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Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe and Hampton University Campus and Museum
April 26, 2017 | 8:00am departure | Cost: $119
For years, Fort Monroe and Hampton University have tread along parallel, albeit distinctly separate paths. The latter as an educational institution borne from the emancipation of escaped slaves. The former as a military installation where the “contraband of war” decision was made.
Our day begins at Hampton University with a guided 1.75-hour walking tour of the campus and the Hampton University Museum—the nation’s oldest African American museum with more than 9,000 objects representing cultures and people from around the world, including the largest existing collection of works in any museum by the artists John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Samella Lewis.
We will have lunch at The Chamberlain. This historic building was built in classic Beaux Arts style during the Roaring 1920s and was once one of the most opulent hotels in the nation. Today, the building has been magnificently restored and serves as a premier waterfront retirement community.
Following lunch, we will have a 2-hour guided tour of the Casemate Museum and the grounds of Fort Monroe. Completed in 1836, Fort Monroe is the largest stone fort in America. Robert E. Lee was stationed at the fort from 1831 - 1834 and directed the final phase of construction. President Abraham Lincoln visited Fort Monroe and spent four nights in Quarters 1. The museum features the room where Jefferson Davis was held briefly as prisoner following the American Civil War and highlights Major General Benjamin Butler’s Contraband of War decision that granted refuge to three escaped slaves.
Supreme Court of the United States and United States Capitol
May 3, 2017 | 7:00am departure | Cost: $119
This trip to Washington, D.C. includes visits to the seats of two of the three branches of the United States government. Our day begins with a private courtroom lecture at the Supreme Court of the United States to learn about the judicial functions of the court, the history of the building, and the architecture of the courtroom. You will be able to explore the rich history of the court through a variety of exhibitions. After our lunch at the Supreme Court’s cafeteria, we will enjoy a tour of the historic United States Capitol—the magnificent building that houses our Congress. It includes an orientation film and a guided walking tour where we will see the Crypt, the Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. You also will have time to visit Exhibition Hall to learn more about the story of the U.S. Congress and the building of the Capitol.
May 17, 2017 | 8:00am departure | Cost: $119
A Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, Eyre Hall is one of Virginia’s finest and best-preserved Colonial homes. It is located about three miles south of Eastville on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and is one of the most widely known and photographed homes on the East Coast. H. Furlong “Baldy” Baldwin, an eighth generation descendant of the builder and a VHS Honorary Vice Chair, welcomes VHS members to have lunch and to tour this impressive home and its gardens.
Thomas Eyre I came to the Eastern Shore in 1623. His great grandson, Littleton Eyre, purchased the land for Eyre Hall in 1750 and completed the residence in 1758. Inside there is a wealth of superb woodwork featuring full paneling, pilasters, modillion cornices, fluted keystones and an elaborately turned stair balustrade. The stair hall is hung with the original French block wallpaper, “Rives du Bosphore,” printed by DuFour in 1815. Especially rare is the distinctive pierced-brass door hardware. This home also features a remarkable collection of family heirlooms, including a Queen Anne Williamsburg gaming table, a suite of early 19th century Baltimore painted furniture, and tables from the shop of Duncan Phyfe. Portraits by Benjamin West and Thomas Sully, ancestral miniatures and silhouettes, engraved silver, and monogrammed Chinese export porcelain convey and reinforce the 250-year Eyre occupation by the original family.
Eyre Hall’s formal garden was established by John Eyre, grandson of the builder, circa 1800. Ancient billowy boxwood and gnarled crape myrtles tower over the traditional swept paths, all enclosed by a venerable wall of brick purportedly brought as ballast from England. The interior garden is divided into numerous quadrants outlined by English boxwood, with many featuring English-style mixed flowering borders. Adjacent to the garden is the family graveyard and a romantic orangery ruin from 1819. Additional traditional outbuildings, including a 1760 dairy with strigil grills and deep plaster cove, along with a smokehouse, complete Eyre Hall’s breathtaking landscape.
National Museum of the Marine Corps
June 21, 2017 | 8:00am departure | Cost: $119
The VHS offers our members monthly bus trips to historic sites and museums. Our day-long bus trips leave Richmond in the morning and travel to places such as Washington, D.C., Charlottesville, art museums, private homes, and many more exciting locations across the commonwealth. You will be led by VHS staff members and experienced tour guides, who will not only inform you about history but also make sure you have fun. Lunches and snacks are provided on each trip.
Sunday, 10–5 (Galleries & Museum Shop)
Museum and Gardens are open by appointment
Admission $6 adults (Free for members)