Dive Into History At The Freeman Store And Museum

July 8th, 2019 by

Freeman Store and Museum

Don’t let the size fool you. Vienna, Virginia might be a small southern town, but it’s packed to the borders with extraordinary stories from America’s rich – often complicated – past. From early settlements to critical battles sites, Vienna provides a full itinerary that’s enough to satisfy any history buff. And topping the list of must-see sites is the Freeman Store and Museum.

If you’ve never had the chance to explore this fascinating historical building, then you have to make some time for a visit. As the only structure in Vienna included on the Virginia Landmark Register, it’s the perfect destination for interested tourists, curious students, field trips, and more. Read on for a brief look into the Freeman Store and Museum’s history, and get all the details you need to plan your trip.

Visiting The Freeman Store and Museum

Located at 131 Church Street NE in Vienna, the Freeman Store and Museum is free and open to the public from 12pm to 4pm Wednesday through Sunday from March to December (visits during January and February are by appointment only). Currently, there are two exhibits on display for 2019:

Vienna in the 1950s.
This exhibit covers a period of rapid, far-reaching expansion in the Town of Vienna. The displays highlight all the challenges and victories throughout this critical decade, showing how the town changed and improved for the better.

Women Creating a More Perfect Democracy: 100 Years of the League of Women Voters
This exhibit is dedicated to honoring the brave women who fought for their right to vote, forever changing the electoral makeup of our country.

After you’ve toured the museum, be sure to stop by the old-fashioned general store where you can purchase artwork, gifts, local handmade items, and more!  For further questions about your visit to the Freeman Store and Museum, call 703-938-5187 or email historicviennainc@gmail.com.

You might also like: Find Your Next Best Cup Of Coffee In Vienna

A Brief History Of The Freeman House

If the walls could talk! The Freeman House was originally constructed in 1859 by an immigrant from New Jersey named Abraham Lydecker. Lydecker and his family lived on the second floor while operating the downstairs area as a general store. However, they were forced to flee at the outbreak of the Civil War.

In 1861, the Freeman House acted as Vienna’s polling place for Virginia’s secession vote (fun fact, though Virginia did vote to secede, the majority of the people in Vienna voted against the idea). Throughout the war, it was used as a hospital and military office for both the Union and Confederate armies. When the fighting ended, the Lydecker family returned and resumed their business. In 1871, the house was transferred to Lydecker’s son-in-law, Anderson Freeman, and would stay in the Freeman family until 1969 when it was sold to the Town of Vienna. By 1977, the town had restored the Freeman House to an old-fashioned general store and established the museum, both of which you can still visit today!

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