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Near Brentsville in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre

 
 
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 5, 2020
1. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker
1822 side of the marker
Inscription.  
1822
This now quiet Virginia town was once the busy center of Prince William County for most of the 19th century. The brick Courthouse and Jail were built on the county's public lot in 1822, after which the town grew up around it.

With the growth in population in the early 1800s, the residents of Prince William County petitioned to have the County seat moved from Dumfries to a more central location. In 1820 the Commonwealth of Virginia created Brentsville, the geographic center of the County, from land seized from Robert Bristow who was a loyalist during the American Revolution. A thriving community quickly sprang up around the Courthouse.

Prior to the Civil War, the town attempted to get the Orange and Alexandria Railroad to pass through town. However, the banks of Broad Run were too steep for the railroad to easily cross, and so the tracks were laid three miles to the west at Bristoe Station. During the Civil War Confederate and Federal soldiers encamping in town demolished over 19 buildings. Brentsville never recovered from these twin events which culminated in the county seat being moved
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to Manassas in 1893.

Following the Civil War, the Union Church was established in 1874. The church housed different denominations over the years and helped meet the religious needs of local residents. The site became increasingly important to the Brentsville community between 1929 and 1944 when the one room schoolhouse was used by children in the Brentsville area.

The site also includes an 1850s house owned by the Haislip-Hall family that was moved to Brentsville in 2000 from its original location in Greenwich, Virginia. The house depicts the home and farm life of a 19th century farm family. The house is adjacent to a garden and livestock paddock that is similar to the cabin's surroundings in its original location.

Trails
The first Europeans who settled in this part of Prince William County built their homes along the banks of Broad Run, which provided a source of fresh water and an easy way to transport goods to the Potomac River. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the river became a source of industry as dozens of mills were located along its course.

Broad Run originates near the Bull Run Mountains and is a major source of local drinking water. The Broad Run Watershed is approximately 140 square miles, of which 90 square miles are within Prince William County. This river joins the the Cedar Run to form Occoquan
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 5, 2020
2. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker
Trails side of the marker
Creek.

The Broad Run Walking Trail leads you to Broad Run and back to the parking area. The length of the trail is approximately 800 yards, and it traverses steep terrain. Please be respectful of the nature and wildlife that is abundant along the trail and leave no trace behind.
 
Erected by Prince William County Department of Public Works, Historic Preservation Division.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducationSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1822.
 
Location. 38° 41.385′ N, 77° 29.978′ W. Marker is near Brentsville, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Bristow Road (Virginia Route 619) 0.2 miles west of Izaak Walton Drive, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12249 Bristow Rd, Bristow VA 20136, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brentsville Jail (here, next to this marker); Brentsville Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Brentsville (a few steps from this marker); The Public Lot (a few steps from this marker); County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); County Jail (a few steps from this marker); One-Room School
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 5, 2020
3. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker
Site Map side of the marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Haislip-Hall House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brentsville.
 
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 5, 2020
4. Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 243 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 5, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 21, 2024