Calendar of Upcoming Local Events



Welcome to Historic Vienna and the Freeman Store and Museum – there’s lots to see here.

Please explore this website by using the pull-downs and links.

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 (starts at 3 PM), living history re-enactors, old fashioned games, ice cream churning, bee keeping, School Marms in Little Library, wood carving, Tom Sawyer fence whitewashing around HVI’s demonstration farm garden, a farm tractor from Vienna’s Maple Avenue market, and home grown garden fruits and vegetable competition.


Bring your family and friends to this wonderful event. Admission to the Fair is free!

Members of the public wishing to participate in the fruit and vegetable competition should bring their best tomatoes, squash, berries, patio pots or other items to the Freeman Store between 8 and 10 AM the morning of the Fair.

The afternoon will feature Historic Vienna’s second annual Bike Decorating Contest and Bike Parade at 3 PM. “Kids” of all ages are welcome to participate, no pre-registration is necessary.

We are pleased to present the Difficult Run String Band and also Hickory Grove folk music at our Fair!  Please bring a portable chair or a blanket if you plan to relax on the Freeman Store side lawn.

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. The fruit and vegetable sections, will be open to all members of the public to enter their home grown produce.

Bring the things you’ve grown and show them off!!  There will be people to help you set up your flowers, fruits and vegetables for display.  Don’t be shy.  This is a fun way to see what other people are growing and to meet fellow gardeners.  Come and join the Fair!!

Please click on Vienna Fair Flower Shower brochure link below for rules and details:

ViennaCountryFairFlowerShow August 2016 FINAL

Additional reasons why you will want to be at our Fair:


Friendly chickens from Merry-Go-Round

John Guinta – Guitar and dulcimer music

RANDY – The Fiddler!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Readings by Allison Shelby

Snow cones for sale

Free Popcorn!

Lasso Practice

Ice cream making

Yarn Spinning

Photo Op corner

Burgers, hotdogs and other refreshments will be available for purchase at the Fair from the Sons of the American Legion of Vienna’s Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180. 

Hawaiian Shaved Ice for sale.

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.

Historic Vienna Interview of Frank Lancaster

Frank Lancaster

Frank Lancaster

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:

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.

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.

Agriculture Exhibit in Freeman Store Musem #1

Agriculture Exhibit in Freeman Store Musem #1

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.

Agriculture Exhibit at Freeman Store #2

Agriculture Exhibit at Freeman Store Museum #2

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.

Historic Vienna Inc. Women's Rights exhibit #1

Historic Vienna Inc. Women’s Rights exhibit #1

Historic Vienna Inc. Women's Rights exhibit #2

Historic Vienna Inc. Women’s Rights exhibit #2


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.

Wonderful gifts and cards at our store

Wonderful gifts and cards at our store

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.

We thank you for visiting Santa Claus over the holidays in 2015 and hope that the season was the best!

Santa at Freeman Store Dec 6, 2015

Santa Visits Freeman Store!

  • 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,
Fire Dept 2015 ornament (reverse side of Worthington's - Full Cry)

Fire Dept 2015 ornament (reverse side of Worthington’s – Full Cry)

  • the second is Worthington’s and The Full Cry Shop.
    Worthington's & Full Cry Shop

    Worthington’s & 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

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!

Ongoing Projects

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 Be sure to read our project forms closely first!

Local News

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!

Passing of Robert F. Dorr – June 12, 2016

Authors Bob Dorr & Dr. Tom Jones speaking at Vienna Town Hall in October 2011 on their book "Hell Hawks!"

Authors Bob Dorr & Dr. Tom Jones speaking at Vienna Town Hall in October 2011 on their book “Hell Hawks!”

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.

Historic Vienna’s Annual Book Sale for 2016 – A grand Success!

With the ongoing Vienna Community Center construction, HVI needed to locate a different book sale venue. We were heartily welcomed to host our annual fundraiser at the American Legion at 330 Center Street North and we are happy to report that serious used book shoppers came to shop by the hundreds. HVI members not only attended the now traditional and popular presale event on Friday, April 1, complete with wine and cheese, provided by History 4 All’s Paula Elsey, but also volunteered to help sort and resort books, serve as cashiers, and tend customers in the Grandma’s Attic section.

Shoppers were surprised and delighted with the spacious area where nearly 950 cartons of used book cartons covered not only the tables set up in Patriot Hall, but also the hallway tables arranged in the entry hall where cashiers graciously served our buyers. Our sale coincided with the spring Patrick Henry Library sale, but shoppers were delighted to find many current and popular books. As always, Sunday’s $5.00 bag sale was tremendously popular.

Our Board offers thanks to every member who volunteered to make this sale so successful. Assistance from Boy Scouts, Madison High School History Honor Society students, and many HVI friends was exceptional and hugely appreciated.

A limited selection of used books will be available for sale at the Freeman Store and Museum. Why not stop by to take time to find a great used book?

Little Library Research Project

Historic Vienna Inc. has started a project to unlock the mystery of what is in the Little Library card catalog. Dr. Robert Amsler, a town resident with a PhD in computer science and research experience in the field of information science, has volunteered his expertise to create a picture of the contents of the Little Library.

Vienna's Original Library

Vienna’s Original Library

The Little Library, located on Mill Street near the historic Freeman Store, came to the location in 1969 after two prior moves in Vienna. The library was originally constructed in 1897 by a local citizen and located on land donated by local residents.

The majority of the books in the library were private donations. A card cataloging system was developed for the books and books were signed out to patrons of the library.

Sometime in the 1960’s the Little Library was closed as the Fairfax County library system came to the Town of Vienna.

We hope to find the answers to questions visitors ask about the collection, such as how many books are there, what is the oldest book, and what were the town residents reading during the life of the Little Library? We encourage visitors to the Little Library to relive some of the history of an early library. It is open March through December on the first Sunday of the month and during special events.

Old Tyme Garden Under Way

You may have noticed some activity of a different sort in the side yard of the Freeman Store. We’ve put on our garden gloves and are beginning to take this year’s museum exhibit on the history of agriculture of the Vienna area outdoors. Over the next few weeks, you will see efforts to get the garden ready for period crops – Indian corn, tobacco, wheat and rye, flax, and potatoes, all crops that were important to this area 100 to 200 years ago.

Later this spring, we’ll be holding a real Tom Sawyer fence whitewashing event. You’ll have your chance to come out and help whitewash the wooden fence that will surround the garden.

– Abram Lydecker, Storekeeper


Become an HVI transcriber in your spare time!

Do you have time to listen to an audio tape or CD and type up the conversation on your computer? HVI has a number of tapes and CDs that would be more useful if they were transcribed. We are starting with the recollections on multiple CDs of Robert E. Babcock (1902-1990), who moved to Vienna when he was five years old, first to 420 Orchard Street NW, and then in 1923 to the family’s new Sears house on what is now Babcock Lane. Robert’s dad was Charles Babcock, a Vienna town mayor in the early 1910s. He is uncle to HVI member Larry Kenyon, whose wife Ellie encouraged Uncle Robert to create these tapes before his death. (Yay, Ellie!). They contain a wealth of information about early Vienna and about Robert’s life.

We can deliver a CD or several to your home, or you could pick it up at the Freeman Store and Museum during open hours.

Contact Anne Stuntz when you would like to get started. 703 994 9054

New Book: Learn about the Kennedy family’s Hickory Hill

Carole Herrick’s newest book is Hickory Hill, McLean, Virginia, A Biography of a House and Those Who Lived There.”

Hickory Hill is a large 1870s brick house on Chain Bridge Road in McLean, best known for its ties to the John F. and Robert F. Kennedy families. But it was also owned by a variety of notable public figures, including a well-known DC dentist and a Supreme Court Justice.

Ms Herrick has detailed the life of the house and property from its prehistory days all the way up to its sale in 2009 for $8.2 million to the Dabbiere family who owns it still today and who sometimes host large scale fundraising events.

The book is full of fascinating stories about the people who lived here and the changes they made to the house over the years. Jackie and Jack Kennedy purchased it in 1955 and lived there for a time, but soon returned to Georgetown (then the White House), while Robert and Ethel Kennedy and their large family took over Hickory Hill. After RFK’s 1968 death, Ethel and the kids stayed on until 2003 when it was put on the market initially at $25 million.

You will enjoy learning about this important historic home so near to Vienna and so involved with the nation’s and the area’s history and growth.

Carole has written seven other local history books, some of which are available at the Freeman Store and Museum

 A Chronological History of McLean; Virginia,

Yesterday – 100 Recollections of McLean and Great Falls, Virginia,

Yesterday – Additional Recollections of McLean and Great Falls, Virginia,

 Images of America: McLean,

 August 24, 1814: Washington in Flames,

Ambitious Failure: Chain Bridge, The First Bridge across the Potomac River, and

 Legendary Locals: McLean


Parlor Talk by Ed Wenzel on July 24, 2016 – Free and open to the public

At 2 PM in the Parlor of the Freeman Store, Vienna’s own Ed Wenzel will talk about his new 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, and Appendix (partial 1863).”

Chris Mackowski,of wrote the following about the 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.