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 stuntzag@aol.com.

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

 

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.

New Items have arrived

Feeling crafty? Searching for ideas and things to do with the kids/grandkids? Come see our selection of hands-on fun items. Build a small wooden boat or train engine, pop out and paint horses & farm animals, or explore all of nature’s versatility, featured in the book The Art Box, and unleash your earthly creativity.

 

Artisan Spotlight

‘Giving Hearts’, made in Alexandria by Lorraine Oerth. Each is handcrafted and each is unique. All come with an inspirational word (e.g. Gratitude, Love, Be Strong, Beautiful) printed on a rainbow of colorful ceramic hearts. Every heart comes with a hand printed bag and story card. With each heart sold, a percentage is donated to the American Cancer Society, autism and animal rescue. Makes a great little all occasion gift.

 

 

Veterans History Project Info Session Held, Feb. 2016 – Event Complete

Historic Vienna, Inc., hosted an informational session about the Library of Congress Veterans History Project on February 24th at the American Legion Post on Center Street. A rare February thunderstorm limited attendance, but everyone who came enjoyed the session and the audience asked lots of questions. The speaker for the session was retired Army Col. Bob Patrick, Director of the Veterans History Project. Col. Patrick’s presentation was informative and entertaining. The Veterans History Project collects veterans’ stories, primarily in the form of oral histories but also through letters, photos, and other media. HVI wishes to thank both Col. Patrick and those who braved the bad weather to come out for his presentation in February. HVI has Veterans History Project flyers available at the Freeman Store for anyone who is interested in learning more about the project or getting involved with it.