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Lorton, Virginia: Lorton Workhouse Museum - Suffragettes Behind Bars

Former prison, now an arts center, includes a one-room history museum. Exhibit chronicles how suffragettes were incarcerated, and force-fed during their hunger strikes.

Workhouse Arts Center

9601 Ox Rd, Lorton, VA
Building 9, Lorton Arts Center. West of town along Hwy 123, east side.
W-F 12-3, Sa-Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Free - donation
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Lorton Workhouse Museum - Suffragettes Behind Bars

Prison is now an artist showcase. The guard towers still stand along with the buildings. The scoreboard and ball field can be seen on the weed-filled property. Plenty of great artists have shops throughout, and there are many options, from food classes to theater. We were there on a rainy day that added to the adventure. All on-hand artists were helpful.

[Study Ref, 01/04/2015]
Lorton Workhouse - Suffragettes Behind Bars

Washington DC's old penitentiary, it was the site where female suffragists picketing the White House were held, among them Alice Paul. When Paul undertook a hunger strike for her cause, she was force-fed during the fight to secure for votes for women. Now the place is used as an arts center and showcase.

[Jen, 07/23/2012]

The Workhouse Prison Museum is under development, tracing the history of the facility. Tours are available.

Force feeding exhibit.

Lorton Workhouse Museum

The former prison at Lorton has been converted into an arts center where artists can create, display and sell their art. In building 9 of the complex is a one-room museum on the history of the prison, which focuses largely on the suffragettes who were imprisoned there and tortured with forced-feeding when they went on a hunger strike (there is a diorama depicting this).

The docent was very friendly and full of information, including the fact that they are planning to expand the museum in the next year. Hopefully that will include displays on former inmates Chuck Brown (the Godfather of Go-Go) and Petey Greene (host of Petey Greene's Washington and subject of a Don Cheadle fim).

[Will Zaza, 12/21/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

National Museum of the United States ArmyNational Museum of the United States Army, Fort Belvoir, VA - 5 mi.
Rest Stop Dedicated by Lady BirdRest Stop Dedicated by Lady Bird, Dale City, VA - 6 mi.
George Washington's Home, Grave, and False TeethGeorge Washington's Home, Grave, and False Teeth, Mount Vernon, VA - 9 mi.
In the region:
National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC - 18 mi.

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