An Old Virginia Christmas at Booker T. Washington National Mounument

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Join the park staff and volunteers on Saturday, December 3, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., to celebrate “An Old Virginia Christmas” at Booker T. Washington National Monument. 

Guided tours will be provided at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. There will be limited numbers for each tour. Tickets for each tour can be acquired at the ranger tent station in front of the visitor center on the day of the event. 
Learn about the sights, sounds, and fragrances of a mid-19th century Christmas as Dr. Booker T. Washington described it in his 1907 article written for both Suburban Life and Tuskegee Student magazines, “Christmas Days in Old Virginia.” Washington described his childhood memories of Christmas, also known as “The Big Times,” by stating, “There is in the Virginia Christmas atmosphere a fragrance and influence which is not to be found elsewhere.” 
Experience the farm where Booker T. Washington was born and spent the first 9 years of his life with his family and learn what Christmas was like for Washington and the other enslaved people who lived on the tobacco plantation from 1856-1865 as well as the Burroughs family that owned the plantation. Washington’s most memorable Christmas on the plantation was in December of 1864. Nearly four years of Civil War had a tremendous effect on all the inhabitants of this plantation. As the enslaved endured continuing hardships their feeling of optimism brightened as the end of the War drew nearer. During “The Big Times”, the air was filled with hope and dreams, as well as uncertainty, of a new life in freedom!  
What was it like on the plantation during the time leading up to Christmas Day and “The Big Times”? Guided tours lasting 30 minutes each will start in front of the park’s visitor center and conclude with a living history vignette at the reconstructed kitchen cabin that represents where Washington once lived. Hear Booker T. Washington’s mother Jane, share her perspective of “The Big Times” and see the decorated cabin! Find out what the Yule Log meant to the residents of the plantation! Experience Christmas through the memory of Booker T. Washington! 
Gingerbread and hot cider will be available. Join us for this FREE, family and community event! Contact Booker T. Washington National Monument at (540) 721-2094 for more information. 

Booker T. Washington National Monument is one of over 400 units of the National Park Service, the agency entrusted with the care of our nation’s natural and cultural treasures.  The park is located 16 miles northeast of Rocky Mount, VA via VA 122; 25 miles southeast of Roanoke, VA via U.S. 220 and VA 122; and 45 miles southwest of Lynchburg, VA via U.S. 460 and VA 122. The park is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission, parking, and all programs are free. Visit us on the web at:, find us on Facebook at:, and follow us on Twitter @BookerTNPS. 

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An Old Virginia Christmas at Booker T. Washington National Mounument
  • 12130 Booker T. Washington Hwy
  • Hardy, VA 24101
  • to
  • Booker T. Washington National Monument
  • Free