(Virginia Beach, VA) Earlier this month, Anne Miller accepted the History Museums Coordinator position for the City of Virginia Beach Department of Aquarium and Museums.
Miller joined the City of Virginia Beach in 2009 as an Exhibits Technician for the History Museums, and rose to the role of Curator of the History Museums in 2012. She supervised the opening of the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum and managed key preservation projects at the Thoroughgood House and Lynnhaven House. In her new role, Miller will oversee the construction of the new Thoroughgood Education Center.
Prior to joining the city, Miller was the Curator for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and a Researcher for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Her responsibilities included assisting with the planning of the quadricentennial commemoration, developing Jamestown Settlements $14 million permanent galleries, which opened in 2006, and developing special exhibits and media projects. Miller has a bachelors degree in history from Yale University.
I am continually impressed with Anne's knowledge and skills of preservation, and her familiarity with our museums expressed Cynthia Spanoulis, Department of Aquarium and Museums Deputy Director. I am confident she will continue to make Virginia Beach's rich cultural history exciting and relevant for our guests, and will ensure that the work of the History Museums is aligned to the City's plan and vision.
The Virginia Beach History Museums have some fun, exciting events planned for the spring. From the monthly Free. Fun. Saturday. series to a new Film Festival in partnership with the Virginia Beach Public Libraries, there are great ways to learn about the history in your own backyard.
February 4 & March 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House The Francis Land House will be open with guided tours, old-school games and toys, and Ye Olde Selfie Station. Admission is free.
All films will be shown at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, and admission is free. After each film, there will be a discussion with people who witnessed or participated in the events in the films. Screenings include:
February 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House Explore the past with the Virignia Beach History Museums as we welcome homeschool families for a fun-filled day just for you! Activities for ages five and up include hands-on educational lessons and take home craft activities. Families must register in advance for a two-hour time slot. Admission is $5 per child or $20 per family, and tickets can be purchased online here.
February 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House Activities for Brownies include several requirements for Making Games and Potter badges and activities for Junior Scouts include several requirements for Playing the Past badge. Advanced registration is required. Tickets are $8 per scout; leaders are free. Registration can be completed online here.
March 25, 2 to 6 p.m. Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House In celebration of Women's History Month, you are invited to try your hand at activities in which colonial ladies were expected to excel, including candle dipping and cross stitch. There may even be a special appearance by America's first First Lady, Martha Washington, and Oney Judge, an enslaved woman from Washington's Mount Vernon home. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door, and will be available online beginning on February 28.
April 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House One of last year's biggest events gets even bigger! The Gathering of the Guilds will feature local artisans with special handmade pieces for sale. The Native Plant Society's Spring Plant Sale, a favorite for locals, will also be held during the morning on the front lawn. Easter egg hunts will be held every 30 minutes, and guests can hunt more than once. Purchase a $1 ticket to redeem your eggs for a prize bag after the hunt. Free admission.
Guests can call (757) 385-5100 for more information about these events.
The Virginia Beach History Museums are gearing up for the holidays with some exciting events happening throughout December and into January. Free. Fun. Saturday. December 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Francis Land House Get to know the Virignia Beach History Museums with free admission! The Francis Land House will be open with guided tours, old-school games and toys, and Ye Olde Selfie Station. Admission is free. Holiday Celebration at Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum December 10, 4 to 7 p.m. Located inside Renaissance Academy, 5100 Cleveland St. This celebration will feature musical performances by local singers, dancers, and musicians, and a raffle, refreshments, and admission to the Museum. Admission is free. Festivus December 21, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House It's a Festivus for the rest of us! Join us as we put up the Festivus pole, enjoy a delicious Festivus dinner, catered by Mannino's Italian Bistro, and take part in the traditions of the season, like the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength. There will also be Festivus team trivia with the chance to win prizes.Tickets for the two seatings are available here and are $20 per person. 31st Annual Twelfth Night Celebration at the Francis Land House January 6, 5 to 10 p.m. Francis Land House Twelfth Night is the traditional end of the Christmas season, and the 31st annual celebration at the Francis Land House is going to be the best one yet. Guests will be treated to music, refreshments, and some surprises. The entire evening will be hosted by the Starke family, late 19th century owners of the Francis Land House. Tickets are $12 per person, and can be purchased online here.
The Lynnhaven House will be closed from April 4, 2016 until mid-June 2016 for a moisture mitigation project. The interior walls of the house have moisture behind the plaster that needs to be corrected. The project will entail removing the plaster on the walls to allow the moisture to dry, construction of a swale to redirect groundwater away from the house, and repair or replacement of windows on the first floor. The housed collection will be moved to a secure, off-site location during the project and will return when complete. The Colonial Education Center will remain open for special events and programming throughout the project.
Francis Land House:
Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum:
Local History Series featuring Councilmember Barbara Henley, April 9, 1 p.m. Lynnhaven House Councilmember Barbara Henley will talk about her new research on Princess Anne County. Admission includes buffet lunch. Tickets are $20 per person and must be purchased by April 6. Call (757) 385-5100 to register.
Virginia Beach Garden Day, April 27, 1-4 p.m. Francis Land House and Lynnhaven House The Francis Land House will be open on Wednesday, April 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. and the Council of Garden Clubs will serve tea and scones in the lobby. The Hardwick Chamber Ensemble will play in the basement, and Garden Week ticket-holders will be admitted at no charge to see the flower arrangements. Also on Wednesday, the Lynnhaven House will host Master Gardeners who are able to speak to interested visitors about the gardens on the property. Garden Week ticket holders will be admitted to the Francis Land House at no charge on Thursday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to view the on-display flower arrangements.
Local History Series featuring Stephen Mansfield, May 7, 1 p.m. Lynnhaven House Dr. Stephen Mansfield will discuss "Treasures from the Virginia Beach Attic," a presentation using items from the Local History Collection at Virginia Wesleyan College. These artifacts will illustrate themes or characteristics of Princess Anne County and the City of Virginia Beach history. Admission includes buffet lunch. Tickets are $20 per person and must be purchased by April 6. Call (757) 385-5100 to register.
International Museum Day, May 18 Francis Land House and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum The Virginia Beach History Museums will celebrate International Museum Day, a world-wide day organized by the International Council of Museums to bring awareness to the importance of museums, by offering free admission to the Francis Land House and the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum.
Tea with the Lands, June 19, 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Francis Land House Guests will join Mrs. Francis Moseley Land and Anne Gardener Land for tea, 19th century style refreshments, and the popular period card game Whist. There will be two sessions, 12 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations are required. Call (757) 385-5100 for more information and to register.
Ice Cream Festival, July 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lynnhaven House Come and celebrate the history of ice cream! Guests will enjoy samples of ice cream based on historic recipes, place ice cream themed games, create ice cream art, make their own ice cream, and more. Pre-registration is not required, and admission is $7.50 for guests age 5 and older
Was the Beatles' hit song "Strawberry Fields Forever" written about Pungo? We know that it was a primarily agricultural area, but did the Fab Four make a pit stop in Princess Anne County and fall in love? Of course not. But come and learn about the history of Princess Anne County and the space between the beach and the border anyway!
In celebration of the 325th anniversary of the formation of Princess Anne County, the predecessor to the City of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach History Museums will host a special Local History Series detailing aspects of local history with lectures by local and regional historians. The first event of the Local History Series will be held on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. in the Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House, and will feature speaker Barbara Henley.
She will be discussing her new research about the history of Princess Anne County. Councilmember Henley is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in urban studies. She taught school in the city's public schools system and is serving her eighth term on City Council. Mrs. Henley represented the Pungo Borough from 1978 to 1990, during which time she served two years as Vice Mayor. She served on City Council again from 1994 to 2002, and returned to represent the Princess Anne District in 2006.
She is the author of Glimpses of Down-County History: Southern Princess Anne County. Admission for this event will be $20 per person, and includes a buffet lunch catered by Ynot Italian Restaurant. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (757) 385-5100. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday, April 6. This event is the first in the Local History Series and is hosted by the Virginia Beach History Museums.
The next event will be on Saturday, May 7 and feature Dr. Stephen Mansfield.
The 25th Annual Gathering of the Guilds will be at the Francis Land House Saturday, April 2, 2016 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., rain or shine. Visitors will learn about traditional skills as guild members demonstrate their specialties to the public. Some guilds will also have items available for purchase. Participating guilds include:
The regional chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society will hold its annual native plant sale in conjunction with the Gathering of the Guilds. Perennials, shrubs, small trees and other plants that thrive in seaside and woodland gardens will be available. All proceeds from the plant sale will be used for area beautification and education. The Butterfly Society of Virginia will sell butterfly-friendly plants as well.
Eco Maniac Company will be present with ShopGreen757, offering alternatives to single-use plastics, rain barrels, Fair Trade handcrafts, recycled and upcycled products, organic dog treats, organic soy candles, all-natural skin care and more.
Natejer Botanicals will be selling skin and beauty products made from all natural ingredients.
The Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast and the Tidewater Council Boy Scouts of America will also be on-site, in addition to the Lucky Peach Food Truck, which will be selling breakfast and lunch items.
Admission to this event is free and includes a brief tour of the Francis Land House. The Francis Land House, circa 1805, served as the home of Francis Land VI, a wealthy plantation owner from a prominent family in Princess Anne County, Virginia.
The 25th Annual Gathering of the Guilds and Native Plant Sale is free and open to the public with free on-site parking.The Francis Land House is located at 3131 Virginia Beach Boulevard. Call (757) 385-5100 or visit www.MuseumsVB.org for more information.
Princess Anne County was created 325 years ago, and local historians want to celebrate. On Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m. in the Colonial Education Center at the Lynnhaven House, guests will be treated to the first event of the Local History Series.
This series will feature local and regional historians. Thie first speaker will be Barbara Henley, Virginia Beach Councilwoman and Princess Anne County native. She will be discussing growing up in Princess Anne County.
Admission for this event will be $20 per person, and reservations are required. This event will include a buffet lunch, and reservations can be made by calling (757) 385-5100. This event series is hosted by the Virginia Beach History Museums.
After Sunday, February 7, 2016, the Thoroughgood House and grounds will be closed to the public while a new visitor center is constructed. The project is scheduled to conclude in early 2017, with the grounds reopening to the public shortly thereafter.
The new 2,700 square foot visitor center will include an exhibit area, educational space, and restrooms. The museumÕs collection will be moved to a secure, offsite facility during the work, and will return upon the completion of the project.
The new visitor center will allow us to provide even more to the community and surrounding neighborhood,Ó said Anne Miller, Curator for the Virginia Beach History Museums. We're looking forward to reopening with enhanced offerings and an even better space to teach the visitors and school groups that come through.Ó
Concept plans are available for the public to view at https://www.museumsvb.org/.
While the Thoroughgood House is closed, visitors are encouraged to explore other Virginia Beach History Museums, including the Francis Land House, Lynnhaven House, and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum.
Calling all fairies and elves! Make plans to join the Lynnhaven House for the Fairy Magical Valentine's Day on Saturday, February 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fairies had played an integral part in human history, and there are even stories of fairies in colonial Virginia. While we tend to think of fairies as happy sprites, until around the 1800s, they were depicted without wings and considered evil spirits. Don't worry- visitors will enjoy all kinds of fairy activities including scavenger hunts, nature walks, and a fairy wand craft with only the nicest fairies around. Real fairies will also make an exciting appearance to lead dances, host a special dress up station, and take photos with guests.
Tickets are $10 per person, with children 2 and under free. No advance registration is required. The Lynnhaven House is located at 4409 Wishart Road. Call (757) 385-5100 or visit www.MuseumsVB.org for more information.
The American Revolution will come to life at the Thoroughgood House for “Lord Dunmore’s Revenge” on Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15. Revolutionary War reenactors from the 7th Virginia Regiment, HMS Otter, and His Majesty’s 14th Regiment of Foot will showcase the local impact of the American Revolution with American and British war encampments. Visitors can interact with the soldiers, see what life was like in camp, and shop from sutlers, the 18th century-style merchants that followed the troops.
There will be staged storylines for guests to follow each day: 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday will focus on the British water landing by skiff and the initial raid on the Thoroughgood House for supplies; at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, guests will have the chance to see a skirmish between the British and the Americans.
The Thoroughgood House will be open for visitors to mingle with Lord Dunmore, Mr. and Mrs. Thoroughgood, and other witnesses to the Revolution.
This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored in part by the Virginia Beach Historic Houses Foundation. It is being held in observance of the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Kemp’s Landing. A reenactment of the Battle of Kemp’s Landing will be held in Kempsville with ceremonies at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015.
Free and ample parking will be available at Thoroughgood Elementary School, 1444 Dunstan Lane. A complimentary shuttle will transport visitors to and from the Thoroughgood House between 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to use the shuttle service as parking at the Thoroughgood House is very limited.