Following the five years’ commemoration of the Civil War by the Loudoun County Sesquicentennial Committee, the county’s historians are now focusing on more recent history—World Wars I and II.
Oatlands Historic House and Garden will dedicate the weekend of July 9 and 10 to an observance of the Second World War in Loudoun County: “From the Front Lines to the Home Front: Oatlands and World War II.”
The event will feature living history interpreters, oral history recordings, service dog training, displays of military vehicles and Jeep rides, military exhibitors, children’s activities and performances of the songs of the period. Veterans of all wars are invited to record their oral histories in a special mobile studio. Saturday programs will feature veterans Dick Graff, Eli Linden and Lincoln Harner discussing their wartime experiences.
Exhibitors include those from the 29th Infantry Living History Group, the Gen. George C. Marshall House, Americans in Wartime Museum, Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, Loudoun Museum, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, and many present-day veteran support groups.
On Sunday, there will be an afternoon tea, from 1-3 p.m., and a lecture in the Carriage House, given by George C. Marshall expert Rachel Thompson and her aide Bill Vitale, about Gen. and Mrs. George C. Marshall.
Reportedly, President Roosevelt said of the quiet military hero that he could not allow him to be the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe because he was too valuable in directing the overall supervision of the war. The general and his wife Katherine became Leesburg residents, having bought Dodona Manor (now the Marshall House) as their first non-military quarters home in 1941. The two loved working on their gardens—he focusing on vegetables, she on flowers, particularly roses—as an escape from the pressure of their public lives. Archival photographs of the Marshalls at home will be shown in the Carriage House. The tea includes sandwiches, scones, sweets and Oatlands’ special afternoon tea blend, available for purchase in the gift shop. Advance reservations are required by calling 703-777-3174. The cost is $29.95 plus tax for ages 3 and up.
Lori Kimball, director of programming and education at Oatlands, cites the impact of the war on all Americans—from rationing to victory gardens to family members or friends who served. The Eustis family at Oatlands and the surrounding community lost loved ones who died serving overseas.
Hours will be Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, rain or shine. Admission is $20 per family or $10 for an individual. Admission is free for active duty personnel and all veterans (ID required.) Food and beverage concessions will be on site, and the public can take walk-through tours of the Oatlands house free of charge. No dogs or outside food are allowed.
For a full schedule of events, go to oatlands.org or call 703-777-3174.