Cherry Hill Farmhouse

Museum
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Editorial Review

Adjacent to City Hall and Cherry Hill Park, this substantial 1845 frame farmhouse stands at both the historic and modern heart of Falls Church. Once a thriving 73-acre farm whose owner, William A. Blaisdell, maintained a stall at Washington's old Centre Market (obliterated by the building of the National Archives). The place was repeatedly overrun, raided and "requisitioned" during the Civil War, and its survival almost entirely intact is the more remarkable because Blaisdell was one of 28 villagers who voted against secession (41 voted aye). Although the farm was a couple of miles outside the Union fortifications ringing Washington, both sides probed and patrolled constantly, and there's reason to believe that at least one skirmish was fought in Cherry Hill's peach orchard. The house is authentically furnished with 18th- and 19th-century furniture and decorations, and there's a full complement of period tools in the 1856 barn. Other "dependencies" include a buggy shed and tackle barn, a corn crib, a well-house and a "necessary" (pit privy).
Cherry Hill is a social center as well as a tourist draw. The volunteer Friends of Cherry Hill offer tours, teas, concerts, lectures, storytelling, readings and children's activities. The house is also rented for weddings and receptions. It is open April through October. Call for hours.

-- Hank Burchard