs and shutters rattle and guests are met by costumed interpreters along their route.

In Southwest Virginia Appalachian Ghostwalk Tours guide visitors through the streets of Abingdon and Bristol where famous ghost stories abound. Charlottesville’s Ghost Mystery Walking Tour is a tour with a twist. Guests are presented with the tale of a 1904 murder and try to solve the mystery of who’s guilty during the two-hour adventure.

Find more Ghostly Haunts and feel free to leave comments here about historic hauntings you’ve encountered.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request your free Travel Guide



History | 1 Comment

“Lincoln” Poster Revealed

by Casey | Posted on August 22nd, 2012

The official poster for the movie “Lincoln” was released today. This movie was filmed in Virginia.

LincolnSteven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathaim, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, releases in U.S. theaters exclusive on November 9, 2012, with expansion on November 16, 2012.

Learn more about movies filmed in Virginia at Virginia.org/FilmedInVirginia.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



Civil War, Filmed in Virginia, History | 1 Comment

Commemorating Second Manassas

by Casey | Posted on August 20th, 2012

Virginia is home to more Civil War sites than any other state, nearly 800 in total. Experience a bit of that history up close and personal this weekend as the 150th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Manassas is commemorated at the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park

According to the National Park Service, “The campaign and battle of Second Manassas demonstrated the impact of an expanding war, both in terms of the size of the armies that fought here and in the numbers of casualties resulting from the battle. The campaign showed the effects of a widening Union war effort, resulting in increasing impacts upon civilians and consideration of emancipation as a war aim. The campaign also marked the rise of Robert E. Lee as a battlefield commander: his success at Second Manassas opened the opportunity to the Confederate army to carry the war into the North, leading directly to the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam.”

Ways to experience the history of the Battle of Second Manassas:

  • August 25
  • August 26
    • Thoroughfare Gap: A Walking Tour. Led by historian Jim Burgess. 90 minutes. Chapman (Beverly) Mill. 3 p.m.
    • Manassas Junction and Its Railroads: From Union Lifeline to Confederate Prize. One hour talk. Manassas Museum – 9101 Prince William Street, Manassas. 7 p.m.
    • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm.
  • August 28
    • Tour: Brawner Farm – The Battle Begins. Guided walking tour with a park historian, tracing the routes of the opposing battle lines at the beginning of the Second Battle of Manassas. Brawner Farm Interpreter Center. 7 p.m.
  • August 29
    • Tour: Standoff at the Railroad. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Focuses on the morning fight near Sudley Church on August 29, 1862. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 10 a.m.
    • Tour: Breakthrough at the Railroad. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Highlights the attacks on the Confederates along the Unfinished Railroad. Tour Stop 6. 90 minutes. 2 p.m.
    • Tour: Battling for the Rocky Knoll. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Uncovers the struggle of the afternoon battle behind the Unfinished Railroad. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 4 p.m.
    • Tour: Clash at Groverton Crossroads. Guided walking tour with a park historian. See what dusk at Groverton might have looked like as you hear about the August 29, 1862 evening fight. Tour Stop 9. 7 p.m.
  • August 30
    • Tour: Robinson Farm: Behind Union Lines. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Learn what the battle experience was like for free African-American James Robinson and his family. Visitor Center. 60 minutes. 11 a.m.
    • Tour: Slaughter at Deep Cut. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The largest Union assault by the troops under Fitz John Porter will be detailed. Tour Stop 7. 90 minutes. 2 p.m.
    • Tour: Counterattack at Chinn Ridge. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The Confederates battle back. New York Monuments (Tour Stop 9). 90 minutes. 4 p.m.
    • Tour: Battling Until Sunset: The Struggle for Henry Hill. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The final phase of Manassas-Sudley Road and on Henry Hill. Visitor Center. 90 minutes. 7 p.m.
  • August 31
    • Tour: On the Battle Lines: Sudley Church at Second Manassas. Guided walking tour with a park historian along the Unfinished Railroad to key battle sites and Sudley Church. Hear how the battle impacted the community. Vespers service at Sudley Church following the tour, including period music and guest speaker. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 90 minutes. 6 p.m.
  • September 1
    • Second Manassas Lecture Series. Visitor Center Auditorium.
      • 11 a.m. – Alan Gaff, author of Brave Men’s Tears
      • 1 p.m. – Stephen Potter, editor of Archaeological Perspectives on the American Civil War
      • 3 p.m. – John Hennessy, author  of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas
      • 7 p.m. – James I. Robertson, Sr. – author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, The Legend
    • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm (Tour Stop 1).
  • September 2
    • Second Manassas Lecture Series. Visitor Center Auditorium.
      • 11 a.m. – John Matsui, author of the forthcoming book The First Republican Army
      • 1 p.m. – Scott C. Patchan, author of Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge
    • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm (Tour Stop 1).

Manassas National Battlefield Park is located at 6511 Sudley Road in Manassas, Virginia.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Know Before You Go:

  • Park Map
  • Admission is $3 per person (16 and older) for three days’ entry to Manassas National Battlefield Park.
  • Henry Hill Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of special events as mentioned above.
  • “Manassas: End of Innocence” is a 45-minute film that covers both the First and Second Battles of Manassas. Shown on the hour beginning at 9 a.m. in the Henry Hill Visitor Center.
  • Park Rules: No climbing on monuments or cannons * Pets must be leashed * Alcohol and metal detectors are prohibited * Park in designated areas only * Bicycles are prohibited on trails

Visit the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile August 24-26 at the Manassas Visitor Center to see the Civil War from a variety of points of view – young and old, enslaved and free, soldiers and civilians. To explore real lives of the Civil War online, visit WalkInTheirFootsteps.com - unexpected stories of real people who did extraordinary things.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Virginia Travel Guide.
Learn more about the Civil War in Virginia.



Civil War, Events, History | Comments Off