Time Travelers Weekend is Back With More Free Sites for 2020

Time Travelers Weekend March 2020_1
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As we enter into an election year, many of us have the well being of our nation at the forefront of our thoughts. And if there’s anything we know about planning for the future, it’s the importance of understanding the past. As residents of Virginians, and even more particularly, of Richmond, we have a unique opportunity to explore some of our nation’s earliest political and social history up close. Richmond is not only our state’s capital, but it has been home to some of the nation’s most fascinating and historical figures, as well as the site of some of American history’s most influential events. That’s one of the many reasons we can’t wait to tell you more about Time Traveler’s Weekend.

Time Travelers Weekend offers a full weekend of free access to more than 20 of Richmond’s most important historical sites.

Time Travelers Weekend will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, 2020. During this special weekend, 24 of the Richmond Region’s most renowned historical sites will waive their regular admission fees to anyone holding a Time Travelers Weekend Passport.

Passport holders will have the opportunity to visit the homes and museums of some of Virginia’s most historically and socially significant figures, including John Marshall, Patrick Henry, Maggie L. Walker, John Wickham, and James Dooley. In addition, some of Richmond’s most iconic historical sites will offer free admission and tours, including Agecroft Hall and Gardens, the American Civil War Museum, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, The Valentine, Chimborazo Medical Museum, the Wilton House Museum, and many more.

Time Travelers Weekend Passports are free to download. Simply click here to access a free passport for you and members of your family, then download it to your a mobile devices, or print out a hard copy. Show your passport via your mobile device or in print at any of the participating venues below and enjoy your trip through more than 400 years of Virginia history.

A Time Travelers Weekend Passport equates to savings of more than $65 per person and can be downloaded as many times as desired for each family member wishing to visit the sites. Visit as many or as few of the sites as you would like over March 14 and 15, but please note that some restriction apply and operating hours may vary by site. Below, we’ve provided information including admission times and links to each of the sites, but be sure to check for times before you go as several sites are not normally open to the public.


Participating Sites for Time Travelers Weekend 2020: 

Agecroft Hall & Gardens

Agecroft Hall was first built in England in the 1500s, then transported across the ocean and rebuilt in Richmond in the 1920s. This Tudor mansion serves as a beautifully preserved museum furnished with art and artifacts from 17th century England. During Time Travelers Weekend, passport holders can 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.

Address: 4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 12:30pm – 5pm
Contact: For more information, visit www.agecrofthall.org. To reserve a specific tour time, call (804) 353-4241.


American Civil War Museum – Historic Tredegar and the Museum & White House of the Confederacy

Historic Tredegar home to The American Civil War Center, traces its roots to 1836 when Francis B. Deane founded Tredegar Iron Works. He named his Richmond plant for a Welsh town and iron works. In 1841 Deane hired Joseph Reid Anderson as the commercial sales agent.  Under Joseph Reid Anderson’s ownership, Tredegar manufactured an array of items including locomotives, train wheels, spikes, cables, ships, boilers, naval hardware, iron machinery, and brass items. The Museum shares the 8.9 acre site with the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center and features two new exhibits: A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America and Greenback America.

The White House of the Confederacy served as the Confederate executive mansion for Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865. Today, the house and museum showcase the full breadth and memory of the Civil War’s presence and impact in Richmond. Over its 200 year history, the house has been used as a private residence for key Richmond families, 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.

Address: Historic Tredegar, 480 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219; White House of the Confederacy, 1201 E. Clay Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Hours: The Historic Tredegar museum is open daily from 9am – 5pm; The Museum & White House of the Confederacy is open from 10am – 4pm
Contact: Visit www.acwm.org or for more information about either site, call (804) 649-1861, ext. 100


Branch Museum of Architecture and Design

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is dedicated to the elevation of the transformative power of architecture and design and to creating a society that appreciates, supports, and embraces exemplary architecture and design…past, present, and future. The historic Branch House, a Tudor-revival house on the National Register of Historic Places, serves as the museum’s home. It was completed in 1919 by architect John Russell Pope for John and Beulah Branch. Branch Museum visitors holding a Time Travelers Weekend Passport can enjoy free guided tours every hour from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, March 14 and free general admission all weekend.

Address: 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 1pm – 5pm
Contact: For more information, visit www.branchmuseum.org, or email frontdesk@branchmuseum.org.


Chesterfield County Museum and 1892 Historic Jail

The Chesterfield County Museum is a brick reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1749 and sits on a tract of land once known as “Coldwater Run.” At the time, the county was a rural community and the Courthouse served as a social gathering spot, as well as the county’s political center. Speeches, horse trading, games, drinking, and fistfights were standard events of each court day. The old courthouse stood until 1917 when it was razed for a new structure. The replica Courthouse and Museum were built in 1977. 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 1892 jail, commonly known as “the Old Jail,” could hold up to 24 prisoners whose meals were prepared by the sheriff and his family. At the time of its construction, crime was not particularly high in the county, and the building was seldom used. It wasn’t until 1936 that crime rose and the jail held prisoners on a regular basis. Over time, the building became home for the Chesterfield County Police Department and, later, the Fire Department. It was designated as a museum in 1982. The Old Jail is open for tours which begin at the County Museum next door.

Address: 6813 Mimms Loop, Chesterfield, VA (near Magnolia Grange)
Hours: Saturday, 11am – 2pm; Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information, call Lorie Arnold at (804) 748-1498 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com.


Chimborazo Medical Museum 

During the Civil War, hundreds of hospitals sprung up in the south to accommodate thousands of sick and wounded soldiers and, subsequently, Richmond became a medical hub. No medical facility anywhere on the continent during the Civil War equaled the fame and notoriety of Chimborazo Hospital. Early in the war, it emerged as one of the largest, most well organized, and most sophisticated hospitals in the Confederacy. At the time of its construction, it contained more than 100 wards, a baker, and even a brewery. Today, while the hospital no longer exists, a museum 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.

Address: 3215 East Broad Street, Richmond,VA
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 4:30pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 226-1981 or visit www.nps.gov/rich/learn/historyculture/chimborazo.htm


Clarke-Palmore House

The Clarke-Palmore House Museum is located high atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County. The Museum interprets the story of the Palmore family who lived on a small farm in the 1930s. Like other farm families living through the Great Depression, the Palmore family struggled to make a living during tough economic times. The Clarke-Palmore House is not normally open to the public, so Time Travelers Weekend is a special opportunity to see this historic site.

Address: 904 McCoul Street, Henrico, VA 23231
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit henrico.us/rec/places/clarke-palmore/.


Courtney Road Service Station

The 1920s were the boom years for construction of gas stations in the United States due to an increase in cars, improved roads, and low gas prices. By 1929, there were 143,000 “filling” stations across the nation. Many were built in the “House with Canopy” design of the Courtney Road Service Station, a style that was a 1916 Standard Oil Company prototype. In 1938, the Barlow family owned the station and surrounding land. Selling Sinclair Gasoline and Oil Products, the station was operated by Mr. Millard G. Wiltshire. The station also served as a social hub for the Glen Allen community. The Courtney Road Service Station is not normally open to the public, so Time Travelers Weekend is a special opportunity to see this historic site.

Address: 3401 Mountain Road, Henrico, VA
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit henrico.us/locations/courtney-road-service-station/.


Dabbs House Museum

Dabbs House is an historic house museum with exhibit galleries and a research library and is home to the Henrico County Tourist Information Center. The Dabbs House served as General Robert E. Lee’s field headquarters during the summer of 1862. The museum provides a place to learn about the history of the Dabbs House from its use as a residence for the Dabbs family to its tenure as Henrico’s police headquarters from 1941-2005. Visitors can tour the 1862 field headquarters, browse the exhibit galleries and gift shop, and view a video on the history of Dabbs. The research library is open by appointment and primarily houses the research from the two-volume series Field of Honor: The Civil War in Henrico County, by Louis H. Manarin.

Address: 3812 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, VA 23223
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit henrico.us/rec/places/dabbs-house/.


Deep Run Schoolhouse

This two-room schoolhouse opened in 1902 and was originally located at what is currently Three Chopt Road in Richmond. Its predecessor, Stand Spring School, had been destroyed by fire the previous year. The school was in use until 1911, offering seven grades of instruction. Wood stoves provided heat for the structure and a privy was located outside. 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 to its current location from Three Chopt Road in 1996. The Deep Run Schoolhouse is not normally open to the public, so Time Travelers Weekend is a special opportunity to see this historic site.

Address: 3401 Pump Road, Henrico, VA (at Short Pump Park)
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henricohistoricalsociety.org/threechopt.deeprunschool.html


Edgar Allan Poe Museum

The Poe Museum began over a century ago when Edgar Allan Poe collector and researcher James Howard Whitty and a group of literary enthusiasts met in Poe’s hometown of Richmond to create the state’s first monument to a writer. Since that time, the museum has enjoyed a history as unique as the author it honors and, today, houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of items relating to Poe’s life and writings. Visitors can explore the museum in the Old Stone House and stroll through the Enchanted Garden, which was inspired by Poe’s poem “To One in Paradise” and is home to several black cats.

Address: 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Contact: For more information, visit www.poemuseum.org. 


Henricus Historical Park 

Many of us are familiar with Jamestowne, site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. But you may be less familiar with the second oldest permanent English settlement in America, which happens to be right in our own backyard. Henricus Historical Park is the site of the Citie of Henricus, founded in 1611 by Sir Thomas Dale and 300 English musketeers. Today, Henricus Historical Park is a living history museum that depicts the history and highlights the major benchmarks that took place here over 400 years ago, including the charter of the first English college in the New World, the first hospital in English North America, Pocahontas’s conversion to the Anglican faith, and the establishment of tobacco as the first cash crop.

Address: 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, VA 23836
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 748-1611


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.

Address: 2401 E. Broad Street, Richmond VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 4pm; and Sunday, 1pm – 4pm (please note, tours will not be available from 2:30pm – 3:30pm on Sunday)
Contact: For more information, call (804) 648-5015, or visit www.historicstjohnschurch.org.


The John Marshall House

The John Marshall House, built in 1790, was the home of John Marshall, the “Great Chief Justice,” for forty-five years. Marshall served from 1801 until 1835 and his influential decisions, such as Marbury v. Madison, helped shape the principle of judicial review. With the largest collection of original Marshall family pieces, guided tours of his home offer an in-depth look at the formation of American government through the lens of the federal judiciary. Listed on the National and Virginia Historic Registers, the John Marshall House has undergone remarkably few changes since Marshall’s time. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1911.

Address: 818 East Marshall Street, Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Contact: For more information, call Josie Carver, Site Coordinator, at (804) 648-7998 or email johnmarshallhouse@preservationvirginia.org


Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

Born in Richmond on July 15, 1864 to a former slave, Maggie Lena Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, the first African American woman to found a bank, and a fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home is preserved as a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination.

Address: 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 12pm – 4pm (call to confirm times)
Contact: Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. For more information and for tour times, call (804) 771-2017, ext 0, email Stephanie_Pooler@nps.gov, or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.


Magnolia Grange 

Magnolia Grange is a Federal-style plantation house named after the circle of magnolias that once stood on its front lawn. Built in 1822 by William Winfree, the property was also once home to a tavern and grist mill, in addition to the main residence and its dependencies. Magnolia Grange contains elaborate ceiling medallions and sophisticated carvings on mantels, doorways, and window enframements. Careful paint restoration has been executed through wood graining and marbleizing. Scenic wallpaper by Zuber and carpeting of the period combine with authentic furnishings to give an accurate depiction of the mansion’s original grandeur. Today, Magnolia Grange is a Virginia Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places, offering visitors a chance to explore life in a county mansion of the early 19th century.

Address: 10020 Iron Bridge Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23832 (across from the Chesterfield County Courthouse)
Hours: Saturday, 11am – 2pm; Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact: Call Lorie Arnold at (804) 748-1498 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com/magnolia-grange


Maymont Mansion

Discover the fascinating story of the Maymont Mansion (also known as the Dooley Mansion), a restored 1893 Gilded Age mansion that was given to the City of Richmond by James and Sallie Dooley. This beautifully preserved home contains original furnishings including Tiffany stained glass and a swan bed that showcase the opulence of the “Gilded Age,” while tours of the mansion’s “downstairs” show the tasks and challenges of working in service during the Jim Crow era. The surrounding grounds feature Italian and Japanese gardens, magnificent trees, and a carriage display, as well as Virginia wildlife exhibits, a Children’s Farm, and a Nature & Visitor Center.

Also, in honor of Women’s History Month, Maymont will be highlighting the women of Maymont, including Sallie Dooley, a renowned hostess and horticulturalist, and Frances Walker, the African-American mother of eight who worked as the Dooleys’ head cook. Guided tours introduce you to the social changes and the challenges facing women 100 years ago. Guided tours will be available every half-hour with the last tour beginning at 4:30pm.

Address: 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA
Hours: Mansion tours are Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 5pm and the grounds are open from 10am – 7pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 358-7166 or visit www.maymont.org.


Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park

Meadow Farm Museum, an 1860 living history museum in Henrico County, presents programs and exhibits on the culture of the rural South. Historical interpreters provide insight into the lives of Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, the owner of Meadow Farm, and his family. Visitors can see live demonstrations of seasonal activities in the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith forge, kitchen, fields, and pastures to see firsthand what life was life for rural farmers in the 19th century.

Address: 3400 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA
Hours: Sat. and Sun. from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec/places/meadow-farm/


Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown

Scotchtown is the only original standing home of Patrick Henry, patriot and orator of the American Revolution, that is open to the public. This year, it is a new addition to the Time Travelers Weekend line-up in honor of its 300th anniversary. It was at Scotchtown that the famous American patriot conceived his most influential revolutionary ideas, including his famous “Liberty or Death” speech. Built c. 1720 by Charles Chiswell, Scotchtown is architecturally unique, featuring eight large rooms and a central passage below a large, undivided attic. The house is surrounded by reproduction outbuildings and gardens for visitors to explore.

Address: 16120 Chiswell Lane, Beaverdam, VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 227-3500 or visit www.patrickhenryscotchtown.org


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Another new addition to the Time Travelers Weekend site list, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was opened in 1845. St. Paul’s Episcopal became the largest Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia and is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. Later renovations added stained glass windows including ten by Louis Comfort Tiffany. A portion of the church was used as a hospital during the Civil War and by the USO during World War II. St. Paul’s is on the Virginia Landmarks Register, the National Register of Historic Places and continues to be an active parish.

Address: 815 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA
Hours: *SUNDAY ONLY, 12pm – 4:30pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 643-3589 or visit www.stpaulsrva.org


The Valentine and 1812 Wickham House

Listed as a National Historic Landmark, The Wickham House was built in 1812 by John and Elizabeth Wickham, then later purchased by Mann Valentine Jr. In 1898, it became the first home of the Valentine Museum. The Wickham House cellars opened in April 2017 with new hands-on history interactive chests exploring everyday life above and below stairs, as well as a short film, Shared Spaces: Separate Stories, that helps to relay the complications and realities of urban slavery. The Wickham House serves as a spectacular example of 19th-century Federal architecture and displays some of the country’s finest examples of interior decorative painting. The Valentine’s current exhibitions, Valentine Garden, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio and the Valentine Store will also be open.

Address: 1015 East Clay Street, Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm
Contact: 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 exhibitions that delve into America’s experience of religious liberty from its European antecedents through today. A room for traveling exhibitions and updatable modules allows flexibility to highlight historical as well as contemporary events. 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.

Address: Corner of South 14th and Cary Street, Richmond, VA (Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots.)
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm
Contact: 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, an innovative African-American educator in vocational training, a humanitarian, and a creative leader in the field of education. After securing a teaching position with the Henrico County School Board, Virginia Randolph opened the old Mountain Road School in 1892, where she taught for 57 years. The structure, built in 1937 was declared a National Historic landmark in 1976.

Address: 2200 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information call (804) 652-1475 or visit henrico.us/rec/places/virginia-randolph-museum/.


Wilton House Museum

For more than 100 years, members of the illustrious Randolph family called Wilton home. Built c.1753 for William Randolph III, Wilton was the centerpiece of a 2,000 acre tobacco plantation set on the banks of the James River. It was here that the Randolph family entertained some of colonial Virginia’s most elite social and political figures including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Today, Wilton continues to serve as an example of Georgian architecture, as the headquarters to the Virginia Dames, and as a host to public programs and educational exhibits.

Address: 215 South Wilton Road, Richmond, VA
Hours: Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 1pm – 4pm
Contact: For more information, call (804) 282-5946, email kwatkins@wiltonhousemuseum.org, or visit www.wiltonhousemuseum.org