Cherry Hill Historic House and Farm

Cherry Hill Historic House and Farm Cherry Hill Farmhouse is located on Park Avenue, near City Hall and the Falls Church Community Center. The house hosts several special events, educational
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Cherry Hill Farmhouse was completed in 1845. The well-preserved house is an example of a Greek Revival Style framed home of the period. Today the house is fully furnished with antiques of the mid-19th century. Historic interpretations of the house focus primarily on the time period 1856-1865 when the Blaisdell family lived at Cherry Hill. William Blaisdell purchased the 73-acre farm in 1856. He sold the produce he grew on the premises at the Centre Market in Washington D.C. Mr. Blaisdell successfully managed the farm through the Civil War. The City of Falls Church now owns and operates the Cherry Hill Farmhouse Museum, and its remaining property, known today as Cherry Hill Park. The household furnishings and antique tool collection in the Barn are owned by the Friends of Cherry Hill. Today, reenactments, concerts, readings, lectures, workshops, teas, and private events take place at Cherry Hill throughout the year. The house is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm however we strongly encourage visitors to call ahead to ensure tour availability or visit during our Open House hours scheduled Saturdays April through October from 10 am- 12pm. Special tours can be arranged for large groups, scout troops, and school children by calling 703-248-5171. Cherry Hill can also be rented for special occasions. The house and surrounding park provide a lovely setting for wedding receptions and small parties. The house capacity is 50 people for a standing event and 20 for a seated gathering. For larger parties, the outside grounds can be used and a tent is required. For more information on any scheduled events, rental information and availability of the Cherry Hill Farmhouse please contact Corey Jannicelli at 703-248-5171 or [email protected].

Mission: Today the mission of the Friends of Cherry Hill Foundation is to preserve and protect the integrity of the mid-19th century house, barn and outbuildings. The Foundation acquires and maintains the period furnishings in the house and the antique tool collection in the barn.

Operating as usual

In honor of Hot Tea Month, here are some tips on making the perfect cup of tea, courtesy of The Spruce Eats!1. Warm the ...
01/08/2021

In honor of Hot Tea Month, here are some tips on making the perfect cup of tea, courtesy of The Spruce Eats!

1. Warm the pot with a quick swirl of hot water
2. For loose-leaf, 1 per person and 1 for the pot
3. Use freshly boiled water for good oxygen levels.
4. Stir tea leaves or bags to help the tea to infuse.
5. 3 to 4 minutes is needed for optimum infusion.

In the 1860s, it would be typical to see a wooden butter mold in the kitchen. Farm wives would make butter then press th...
01/05/2021

In the 1860s, it would be typical to see a wooden butter mold in the kitchen. Farm wives would make butter then press the cold butter into molds and stamp the butter with their own signature design that could be sold with other farm produce.

Cherry Hill's butter mold has a pineapple design. What would your butter mold design be?

The United States was the preeminent whaling nation in the world by the 1830s, with whale oil in high demand for use in ...
12/30/2020

The United States was the preeminent whaling nation in the world by the 1830s, with whale oil in high demand for use in lamps.

Whale oil was an inexpensive illuminant but gave off a strong odor when burnt. It was replaced in the late 19th century by cheaper, more efficient, and longer-lasting kerosene. Cherry Hill has two whale oil lamps in its collection.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday! You may have some new toys to play with this morning but don't forget to make time tog...
12/25/2020

Wishing everyone a happy holiday!
You may have some new toys to play with this morning but don't forget to make time together with friends and family.

Parlor games of the victorian era are a great way to bring people together for some holiday fun. Check out our collection of parlor game instructions on our website. http://cherryhillfallschurch.org/parlor-games/

Victorians decorated their homes for Christmas by adorning their sideboard, mantle, banisters, and other wooden surfaces...
12/22/2020

Victorians decorated their homes for Christmas by adorning their sideboard, mantle, banisters, and other wooden surfaces with evergreen garland. The red berries on the holly added additional color.

This Christmas, see what evergreens are growing in your backyard and consider incorporating them into your decorations.

*Note for first-time decorators, wear gloves when removing dried out holly from your home, they can become very prickly!

The flat iron was the most popular type of iron in the 19th century and was mass-produced in great numbers. As the name ...
12/18/2020

The flat iron was the most popular type of iron in the 19th century and was mass-produced in great numbers. As the name suggests they were made from solid cast iron and very heavy. Flat irons were used in pairs so one could be heated up while the other was being used.
Cherry Hill has a small collection of flat irons. On your next visit, feel free to pick one up and see how heavy they are!

Tom Smith invented the Christmas cracker in the 1840s, inspired by the bonbons he saw in France. Traditionally these cra...
12/17/2020

Tom Smith invented the Christmas cracker in the 1840s, inspired by the bonbons he saw in France. Traditionally these crackers held a piece of chocolate but today often hold small toys.

Create your own crackers at home with your family using a toilet paper roll, wrapping paper, ribbon, and most importantly chocolate!

You can follow instructions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/victorianchristmas/activity/christmas-crackers.shtml

We think our farmhouse is pretty special, but we aren't the only ones! All around the Little City, you can find images o...
12/16/2020

We think our farmhouse is pretty special, but we aren't the only ones! All around the Little City, you can find images of Cherry Hill from the Harris Tetter entranceway to the art wrap in Mr. Brown's Park.

What other images can you find around town?

The tradition of decorating a tree for Christmas began in Germany and spread to England during the Victorian Era. Most t...
12/15/2020

The tradition of decorating a tree for Christmas began in Germany and spread to England during the Victorian Era.

Most trees back then were small enough to sit on a table. They were decorated with real candles (yikes) homemade ornaments such as images of Santa and angels, paper and popcorn chains.

While enjoying the holidays at home this year, try making your own authentic Victorian Christmas ornament from Victoriana Magazine
http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/christmasornament.htm

Cherry Hill Farmhouse received two early Christmas gifts this year. A gently used stove and fridge from  George Mason Hi...
12/14/2020

Cherry Hill Farmhouse received two early Christmas gifts this year. A gently used stove and fridge from George Mason High School. We are excited to have the upgrade to our kitchen at no cost. These appliances receive a significant amount of use through our tea parties, summer camps, and private rentals.

Today when we buy eggs at the store we typically grab a box labeled medium, large, extra-large, or jumbo eggs. Have you ...
12/11/2020

Today when we buy eggs at the store we typically grab a box labeled medium, large, extra-large, or jumbo eggs. Have you ever wondered what qualifies an egg as extra-large? (it's about 2.25 ounces).

Early eggs scales like the one below at Cherry Hill, helped small farmers grade and market their eggs for sale. As the owner of Cherry Hill Farm, William Blaisdell successfully sold his produce in Washington, DC. Most likely selling eggs from the farm along with his other crops.

For those fortunate enough, a Victorian Christmas included lavish food such as roasted goose, mince pies, plum pudding, ...
12/10/2020

For those fortunate enough, a Victorian Christmas included lavish food such as roasted goose, mince pies, plum pudding, and eggnog.

Today our holiday recipes might look a little different, and often our favorites are unique to our own families

Consider sharing your family recipes this year with the Falls Church Recreation and Parks Dept through the Little City Big Flavor cookbook. With everyone staying at home more, it's a great opportunity to try out some new recipes. Contribute at www.fallschurchva.gov/cookbook

Charles Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol', in 1843. The story of Uncle Scrooge spread awareness of the plight of the...
12/08/2020

Charles Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol', in 1843. The story of Uncle Scrooge spread awareness of the plight of the urban poor and popularized the idea of charitable giving at Christmas time.

We know this has been a tough year for many in our community. For those able, consider making a charitable contribution to the Little City's Toys for Tots campaign, managed locally by the City of Falls Church Police Department.

New, unwrapped toys for children and gifts for teens can be donated in boxes in City Hall (Police Lobby, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and outside the Community Center (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Donations are due by close of business on Thursday, December 10.

The website toysfortots.org also offers a Virtual Toy Box where individuals can choose gifts online and donate directly to the organization.

There are more than 95,000 properties listed in the National Register including Cherry Hill, Birch House, Mount Hope, an...
12/07/2020

There are more than 95,000 properties listed in the National Register including Cherry Hill, Birch House, Mount Hope, and the Falls Church.

Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

Find out more about the National Register at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/index.htm

We're unable to host our favorite holiday traditions at the farmhouse but that doesn't mean we can't have some Victorian...
12/03/2020

We're unable to host our favorite holiday traditions at the farmhouse but that doesn't mean we can't have some Victorian fun at home!

Victorians didn't have a 24 hour Christmas music station but loved to bring their favorite songs to friends and neighbors through the tradition of caroling.

Did you know Away in the Manger, We Three Kings, and Jingle Bells all date back to the 1800s?

Stay tuned as we share more Victorian Christmas traditions later this month!
#Happyholidays #victorianchristmas #museumsfromhome

This year has been rough on museums. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), warned in July that one out of every three ...
12/01/2020

This year has been rough on museums. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), warned in July that one out of every three museums in the United States may shutter forever as funding sources and financial reserves run dry.

Cherry Hill has been fortunate this year compared to many museums. We have had to close our doors to public tours and cancel most of our programs, but we look forward to reopening when it's safe.

This giving Tuesday, consider donating to your community museums whether it's Cherry Hill at www.cherryhillfallschurch.org or a fellow museum.

Carpenters played an important role in Victorian Falls Church where most of the homes were built with wood. Before the m...
11/30/2020

Carpenters played an important role in Victorian Falls Church where most of the homes were built with wood.

Before the mid-nineteenth century in America, most carpenters worked under the artisan system. The carpenter spent many hours indoors making by hand all kinds of wooden finishing such as window and doorcases, baseboards, moldings, stairs, and railings. Carpenters also worked outdoor framing buildings.

During the mid-1800s, factories took over the indoor work once done by carpenters. Semi-skilled workers operated machines that mass-produced the doors, moldings, and window frames that carpenters once crafted by hand.

Learn more about the history of carpenters at https://carpenterslocal308.org/history

Did you know that President Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed in 1863 the last Thursday in November as a national holiday f...
11/25/2020

Did you know that President Abraham Lincoln had proclaimed in 1863 the last Thursday in November as a national holiday for giving thanks?

But in 1939, retailers feared that a late Thanksgiving that year (November 30) could hurt Christmas sales so President Roosevelt decided to move the date up a week, to the second-to-last Thursday of November.

Many Americans opposed the change calling it "Franksgiving". The country was again divided with twenty-three states and the District of Columbia recognizing the holiday on November 23; twenty-two states preserved the traditional date, which some called the “Republican” Thanksgiving; and three states celebrated the holiday in both weeks!

In 1941 Congress voted to designate the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day ending future debate.

Credit to the Living New Deal for this story! #happythanksgiving #thanksgivinghistory

For thousands of years, native peoples lived in the Falls Church vicinity including, an Algonquin speaking tribe called ...
11/24/2020

For thousands of years, native peoples lived in the Falls Church vicinity including, an Algonquin speaking tribe called the Dogue near the Potomac River. The people grew corn, beans, squash, and tobacco, collected wild plants, fished for sturgeon, hunted deer, bison, bear, wild turkey, and small game.

Cherry Hill's small collection of arrowheads is a reminder of the community that once lived here. We celebrate and remember that they are an important part of our history.

https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

The Victorian Society at Falls Church, Virginia has been a long-time supporter of Cherry Hill donating their time hostin...
11/23/2020

The Victorian Society at Falls Church, Virginia has been a long-time supporter of Cherry Hill donating their time hosting beloved programming and raising funds to help with the museum's preservation.

We congratulate them on reaching this impressive milestone!

Thinking of taking a walk in Falls Church today?Check out the new sidewalk at 307 South Maple Street! Included in the co...
11/19/2020

Thinking of taking a walk in Falls Church today?

Check out the new sidewalk at 307 South Maple Street! Included in the concrete are historical moments and people of Falls Church History.

I don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll have to visit the sidewalk yourself.

The high chair gained popularity during the 19th century. Our empire style high chair includes a footrest and horsehair ...
11/17/2020

The high chair gained popularity during the 19th century. Our empire style high chair includes a footrest and horsehair upholstery, coordinating with the rest of the dining room furniture.

Today's chairs offer more safety for young children with straps and attached tables. They also keep small children from escaping the dinner table early!

#cherryhillcollection #nowversethen

A machinist is a trained professional, who can not only operate machine tools but has the knowledge required to set up a...
11/16/2020

A machinist is a trained professional, who can not only operate machine tools but has the knowledge required to set up and fix the machines.

The American Precision Museum exhibit, Shaping America, examines how advancements in machining drove industrialization in the 1840s, changed the face of the Civil War, and allowed for the development of our modern consumer culture.

Learn more by visiting https://americanprecision.org/

Yesterday, we were suprised to find a pile of packages on our back porch! What did we get? Well, nothing... they were fo...
11/14/2020

Yesterday, we were suprised to find a pile of packages on our back porch! What did we get? Well, nothing... they were for Mary Riley Styles Public Library!

Although Mary Riley Styles did live in this house years ago, she donated the land across the street for the first public library.

PS: We did help the UPS guy out and deliver the packages to the library.

With more people planning Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, it's a great opportunity to get kids involved in the co...
11/13/2020

With more people planning Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, it's a great opportunity to get kids involved in the cooking.

Cherry Hill Farmhouse has a great cornbread recipe, a summer camp favorite, and perfect for the fall weather.

#cherryhillfarmhouse #recipes #thanksgiving #familyfun

At Cherry Hill, we have a beautiful corn crib most likely built around 1860 when the Blaisdells ran a successful farm on...
11/09/2020

At Cherry Hill, we have a beautiful corn crib most likely built around 1860 when the Blaisdells ran a successful farm on the property.

Corn cribs were first used by Native Americans and were quickly adopted by European settlers.

After each harvest, while still on the cob, corn would be placed in the crib either with or without the husk. The corn crib has slats in its walls to allow air to circulate through the corn, both allowing it to dry initially and helping it stay dry. The slats however, expose the corn to pests, so corn crib was elevated beyond the reach of rodents.

Waiting for election results is nothing new.In 1876, three years after Joseph Riley and his family moved into Cherry Hil...
11/06/2020

Waiting for election results is nothing new.

In 1876, three years after Joseph Riley and his family moved into Cherry Hill, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was not certified as the winner of the election until March 2, three days before he was inaugurated in Washington!

It was one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in American history, and gave rise to the Compromise of 1877 by which the Democrats conceded the election to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.

Although Cherry Hill farm is predominately made of wood, the foundation of both the house and barn show these structures...
11/05/2020

Although Cherry Hill farm is predominately made of wood, the foundation of both the house and barn show these structures are supported by stone masonry.

Not surprisingly, individuals who had a trade, such as masons, faired better than most in the 1860s, earning roughly 50 to 100 percent more than laborers and farmhands.

Learn more about wages in the 1860s in our recent newsletter https://issuu.com/cherryhillf.../docs/pdf_ch_fall_2020__rev9

Have you voted yet? Let's set a new voting record today!Polls are open 6AM-7PM. 📍Find your polling place: vote.elections...
11/03/2020

Have you voted yet? Let's set a new voting record today!

Polls are open 6AM-7PM.
📍Find your polling place: vote.elections.virginia.gov
🗳️Review the ballot: www.fallschurchva.gov/sampleballot
🆔Bring a valid Voter ID: elections.virginia.gov/registration/p…
😷Remember to wear a mask.

#USElection2020 #govote

Just days away from the 2020 Presidential election, millions of citizens have already dropped off absentee ballots and t...
10/30/2020

Just days away from the 2020 Presidential election, millions of citizens have already dropped off absentee ballots and this type of voting is nothing news.

In the 1864 between Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan, 19 Union states permitted proxy voting where ballots could be mailed to someone in the home district. Voting at camp polling stations was also permitted.

Learn more about the use of absentee voting in our nation's history in our recent newsletter https://issuu.com/cherryhillfallschurch/docs/pdf_ch_fall_2020__rev9

#govote #americanhistory #civilwarhistory

Our friends at the Woodrow Wilson House are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage!Larger than life banne...
10/29/2020

Our friends at the Woodrow Wilson House are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage!

Larger than life banner images quite literally take Suffrage Outside to showcase how women’s work outside the home, their public protests outside in the streets, alliances with activists outside the United States, as well as the work and leadership of Black women kept outside the ‘mainstream’ of a middle-class white women’s movement, collectively propelled the American woman’s suffrage campaign to victory in 1920.

Don't miss this outdoor exhibition closing on Nov 2!
http://www.woodrowwilsonhouse.org/

#HistoricHouseMuseum #HHMC #19thAmendment

Amazing photo shared yesterday by the Army Historical Society of good old Thaddeus Lowe's balloon Intrepid's accent at F...
09/25/2020

Amazing photo shared yesterday by the Army Historical Society of good old Thaddeus Lowe's balloon Intrepid's accent at Fort Taylor on the edge of Falls Church in 1861.

We can only imagine how the Blaisdell family would have felt looking east from Cherry Hill Farm and seeing this large structure floating in the distance.

On September 24, 1861, Thaddeus Lowe ascends more than 1,000 feet in a balloon, near Arlington, Virginia, and provides intelligence from Confederate troops located in Falls Church, Virginia. This demonstration highlights the potential of balloon use in warfare and the Balloon Corps is soon established.

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312 Park Avenue
Falls Church, VA
22046

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Coming to Cherry Hill Farmhouse on December 1, 2017, a visit with Charles Dickens.