We’re celebrating our 275th anniversary this year and you can rent some of that history for your special event. The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Historic Property Rental Services oversees seven county historic properties that are available for hosting weddings and other special events.
Cabell’s Mill is our most popular site, located in the wooded acres of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. The mill dates back to the 18th century. During the last century, the old mill was transformed by previous owners into a guest house and hosted many Washington notables, including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Six other county historic properties available for rent include:
Three staff members currently work for HPRS, which oversees rental and use of the sites, including manager Zane Stivers, Cort Simpson and John Hopkins. The team sets appointments and meets with prospective clients at rental sites. They also provide custodial help, facility support including staffing, grounds keeping and customer support.
Events usually don’t happen during conventional work days or work hours. “It can be challenging to find employees to fill the unique staffing requirements of far-reaching geographical sites, weekend and night event staffing, strong customer skills and limited hours,” explains Stivers.
HPRS staff have dealt with snow storms, threats of hurricanes, a derecho, broken furnaces and air conditioners. “We had patrons running around with crab nets to catch the 17-year locusts during an outdoor ceremony, and a staff person reeled in a fake fish as part of the wedding ceremony for couple that were great outdoorspeople,” says Stivers. Once, a celebrant failed to show up, but staff found a replacement in time, “The wedding didn’t miss a beat,” says Stivers.