Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

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Blenheim House October
Historic Blenheim house, c. 1859

Location: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
Hours: Civil War Interpretive Center and Gallery: 
10 am to 3 pm Tuesday through Saturday.  We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  We close at Noon on Dec. 23. Guided Tour of Historic House: 1 pm Tuesday through Saturday into the first floor of the historic house and around the site. Meet in the Civil War Interpretive Center.
Phone: 703.591.0560

Free admission unless otherwise noted.

Historic Blenheim is a central-hall plan brick farmhouse built by Albert Willcoxon (c. 1859) just prior to the Civil War (1861-65). It is nationally significant for the voluminous quantity and quality of examples of Civil War inscriptions. More than 120 signatures, pictographs, games, and thoughts were left on the house walls by Union soldiers during their occupation of the Fairfax Court House area in 1862-63. This "diary on walls" provides insight into typical soldier life and extends to the effect of this war on local residents--such as the Willcoxon family--and free and enslaved people of African descent.

              Upcoming free program on Sunday, December 4, 12-4pm:                                         “Christmas in Camp”- House tours, Holiday customs, Victorian crafts, music, and camp drills with Company D, 17th Virginia Infantry, “Fairfax Rifles,” C.S.A. Scout/Group reservations, call 703.591.6728.

 Christmas in Camp16

Group Tours: Private guided tours for adult groups and educational programs for students are available for a fee. All tours for 8 or more people are tailored for group needs, educational standards, and interests. Tours require advanced reservations. To arrange group educational programs or tours of historic Blenheim call Andrea Loewenwarter at 703.591.0560 or 6728.  

Theodor Raefle, Blenheim Attic
Attic signatures
Civil War charcoal drawing of cannon on attic wall of Historic Blenheim house.
         Cannon image

The Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim further interprets the site's history and the Civil War in the greater Fairfax area. In the exhibition gallery, house inscriptions, and pictographs from the house are reproduced and discussed in detail in the replica attic with full-scale images. The gallery also includes an illustrated timeline of Civil War events, artifacts that interpret the everyday soldier, biographies of several of the wall signers, and temporary displays.

Monthly Civil War Programs are also held in our center and we also features short videos on local Fairfax Civil War topics. The gift shop stocks books, original signed art prints, children's toys and games, replica items, and souvenirs related to the Civil War and Fairfax history.

Historic Blenheim is a member of the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail. Please click here to download brochure. However, call individual sites to make sure opening times are still accurate. We are also a member of the Virginia Civil War Trails. Brochures are available in both the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center and in the Civil War Interpretive Center.  Find out more about this exciting program!

 

The Civil War Interpretive Center is available for rentals for private use. For information call 703.385.7858 or visit the Parks and Recreation rental page.

 

Outside Image of Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim
Civil War Interpretive Center, 2008
Image of Grandma's Cottage (ca. 1840) on the property of Historic Blenheim
Grandma's Cottage, c. 1840

 

Also on the grounds is Grandma's Cottage, which dates to c. 1840. It was occupied for much of its history by Margaret Conn Willcoxon Farr, the sister of Albert Willcoxon, owner of the Willcoxon farm (later named "Blenheim").  Margaret Farr is buried in the Blenheim cemetery along with her husband, brother, parents, and grandmother.

The cottage is important for its combination of log-wall construction and rare hewn timber framing with brick infill between the studs in the c. 1940 left portion of the house.  A log cabin, of unknown date was connected to the 2-story house in 1867. It has been moved twice: in 1962 from its original location at the corner of Old Lee Highway and Route 236/Main Street to Old Lee Highway near Layton Hall Drive, from which it was moved to the Blenheim estate in 2001 after being donated to the city by local descendants of Margaret Farr.

Gift Shop Items: The gift shop stocks books, original signed art prints, children's toys and games, puzzles, replica items, and souvenirs related to the Civil War and Fairfax history. There will be 10% discount to HFCI Members: click here for information on Historic Fairfax City, Inc. and how to join. Visit our Gift Shops page for current sale items and prices.

Volunteers: WE CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU! Volunteers are needed and welcome. Please download Volunteer Application Form and return it to Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 10209 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030. For additional information please contact Susan.Gray@fairfaxva.gov or call 703.385.8415.

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