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

Copperthite Racetrack

 
 
Copperthite Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By Trinket Troy, April 15, 2016
1. Copperthite Racetrack Marker
Inscription. In 1897 Henry Copperthite, a Georgetown businessman, purchased Silas Burke’s farm. In 1907 he constructed, according to a newspaper account, the “very best” harness racing facility “of its kind in the country.” The grandstand, which opened on 4 July 1908, held 2,000 people. Horse, motorcycle and car races were also featured. Special trains from the Washington, D.C. area brought visitors to Burke, where they could stay at the new hotel. Families enjoyed fairs, Fort Myer cavalry drills, balloon ascensions, baseball games, athletic contests and dances the pavilion. For nearly a decade, thousands were entertained at the Copperthite racetrack and fairground.
 
Erected 2015 by The Fairfax County History Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia, Fairfax County History Commission marker series.
 
Location. 38° 47.467′ N, 77° 16.13′ W. Marker is in Burke, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Burke Road (County Route 652) near Burke Lake Road (County Route 645), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. It is at the Burke Nursery and Garden Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9401 Burke Rd, Burke VA 22015, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
Copperthite Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By Trinket Troy, April 15, 2016
2. Copperthite Racetrack Marker
8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Burke's Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Burke Station (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Burke's Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Silas Burke House (approx. half a mile away); The Huldah Coffer House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Bog Wallow Ambush (approx. 1.4 miles away); Keene’s Mill (approx. 1½ miles away); David R. Pinn Community Center (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burke.
 
Regarding Copperthite Racetrack. In the 1907, the main line of the Southern Railway, today Norfolk Southern, was laid on the current alignment of Burke Road. Today it is just a few hundred feet north.
 
Also see . . .
1. A History of Pies, Racing and Summer Fun. 2012 article by Victoria Ross in the Burke Connection. “[Mike Copperthite] told the crowd that Henry was also instrumental in transforming Burke from a sleepy rural town to a thriving resort destination. ‘Henry built the Burke Station Racetrack on land that is now part of the Burke Nursery, four hotels, stables for 75 horses and grandstands to seat more than 2,000 people. His stables housed the horses of President McKinley and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt’.” (Submitted on April 17, 2016.) 

2. Pies by Copperthite. 2011 article by Constance Chatfield-Taylor in the Georgetown Dish. “Quality control in my time meant producing your own ingredients.
Unveiling of the Copperthite Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 31, 2016
3. Unveiling of the Copperthite Racetrack Marker
After speeches on the grounds of the Burke Nursery and Garden Center at the dedication of the marker, dignitaries prepare to unveil the marker. From left to right: Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Eileen Filler-Corn, Virginia House of Delegates Representative; a descendant of Henry Copperthite; and Jon Vrana of the Burke Historical Society.
We produced 29 different types of pies—meat, fruit and vegetable. In 1900, I purchased a 600 acre farm and structure at Burke Station, VA and started a dairy farm to provide milk and butter for our pies. ” (Submitted on July 31, 2016.) 
 
Categories. Entertainment
 
At the Unveiling of the Copperthite Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 31, 2016
4. At the Unveiling of the Copperthite Racetrack Marker
The historical marker was unveiled during the dedication and pie reception. Pies by the Connecticut Copperthite Pie Baking Company of Georgetown were served. From left to right: Jon Vrana, Sharon Bulova, Eileen Filler-Corn and two descendants of Henry Copperthite, including Mike Copperthite, owner of the pie company, on the left. He was instrumental in the erection of this marker.
Poster for the July 31, 2016 Dedication image. Click for full size.
5. Poster for the July 31, 2016 Dedication
This 11 x 17 inch poster could be seen in establishments all over the area announ­cing the dediction.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 17, 2016, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 468 times since then and 166 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 17, 2016, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   3, 4, 5. submitted on July 31, 2016, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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