Free Weekend of RVA History Includes 19 Sites for Families

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    Download your Time Time Travelers Passport today and enjoy fourteen historic sites throughout Richmond, March 11 and 12. 

    This special offer for history lovers equates to savings of more than $65 per person. (Some restrictions may apply.) A fantastic opportunity to experience the history that’s right there in the Richmond community, the participating organizations are also offering a grand prize drawing. Anyone that visits any of the sites will be entered to win. The more sites someone visits, the better the chances of winning. The prize is a collection of featured items from each of the participating sites’ gift shops.

    The Richmond Region’s most renowned historic sites offer visitors a passport to time-travel during a special admission-free weekend on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12. Tourists and locals alike are invited to discover the area’s treasures, spanning 400 years of fascinating history. The following historic sites will offer complimentary admission to visitors who show a Time Travelers Passport, available via download from any website of participating attractions or by clicking here(You can also show the passport on your mobile device.)

    Participating sites include (descriptions are below):

    The Branch House (The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design)
    Imagine a design museum housed in an architectural masterpiece. Designed in 1916 by John Russell Pope as the private residence of the Branch family, this Tudor Revival structure was built to serve as a social and cultural destination for the community. Located at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District, the 27,000 sq. ft. house is listed on the national register of historic places. As a museum, The Branch elevates awareness of the transformative power of architecture and design. The Branch will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tours are available. For more information, call (804) 644-3041 or visit www.branchmuseum.org.

    Chimborazo Medical Museum (Richmond National Battlefield Park)
    Chimborazo became one of the Civil War’s largest military hospitals. When completed it contained more than 100 wards, a bakery and even a brewery. Although the hospital no longer exists, a museum on the same grounds contains original medical instruments and personal artifacts. Other displays include a scale model of the hospital and a short film on medical and surgical practices and the caregivers that comforted the sick and wounded.  The site is located at 3215 East Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is free. For more information, call (804) 226-1981 or visit Chimborazo Medical Museum.

    Clarke-Palmore House
    The Clarke-Palmore House Museum is located high atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County. The Museum interprets the story of the Palmore family who lived on a small farm in 1930. Like other farm families living through the Great Depression, the Palmore family struggled to make a living during tough economic times. Self-sufficiency and frugality were the norm. The Museum will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located at 904 McCoul Street in Henrico. For more information, call (804) 652-3411 or email www.henricorecandparks.com.
    Courtney Road Service Station
    The 1920s were the boom years for the construction of gas stations in the United States due to an increase of cars, improved roads and low gas prices. By 1929, there were 143,000 “filling” stations across the nation. Many were built in the “House with Canopy” design like the Courtney Road Service Station, a style that was a 1916 Standard Oil Company prototype. In 1938, the Barlow family owned the station and surrounding land. The station was operated by Mr. Millard G. Wiltshire and sold Sinclair Gasoline and Oil Products. The station also served as a social hub for the Glen Allen community. The station is located at 3401 Mountain Road in Glen Allen and will be open on both Saturday and Sunday from Noon-4 p.m. For more information, call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

    dabbshouseDabbs House Museum
    The Dabbs House, built in rural eastern Henrico in 1820, gained attention as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s field headquarters during the summer of 1862. The museum provides a place to learn about the history of the house from its use as a residence for the Dabbs family to its tenure as Henrico’s police headquarters from 1941 to 2005. Visitors can tour the 1862 field headquarters, browse the exhibit galleries, and view a video on the history of the house. On September 17, 2010, Henrico County opened its first Tourist Information Center, which is located inside the Dabbs House Museum and provides visitors with resources on many other Richmond area attractions. This facility is owned by the County of Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks. Dabbs House Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3812 Nine Mile Road in eastern Henrico. For more information, call (804) 652-3406 or visit Dabbs House.

    Deep Run Historic School
    This two-room schoolhouse opened in 1902. Its predecessor, Stand Spring School, had been destroyed by fire the previous year. The school was in use until 1911 offering seven grades of instruction. By folding the center wall of doors, the space converted into one large room for weekly square dances for the entire community. The County of Henrico moved the school to its current location at 3401 Pump Road from Three Chopt Road in 1996. The school will be open from Noon to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

    johnmarshallThe John Marshall House
    The John Marshall House, built in 1790 in the fashionable Court End neighborhood of Richmond was the home of the “Great Chief Justice” for forty-five years. Listed on the National and Virginia historic registers, the John Marshall House has undergone remarkably few changes since Marshall’s lifetime. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1911. It is currently owned and operated by Preservation Virginia. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the house, stroll the garden, and visit the Museum Shop. The John Marshall House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 818 East Marshall Street in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 648-7998 or visit Preservation Virginia.

    Maggie_L._Walker_of_Richmond,_Virginia_in_1913Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site 
    Businesswoman. Leader. Civil rights activist.  Maggie L. Walker was all these things and more.  A tour of her home highlights her achievements and reminds us of the obstacles she overcame to emerge as an inspirational figure in the early twentieth century.  The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is located at 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond, Virginia, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in winter), with tours of her home available daily, and is free of charge.  For more information, call (804) 771-2017 x 0 or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.

    magnoliagrangeMagnolia Grange, Chesterfield County Museum and 1892 Historic Jail
    Built in 1822 by William Winfree, Magnolia Grange is a handsome Federal-style plantation house named for the circle of magnolia trees that once graced its front lawn. Noted for its distinctive architecture, the mansion contains elaborate ceiling medallions, as well as sophisticated carvings on mantels, doorways and window frames. The house has been carefully restored to its 1820s look and feel. The Chesterfield Museum is a reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1750. Its collections tell the history of Chesterfield County from prehistoric times through the 20th century. Exhibits include early Indian culture, artifacts from the first iron and coal mines in America, which were in Chesterfield County, early household and farming tools and a country store of the late 19th century. The Old Jail, built in 1892, houses historical exhibits from the county’s Police department that are displayed downstairs. Upstairs, visitors may view cells as they were when they housed their last prisoners in 1962. Magnolia Grange, the County Museum and Historic Jail will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Magnolia Grange is located at 10020 Iron Bridge Road; the County Museum and Jail are located nearby at 6813 Mimms Loop in Chesterfield. For more information, call (804) 796-1479 or visit Chesterfield History.

    Maymont
    Maymont, a 100-acre American estate, was the home of New South business leader James Dooley and his wife Sallie from 1893 through 1925 and an extraordinary gift to the city of Richmond. Marvel at the 21 restored rooms that offer an unusually complete depiction of upstairs-downstairs life in the Gilded Age. The opulent upstairs interiors are adorned with Tiffany stained glass, frescoed ceilings and other sumptuous detailing and filled with original furnishings and artwork. Downstairs service rooms tell the story of household tasks and technology and the challenges of working in domestic service during the Jim Crow era. The surrounding landscape features Italian and Japanese gardens, magnificent trees, and a carriage display as well as Virginia wildlife exhibits, a Children’s Farm and the Robins Nature & Visitor Center. Maymont Mansion will be open 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 1700 Hampton Street in the heart of Richmond. (Grounds are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) For more information, call (804) 358-7166, ext. 310 or visit Maymont.

    4_MeadowFarm_OldFashionedCelebrationMeadow Farm Museum at Crump Park
    Meadow Farm, one of the last remaining 19th century farms in Henrico County, is now an 1860 living historical farm focusing on middle-class rural life just before the upheaval of the Civil War. Costumed interpreters provide insights into the lives of Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, the owner of Meadow Farm, and his family. Daily and seasonal activities are portrayed in the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith’s forge, kitchen, fields and pastures. The Museum also offers a schedule of special events, living history programs, and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. The Meadow Farm Museum Orientation Center features a reception area for visitors, two exhibit galleries and a gift shop. This facility is owned and operated by the County of Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks. Meadow Farm Museum will be open 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3400 Mountain Road in old Glen Allen. (Grounds are open from dawn to dusk.) For more information, call (804) 652-1455 or visit Meadow Farm Museum.

    bruckmann-poe-portraitPoe Museum
    Opened in 1922, Virginia’s only literary museum, the Poe Museum in Richmond, boasts the world’s finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings. The Poe Museum provides a retreat into early nineteenth century Richmond where the author of “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” lived and worked. The museum explores Poe’s life and career by documenting his accomplishments with pictures, relics, and verse, and focusing on his many years in Richmond. One of the structures in the museum’s four-building complex is the ca.1754 Old Stone House, the oldest residential structure in the original city limits of Richmond. The Poe Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 1914 East Main Street in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 648-5523 or visit Poe Museum.

    1st-free-center-97The Valentine First Freedom Center
    The Valentine First Freedom Center houses 2,200 square feet of exhibits that delve into America’s experience of religious liberty from its European antecedents through today. It is located on the site where Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted into law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786. Outside, a 27-foot spire, a limestone wall etched with the enacting paragraph of the Statute, and a 34-foot banner of a seminal Jefferson quote imprint the importance of the “first freedom” on all who come upon that busy corner. The Valentine First Freedom Center is located on the corner of South 14th & Cary streets and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots.  For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit Valentine First Freedom Center.

    Virginia Randolph Museum
    The museum is in memory of Virginia E. Randolph is located on the historic Mountain Road corridor in Glen Allen, Virginia. The structure, built in 1937 as the home economics cottage for the Virginia Randolph Training Center, was declared a National Historic landmark in 1976. The Museum, which opened to the public in 1970, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of this renowned Henrico County educator. Miss Randolph was born during Reconstruction, the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth Carter and Edward Nelson Randolph. Her parents emphasized the importance of education as she recalls, “Even before I was old enough to go to school, my parents, born in slavery, had instilled in me a desire for education.” The Museum will be open Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. and is located at 2200 Mountain Road, Glen Allen. For more information, call (804) 652-3409 or www.henricorecandparks.com.
    Walkerton Tavern
    Walkerton was built by John Walker for use as a tavern in 1825. At that time, taverns were important social, economic and political centers in Virginia. The 2 ½ story brick structure is architecturally notable for a second-story, hinged, swinging wall that can be moved to accommodate large gatherings. Surviving outbuildings include a smokehouse, well house and a kitchen/laundry. The Tavern will be open Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m. and is located at 2892 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. For more information, call (804)652-3409 or www.henricorecandparks.com

    White House of the Confederacy (Museum of the Confederacy)
    The house was home to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and his family from August 1861 until the evacuation of Richmond on April 2, 1865. It served as the political and social epicenter of wartime Richmond. The White House currently holds a large number of furnishings and artifacts that were in the house with the Davis family. All of the remaining items are original to the period, except for the textiles which are reproductions based on original fabrics or period patterns. All tours are guided. The White House of the Confederacy will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 1201 East Clay Street in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 649-1861 or visit Museum of the Confederacy.

    Please note: Time Travelers Passport Holders will only receive free admission to the house tour. The Museum of the Confederacy entrance fee is $10 and will not be free for the promotional weekend.

    The 1812 Wickham House (The Valentine)
    The Wickham House, built in 1812, is a spectacular example of 19th-century Federal architecture and displays some of the country’s finest examples of interior decorative painting. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Wickham House, built by John and Elizabeth Wickham, illustrates the lives of one of Richmond’s most prominent families. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine, Jr., and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. It is managed and operated by the Valentine. All tours are guided. The Valentine and the 1812 Wickham House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 1015 East Clay Street in Richmond. The Valentine’s current exhibitions, Valentine Garden, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio and the Valentine Store will be open as well. For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit The Valentine.

    wiltonWilton House Museum
    Overlooking a placid stretch of the James River, Wilton House has been welcoming guests since constructed in the 1750s as the centerpiece of a sprawling tobacco plantation by the prominent Randolph Family of Virginia. Here, friends, relations, and weary travelers such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette were welcomed. An impressive example of 18th-century Georgian Style architecture, Wilton House boasts its original and richly detailed paneling and an exquisite collection of fine and decorative arts from the Colonial and early Federal eras. When development threatened Wilton House in the 1930s, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia purchased and restored the property. Wilton House Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 215 South Wilton Road in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 282-5936 or visit Wilton House.