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.

Historic Vienna Quick Calendar List: (please SCROLL DOWN to see details for events)

Membership Meeting – Wednesday, March 29, Vienna Town Hall – Donald Bishop on Camp Vienna during the Civil War – Charles Russell Lowell and wife Josephine Shaw Lowell.  Start time 7:30 PM.  Vienna had many troops stationed here during the war and it is always fascinating to learn more about the history of our town in which we live.  This event is FREE and open to the public.  There will be a brief Historic Vienna Inc. meeting prior to the program.  Light refreshments will be served.

Annual Easter Egg Roll on the lawn of the Freeman Store at 10AM Saturday, April 8. We expect the Easter Bunny to be there for the kids. 

The next major Vienna event for Historic Vienna will the be the annual Walk on the Hill, in the Windover Heights neighborhood, Sunday, April 30, from 2-5PM. More information is available at the Freeman Store.

HVI’s newest exhibit, “Vienna’s History Through Time,” will celebrate the Vienna area’s contribution to the local history as Fairfax County celebrates its 275th birthday. Grand Opening is on Sunday March 12 from 2 till 4 PM. Through a series of photographs, newspapers, historic artifacts, and stories, local events and time periods will be highlighted. Stories of the first county court house, the Virginia secession vote, the local oil strike, and other common and not so common events. If you have any Vienna area artifacts that would help us tell this story, please email Museum Chair Jon Vrana at jvrana@gmail.com and describe what you would like to loan (or donate) for the exhibit.

Our Historic Vienna Inc. board, storekeepers and friends thank all of our supporters for helping us to have a very successful and exciting 2016.  We look forward to serving our community again in the new year by sharing history and sponsoring events that will be enjoyable for all.

HVI Memberships are from January 1 to December 31. Please renew if you are a member or join our group in order to promote history and support Historic Vienna Inc. Annual Memberships: Individual – $20, Family – $25 & Group or Corporate – $35

HVI’s new USED BOOK CELLAR!!!  Help support our organization year round by purchasing a wonderful used book.  All profits to the operation of our store, museum and events.  Prices are marked very low so that we can sell more books and bring more funding in for exhibits, events and operations.

Historic Vienna, Inc. now offers hundreds of used books for sale year round in the Freeman Store. This on-going sale is conducted primarily from the cellar of the Freeman Store during store hours, Wednesday through Sunday, Noon to 4 PM. A large variety books are offered at very reasonable prices.

May Plant Sale in the Side Yard request from Ayr Hill Garden Club, May 6, 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon.

Fairfax County 275th Anniversary is in 2017! 

Mark your calendars for July 17, 2017, when the county will hold a special event at the Massey Building.

Historic Vienna welcomes new board member GLORIA RUNYON!  We are happy to have you and look forward to fun and rewarding times together.

BEAUTIFUL new 2016 Christmas cards by McLean, VA artist Erik Hottenstein:

Erik Hottenstein 2016 Freeman Store Christmas card

Erik Hottenstein 2016 Freeman Store Christmas card

New Rachel Peden handcrafted ornament – – – VIENNA ARTS CENTER!

Vienna Arts Center 2016 Ornament

Vienna Arts Center 2016 Ornament

 Report on the Little Library Research (Vienna, VA’s original library – built in 1897)

By Dr. Robert Amsler

While my effort to solve the mystery of what books are in the Little Library and how they are organized on the shelves started with the creation of spreadsheets of the catalog cards in the Biography and Non-Fiction drawers of the card catalog, it has since progressed to examining the actual books one by one and recording their bibliographic information directly. In part this was necessitated by the absence of copyright dates or publishers on the catalog cards, but also because I’ve discovered that the card catalog is not a complete inventory of the books catalogued in the Little Library.

The first thing one must get used to when dealing with the Little Library is Murphy’s Law. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong at some point. We not only have catalog cards for books that cannot be found (as of yet), but there are books on the shelves that were indeed catalogued long ago for which there are no catalog cards. There are also uncatalogued books on the shelves that were donated to the Little Library after it closed (continuing the uninterrupted tradition of Vienna residents for well over 100 years of donating books for libraries).

Little Library Interior #1

Little Library Interior #1

The Little Library was truly the product of ‘folk librarianship’ in that unlike every library we have known about since being small children, the call numbers on its books are NOT the basis for where they are located on its shelves. The call numbers, many of which are still legible on the spines of the books as well as written inside the books are actually accession numbers. They aren’t based on any library classification system. They were totally invented and used just in the Vienna Little Library.

These call numbers give an alphabetic category code describing what section of the library the book should be shelved in, such as F for Adult Fiction, B for Biography, or JR for Junior (Children’s books), but then add a letter-number combination below that which represents the first letter of its author or a word from its title and then an integer to indicate how many times that letter has been used in that category. So, the first step in understanding the organization of the Little Library was the very unintuitive observation that the call numbers didn’t explain either specifically where the books would be placed on the shelves, how to reshelve them, or in general indicate a relationship between consecutive numbered books.

The second major discovery was that the card catalog doesn’t really contain alphabetic subject cards. The Little Library librarians always created cards for titles of books, usually for the authors of books, but created no index cards for the subjects of books. For books in the Biography (B) section, the books are alphabetized on two bookcases by what we expect to be their order in a contemporary library, by the ‘biographee’ (the person whose biography the book describes), but that may not be either the author or title of the book. For example, the 1952 biography, “Windows for the Crown Prince” by Elizabeth Gray Vining with call number B V-10 is shelved alphabetically under “AKIHITO” who was the subject of the biography. There are catalog cards for the author (“Vining…”) and for the title (“Windows…), but none for Akihito.

Little Library Interior #2

Little Library Interior #2

For children’s books things are perhaps more difficult, since as far as I can tell, there is no separation of non-fiction from fiction books; they are all shelved in one alphabetical order by their authors. The call numbers are of course something completely different.

Adult Fiction is perhaps the easiest to locate, having catalog cards by author and title, and being shelved alphabetically by authors and within authors by titles. Adult non-fiction is in two bookcases, subdivided into sections roughly by its category letters; but there was a good deal of indecision as to what ‘subject’ some of the non-fiction books belonged under. S (for Science), Bot (for Botany), and even a special shelf for books for the Vienna’s Ayr Hill Garden Club dealing with flowers, trees, shrubs and birds.

To facilitate working with the bookcases they have been given designations according to what wall of the library they touch: North, South, East, West and Center as well as numbering the bookcases from left-to-right and conceptually numbering the shelves from top-to-bottom and the books from left-to-right. And now, most of the bookcases also bear labels indicating what category of books they contain and the range of authors/biographees in that bookcase. The secrets of the books will require book-by-book examination of each one, for many surprises exist in individual volumes.

Note: the books in the collection, while old, are not valuable, as they have been ‘enjoyed’ by many readers over the years, and so are of little interest to book collectors.

The Marco Polo Building a part of life in Vienna   By Connie Stuntz

Because of the seemingly certain fate of Vienna’s Marco Polo building at 245 Maple Avenue West, this article I found in our collection of memories seems timely. It appeared in The Providence Journal, a popular weekly McLean newspaper edited by Richard Smith. His wife Louise Smith wrote “The Grapevine,” a neighborly society column enjoyed by much of Fairfax County.

In her December 7, 1954 column, she describes the interior of the Marco Polo in its first year when my husband Mayo and I hosted a holiday dance there:

The dance was held in the new Garden Room opened in Vienna during the past Fall by Mr. George Copp, and no more agreeable place could have been found. The building features a two-story, semi-circular bay window in the center of its façade. Behind the lower one on Saturday evening twinkled the lights of a Christmas tree. Coats were left below on ample racks, and one went to the second floor for dancing. 

At one end of the ballroom was a great raised fireplace, in which roared at first, and finally glowed, a cheerful fire. The walls have enough variety in finish to lend interest and a certain coziness not usually found in such large rooms. There is red brick, pine paneling, painted plaster, and a large expanse of scenic wallpaper.

We were pleased that George Copp had been inspired to build such a gathering place in Vienna. The spacious second floor room was perfect for the Christmas Dance for several hundred special friends and relations whom we wanted to entertain before our family left Vienna in early 1955 for Japan for several years.

As I’m writing this now, I’m thinking of all sorts of events I’ve attended at the Marco Polo Restaurant on the first floor, particularly Ayr Hill Garden Club May luncheons. They always had good food and plenty of parking. Until now I had not realized how much the 62 years of this building’s history meant to me.

Roger B. Neighborgall – Historic Vienna Friend and supporter passes on.

We at Historic Vienna will miss Roger very much. He was very supportive of our programs and an important inspiration to all.  His devotion to helping others and improving our community were key and very successful missions throughout his life.

Roger B. Neighborgall, Sr.

Roger B. Neighborgall, Sr.

Roger’s obituary from Washington Post:

Roger B. Neighborgall, Sr. On his 93rd birthday, September 13, 2016, after a brief illness, Roger B. Neighborgall, Sr. of Falls Church VA died with his family by his side. A graduate of Duke University, Roger was a member of the greatest generation, a US Army Ranger who fought in Europe including the Normandy invasion and Battle of the Bulge. At the end of the war in Europe he applied his munitions expertise to help recover stolen Jewish treasure stored in German bank vaults. His military awards include the Silver and Bronze Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. He was recalled to service during the Korean War and spent his civilian career as an executive in the defense industry. Roger’s war experience imparted a profound love of life and a can-do determination to give back to his family, community and country. A community activist and perennial volunteer, he was active in the Lions Club, the American Legion and various city government organizations. He spoke extensively about his experiences to community and school groups, and particularly enjoyed teaching middle schoolers about the War, life, and the qualities of leadership. He was founder and President of the N. VA Tennis League and President of the Friends of the W&OD Trail. He was active in veterans’ organizations and was a USO volunteer and a greeter of Honor Flights bringing his fellow vets to visit the WWII Monument. Roger is survived by his wife of 38 years, Linda; children, Roger Jr., Lisa Mathieu (Stephen), Christa Hyland and daughter-in-law, Rebecca Neighborgall; 8 beloved grandchildren and one glorious great-granddaughter.

The family will receive friends at the National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, VA 22042 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23, 2016. A funeral mass will be held at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, 543 Beulah Rd., Vienna, VA 22180 on Saturday, September 24 at 1:00 p.m. Private interment at Arlington National Cemetery. Roger requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory be directed to the US Army Ranger Assn, Ranger Assistance Fund, PO Box 52126, Ft Benning, GA 31995, note as Roger Neighborgall memorial donation, the USO, PO Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677 or Capital Caring, 2900 Telestar Ct., Falls Church, VA 22042.

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: www.moneyandking.comwww.moneyandking.com.

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Summer Events at the Freeman Store and Museum

By Mike Berger

Each Wednesday from June 24 through August 5, Historic Vienna (the Freeman Store and Museum), 121 Church Street, NE, will continue the Stories and Sprinkles program for children at the Historic Vienna Little Library just behind the Freeman Store. The program will begin at 1:30 PM, and, after the stories, the kids (any age) can enjoy a run through the sprinklers on the lawn of the Vienna Town Green.

Historic Vienna will also be participating in each of the Afternoons on Church Street,  the next being Sunday, June 28, from 1-5 PM (the theme will be Stories and Scavengers), and then Sunday, July 26 (the theme that day will be Party on the Porch). At the June event Historic Vienna will offer a wide variety of vintage children’s games (tiddlywinks, hop-scotch, hoops, and more). There will be homemade ice cream to churn and enjoy.  On the porch historian John Vrana will host “A Chat with Abram,” a conversation set in the 19th Century with Abram Lydecker, answering questions and talking about the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire railroad, 19th Century agriculture, and issues of the day. The July event will feature Prudence Traut’s quilting display and demonstration at the Freeman Store. From 2-3 PM, Mr. Vrana will again be on the porch presenting “Music of the Civil War”; a program of traditional music of the American Civil War, the Irish, and the 19th century. He will feature mandolin, concertina, harmonica, and other instruments. Events are rain or shine.

Bring your children, listen to stories, play the games, enjoy the presentations and demonstrations, and, of course, peruse our vintage items and used books for sale every time you come to the Store, as well as a wide assortment of gifts and a great selection of old-fashioned candies.

Santa visits the Freeman Store!

Date: December 13 and 14
Time:
1:30-3:30 PM
Location: 
The Freeman Store and Museum

In addition to officially opening the holiday season in Vienna with his arrival at the Church Street Stroll on Dec. 1st, Santa Claus and his elves will welcome visitors to the Freeman Store at 131 Church Street, NE, Vienna, on Saturday Dec. 13 and Sunday Dec. 14, 2014, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm each day.

Parents often comment that this is the perfect “Santa Experience,” low-key, no-hassle, non-commercial and fun for all ages.  Santa’s special chair is positioned next to the gorgeous Historic Vienna tree in the upstairs parlor of the Freeman Store.

Santa is a master at calming the jitters of first-time visitors and welcomes the many annual returnees with his best “ho-ho-ho.”  Children who may be a bit nervous are encouraged to sit and watch for awhile – and most end up enthusiastically telling Santa their Christmas wishes!

Free and open to the public, no reservations, the perfect setting, the jolliest Santa, the very best photo opportunity – we have it all!

Questions? Call (703) 938-5187.

Join us for Church Street Stroll!

Date: December 1
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Location: Church Street

Program of Events:
Church Street closes at 5:45
Santa arrives at 6:15
Santa and Mayor light the tree at 6:20

Music at the Showmobile Stage:

  • Wolftrap Elementary Singers
  • Louise Archer Elementary Singers
  • Green Hedges School Jazz Ensemble
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church Revelation Ensemble
  • Fairfax Jubilaires
  • Vienna Community Band
  • Strolling
  • Vienna Falls Chorus of Sweet Adelines

Historic Structures will be open:

  • Freeman Store and Museum
  • Little Library
  • Caboose
  • Train Station
  • Knights of Columbus (formerly First Baptist)
  • Vienna Presbyterian’s Old Chapel

Other drop-in activities:

  • CHO Canned Food Collection (No expired food, please! Boxes Located by the Freeman Store Porch)
  • Supervised bonfires with marshmallows for roasting
  • Hot chocolate
  • Petting zoo

Co-Sponsors
Historic Vienna, Inc.
Merchants of Church Street
Town of Vienna Department of Parks & Recreation

Questions? Call us at (703) 938-5187!

Unveiling & Dedication Ceremony At The Little Free Library! EVENT COMPLETE!

Green Hedges School, Historic Vienna Inc., The Friends of Patrick Henry Library and the Town of Vienna are excited to unveil the Little Free Library at the Little Library of Vienna and dedicate it to the memory of Jane Seeman.

 

Tuesday September 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM in front of the Little Library of Vienna, 131 Church Street NE, Vienna VA 22180.

 

Flyer for event:

Little Free Library Announcement Flyer 3

 

Entertainment by students from Green Hedges School, Thoreau Middle School and Madison High School

 

Meet the Cat in the Hat and visit the children’s crafts table

 

Refreshments courtesy of Whole Foods and Café Amouri

 

Call 703-938-0405 for more information

 

In the event of rain the dedication will take place at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. East in Vienna

 

*What is a Little Free Library? It is a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. Read more at

http://littlefreelibrary.org/

 

The Church Street Holiday Stroll is back!

Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Date:
Monday, December 2
Location:
Church Street

The Annual Church Street Holiday Stroll will take place on Monday, December 2, from 6 to 9 pm on Vienna’s Historic Church Street.  Church Street closes at 5:45 PM.  Santa will arrive via fire truck at 6:15 and help the Mayor light the tree at 6:20 PM, there will be musical performances on the stage and strolling singers along the street. Historic structures including the Freeman House, Little Library, Vienna Presbyterian’s Old Chapel, the Knights of Columbus (formerly 1st Baptist), the Caboose and the Train Station will be open.  There will be a petting zoo, supervised bonfires with marshmallows to roast, hot chocolate, shopping and  Coldwell Banker will sponsor a Toys For Tots collection. The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Historic Vienna, Inc., the Town’s Department of Parks & Rec and Church Street merchants.  Church Street Merchants will be open.

For more information call (703) 938-5187.

Click link below to download Church Street Stroll Flyer!

Church St. Stroll 2013

Summer Activities on the Green and at the Freeman Store

Visitors to the Town Green, located between Maple Avenue and the rear of the Freeman Store, are reminded that the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  When you run in to buy a soda or some candy, please take the time to appreciate that you are stepping back into another era, where an actual Storekeeper reaches into a glass display jar to pull out a candy stick or a jawbreaker, where you can explain to a child how a crank-operated, wall-mounted telephone works and where a family really did “live above the store.”  Our “Roads To Rails To Trails:” exhibit continues through the summer months, as does a mini-exhibit on the War of 1812 and our Museum Rooms offer a look into the past with period decorations and displays.

The concert schedule for the Town Green offers something for everyone – blues, military bands and choruses, jazz, country, bluegrass, rock.  Starting times are usually 6:30, music lovers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets (but no alcohol and pets are discouraged).  A full schedule of concerts is available on the Town website.

Civil War Sesquicentennial Event: Vintage Baseball Game

Mid Atlantic Vintage Baseball League and living history exhibition as part Vienna’s ongoing 150th commemorative observation of the American Civil War. Mark those calendars June 23! The event will be held from 11:00 AM-5:30 PM, with games from 12:00-5:30 PM.

Living History Exhibition includes telegraph, first person spy impression, signal flag demonstration, quilting, bonnet and soap making etc.

The first Civil War era ball game played by 1864 rules starts at noon and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

 At 1:30 a skills classes will be offered to children ages 6 to 12 (approximate time)

The next game start at 2:00 PM.

3:30 is the next skills class (approximate time)

And 4:00 PM Is the scheduled time for the last round robin game of the day.

The exhibition grounds are open until 5:30 PM.

Come and see how the game was born, how it used to be played (without gloves!) renew your love for the game or find a new one. This is the perfect history activity to do with your dad, grandson, etc. see you on the Caffi ball fields on June 23.

Additional parking at Vienna Elementary school and at Vienna medical Center on Park Street (the latter after noon).