Meetings of Historic Prince William
Historic Prince William meets in the evenings several times a year. Our meetings are typically informal lectures or discussions. The audience gets a chance to ask questions and share personal experiences about historic events and places in the county. Meetings are free and open to the public - please come and join us.
- - May 16, 2013 (7:30-9:00pm) - Hell is Being a Republican in Virginia: The Postwar Relationship Between John Singleton Mosby and Ulysses S. Grant
by David Geotz
- - March 14, 2013 (7:30-9:00pm) - From Parchment to .PDF: The Hidden Historical Gems in Digitizing the Prince William County Records
- - January 17, 2013 (7:30-9:00pm) - Prince William's "Light Horse Harry Lee," by Mike Cecere (cancelled due to weather)
- - November 8, 2012 (7:30-9:00pm) - Did You Know? Interesting and Little-Known Stories from Prince William County History, by Don Wilson
- October 13, 2012 (1:00-3:00pm) - Kickoff Picnic and Brentsville School Reunion
- bring your picnic lunch; we'll provide the cake and punch, and explore the past at the Brentsville school and courthouse
- Location: Brentsville Courthouse, 12229 Bristow Rd. Bristow VA
- Previous Programs
- Thursday, May 10, 2012, 7:30-9:00pm
- Bacon Race Church and Cemetery by Darlene Hunter at Occoquan Room, McCoart Building, Prince William County McCoart Administrative Center (directions and map)
- Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:30-9:00pm
- The Bull Run II Campaign (2nd Manassas) and its importance in the Civil War by Ron Mayer at Prince William County Government Center, Room 107 in the Development Services Building (directions and map)
- Saturday, March 10, 2012, (11:00am for lunch and informal discussion, 12:30pm for tour of museum - see flyer)
- at National Museum of the Marine Corps
- Thursday, November 10, 2011, 7:30-9:00pm
- Slavery and Slaveholding in Prince William County, 1810-1860 by Jim Bish (see flyer), at Prince William County Government Center, Room 107 in the Development Services Building (directions and map)
- (This meeting will also include the election of officers, and November also is the membership renewal month.)
- Thursday, September 8, 2011
- Early Religion at Brentsville by Morgan Breeden, at Union Church in Brentsville (prior to the main presentation, Mary Lipsey from the Fairfax County History Commission gave a brief talk about Cemetery Preservation.)
2008 Prince William County History Forum
From time to time, meetings may be scheduled in buildings of historical interest, such as the Brentsville Courthouse, the Occoquan Town Hall, Rippon Lodge and the Manassas Museum.
Yates Ford, downstream from Orange and Alexandria railroad bridge over Bull Run, as shown in map from 1860's
Source: Library of Congress
Occasional field trips to historic sites in Prince William County usually involve carpooling on a Saturday morning to explore the Potomac Path, Civil War fortifications, historic schools and churches and cemeteries and houses and mills, etc. The "treks" outside the vehicles are gentle walks, not strenuous hikes. Often we have started at 9:30am (carpooling from the McCoart Center), and finish around lunchtime.
These go-to-the-actual-site visits look at history through a different lens. Some field trip may explore the not-yet-historic-but-it's-only-a-matter-of-time subdivisions of our county - like those in Marumsco, built by C. D. Hylton before Dale City. History is not frozen in time; it's still evolving in Prince William.
"We were right in it..."
That's how one participant described a trek, delighted that the mayor of Dumfries had arrived by chance while the Historic Prince William
group was walking through the graveyard near the Weems-Botts Museum. The mayor stayed to talk, pointing out specific sites as he discussed events in Dumfries history. By participating on that trek, one person had a shiver go up his spine as he experienced history in a far-more intimate way that the traditional books and talks.
Field trips have included visits to:
- Civil War fortifications off Bacon Race Road
- Greenwood Presbyterian Church and the old gates near the entrance
of Bel Air
- Historic Dumfries walking tour, including the old cemetery, sites of the Quantico Church and the courthouse, and the Weems-Botts Museum
- Limstrong's Corner (now, the Route 234/Prince William Parkway interchange has obscured the historic path taken by Thomas Jefferson through the county)
- Neabsco Iron Works site on Powell's Creek
- Occoquan, from the Merchants Mill upstream to the dam
"box social" (picnic and tour) at Pilgrims Rest
Antioch Church, near Hopewell Gap
La Grange Winery
Union Church at Brentsville