From the post – “Looking to explore Alexandria at your own pace? Use one of our self-guided tours below, from a historic breweries walking tour to an African-American history driving tour. Founded in 1749, Alexandria is filled with a wealth of historic sites you can discover on our self-guided walking tours or by using the City of Alexandria’s Historical Panels Walking Tour. Once you’ve completed the tours below, consider taking a guided tour. Another great way to unlock Alexandria’s rich culture and history is by purchasing a Key to the City attractions pass.”
I was surprised to find a bunch of people in the small park behind the house. I remember thinking, “This neighborhood really enjoys this park.” I started taking my photographs when I noticed people were huddled together and dressed up. Nearly finished taking my pictures, I spot a photographer and realize, it’s a wedding! There is a private event going on in the park. Of course, I cut my picture taking short. I only wish someone had posted a sign or notice that a private event was taking place. I would have returned at a later date.
I have a couple of notes about this site:
Parking is not free (unless you find street parking). There is a parking garage a short walk across the street. The maximum daily rate is $5.00 as of 06/26/2020.
There is a small coffee/gelato shop three doors down from the historic site. A two-story visitor center is next to the coffee/gelato shop.
Historic role (from the website): “Ben Lomond and its outbuildings were constructed for Benjamin Tasker Chinn in 1832. Confederate forces used Ben Lomond as a hospital following the 1861 Battle of First Manassas. Signatures of Federal soldiers who occupied the property in 1862 are still visible inside the house. Tour the house, where you can smell, touch, hear and taste history. Then see the restored slave quarter, smokehouse and dairy and enjoy the fragrant Rose Garden.“
I’ve been fascinated by history for years. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I watch documentaries and Youtube videos. The list of history blogs I follow is slowly growing.
Blogging has changed that. History has grown from a pure fascination to genuine pursuit. I am working on history projects and have a list of historical sites I want to visit. I am building on my writing skills and learning how to create infographics. The pursuit is getting real!
I decided it is time to go to the next step. I want to go from a solitary pursuit to a group activity. It is time to find some history buddies! Fellow travelers on the same journey.
I want to interact with people in person. (More fund than online forums.) I thought I would give Meetup.com a try. A quick search for “history” within a 25-mile radius of my home in Fairfax County, Virginia. The query returned 14 meetup groups. Far more than I thought I would get. Three examples of the groups I saw are:
All museums and cultural sites are close now due to COVID-19. Most meetup groups have suspended operations or moved to virtual meetups. I don’t think I’ll have to wait long to interact with fellow history buffs. I have seen several of the sites on my list post their re-opening dates. Future meetups will start soon.
Here is an interesting twist on Civil War historical sites. Seven buildings across Northern Virginia have graffiti as an element of fame. Northern and southern soldiers occupied the sites during the American Civil War. These young men, looking for something to do, decided to take their frustrations out by writing and drawing all over the walls. Graffiti, you can still see today, thanks to preservationists. Please visit these sites to see what life was like for a soldier during the war—diaries on plaster.
From the post – “With the earliest Africans coming to shore in Virginia in 1619, the Commonwealth’s history is filled with important stories and notable Black individuals that shaped Virginia as well as the entire United States. Visit a few of these powerful museums and historic sites to learn about Virginia’s nearly 400 years of Black history.“
I just finished listening to the latest episode of the Hardcore History Podcast. One word … fantastic!! This episode was nearly four hours of thoroughly engaging storytelling on the Pacific theater of War World II. This episode was part VI in the series called, “Supernova in the East.”:
I had a quick visit to the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre in Bristow, VA. The site is closed due to COVID-19, but the parking lot is open during the day. There are five buildings on the 28-acre site. A one-mile trail through woods is also on the site.
Historic site details: Aldie Mill Historic Park (also Aldie Mill Historic District) | 39401 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie, VA 20105 (Loudoun County) | (703) 327-9777 | Free Admission | Free Parking (Warning: There is a small number of parking spaces at the site.) | The site is only open seasonally. The 2020 season starts June 27th. Hours posted online are weekends from noon to 5 PM (call to confirm due to COVID-19).| The site has three buildings: a 200-year-old Grist Mill, the Granary & Visitor Center, and the Miller House | Actively looking for volunteers. | The site is a member of the Historic House Museum Consortium of Metropolitan Washington D.C. (HHMCWDC) | Facebook | LinkedIn (unclaimed profile) | Wikipedia