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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Falls Church, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Story of Big Chimneys

1699-1914

 
 
The Story of Big Chimneys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2007
1. The Story of Big Chimneys Marker
Inscription. "Big Chimneys," named for its two large brick chimneys, was probably the first permanent structure on the land that is today within the City of Falls Church. The home stood just east of this sign. The year "1699," inscribed on a chimney-stone, is thought to be the date the structure was built. This is also the date that the community of Falls Church traditionally accepts as its beginning.

The original cabin was made of logs in the Scotch-Irish style, with a back door directly opposite the front door to allow cows to be brought in through the front for milking and then taken out back. The cabin was built near the intersection of early footpaths which became busy roads during the colonial era. The cabin, newly expanded, became an inn, or "ordinary," in the early 1800's to serve travelers plying these roads.

Big Chimneys' central location was a day's horseback ride from regional river crossings and early settlements. When the Church of England established a church to serve early residents in the 1730's, it did so a few hundred yards east of Big Chimneys, the site on which the Falls Church still stands. The village which later grew up around this well-suited crossroads is today the City of Falls Church.

Big Chimneys was torn down by 1914.

Just beyond this sign is the footprint of the cabin, recreated to scale
The Story of Big Chimneys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2007
2. The Story of Big Chimneys Marker
The log footprint built by the Boy Scouts is in front of the marker.
by the Boy Scouts of America Troops 681 for the 1999 Tricentennial.
 
Erected by City of Falls Church.
 
Location. 38° 52.961′ N, 77° 10.47′ W. Marker is in Falls Church, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Annandale Road and Gundry Drive, on the right when traveling east on Annandale Road. Click for map. Located in Big Chimneys City Park. Marker is in this post office area: Falls Church VA 22046, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Big Chimneys (a few steps from this marker); Virginia Training School (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rolling Roads (about 700 feet away); Henderson House (about 700 feet away); Town Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Star Tavern (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Falls Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Falls Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Falls Church.
 
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is "The only known photograph of Big Chimneys taken around the turn of the century."
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers
 
Another View of the Log Footprint image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2007
3. Another View of the Log Footprint
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,787 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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