Take a walk back in time in Norfolk’s Historic Freemason District



Posted on May 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

NORFOLK – (May 30, 2012) – On a warm summer’s day, nothing sounds more delightful than a lazy stroll along the Norfolk waterfront.  For four days in June, as part of OpSail 2012 Virginia™, that stroll may bring an unexpected adventure . . . a walk back in time to June 1812.

From June 8-11, the city’s entire Historic Freemason District, from Brooke Avenue to the Pagoda and Oriental Garden,  up to College Place and over to Botetourt and Freemason Streets, will be transformed back to the early 19th century. The streets will be bustling with familiar faces such as Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and his lovely wife, Dolley. Ladies will be wearing outdoor bonnets while gentlemen in their top hats and elaborate coats greet each other throughout Historic Freemason. Townspeople, shopkeepers, house staff, as well as “newsies,” all in period dress will be out and about seeing to their daily business.

Highlights include afternoon tea parties hosted by Dolley Madison, who was the American First Lady during the War of 1812; lively discussions and chess games on the Freemason Green Court with each of the presidents; games and educational activities; a crafts faire; and a photography exhibit of over 300 historic photographs artfully displayed amongst the historic homes in a self-guided walking tour.

The New York Baroque Dance Company, traveling to Virginia from New York City for OpSail 2012 Virginia™,  will perform its historic revival 1812 dance masterpieces in custom-made 1812 costume within the neighborhood’s Arbor Garden at scheduled times.

Excitement will build on every street corner with interesting conversation, enchanting stories, artifacts, crafts, musicians and fun for all.

Historic Freemason District opens to the public daily as follows: 

Friday, June 8 , Noon – 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 9, Noon – 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 10, Noon – 6 p.m.
Monday, June 11, Noon – 6 p.m.
A full schedule of activities in the Historic Freemason District can be found at www.opsail2012virginia.com.