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Dawsons Cemetery headstone (Photo credit: Mike Belknap)

Bull Run Mountains Conservancy’s Old Home Sites Breakfast

Provided by Bull Run Mountains Conservancy

Dawsons Cemetery headstone (Photo credit: Mike Belknap)

Bull Run Mountains Conservancy (BRMC)’s final run of the popular “Old Home Sites Breakfast” program will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. After 18 years, this interactive hike that tours historical ruins on the Bull Run Mountains has captured the interest of hundreds of local children and adults.

The hike goes beyond the well-beaten trail to explore cemeteries, foundations, and clearings that mark past residences on the mountains’ ridges and valleys. Prominent features include the ruins of the Chapman family mansion, which was the residence of the family who operated Chapman-Beverley Mill, a view of the Mill itself, the Dawson House foundations and cemetery, and the old upper Mill, which could date back close to the time of the American Revolution.

Historian Marcia Markey (photo credit Michael Kieffer)

Midway through the hike, participants stop and enjoy a hot breakfast in the woods as Marcia Markey, a local historian, performs an historical re-enactment based on diaries, letters, and other primary sources.

“We should remember that our history, even local history, has had an effect on the present,” Ms. Markey comments, “After performing the historical skit, I like to ask people to consider how my character’s comments about her particular time period have affected us today.” Ms. Markey also notes that while her sources are often specific personal records, they frequently mention what was happening in the world at large. “How many people know how the southern states individually seceded from the union? What did most slaves in this area think and do when the war came?”

Participants in the Nov. 18 “Old Home Sites Breakfast” program will explore these questions and much more as they discover the rich local history of the Bull Run Mountains. Tickets must be purchased in advance at brmconservancy.org.

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