Welcome to Historic Vienna and the Freeman Store and Museum – there’s lots to see here.
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Passing of Frank Lancaster – July 16, 2016
We at Historic Vienna will dearly miss our great friend Frank Lancaster and are grateful for his wonderful life. Frank was born in 1929 in Sheffield, Alabama. His father was a railroad employee, which meant the family moved all around the Southern United States.
Frank attended night school at George Washington University and American University. In 1947, Frank was recruited to the CIA where he worked as the librarian and later became involved in aerial photography Frank was a steady volunteer in the town of Vienna and in the surrounding community. In 1960, he was the first manager of the newly formed Pigtail-Ponytail Girls Softball League. He volunteered first at the storefront library near the Giant and then at Patrick Henry Library when it finally opened in 1971.
Frank’s kindness, patience and experience were shared freely as he served so faithfully on the Historic Vienna board of directors.
Washington Post Obituary follows:
LANCASTER ELBERT FRANKLIN LANCASTER, JR. “Frank” (Age 86) II Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” On the evening of July 16, 2016 due to natural causes, Dad went home to be with the Lord Jesus. Surrounded by loving family he passed peacefully from his home of 52 years in Vienna, VA. Frank was born the eldest of three sons to Elbert and Kathleen in Sheffield, AL on November 9, 1929. Born the son of a railroad man, Frank cherished the memories of moving around the south and eventually settled in Ashville, NC. After graduating high school, he moved to the Washington, DC area in 1946 where he met his wife, Lois of 53 years. He loved his career with the CIA where he loyally served for 38 years. After retirement he remained the best of friends with many co-workers. Giving freely of himself he volunteered in the community and his church. He served on the Historic Vienna Board and played the role of Santa Claus for many years at the Freeman Store. He was instrumental in introducing kid”s softball to Vienna, which was a reflection of his love for baseball. Dad enjoyed Bluegrass Music. Stories of trains, life”s hardships and victories, and love of God were lyrics he loved to dwell on. A faithful member of the Capital Baptist Church, he looked forward to his weekly bible study. Dad lived by example, impacting many lives. With God”s promise we are rejoicing in his departure, although he will be dearly missed. Dad was preceded in death by wife, Lois and daughter, Susan. He is survived by his children, Linda Wilborn (Thom), Kathy Robinson (Johnny), Vicki Bell (Tom) and Billy Lancaster (Melanie); grandchildren, Susan Wright, Franklin and Jim Nichols, Amy Bolin, Katy DeCarli, Vicki Moe, Johnny and Davey Robinson, Tommy, Matt, and Josh Bell, Cindy, Sara, and Billy Lancaster; and 10 great-grandchildren. Mr. Lancaster”s Life Celebration will be held at Money and King Funeral Home, 171 W. Maple Ave., Vienna, VA on Thursday, July 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Capital Baptist Church, 3504 Gallows Rd., Annandale, VA on Friday, July 23 at 11 a.m. Interment National Memorial Park. Online condolences and fond memories may be offered to the family at: www.moneyandking.comwww.moneyandking.com.
Vienna’s Country Fair – Saturday August 20, 2016 – Noon till 4 PM. Get a taste of what life was like in Vienna in the past. Unplug and return to a simpler time at Vienna’s Country Fair at the Freeman Store and Museum on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Historic Vienna, Inc. will have Blue Grass music, farm animals and crafts, the annual bike decorating contest, living history re-enactors, old fashioned games, ice cream churning, Tom Sawyer fence whitewashing around HVI’s demonstration farm garden, and home grown garden fruits and vegetable competition.
As part of the Country Fair, Historic Vienna, Inc. and District III National Capital Area Garden Clubs have joined forces to present a Small Standard Flower Show in which the horticulture section will include fruits and vegetables, so now is the time to be planting. The fruit and vegetable sections, will be open to all members of the public to enter their home grown produce.
Sunday, July 16, 1 till 5 PM, Open House at Vienna Train Station and Caboose
Parlor Talk – July 24, 2016 – 2 PM
On Sunday, July 24, at 2:00 PM, Historic Vienna, (the Freeman Store and Museum), 131 Church Street, NE, Vienna, VA 22180, will host a Civil War history parlor talk presented by Vienna’s own Edward T. Wenzel, based on his book Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County: Battles, Skirmishes, Incidents & Events of The War Between the States Occurring in Fairfax County, Virginia, 1859-1862. Mr. Wenzel has been honored by the National Civil War Trust for his efforts to preserve the Ox Hill battlefield in Chantilly, VA. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Chris Mackowski, of www.EmergingCivilWar.com wrote the following about Mr. Wenzel’s book:
Ed’s book is breathtaking in its scope, covering day-by-day the Civil War history of Fairfax County during the first two years of the war. With more than 50 maps and more than 350 photos, Ed’s exhaustive study comes in at 618 pages. The index, totaling another 200 pages, comes in its own volume. Some of the actions and movements covered include: Blackburn’s Ford, First Manassas/Bull Run, Grigsby’s Hill, Lewinsville, Dranesville, Second Manassas/Bull Run, Chantilly, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Plus there are entries related to secession, troop reviews, raids and reconnaissance missions, balloon observations, quartermaster activities, the flight of refugees and contrabands, the construction of fortifications, bridge burnings, and railroad incidents and wrecks. It is non-stop activity and action. Five years in the making (two and a half times longer than it took for the events to spool out in real time!), Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County stands as an impressive monument all its own. This is national history written through the local lens, making it great fun for buffs to sift and sort and browse through.
Guided tours Saturdays – 2 PM
Throughout the summer, a guided tour of the Freeman Store and Museum will be offered every Saturday at 2PM in the Freeman Store. Free.
This Was Vienna, Virginia – by Mayo & Connie Stuntz
The definitive book on Vienna’s history through the early 20th century. Newly reprinted hard copies and soft copies are available. Book Signing at Freeman Store: Sunday, August 7, 2-4 PM
Stories and Sprinklers
Each Wednesday from June 29 through August 3, Historic Vienna will continue the Stories and Sprinkles program for children at the Little Library. The program will begin at 1:00 PM, and, after the stories at 1:30, the kids of any age can enjoy a run through the sprinklers on the lawn of the Vienna Town Green. There are picnic tables on the rear patio of the Freeman Store and shaded lawns for picnics. Free and open to the public, call 703 938 5187 or 703 255 6360 for more information.
We have TWO VERY INTERESTING EXHIBITS currently at the Freeman Store & Museum, 131 Church Street NE. “The History of Agriculture in Vienna and Northern Virginia” tells the story of the evolution of local farming, from tobacco in the 18th century to wheat and more variety in the 19th.
We were still well-known for our dairy farms and orchards in the first half of the 20th century. And did you know that a Vienna poultry farm provided all of the Eisenhower White House’s fresh eggs? The exhibit includes maps, photographs, and period artifacts.
The new FABULOUS hallway exhibit, “The Road to Women’s Rights” is a series of exhibit modules describing the suffragist movement. Individual modules will be on display for a six-month period through 2020.
If you missed Jon Vrana’s (noted local history dramatist and longtime U.S. Department of Agriculture employee) informative talk on March 15, in Council Chambers at Vienna Town Hall, please come to our Agriculture Exhibit at the Freeman Store’s Museum to learn more history about our area. Discover how Vienna has changed over the centuries, going from large tobacco plantations to what we see today.
What’s available at the Freeman Store??
FOR HER: Meditative coloring books, Blenko glassware, obsidian wind chimes, beeswax candles and antique salt cellars adorned with unique buttons. FOR HIM: Wood bottle stoppers, hats, classic games, history books.
FOR the Youngsters: Silly Sticks!, toys & games, Wooden play villages, one-of-a kind stuffed animals
FOR EVERYONE: Sweatshirt Throw Blankets, wood cheese boards & vases, jams and gift books.
As always, we offer our ever popular Vienna ornaments, pottery & tea towels, books & puzzles and old fashioned candy.
Shop Local. Shop Vienna. Shop the Freeman Store.
PLEASE NOTE! – Farming in Vienna and the surrounding area related request. If you have any old photographs of early local Vienna or Virginia farms, please contact Historic Vienna so that we can scan them and add them to our exhibit.
Passing of author and patriot Robert F. Dorr
Historic Vienna was saddened to hear that Oakton VA resident, Robert F. Dorr passed away on June 12, 2016. Bob starting writing in 1955, was an Air Force veteran (1957-60) and a retired American diplomat (1964-89). He has authored more than 70 books and thousands of magazine articles about aviation, the Air Force, and military history. His writings are superb and will be a lasting legacy of his contribution towards documenting the history of aviation.
Bob was a loyal supporter of Historic Vienna and we were fortunate to have him speak at the Vienna town Hall on several occasions. Bob donated many books to Historic Vienna which we have been selling at our store.
We thank you for visiting Santa Claus over the holidays in 2015 and hope that the season was the best!
- Historic Vienna, Inc. 2015 Holiday Ornament. HVI is pleased to announce the 16th in our series of Rachel M. Peden holiday ornaments. It is our first two-sided ornament: One face of the ornament is the original Vienna Volunteer Fire Department building,
- the second is Worthington’s and The Full Cry Shop.
The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1903. Its original apparatus was stored under the porch of the Freeman Store. From 1930 to 1958, VVVFD occupied the building on Church Street; it then moved to its present location. Two popular stores, Worthington’s and The Full Cry Shop were subsequent occupants of the building. The site is currently occupied by Bazin’s and Anytime Fitness on Church Street. Ms. Peden’s handcrafted and handpainted ornaments have amazing detail and all are available for $19.50 each. For information call (703) 938-5187. Speaking of our ornaments, aside from making great decorations on a Christmas tree, or on a stand or even lined up on a shelf, many of the 16 ornaments are pretty close to N-scale (that means something if you have model trains) and would make a neat village on a layout or on a piece of green felt under a tree – and they are a lot less expensive than those ceramic houses people buy. True, they don’t light up, but that’s no big deal. Further, since there are now six (seven if you include the railroad station) of buildings that were or are still on Church Street, you can now set up a really neat representation of Vienna’s original Main Street. Add the Town Hall, two schools and Bowman House and you’ve almost got an entire village. Stop by a hobby store or go on line and pick up some ‘vintage’ N-scale figures, vehicles and such and you’ve got. . . .Historic Vienna! ‘It takes great ornaments to make a village.’
Shop Local. Shop Vienna. Shop the Freeman Store! The Freeman Store & Museum at 131 Church St NE has a large selection of new and unique gifts, Vienna themed and Virginia made items. Classic children’s toys, books and gifts, a variety of fascinating local history books, jams & preserves, pottery, tea towels, blankets and notecards. We have a beautiful meditative coloring book, vintage pieces, coasters, souvenirs and our new fleece blankets with our exclusive Vienna design. Stop by the Freeman Store and chat with the friendly storekeepers. Enjoy the uniqueness of the museum rooms and get an early start on all your shopping needs for the holidays and all your special occasions. For information call (703) 938-5187 or visit www.historicviennainc.org
For Sale – Special Vintage items and used books
OPEN – Freeman Store, Museum with exhibit on the Country Store
New Picnic Sets At The Freeman Store!
Oral History Project
The oral history project we began in 2013 is still going strong! In 2014, we greatly expanded our Oral History Blog, as well as our YouTube Channel. This summer, we are working to complete a new Oral History Guide. If you want to get involved or know someone who should be interviewed, please email us at email@example.com. Be sure to read our project forms closely first!
The wonderful Vienna Little League has published “60 Years of Little League History,” a book that covers everything from the league’s founding in 1952 through the 2012 season, with Opening Day bulletins, stats, and much more. A perfect gift for baseball lovers!