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Warrenton Old Jail Museum to reopen at tonight’s First Friday

Friday, May. 2 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
Museum Director Frances Allshouse stands in the former jail's exercise yard. - Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
At tonight's First Friday on Main Street in Warrenton, the Fauquier County Historical Society will show Warrenton the new and improved Old Jail Museum.

Renamed the "Fauquier History Museum," the Courthouse Square facility occupies the 1810 jail building. The Historical Society has worked for months to expand its gift shop of local products. Tonight, they'll show off an exhibit of period ladies' fashion.

Lory Payne, who sits on the Fauquier Historical Society board, said that while the Town of Warrenton and Fauquier County make small financial contributions to the Old Jail Museum, more funding is needed. The museum is owned by Fauquier County. The Warrenton Historical Society, a 501(C)(3) organization, has responsibility for overseeing the facillity.

“We do not charge admission and there is not single large contributor,” said Payne. “We hope an active gift shop will assist with funding. We don't want to charge admission because we believe as a historical structure it should be freely open for public access.”

Frances Allshouse, a Fauquier native who has directed the museum for the past seven years, said the room with the gift shop will have a variety of displays.

“There will be clothing, toys, games, furniture, postcards,” said Allshouse. “We will have all the things you would see in a typical household. There will not be a specific time frame, but rather exhibits from the 1920s one week and the 1800s the next.”

The jail's "War Room" will not go away in the new design. It has been moved upstairs.

Mayor George Fitch and Councilman Yak Lubowsky, who is the president of the historical society, will officiate the museum's ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7 p.m.

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