Time Travelers: A Free Weekend of Richmond History

The Richmond Region’s most renowned historic sites will offer visitors a “Passport” to time-travel during a special admission-free weekend, March 24th & 25th. Tourists and locals alike are invited to discover the area’s treasures, spanning 400 years of fascinating history and including the homes of John Marshall, Jefferson Davis, John Wickham, James Dooley and other important Virginians. Participating organizations include Agecroft Hall & Gardens, Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia, National Park Service, Preservation Virginia, Maymont, Henrico County Parks & Recreation, American Civil War Museum, Edgar Allan Poe Museum, The Valentine and Wilton House Museum.

Each site will offer complimentary admission to visitors who show a Time Travelers Passport, available via download from the participating attractions’ websites (see below). This special offer equates to savings of more than $65 per person. (Some restrictions may apply.) Passport holders during the Time Travelers Weekend also will have the chance to win prizes. Visitors may register to win at any of the 18 historic sites, and will be entered to win prizes featuring items from each of the participating sites’ gift shops.

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. Located just west of Carytown at 4305 Sulgrave Road, visitors are encouraged to take a guided tour, stroll the manicured gardens overlooking the James River, explore the architectural exhibit, and shop in the museum store. Open Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 to 5 p.m. For more information, call(804)353-4241 or visit www.agecrofthall.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 www.nps.gov/rich.

Clarke-Palmore House
High atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County, the Clarke-Palmore House 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 where self-sufficiency and frugality were the norm. Located at 904 McCoul Street in Henrico, Clarke-Palmore House will be open Sat.-Sun. from 12-4 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-3411 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

Courtney Road Service Station
The 1920s were booming years for the construction of gas stations in the United States due to an increase of cars, improved roads and low gas prices. The Courtney Road Service Station was built in the “House with Canopy” design – a style that was a 1916 Standard Oil Company prototype. 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. Located at 3401 Mountain Road in Glen Allen, Courtney Road Service Station will be open Sat.-Sun. from 12-4 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-1455 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

Dabbs House Museum
The Dabbs House, built in rural eastern Henrico in 1820, was 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 and browse the exhibit galleries. Located at 3812 Nine Mile Road in Henrico, Dabbs House Museum will be open Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-3406 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

Deep Run Historic School
This two-room schoolhouse opened in 1902 and 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 from Three Chopt Road to its current location in 1996. Located at 3401 Pump Road, Deep Run Historic School will be open Sun. from 12-4 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-1455 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

The 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 www.preservationvirginia.org.

Maggie 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. Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. Located at 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond, The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site will be open Sat. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-771-2017 ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.

Magnolia 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, includes a changing exhibit downstairs (“Mobilizing for War”) and 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. Located at 10020 Iron Bridge Road (Magnolia Grange) and at 6813 Mimms Loop (County Museum and Jail) in Chesterfield, Magnolia Grange, the County Museum and Historic Jail will be open Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. For more information, call Magnolia Grange at 804-748-1498, the County Museum and Historic Jail at 804-768- 7311 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

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 Farm and the Robins Nature & Visitor Center. 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 1860s living historical farm focusing on rural Virginia life just before the upheaval of the Civil War. Costumed interpreters provide insights into the lives of the owner of Meadow Farm, Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, his family, and those who were enslaved at the farm. Seasonal activities are portrayed in the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith’s forge, kitchen, fields and pastures. Located at 3400 Mountain Road in old Glen Allen, Meadow Farm Museum will be open Sat.-Sun. from 12-4 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-1455 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

The Poe Museum
Opened in 1922, Virginia’s only literary museum 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, 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. Located at 1914 East Main Street in Richmond, The Poe Museum will be open Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-648-5523 or visit www.poemuseum.org.

The Valentine (The 1812 Wickham House)
Built in 1812 by John and Elizabeth Wickham, the Wickham House 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 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’s current exhibitions, Valentine Garden, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio and the Valentine Store will be open as well. Located at 1015 East Clay Street in Richmond, The Valentine (The 1812 Wickham House) will be open Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 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. Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots. Located on the corner of South 14th & Cary streets, The Valentine First Freedom Center will be open Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org/firstfreedomcenter.

Virginia Randolph Museum
The Virginia Randolph Home Economics Cottage is dedicated as a museum in memory of Virginia Estelle Randolph, a pioneer educator, humanitarian, and creative leader in the field of education. The structure, built in 1937, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Virginia Randolph opened the old Mountain Road School in 1892 and taught there for 57 years. In 1908 Miss Randolph was named the first Jeanes Supervisor Industrial Teacher, which enabled her techniques to be used as a model across the south. Located at 2200 Mountain Road in Glen Allen, the Virginia Randolph Museum will be open Sat.-Sun. from 12-4 p.m. For more
information, call 804-652-3409 or visit 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. Other uses over time have included a hotel, voting precinct and home. 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. Located at 2892 Mountain Road in Glen Allen, Walkerton Tavern will be open Sat.-Sun. from 12- 4 p.m. For more information, call 804-652-3409 or visit www.henricorecandparks.com.

White House of the Confederacy (American Civil War Museum)
Serving as the political and social epicenter of wartime Richmond, 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. 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. Located at 1201 East Clay Street in Richmond, The 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. Please note: Time Travelers Passport Holders will only receive free admission to the White House of the Confederacy house tour. The American Civil War Museum’s entrance fee is $10 and will not be free for the promotional weekend.

Wilton House Museum
An impressive example of 18th-century Georgian Style architecture, Wilton House Museum boasts its original and richly detailed paneling and a collection of fine and decorative arts from the Colonial and early Federal eras. Overlooking 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. Here friends, relations and weary travelers such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette were welcomed. Located at 215 South Wilton Road in Richmond, Wilton House Museum will be open Sat. 10a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sun. 1-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 804-282-5936 or visit www.wiltonhousemuseum.org.