The Ball-Sellers House, the oldest building in Arlington County, Virginia, will open to the public for the season on Saturday, April 2, at 1:00 p.m. The Arlington Historical Society received the house from Marian Sellers for $1 in 1975. The house was built around 1742 by John Ball and named the Ball-Sellers House to honor both the builder and the donor. The museum has planned a number of fun activities that are free and open to the public in 2016.
Opening day is Saturday, April 2, and free tours are offered from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. with free colonial-era beverages and treats. A costumed docent will help visitors see how a middle-class farmer with five daughters lived in colonial times. The Ball-Sellers House will be open every Saturday, April through October, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The museum is also open on Memorial, Independence, and Labor Days. Group tours are welcome and can be tailored to interests.
The Ball-Sellers House will host several special events this year:
On Saturday, April 9, the Ball-Sellers House will host the Washington Forest History Walk. After the Revolutionary War, George Washington returned to Virginia and surveyed with John Ball’s brother, Moses, the 1,200 acres he had bought before the war. The three-mile walking tour will visit the Ball-Sellers House, survey markers used by Washington in 1785, a DC boundary stone, and the site of a mill built by George Washington’s step-grandson. The walk will start at the Ball-Sellers House at 1:30 p.m. and is free. Participants should wear good walking shoes.
On Sunday, May 1, the Ball-Sellers House will co-host Glencarlyn Garden Day with the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden and the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tour the house and then visit a unique AFAC Plot Against Hunger designed to resemble the colonial-era kitchen garden the Ball family would have planted in the 1700s. Get tips from the gardeners about green sustainability and how to get the most out of your vegetable gardens. Then stroll through the tranquil library garden for their plant sale and enjoy locally sourced tropicals, ferns, shrubs, trees, and annuals with their master gardeners.
On Saturday, June 4, the Ball-Sellers House will be offer extended hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to help the Glencarlyn neighborhood celebrate its annual Glencarlyn Day. Participants can tour the house and sample free colonial snacks and beverages while relaxing under the wisteria arbor.
On Monday, July 4, the Declaration of Independence will be read at the Ball-Sellers House at 2:00 p.m. This is one of the few buildings that stood in Arlington at the time where one could have heard it read the first time. The house museum will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for free tours.
The Arlington Historical Society has more exciting plans for the 2016 Ball-Sellers House season, including the annual Arlington Antiques Appraisal and a fall event celebrating colonial craftsmanship. Watch for more details.
Private groups of any age are invited to tour the house throughout the April–October season. Contact Annette Benbow to arrange a date and time at email@example.com or 703-577-7042.
About the Ball-Sellers House: Farmer John Ball built the Ball-Sellers House in the 1740s. Three generations of the Carlin family owned the house next–the patriarch William was a tailor who counted George Washington and George Mason among his clients. Marian Sellers donated the house to the Arlington Historical Society in 1975 to preserve and share it with the public. The Ball-Sellers House is at 5620 S. 3rd Street in Arlington, Virginia.