Historic Blenheim is a c. 1859 central-hall plan Greek Revival-style brick farmhouse built by Albert Willcoxon just prior to the Civil War. Occupied by the Union army from March 1862 to late 1863, the house is significant for the signatures, pictographs, games and thoughts left throughout the house by the soldiers. The graffiti offers a "diary on the walls" of the lives of ordinary soldiers, and glimpses into the lives of the Willcoxon family and the enslaved men and women who lived there.
Removal of paint and wallpaper on the first and second floors have revealed signatures, thoughts and drawings, such as the "Patriotic Series." Work continues on testing methods to remove paint and wallpaper without damaging any graffiti potentially underneath it. Given the amount discovered in previous removals, it is assumed that the remaining covered surfaces will likewise contain names and drawings. Identification and deciphering of graffiti on these fragile surfaces is being assisted with the introduction of multispectral imaging, a methods of using different wavelengths of light to enhance images and provide information on the materials for conservation. The images on this site resulted from a National Park Service, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training grant.
The focus of this site is research into the Union Soldier Graffiti, however Historic Blenheim also conducts research into the Fairfax Courthouse area, before and after the Civil War, and Blenheim's enslaved people.