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.

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

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

Carole Herrick’s latest 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 – EVENT COMPLETE!

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.


Little Library Volunteers Needed!

The Little Library located on the Freeman House grounds is open the 1st Sunday of the month from 1 – 4 PM and during special community events. The library is a museum not a lending library but visitors may pass the time carefully reading some of the old books that have been preserved.

If you are interested in taking a turn sitting in the library and welcoming visitors the days we are open, please contact Margaret Dellinger, at or 703-409-3564. We are open this year: May 29, 30, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 1, 2, November 6, 28, and December 4, 31.

Historic Vienna Inc. volunteers for 2015-2016

Book Sale Volunteers include: Erika Atwood, John Ball, Pat Ball, Annabel Bentley, Emily Calhoun, Austin Cheng, Ben Cyrus, Kevin Daniels, Elizabeth DeFay, Ryan Dodd, Rayden Dodd, Eileen Doughty, Ryan Dutta, Alanna Eisenbeiser, Jeanne Ernest, Rick Evert, Jill F., Freya Fisher, Daniel Gerke, Neal Going, Steve Haracznak, Carisa Harirchian, Jordan Hendrickson, Sabrina Herman, Helen Hoyt, Christine Kim, Gabrielle Jawer, Niecy Lee, Betty Little, Mary Beth MacDonald, Allison Moats, Sim Moats, Mary Lee Monfort, Darrell Mounts, John Mulvihill, Rose Mulville, Dan Mulville, Katie Newland, Nazar Ostapenka, Sohpia Park, John Pell, Celeste Phillips, Elliot Phillips, Jean Phillips, Jill Roberts, Patrick S., Michelle Scott, Mary Ann Skinner, Daphne Sloan, Dakota Smith, Ch. Spear, Katie Springsteen, Katie Stemp, Brad Swanson, Mary T., Prudy Traut, Steve Traut, Kathy Tugendhat, Sophie Vouvalis, Dick Wardian, Daniel Xu, Brian Yanni, Natalie Yanni, Isabel Zhong, James Madison Nat’l Honor Soc., Boy Scout Troup 152, Freeman Store Storekeepers include: Joan Guzi, Carisa Harirchian, Emma Hastings, Patricia Kratzer, Madison HS Honor Society Students, Shirley McCoy – along with her granddaughter and a friend, Mary Schillo, Michelle Scott, Antonia Sharp, Katie Stemp, Elsa Wilbur. Little Library Volunteers include: Dr. Robert A. Amsler, Patrick Coffey, Freya Fisher, Rose Mulville, Katie Newland, Steven Traut, Prudy Traut. Special Events Volunteers include: Elsa Wilbur, Charlie Balch, TR Cook, Mike Davis, Margaret Davenport, Nedda Davis, Bob Gregg, Jim Johnson, Carisa Harirchian, Eric Hottenstein, Anne Martin, Shirley McCoy, Sim Moats, Darrell Mounts, Nancy Ryan, Karen O’Meara, Col. David Schnakenberg, Michelle Scott, Antonia Sharp, Katie Stemp, Brad Swanson, Jo Thrasher, Steve Traut, Prudy Traut, Kathy Tugendhat, Steve and Judy White, Ayr Hill Garden Club, District III Garden Clubs, James Madison History Honors Society, And a very special Thank you to the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department who help us in so many ways.

Historic Vienna Inc.

Thanks the many volunteers who make it possible for us to achieve so much. We hope we are listing everyone and apologize if we inadvertently omit anyone.

HVI Board News

In April, Freya Fisher was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors by the Vienna Town Council. As a high school English teacher, Freya has always had an interest in historic properties and served as President of the Clinton County Historical Society (Ohio) before moving to Falls Church in 1987. She took every opportunity possible to see historic sites in this area and while living overseas before settling permanently in Vienna in 2001. Both of her children attended school here, and Freya volunteered in their classrooms and in their Boy and Girl Scout Troops. As a member of Historic Vienna, Inc., she volunteered at the book sales and special events. She is currently a docent at the Little Library.

Volunteer Storekeepers Needed!

Volunteer Storekeepers are needed to work at the Store March through December. Noon to 4PM. Please contact Patti Bentley or Susan Fay at the store 703-938-5187 or email, if you wish to volunteer. Two volunteers may choose to split a shift.