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

Lorton Nike Missile Site

 
 
Lorton Nike Missile Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, March 26, 2006
1. Lorton Nike Missile Site Marker
Inscription.  Located north of here was one of three Nike anti-aircraft missile complexes in Fairfax County operated by the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard between 1954 and 1974. The sites were established during the Cold War to defend Washington from Soviet air attack. This complex, along with those at Great Falls and Fairfax, was among thirteen Nike sites that surrounded Washington and Baltimore. The ring of Nike sites was reminiscent of the perimeter of forts that protected the capital during the Civil War. This was the only Nike complex in Fairfax County containing missiles armed with nuclear warheads. It served as a model site for visits by foreign dignitaries.
 
Erected 1994 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number E-97.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, Cold. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1954.
 
Location. 38° 42.393′ N, 77° 15.119′ W. Marker is in Lorton, Virginia, in Fairfax
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County. Marker is on Furnace Road (County Route 611) 0.4 miles west of Lorton Road (County Route 642), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lorton VA 22079, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Development of a Progressive-Era Model Penal System (approx. 0.6 miles away); Occoquan Workhouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); Prisoners at the Workhouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); Irma Clifton (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Occoquan Workhouse (approx. 0.7 miles away); Evolution of a Landscape – Plantation, Prison, Park (approx. ¾ mile away); Silverbrook United Methodist Church (approx. 1.4 miles away); Occoquan River Bridges (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lorton.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  Historic Context of the Nike Missile Site. (Submitted on September 4, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
 
Additional commentary.
1. National Site
The Lorton site was often called the “National Site” and used to demonstrate the Nike system to domestic and foreign dignitaries. The official site ID was W-64. The actual control facility and launchers were used for a time as a maximum security prison. (Reference: “Rings of Supersonic Steel” by Mark L. Morgan
Lorton Nike Missile Site Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, March 26, 2006
2. Lorton Nike Missile Site Marker
and Mark A. Berhaw.)
    — Submitted July 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 9,974 times since then and 95 times this year. Last updated on March 24, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 26, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 28, 2024