Archive: History

Plans Call For Visitors Center at Historic Mill

(BY KEVIN CLARK - THE WASHINGTON POST) Check out this Fairfax Extra cover story on the historic Colvin Run Mill in Great Falls. Fairfax County Park Authority officials are calling for new ways, including building a visitors center, to play up the historic significance of the building and milling operation which has been grinding wheat into flour for 200 years....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 14, 2008; 11:19 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pictures of Fairfax History, Clearer Than Ever

This is a photo of The Bowman Store on Centreville Rd. Michael Rierson explains how he was able to date the photo by blowing up and enhancing the image. Once the image was larger and sharper, it was possible to date the automobiles and the Coca-Cola sign hanging over the door. (Tracy A. Woodward) Using the latest in digital enhancement software, historic preservationist Michael Rierson is finding in old photographs a better picture of our history. The Fairfax Extra has the story. A photograph of the Spring House circa 1890-1900, before and after digital enghancement by Michael Rierson. (Photos courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority)...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Developer and Preservationists Square Off Over Park

The story is set in West Virginia's Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, but Fairfax readers -- who always seem keen on development news and how it relates to our own crowded existence here -- might be interested in this item from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 01:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax History Revealed by Digital Mapping

Local archaeologists are using high resolution digital images of aerial views of the county to discover forgotten historic sites: the parking lot at Fair Oaks shopping center was once the site of a Civil War battle. Learn more about it in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 2, 2007; 09:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Military Matters: Public Honors for a Secret Victory

A new painting set to be unveiled at CIA headquarters in Langley next month depicts a tale, a largely untold, from the Vietnam War: An air battle between a U.S. helicopter and North Vietnamese biplanes. Read the story and see the painting in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

In Search of Volunteers to Keep History Alive

Inside this week's Fairfax Extra you'll find this story with a plea for volunteers from officials at some of Virginia's most important Civil War sites. Read here to find out what you can do to help....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | July 12, 2007; 01:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Unassuming Neighborhood Gains Historical Recognition

The unassuming neighborhood of Tauxemont, just off Fort Hunt Road in the Alexandria section of the county has recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Find out why in the cover story from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 21, 2007; 11:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Remembrance of Confederate Dead

At Arlington National Cemetery, the fallen soldiers who fought under the banner of the Confederate States of America, are still honored. Read how in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 14, 2007; 05:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax's Last Commercial Waterman to Retire

Marvin Louis Harley, seemingly the last of the commercial watermen from Fairfax County to derive his livelihood from the waters of the Potomac River, will retire later this summer, writing the last on a page in local history. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 11, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Rebel Spy's Herndon Area Home Gets Landmark Status

The home of Laura Ratcliffe who made a name for herself during the Civil War by keeping the Confederate officers informed of Union troop movements, was listed last month on the National Register of Historic Places. Here's a link to some local history, in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 12, 2007; 11:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Expected to Sign Mount Vernon Whiskey Measure

From today's Metro section: A spokesman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said yesterday that the governor is expected to sign into law a measure that would allow the Mount Vernon estate to sell small amounts of George Washington's own brand of rye whiskey. The estate will sell whiskey from the first president's rebuilt distillery, which is scheduled to open to the public next month. Mount Vernon historians have said that after serving two terms as president, Washington was the nation's largest producer of whiskey in 1799, producing 11,000 gallons a year in a state-of-the-art distillery. Archaeologists found the remains of the distillery in 1997, and it has been rebuilt with funding from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. The distillery will reopen next month with a museum and will serve as part of the American Whiskey Trail, which runs...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 21, 2007; 10:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

A County History Museum Is Under Consideration

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has begun the process to create a panel that, in cooperation with George Mason University, explore the ins and outs of creating museum dedicated to the history of the county. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 01:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

What To Do With the Lorton Crucifix ?

A crucifix created by the inmates of the former Lorton prison and bearing a life-size figure of Christ now sits in a warehouse and awaits restoration. But where the icon, which many agree is an item of historical, cultural and religious significance, will be placed for permanent display is undecided. Read about it in this article from yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fort Belvoir Commander on BRAC challenges

Col. Brian W. Lauritzen, the installation commander at Fort Belvoir takes charge of this week's Voices of Fairfax guest column and, using another challenge, offers his thoughts on the ones presented by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's recommendations for the post....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 30, 2006; 01:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

Inside Mount Gilead

This week's Fairfax Extra cover story takes us inside the ordinary middle-class home of the 1780s that is known as Mount Gilead. For a look at how Fairfax County residents lived more than 200 years ago, check it out....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 10, 2006; 11:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Buildings, Exhibits Open Friday at Mount Vernon

Check out this front page story about the multi-million dollar makeover at one of the county's star attractions....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 24, 2006; 09:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

SoCounty Secondary Studies Cold War, Helps Museum

Students at the South County Secondary School and organizers of the Cold War Museum (planned as part of the adaptive reuse of the former Nike missile base in Lorton) have agreed to a partnership in which the students will help to preserve personal recollections of key Cold War events. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 12, 2006; 12:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Relocated African-American Dead Are Honored

Three dozen descendants of people who were buried in a tiny Civil-War era African American graveyard, gathered on Saturday to honor their forebears. The graves, relocated last month, were nearly lost in a road-widening project....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 2, 2006; 11:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Governments' Remembrances of Sept. 11

As the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon draws near, officals in Northern Virginia plan subdued commerations. Read about the plans here....

 

By | August 31, 2006; 11:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fort Hunt: A Long Kept Secret about WWII POWs.

More than 3,400 prisoners of war spent time incarcerated at Fort Hunt in southeastern Fairfax County during World War II. Details about the military base's secret, and not entirely legal, mission are just know beginning to be known. Read the article here....

 

By | August 21, 2006; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Ballet Company Dancers Stage Reunion

Former students from the Virginia Ballet Company gathered recently to celebrate the legacy of company founders, Tatiana Rousseu and Oleg Tupine, who brought classical ballet training to Northern Virginia in the 1960s. The story is here....

 

By | July 27, 2006; 11:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Studies Warned of Huntington Floods; Urged Protection

Cranes and garbage trucks pick up trash taken from a house as residents and volunteers work to clean in Huntington after flood waters ravaged the neighborhood in June. (Mark Gong) Studies conducted in 1977 and 1982 both concluded that flood protection measures were appropriate for the Huntington neighborhood that suffered $10 million in damages during the heavy rains last month. But studies were ignored and no action was taken. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By | July 24, 2006; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Conservation Easement Tax Break Nixed by Court

In 1999 a real estate company promised not to overly develop land the company owned near George Washington's Historic Mount Vernon estate. In return for the conservation easement the company claimed hundreds of thousand of dollars in tax deductions. Last month the U.S. Tax Court ruled that the land, on which the company had erected 29 large houses, was not eligible for the deduction because the easement "did not protect open space or a historically important land area." A front page Washington Post story from yesterday is here. This is the first time that a court had thrown out such a deduction and the decision is seen as an important one in light of the increasing popularity of conservation easements which are favored by historic and environmental preservation groups and seen by many investors as an attractive way to ease their tax burdens....

 

By | June 5, 2006; 12:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Historic Clifton Home Could Be Torn Down

From today's Fairfax Extra: The Clifton Town Council is scheduled Tuesday to consider a request to tear down a historic home that was built shortly after the end of the Civil War. Preservation and history enthusiasts are encouraging the council to require the developer, Marcus and Colette Silva to incorporate as many of the interior and exterior elements of the house as possible in the new building. The Hetzel House, at 7151 Pendelton St. in the town's historic district, was built in1870. It is a gabled-front-and-wing structure with a metal seamed roof. No one has lived there for 15 years, and the Silvas want to build a new home on the site. The 7 p.m. council meeting is at the Town Meeting Hall, 12641 Chapel. Rd....

 

By | February 2, 2006; 02:15 PM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Laborer Center Is Former Site of Segregated School

A school for black students was built in the 1950s on land currently occupied by the new Herndon day laborer center. Read about the school and its place in local history here....

 

By | January 17, 2006; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Why Lorton Residents Oppose Prison's Historic Status

Update 12/8: Steven P. Adragna, president of the Crosspointe homeowners association added his explanation in this week's Voices of Fairfax column Originally posted 10/27:The president of the Laurel Hill Civic Association explained in a guest opinion column in this week's Fairfax Extra why  his group opposed the nomination of the former Lorton prison property to the National Register of Historic Places....

 

By | December 8, 2005; 01:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Filmmaker Ron Maxwell To Speak At History Conference

Maxwell, who directed "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals," will speak at the first annual Fairfax County History Conference on Saturday at Frying Pan Park in Herndon. Details are in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 11, 2005; 03:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Board OKs Historic Status for Former Lorton Prison

The county Board of Supervisors on Monday endorsed a plan to nominate the former Lorton prison site as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register. The nomination applies to a 552-acre area of the former D.C. Correctional Complex that the federal government transferred to the county and is being redeveloped. Some of the buildings would be preserved for historical reasons....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 20, 2005; 06:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Historical Marker Dedicated Tomorrow in Newington

The Fairfax County History Commission www.fairfaxcounty.gov/histcomm/ and the Franconia Museum franconiamuseum.org/ will dedicate a historical marker on the Newington area at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dupell Park www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/maps/dupellmap.htm in Lorton. The marker will commemorate the spot where a spur was built in 1918 to Camp Humphreys, now called Fort Belvoir, for transporting troops during World War I. The park is at 6812 Newington Rd....

 

By Steve Fehr | September 16, 2005; 07:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

George Washington, Action Hero, Coming Soon To An Historic Mansion Near You

An article in this morning's Style section revealed a new (or rather, old) look for the U.S.'s first president. Historians and physical anthropologists have created a rendering  of George Washington as he likely appeared as a young man. The rendering will serve as a model for a life-size figure that will go on display at Mount Vernon next year....

 

By | August 30, 2005; 09:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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