Closing Soon: War of 1812 Exhibit

Historic Vienna, Inc. is pleased to offer our War of 1812 exhibit at the Freeman Store and Museum!  Suzanne Traut and Benny Vuong, two local volunteers who stepped forward to help Historic Vienna share history at the Freeman House, have completed an excellent display which deserves our attention.   Learn how James and Dolley Madison fled from the city of Washington in August of 1814 and headed into Virginia to escape the advance by the British, who approached up the Chesapeake Bay and fought through Bladensburg, Maryland and then into Washington itself.  You will find complete descriptions covering many aspects of this war that happened 200 years ago.

This exhibit has increased in size recently and there is much to learn by reading each panel and viewing the graphics.  With so much happening during this period in our nation’s history, there is a perfect opportunity here for our emerging historians at our local schools to attend this exhibit and author their own understanding of this event into school projects for credit.

Signed copies of local author, Carole Herrick’s book “August 24, 1814: Washington in Flames” is available for sale in the Freeman Store.  This book accurately describes the events surrounding the attack by the British on Washington and Carole has graciously allowed us to use two maps with descriptions from her book in this exhibit.

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.


Vienna Woods Exhibit at the Freeman Store and Museum

“The History of Vienna Woods, The Early Years: 1951-1955”. This exhibit is the first phase of one of Historic Vienna’s newest research initiatives.

Did you know that in 1951 $14,750 -15,500 bought you a three bedroom one bathroom brick rambler on ¼ acre in Vienna?

Come learn about the Yeonas Company’s involvement in Vienna’s rapid post World War II population growth, when Vienna changed from a sleepy country village to a growing modern Washington suburb. Explore the different house models offered and the special features and options. Find out the origin of some of Vienna Woods’ street names.

This exhibit will be up until early September 2012 at the Freeman Store, 131 Church Street NE, Vienna 22180.   The store is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 noon to 4 pm, closed Monday and Tuesday.  Vienna Woods Pool has provided a very nice display case for a mini version of this exhibit through the end of the summer season so please take the time and stop by and learn more about Vienna Woods and this successful development.

Contact Anne Stuntz with any questions at (703) 994-9054 or by email at

Check Out the Vienna Skirmish Diorama by the Railroader Club!

The Northern Virginia Model Railroader club has built a wonderfully detailed model depicting the Vienna Railroad Skirmish. The diorama is on display at the Freeman Store and Museum in our Civil War Exhibit in the museum room, so come visit us to check it out!

Historic Vienna’s Oral History Project Website and Exhibit!

Historic Vienna, Inc. (HVI) has been fortunate to reap the benefits of hard work by two interns in the summer of 2013 and the results are most excellent!  We are also continuing the Oral History Project this summer and have made great progress already.

The Historic Vienna Oral History Project is now open at the Freeman Store! We also have created an extensive online blog.

This website contains detailed interviews of many who experienced the history of our town as it developed over the years.  Undergraduate Caroline Gardiner and grad student Virginia Harness, who are attending the University of Virginia, have worked many hours in order to capture and preserve the interviewees individual, unique and special memories of their own lives and the Town of Vienna.

There are probably few families who do not have some regret that they did not ask their older members to identify faces in photographs or to tell the story of how they came to move from another country or region or where that unusual family name originated.  As within a family, it is these interwoven details which make our community what it is – how people decided to move here, what unlikely event propelled the choice of a career or an avocation that impacted neighbors or created a sports team or led to the planting of a garden enjoyed by all.

The long term plan is for the number of interviews to expand over time with the additional work of  HVI volunteers who will be trained in the protocol and will continue to collect and appropriately archive these pieces of local history.  We have been encouraging our members and fellow citizens to make suggestions of persons (of any age!) who would make interesting interview subjects.  Please continue to do so at (703) 938-5187 to leave a message for Caroline or Virginia, or email them at

In addition to the interviews described above, Caroline and Virginia are also looking for photographs of Vienna, taken at any time during the 20th Century. All photos will be scanned and returned.

We are particularly interested in photographs of buildings, homes, and street scenes which no longer exist or are substantially altered. Examples would include the old Southern States (now Noodles, Chipotle, etc.), the movie theater/bike shop, Hawthorne’s Drug Store/Starbucks, or Peter Pan/Panera. Vienna has seen tremendous change over the years and more change is on the horizon–help us preserve a record of what was and the progression of change in our town!