Special Event: Re-Enactment of the Lydecker Store Secession Vote – (EVENT COMPLETE – MAY 16, 2015)

Secession Vote Will Be Reenacted in Vienna

In May 1861, Vienna residents assembled in front of the Lydecker Store (today the Freeman Store and Museum, 131 Church Street, SE), to vote on the referendum for Virginia to secede from the Union. The vote was 76 against the ordinance of secession, 44 for it.  Mr. Earnest Birdsong, the first to cast a vote said, “We are now a separate nation, my vote is for secession from the Union.” However, another, United States federal sailor Nathaniel Bosworth, said that while his allegiance was with Virginia, he believed, “The South will lose the war, and I vote to reject the ordinance.”

On May 16, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., a reenactment of the 1861 vote will take place at the exact same location, the steps of the Freeman Store and Museum. Civilians from the 19th century will cast their vote, for or against seceding from the Commonwealth of Virginia, an event that was repeated in 1861 at more than a dozen other locations in Fairfax County, as well as across Virginia. While the majority of Fairfax County and Virginia, as a whole, voted to leave the Union, Vienna voted against secession and in favor of remaining in the Union. The public is invited to attend and participate in the reenactment.

EVENT COMPLETE!! Flint Hill Cemetery Tour by Historian Jim Lewis

Time: 10:00 AM
Date: Saturday, September 13

Location: Flint Hill Cemetery in Oakton

Local historian Jim Lewis will lead a tour of historic Flint Hill Cemetery in Oakton on Saturday, September 13 at 10 am.  He will share interesting aspects of the cemetery, including  stories of prominent Vienna residents and some of the 27 Civil War era military veterans, 4 of them Mosby’s Rangers, who are interred there.  Sponsored by Historic Vienna, Inc., free and open to the public, no reservations required.  Meet at Flint Hill Cemetery at the corner of Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and Courthouse Road, next to the Church of the Brethren.  For information call 703 994 9054.

Historic Vienna’s Exhibits Reach Thousands of History Lovers

It was only ten years ago that Historic Vienna, Inc. opened our first exhibit.  It was a small collection of framed photographs and woodblock prints and we called it “Civil War Scenes and the Freeman Family History.”  In the years since, our volunteers have mounted eight more exhibits, with topics as varied as the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Vienna’s African American community, Jamestown’s 400th anniversary, World War II, the Civil War, Rails to Roads to Trails and the Country Store.  We have added hand crafted display cases and expanded to mini-exhibits on such things as the War of 1812 and Vienna Woods.  As each successive exhibit opens, we are not only grateful to the many history-loving and community-minded citizens who have entrusted us with the loan of their possessions, but also to the HVI volunteers who have spent hundreds of hours researching not only the factual history behind each exhibit topic, but also educating themselves in display techniques, contacting potential donors and supporters, and actually mounting the exhibits. Our Guest Books tell the story – visitors are finding us and are looking to HVI as a source for interesting, educational and challenging exhibits, right in their own backyard!

Civil War letter written at Gettysburg – 150 years ago!

 To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg, the following is a four-page letter, written by Pvt. Joseph T. Betts, Musician, Anderson Zouaves, 62nd N.Y. Vol. Provided by Historic Vienna Inc. volunteer Jon Vrana.

Gettysburg   July 2nd, 1863

Dear Mother & Father,

I am writing you this letter on the Picket line on Round Top, we expect to be called in the fight every moment. The first days fight was tremendous, the men was slaughtered by thousands, and maybe before the day is through I may be numbered among the dead but I hope providence may deal with me more lenient, the fighting is something terrible. Four of my company was killed within five feet of me this morning and I was not harmed. I am at present writing 500 feet of the front line expecting every moment to go to the front. The Louisiana Tigers are devils and they show no mercy when they find a wounded soldier on the field they jab the Bayonett through him so to be sure he is dead. Oh I tell you it is awful dead and dying all around you bullets and shells is hitting like hail all around. The Artillery are doing great damage. I saw one officer after he had his death fire the Cannon off and then drop down dead. I hope the war will soon be over so I can be home with you once more only think Grandfather survived the Revolution. Father the War of 1812 and now I have come through Bull Run Harpers Ferry Fredericksbrugh Chancellorsville Fair Oaks and I could not mention the Battles I have been through out a scratch and have been captured by Mosbys Men and got away again. I tell you I have had a great many narrow escapes, and hope I may come through this one safe and sound. The din and groans of the dying is something terrible. We are now called to advance to the fighting is all along the fields good by from your ever Loving and affectionate Son

Joseph T. Betts  –   Anderson Zouaves 62nd N.Y. Vol   –   Battlefield Gettysburgh


This letter is from the Lewis and Lynn Hilder Collection.
Learn more about the Gettysburg Stone Sentinels.

 

Spring Membership Meeting: The W&OD Railroad’s Civil War History

Time: 7:00 PM
Date: Thursday, March 28
Location: Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180

The Spring Membership Meeting of Historic Vienna, Inc. will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 7 PM at the Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180 (330 Center Street North, Vienna).  Following a brief business meeting and announcements, the Speaker for the evening will be local historian and reenactor Jon Vrana.  The Social Hall entrance is on the second floor.  Please drive around the building and park at the upper level.

Mr. Vrana is currently President of the Burke Historical Society, Board Member of the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum, and has served on the Fairfax County Sesquicentennial Committee.  He has vast experience as a living history civilian and military reenactor and has appeared as Senator Justin Morrill, Capt. Samuel Means, Henry Thomas Harrison and Col. Silas Burke.

At the HVI Membership Meeting, Mr. Vrana will discuss the history of the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad and others which ran through Vienna from 1855 to 1968.  The exhibit “Roads to Rails to Trails” is currently open in the Freeman Store exhibit room and includes photographs, drawings, maps, artifacts, replicas and displays, illustrating the evolution through the years to what we now know as the W & OD Trail, a Northern Virginia Park Authority property enjoyed by 2 million visitors each year.  If you have ever walked, jogged or biked on the W & OD or if you are a lover of trains, Mr. Vrana’s lecture and the exhibit will be of interest and we encourage you to attend.

HVI’s Membership Meetings are free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.

Please call (703) 994-9054 for more information!

Exhibit Closing Soon: Vienna Awakens to War, 1861-1865

Vienna Awakens to War 1861-1865 is open for visitors at the Freeman House (originally Lydecker’s store during the war) from 12:00-4:00 PM, Wednesday through Sunday. The exhibit has been extended through the end of 2012 due to its popularity.

This exhibit takes a look at the War Between the States through artifacts loaned by members of the Vienna community, some of which have been passed down through many generations of family members and others lovingly collected by the current owners.  The exhibit, designed and mounted by Historic Vienna Inc. volunteers, includes reproductions of Union and Confederate uniforms and a dress of the period, bullets and ammunition, a genuine Colt revolver, buttons, currency, a Confederate war bond, original 1861 Harper’s Weekly pages on the Battle of Vienna and on the use of an observation balloon between Vienna and Falls Church, artifacts on camp life and domestic life such as children’s games and cooking utensils, a beautiful period doll, an officer’s writing desk, and many other photographs and memorabilia.  It is most fitting that this exhibit be shown at the Freeman House, as it was occupied by troops during the war.

As we continue to remember the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it is crucial for all of us to understand what happened in our area and in our nation during this time.

Please visit and enjoy this free exhibit before it closes! Color brochures have been provided by Visit Fairfax and The Fairfax County Sesquicentennial Committee and are available at our exhibit. This brochure highlights all of the major events that happened in our county during the war.

 

Civil War Movies on the Green: “Gone with the Wind”

“Gone with the Wind” –  is the movie for the evening of Saturday June 16 – 8:15 p.m.

Enjoy a movie under the stars!  Free admission. Free popcorn.
Cold drinks for sale by Historic Vienna, Inc.
Bring a blanket or chair. No alcohol permitted.

Weather Permitting. Call (703) 255-7842 for weather information two hours before showtime.