“You have to take those objects and tell a story,” Frances Allshouse says of her work at the Goldvein museum.
My farm in Fauquier is my home and it’s always been important to me to be here to protect my home and preserve it for the next generation.
Preserving history, artifacts and wildlife always have ranked high in importance for the Fauquier County native.
Frances Allshouse holds three jobs, all focused on preservation.
As a historical interpreter at Monroe Park’s Gold Mining Interpretive Center in Goldvein, she has the opportunity to introduce children and adults to the history of gold mining in Fauquier County from the 1800s to the present.
“You have to take those objects and tell a story. The whole synthesis is interesting, and I really like that storytelling aspect,” Mrs. Allshouse said.
She also promotes history at Chapman’s Mill near Broad Run with the Turn the Mill Around Campaign and works as a library clerk at two branches.
Formerly the director of the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail, she wrote the book, “Ghosts of the Old Jail.”
Mrs. Allshouse lives on her family farm and finds comfort in nature.
“Fauquier County has different meanings for different people. But to me, Fauquier County has always been home. My farm in Fauquier is my home and it’s always been important to me to be here to protect my home and preserve it for the next generation.”
Historical interpreter at Monroe Park’s Gold Mining Interpretive Center for Fauquier County Parks and Recreation at Goldvein since September 2014. I introduce visitors to gold mining in the county.
Library clerk at the Warrenton and Bealeton branches since May 2014.
Director, Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail, 2007 to 2014.
• Why do you do the job?
Historical interpreter: You have all these artifacts and you have to put them together and display them for the public. You have to take those objects and tell a story. The whole synthesis is interesting and I really like that storytelling aspect.
Library clerk: I love the collections and the idea of being a steward of the library. I get to meet and interact with people in the community and make suggestions of what they want to read next. It’s pretty cool.
At the Turn the Mill Around Campaign: I’m fascinated that it’s not well known and I like the idea of promoting it — how it was stabilized and the history behind it. It was built in 1742. I’m happy to share the history with others.
Husband, Andrew; mother, Margaret, and a slew of cats. We live on a family farm.
Bachelor’s degree, biology and historic preservation, Mary Washington College, 2007. Liberty High School, 2002.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
All my life, 32 years.
• Why do you live here?
Fauquier County has different meanings for different people. But to me, Fauquier County has always been home. My farm in Fauquier is my home and it’s always been important to me to be here to protect my home and preserve it for the next generation.
• How do you describe this county?
Definitely still rural, but growing fast. I’m hopeful the rural nature of it will remain. Growth is inevitable, but we can curb it in the way we choose.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I’m a pretty big land preservationist, and I’ve seen southern Fauquier farms turned into subdivisions. I would slow that down a little bit.
• What do you do for fun?
Read. When I have time, I like to walk around in the woods and enjoy nature.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Stick me in the middle of the woods on my farm. I’m a nature, outdoors person.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think we are going to be growing more in commercial and residential. I hope we take a look at Gainesville and Prince William County and grow in the way that would be best for Fauquier County. In general, I see the decisions that were made there and we need to try to make decisions to benefit citizens, not only commercial business.
• Favorite TV show?
• Favorite movie?
“The Cameraman” (1928) with Buster Keaton.
• Favorite book?
“Ghosts of the Old Jail,” written by me. It’s a collection of ghost stories from the Old Jail Museum in Warrenton.
“Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo
• Favorite vacation spot?
I like to go on staycations. I would rather spend my day wandering around historic sites in Fauquier County more than anything else.
• Favorite food?
Fried dumplings at Great Wall in Bealeton.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My husband told me about one year ago, “We get so caught up in what we should do, instead of just be.” In all the “should,” we forget to just live.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My mom. She was born without a socket in her hip, spent decades in and out of the hospital and raised her siblings. She suffered a brain aneurism and you wouldn’t’ know anything had happened to her now. She’s just one of those people who never give up. She has the will to survive. She has been through a lot and still keeps on going.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Probably put a lot of money into fixing things around the house. Donate a lot of it to local charities and give a lot of it back to the community. $1 million would go pretty quickly. Maybe set up a scholarship for someone at Mary Washington.
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