The Valentine is at it again! Twenty of Richmond region’s historic sites will be available admission-free this coming September 22-23.
Have family in town? Good place to spend an afternoon? Check out the participating locations below:
Agecroft Hall & Gardens
Agecroft Hall, home to Richmond’s Tudor house, was first built in England in the 1500s, then transported across the ocean and rebuilt in Richmond in the 1920s. Today it is a museum furnished with art and artifacts from 17th century England. Take a 30-minute guided tour, stroll the manicured gardens overlooking the James River, explore the Sunroom Exhibit, get hands-on in the Tudor Kitchen and shop in the museum store. Located just west of Carytown at 4305 Sulgrave Road in Richmond, Agecroft Hall & Gardens will be open Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. 12:30-5 p.m. For more information, visit www.agecrofthall.org. To reserve a specific tour time, call 804-353-4241.
The American Civil War Museum – Museum & White House of the Confederacy
Best known as the Confederate executive mansion for Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865, the house provides an ideal opportunity for exploring the full breadth and memory of the Civil War in Richmond. In its 200 year history, the house has served many roles: a private residence for Richmond’s influencers, a headquarters of U.S. occupying forces during Reconstruction, the Richmond Central School, The Confederate Museum, and now the fully restored White House of the Confederacy. All tours are guided and space is limited. As part of the house’s bicentennial, a special themed Lincoln & Davis tour begins at 1:30pm. Located at 1201 East Clay Street in Richmond, The American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy will be open Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-649-1861 or visit www.acwm.org. Note: attendees can use the passport to receive a free tour of the White House of the Confederacy OR a free tour of Historic Tredegar.
The American Civil War Museum – Historic Tredegar
The American Civil War Museum’s flagship exhibit is housed in the 1861 Tredegar Gun Foundry. Enjoy rotating artifacts, detailed timelines, unique hands-on activities, films, and more. The exhibit presents the story of the Civil War, its causes, course, and its legacies from the viewpoints of Unionists, Confederates, and African Americans. The war was a matter of honor and principle for all three as each acted to uphold its own vision of America. Each remembered the war differently as well, and to this day the war means different things to different people. The dynamic interplay of three peoples at war changed America forever and created a vastly different country from the one that existed before the war. The exhibit shows how the war produced the basic structure and character of the United States we know today. Historic Tredegar is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 804-649-1861 or visit www.acwm.org for more information. Note: attendees can use the passport to receive a free tour of the White House of the Confederacy OR a free tour of Historic Tredegar. Check out our Tredegar article on Nathan Vernon Madison!
The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design elevates awareness of the transformative power of architecture and design. They envision a society that appreciates, supports, and embraces exemplary architecture and design…past, present, and future. The Branch Museum is located in the historic Branch House, a Tudor-revival house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was completed in 1919 by architect John Russell Pope for John and Beulah Branch. The Branch Museum is located at 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. We can be reached at 804-644-3041 ext 151, on our website at www.branchmuseum.org, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chesterfield County Museum and 1892 Historic Jail
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. See the museum’s special exhibit, “Ringing in the Centennial of Chesterfield County’s 1917 Courthouse.” The Old Jail, built in 1892, includes a changing exhibit downstairs, “Mobilizing for War” on display through mid-October 2018, a centennial exhibit focusing on the history of the establishment of Camp Lee to train and equip troops for WWI. Upstairs, visitors may view cells as they were when they housed their last prisoners in 1962. 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 and is located at 6813 Mimms Loop in Chesterfield (near Magnolia Grange). For more information, call the County Museum and Historic Jail at (804) 768-7311 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com.
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 and is open for free seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (804) 226-1981 or visit www.nps.gov/rich.
The Clarke-Palmore House Museum is located high atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County. The museum interprets the lives of the Palmore family who lived on this small farm in 1930. Like other 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 and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 904 McCoul Street in Henrico. For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.
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. 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. The station was operated by Mr. Millard G. Wiltshire and sold Sinclair Gasoline and Oil Products. The station is located at 3401 Mountain Road in Glen Allen and will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.
Dabbs 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. 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 1971 and then as a police station until 2005. Visitors can tour the 1862 field headquarters and browse the exhibit galleries. 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 www.henrico.us/rec.
Deep Run Schoolhouse
This two-room schoolhouse opened in 1902. The school was in use until 1911, offering seven grades of instruction. By folding the movable center wall the space converted into one large room for weekly square dances for the community. Henrico County moved the school to its current location, 3401 Pump Road, from Three Chopt Road in 1996. The museum will be open noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.
Historic St. John’s Church
A year prior to drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Thomas Jefferson attended the Second Virginia Convention held inside St. John’s Church. Alongside George Washington, Richard Henry Lee and other important figures in the American Revolution, Jefferson listened as Patrick Henry gave his now-famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. This speech ignited the American Revolution, making St. John’s a must-see landmark for anyone interested in the universal struggle for human rights. Since 1938, St. John’s Church Foundation has been charged with the preservation of St. John’s Church, now a National Historic Landmark. The Church, Visitor Center and Gift Shop will be open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The last tour of the day takes place at 3:30 p.m. To learn more, call 804-648-5015, or visit www.historicstjohnschurch.org
The John Marshall House
The John Marshall House, built in 1790, 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. The John Marshall House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 818 East Marshall Street in Richmond. At 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Ardent John Marshall Molasses Beer tastings begin. At 1:00 p.m., Dr. Angie Hilker, Molecular Biologist at the University of Richmond, will be explaining the process of extracting and cultivating yeast from historic madeira bottles to cultivate a new yeast strain to brew beer. Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy Quoits and cornhole yard games, open house tours and kids crafts. For more information, call (804) 648-7998 or visit www.preservationvirginia.com/marshall.
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia has been interpreting the life and influence of Edgar Allan Poe for the education and enjoyment of a global audience since 1922. The Museum’s collection of diverse items relating to Poe’s life and writings is the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers, and literary enthusiasts every year. Visit www.poemuseum.org for more information about our exhibits and upcoming events.
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Businesswoman. Leader. Civil rights activist. Maggie L. Walker was all of 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., with tours of her home available daily, and is free of charge. Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. For more information and for tour times, call (804) 771-2017 ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.
Discover the fascinating story of Maymont, a restored 1893 Gilded Age mansion given to the City of Richmond by James and Sallie Dooley. See the original furnishings upstairs including Tiffany stained glass and a swan bed, while the downstairs story reveals the tasks and challenges of working in 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 Farm and the Robins Nature & Visitor Center. On Sunday, celebrate Maymont’s 125th anniversary with a festive carriage parade, food trucks, music and Victorian ladies & gentlemen. Fees for carriage rides and some activities. Located at 1700 Hampton Street in the heart of Richmond, Maymont Mansion will be open Sat.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. (Grounds are open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.) For more information, call 804-358-7166 ext. 310 or visit www.maymont.org.
Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park
Meadow Farm, one of the last remaining 19th century farms in Henrico County, is an 1860 living historical farm focusing on rural Virginia 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, his family and those who were enslaved at the farm. Explore the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith’s forge, kitchen, fields and pastures. 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. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.
The Valentine and the 1812 Wickham House
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 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 www.thevalentine.org.
The 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 Sunday. Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots. For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org/firstfreedomcenter.
Virginia Randolph Museum
On November 8, 1970, the Virginia Randolph Home Economics Cottage was dedicated as a museum in memory of Virginia Estelle Randolph, a pioneer educator, a humanitarian, and a creative leader in the field of education. The structure, built in 1937 was declared a National Historic landmark in 1976. She secured a teaching position with the Henrico County School Board and opened the old Mountain Road School in 1892 and taught for 57 years. The museum will be open Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 2200 Mountain Road, Glen Allen. For more information call (804) 652-1475 or visit www.henrico.us/rec..
Wilton 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 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 a 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 www.wiltonhousemuseum.org.