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The Franconia Museum exhibit hall is depicted, with its many historical displays and artifacts in view.

First Farms of Franconia Driving Tour

Explore what remains of Franconia's colonial and agricultural history.

  • 4 hours
  • From 59 US dollars
  • Starting from the Franconia Museum at 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310

Tour Description

The Franconia neighborhood just southwest of Alexandria's Old Town is an area steeped in agricultural history hidden throughout all of these housing subdivisions. Your guide will show you around the exhibits inside the Franconia Museum and guide you on a three-hour drive to see the remaining old homes, churches, family cemeteries and other landmarks of agricultural days gone by. The tour focuses on the neighborhoods along Franconia Road, Telegraph Road and Beulah Street but can include other locations nearby depending on your historical interests. You won’t get confused missing directional signs, dealing with road closures, and otherwise wasting time. Your guide knows exactly where to go and will ride alongside you in your car to point the way while you drive, so everyone can fully enjoy the tour. Please make sure to have one open seat available in your vehicle for the tour guide so they can ride along with you. Some of the featured sites on the tour include: EVERGREEN -- This home was built in 1850 in the Italianate Villa style as part of Burgundy Farm. In 1884-1885 it was occupied by Fitzhugh Lee during his campaign for Governor of Virginia. OLIVET CHURCH -- the third of four structures to house its Episcopal congregation since 1853. In 1872 a new church was built at the corner of Bush Hill Drive and moved in 1892 to its present site. ASHLAND -- Built circa 1820, the farm was owned by congressman W.W. Boyce of South Carolina, whose family, “with their old southern hospitality drew about them many warm friends.” STONEYBROOKE -- This plantation home was built by Commodore Walter Brooke of the Virginia navy in 1781 and called "Retirement" until the mid-1940s, when new owners enlarged the dwelling. HUNTLEY -- Thompson F. Mason, grandson of George Mason of nearby Gunston Hall, built this Federal villa ca. 1825 as a summer retreat from his residence in Alexandria, now beautifully restored. BELVALE -- Country home of George Johnston (1700-1766), prominent lawyer for George Washington, a Trustee of the town of Alexandria and member of the Virginia Assembly. LAUREL GROVE -- The church and the adjacent schoolhouse have served the African American community since 1884. The school building has been fully restored as a museum space. SHARON CHAPEL -- Built in 1849 on land donated by John J. Frobel. One of its early seminarians was Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts and author of the hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem". ... AND SO MUCH MORE!


Accessibility and Cancellation Policy

Some of our tours are marked as active walking tours; guests are advised that they should be physically capable and prepared to walk around an urban environment for the time and distances listed. ASSISTANCE DOGS: All assistance dogs are welcome on our tours including registered guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical alert dogs. Please make us aware of this beforehand by email at franconiahistory@gmail.com WHEELCHAIRS AND MOBILITY VEHICLES: Any guests who use a wheelchair must be capable of travelling throughout the length of the relevant tour, some parts of which will be on uneven terrain. Manual wheelchair users are likely to need to bring a personal assistant with them. Self-propelled wheelchair users even with assistance are likely to struggle in some areas and as a result may experience difficulty on some areas of tours. Guests who use an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter must ensure they have sufficient battery power for the duration of a tour. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on the suitability of a tour. TOILET FACILITIES: As we host outdoor tours, we are not able to provide permanent toilet facilities for visitors. We however try to ensure our tours are designed to pass via publicly accessible toilets as a rest break for visitors. We are however not able to guarantee that these will be open at all times during our tours. Our guides will always try to direct visitors towards open facilities if required. TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY: Franconia History LLC understands that schedules change, especially while you are on vacation or with family. You are welcome to cancel or reschedule your tour with us at no additional charge up to twelve hours prior to the scheduled start time of your tour. If cancellation is required, you are requested to notify us no later than twelve hours before your scheduled tour start time. Please note that any cancellations you make within twelve hours of your scheduled tour start time will cause the forfeiture of one-half of the fee you paid for the tour. Franconia Museum LLC cannot be held responsible for delays or cancellations of customer trips that result from weather, traffic, mechanical difficulties or circumstances beyond our control. If Franconia History LLC is forced to cancel your tour due to reasons outside of company control, all prior payments will be refunded to you within ten business days.


Contact Details

franconiahistory@gmail.com

Franconia Museum, Inc., 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310, USA


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