In 1999 the The City of Fairfax purchased Blenheim house and the surrounding 12-acres of land as a Civil War site. Surrounded by 1950s, 60s, and 70s suburbia, the historic site is also a reminder of the area's rich agricultural heritage. The primary artifact at Historic Blenheim is the c. 1859 brick farm house built by the Willcoxon family on a 367-acre farm--situated @1 mile NE of Fairfax Court House. The site also includes a family cemtery and outbuildings. During the Civil War, the slave-holding family's land and home became a refuge for Union regiments who left their names, regiments, thoughts, and drawings on the walls of the house. This record of at least 115 identified Union soldiers contains some of the best-preserved war grafitti in the country. The writings on the attic walls were never covered by the subsequent four generations of family living in the house. The house was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Due to structural limitations, the attic and second floor are inaccessible. However, a life-sized replica of the attic is a highlight of the new Civil War Interpretive Center Gallery. First floor graffiti that was found underneath layers of wallpaper and paint is available to the visitor on the 1:00 PM guided house and site tour. The identified soldiers tell not only the story of the strategic moves of the Union army in northern Virginia in 1862 and 1863, but the stories of individuals from various backgrounds and homes who fought for the North. Together with the story of the Willcoxon family and their enslaved African-Americans, Historic Blenheim relates the multi-faceted story of the Civil War in Northern Virginia, The Civil War Interpretive Center gallery space provides a context for the Union soldiers at Blenheim within the larger framework of the Civil War and highlights the replica attic. The multi-purpose assembly room is a 925-square foot program space for school groups, tour groups, lectures, and special programs. Temporary exhibits are also displayed on the walls. The Gift Shop carries a range of Civil War books, DVDs, original prints, games and toys. We accept payments of cash, checks, and credit cards (V, MC).
Hours: Tues-Sat, 12:00-4:00 PM; 1:00 PM house/site tour
Last Updated: 7/19/2011 4:51 PM