The City of Fairfax has long been a center of the area's history: Old Town Fairfax is registered as both a National and State Historic District. HFCI has encouraged and supported the City's owner-ship of historic properties to preserve the past.
The historic sites include:
Old Town Hall
Old Town Hall is the architectural cornerstone of the downtown historic district. Built in 1900, the Classical Revival building was financed by Joseph E. Willard. Upon completion, Willard presented the Hall to the citizens of Fairfax, his mother's hometown. In the 1980s, HFCI supervised renovations and the addition of modern amenities to the Hall, returning it to its original prominence as the City's social center.
Built in 1812, the City's oldest residence is located in the heart of the historic district and is open for touring. The small vernacular house is a rare example of its type, initially built as a speculative rental dwelling by Richard Ratcliffe, founder of the town of Providence. HFCI oversaw the renovation of the house in the late 1990s. Furnishings are from the last private owner, Kitty Barrett Pozer, who bequeathed the house to the City. The adjacent Pozer Garden, named in her honor, offers visitors a quiet respite in the busy downtown.
Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
Built as the Fairfax Elementary School in 1873, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preserved and renovated as a public-private partnership between the City of Fairfax and HFCI, the Museum and Visitor Center opened July 4, 1992. Major renovations in 1996 and 2003 increased gallery space and enhanced services for local residents and tourists. The Museum and Visitor Center presents exhibitions and programs on regional history. The gift shop features local souvenirs and history books.
Historic Blenheim Estate
This 12-acre site, purchased by the City in 1999, includes a circa 1858 brick house and family cemetery. Once part of a large farm owned by several generations of the locally prominent Willcoxon family, Blenheim is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains the most voluminous and best-preserved examples of Civil War soldier graffiti in the nation. HFCI encouraged the site's preservation and is working with the City to develop the property for public use.
Grandma's Cottage was moved to the Historic Blenheim Estate in 2001. The circa 1840 section of the Cottage features 18th century construction techniques, unique to the Fairfax area. The shed-roofed log portion was added about 1867 to accommodate the family of Margaret Willcoxon Farr. Known as "Grandma Farr" in the community, she lived in the Cottage for nearly 40 years until her death in 1904. A sister of Albert Willcoxon, who built the Blenheim house; she is buried in the family cemetery on the property.