Welcome to Historic Vienna Inc. and the Freeman Store & Museum

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Historic Vienna Inc. CALENDAR of Events 2018:

Calendar 2018

HISTORIC VIENNA INK Newsletter:
INK Winter 2018
INK Fall 2018
INK Summer 2018
INK Spring 2018

The Freeman Store is decorated for the holiday season!
Enjoy traditional decorations on our front porch and marvel at all the
beautiful hand-made decorations on the Christmas Tree in our Parlor Room.
All decorations compliments of Ayr Hill Garden Club and Historic Vienna Inc. (HVI)








The 2018 ornament by Rachel Peden is the newest in a series of collectible, hand painted wooden ornaments representing historic properties in Vienna. This year, Rachel has designed the Vienna National Bank. This handsome brick building with white columns and beautiful medallions was Vienna’s first bank. It was built in 1923 and sits at the corner of Church Street and Dominion Rd. This ornament is the 18th in a collection of ornaments sold exclusively at the Freeman Store.

Vienna National Bank

2018 EXHIBITS
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Historic Vienna Inc.’s 2018 main exhibit, located on the second floor, is entitled Home Front – The Great War and Vienna.  The exhibit features information, images, models, and artifacts, including uniforms, equipment, and documents, from “the war  to end all wars.” The exhibit includes a diorama of the fearsome trenches that were ubiquitous on World War I battlefields as well as a graphic display of awards and decorations.

“Vienna didn’t have an awful lot to do with the war,” notes another HVI curator, Mike Berger. “Seventy-three men with a Vienna address fought in the war,” which the United States did not enter until 1917.  However, the names of two Vienna soldiers who lost their  lives in World War I will ring familiar to those living in the community today. The exhibit tells how George Dyer and Clarence Gunnell, for whom the local American Legion Post is named, lost their lives.

World War I exhibit

World War I exhibit

World War I exhibit

World War I exhibit

World War I exhibit

Women’s Suffrage exhibit has received another brand new look this year and is now focused on The Women’s Rights Movement through Cartoons.  The exhibit features more than 50 political cartoons and other images collected from newspapers, postcards and other publications from the 1850’s onward.

The cartoons focus on the right to vote as well as other women’s rights related to parental custody, property, employment and income, divorce, economic health of the family and birth control.

Annual exhibits related to the women’s rights movement will continue at the Freeman Store through 2020, which will mark the 100th anniversary of adoption of the Constitutional amendment allowing women to vote.

Please learn more about Historic Vienna’s Women’s Suffrage exhibits by clicking on the links below.  VERY detailed information is available in these two Adobe Acrobat PDFs which include all the information displayed during our first two exhibits at the Freeeman Store and Museum.

HVI Origins of Women’s Rights Exhibit 1

HVI The Women’s Rights Movement in 1917 Exhibit 2

 

Suffrage Exhibit

Suffrage Exhibit

Please support Historic Vienna Inc. using Amazonsmile !

Amazon Smile LINK

When you purchase any eligible item on Amazon, 0.5% of the item price is donated to our 501c3 Non-profit organization.

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

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.

 

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.

A Snapshot Of 1897: Farms and Village Homes in Fairfax County

The following text is an extract from a pamphlet entitled “Farms and Village Homes in Fairfax County,” Published in January 1897 by O.E. Hine.

VIENNA

Vienna is a regularly laid out village of four hundred inhabitants, situated on the Washington & Ohio railroad, fifteen miles north from Alexandria, and about the same distance west from Washington.  Is near the centre of the county on one of the most public roads leading to the city.  It is incorporated under a most liberal charter, governed by nine councilmen, three of whom are elected annually by the people.  Already a comprehensive system of improvements has been inaugurated, and from present indications is designed to improve into a beautiful village, and a considerable business and manufacturing centre.

Already it has a planing mill, two grist mills and two saw mills, two lime kilns, shoe and harness shop, meat market, stores, blacksmith and wagon shops, canning factory, &tc., &tc.  White and colored schools are maintained here; the white a first-class graded school.  It is connected with the county seat five miles distant by a stage twice a day; with Washington by four trains each way, and with the whole world by telegraph and an electric road has been chartered to this place.  Is the centre of a fine dairy region, settled most entirely by northern farmers, many of whom are engaged in sending milk to the city.  Over five hundred gallons are sent daily from this neighborhood, averaging the farmer at his door 7 ½ to 10 cents per gallon in summer and from 12 to 14 in winter.

Recently one hundred acres of high rolling land adjoining the station has been handsomely laid out in building lots, streets graded, sidewalks laid, and shade trees planted, making one of the most attractive subdivisions near the city.  These lots average of $100 each to persons contemplating building, but none are offered to speculators who do not intend to build.  A handsome map will be furnished on application.

Lots in Vienna

2 Acres.  Seven room house in good condition; well at door, young orchard of peaches, apples and cherries, excellent garden land, stable and hen house.  Situated one mile from station.  Price $2,000.

 

Farms and Village Homes Jan 1897 O.E. Hine Vienna VA