Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center

The Fredericksburg Area Museum ran a First Fridays concert series from June through September in Market Square. The museum, which is in the middle of a big expansion project, gets most of its funding from memberships, so the evening (which also included free admission to the museum) was designed to spark interest and hopefully get some new members signed up. As part of the event, there was a tent set up for members with wine and munchies. When we discovered that a membership for a family was only $40, and that would guarantee us entry into the roped off members’ area for the ever popular “free snacks,” we joined right up. If we’re lucky, there will be more complimentary museum events in our future.

Fredericksburg is a great town if you’re a history buff (which I’m not), and the museum has a nice collection if you’re particularly interested in colonial era and Civil War history (which I’m not). But now that I’m a member, I feel it’s my duty to spread a little museum joy. So here’s a brief history, culled from the museum’s website. The museum is housed in what was originally the city’s Town Hall/Market House, built in 1816, in the Federal style. The lower story (the Market House) opened onto the Market Lot, where local merchants sold their wares. The upper two floors were used as the Town Hall, and continued to house the offices of the city government for the next 166 years, until the city moved to more modern digs in 1982. The building reopened as a museum in 1988.

The Market Square events have been pretty sparsely attended, but it’s a nice venue right in the heart of town, so the next time the museum sponsors something, stop by and check it out. Thank you for your support.

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