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May 16, 2003

Belmont estate to offer tours for deaf visitors

From: The Free Lance-Star, VA - May 16, 2003

Belmont, the Gari Melchers Estate and Memorial Gallery, will offer special tours for the deaf and hard of hearing on June 7 and Oct. 11.

Tours of the Stafford County attraction will run at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and reservations are required.

Darlene Hicks of Fredericksburg is the certified interpreter for the tours, and students from the Building Bright Futures program of Stafford County Public Schools will serve as escorts.

Additional support for the special tours is provided by the disAbility Resource Center of Fredericksburg.

Assisted listening devices and written scripts will be available, and the video about the estate features closed captions.

Belmont, a 27-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers, is owned and operated by the state of Virginia and administered by Mary Washington College.

The property is a National Historic Landmark and a Virginia Landmark. Belmont is located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4.50 for senior citizens and $1 for children ages 6 to 18. Admission is free for children under 5 and for Friends of Belmont.

To make reservations for a tour, call Nancy Heyward, education coordinator, at 540/654-1851. Use VA Relay to call.

--Cathy Jett

Copyright 2003 , The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. of Fredericksburg, Va.