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Lees & Independence Family Fun Festival
July 4, 2014 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pmFREE
An event for the whole family…and it’s FREE! Mixing history with family fun, this event celebrates the impact of the Lees on the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Plan to spend the day at Stratford and enjoy family activities, fun, food, tours and more. Gates open on July 4 at 10:00 a.m. and close 4:00 p.m. NO ADMISSION FEE.
The Plantation Dining Room will be open for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced the resolution for independence to the Continental Congress:
“Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
This resolution led to the writing, and subsequent adoption, of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee were the only two brothers to sign the document.
Come celebrate with us!
Family activities held from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. include:
- Scavenger hunt with prizes from the Stratford Gift Shop
- Picnicking on the Oval
- Hiking nature trails
- Strolling grounds and gardens
- Collecting fossils on the beach
- FREE Great House tours
- Visiting the gristmill – watch the mill operate and visit with the millers
- Learning colonial games
- Trying on/photographed in colonial costumes (kids only)
- Signing the Declaration of Independence
Tents will be set up around the Oval in front of the Great House with the following activities:
Holiday Tent: Stratford Hall information, Kids’ Scavenger Hunt sheets, Parent Scavenger Hunt sheets, trail maps, Fossil Collecting Identification sheet, site maps and directions to the Mill
Bicycle Tent: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. some adult-size bicycles will be available to ride on a first come, first served basis. Limited riding time is 1 hour. Enjoy the use of Stratford Hall’s bicycles on our roads….no trail rides please!
Art Tent: Fun art projects and crafts
Dress Up and Play Tent: Select a costume (kids only) , strike a “colonial pose” and have a complimentary photo taken! Learn to play colonial games.
History Tent: Learn about the Westmoreland Resolves and the lives of Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee. Sign the “Declaration of Independence” using a quill pen.
Off site activities:
Start the day early by attending an annual celebration sponsored by the Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society. There will be an 8:30 a.m. salute to the Lee brother signers of the Declaration of Independence at Burnt House Field near Hague, Virginia. A re-enactment there will feature a visit in 1795 by Francis Lightfoot Lee and wife, Rebecca Tayloe Lee, to the grave of Frank’s older brother, Richard Henry Lee, who was buried in the Lee family cemetery at Burnt House Field. Directions to the cemetery: From Route #202, turn left at Hague onto Coles Point Road, then another left onto Mt. Pleasant Road.
The re-enactment will be followed by a special service at Yeocomico Church, where Richard Henry Lee and his father, Thomas Lee, served on the Cople Parish vestry in the 18th century. The service will include singing favorite national hymns and the The Star-Spangled Banner. Directions to Yeocomico Church: From Burnt House Field, turn left on Coles Point Road and then make a right onto Tucker Hill Road, then another right onto Old Yeocomico Road.