“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Great Falls Line

The Great Falls Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 22, 2009
1. The Great Falls Line Marker
Inscription.  The Bluemont Branch of the Washington & Old Dominion was not the railroad’s only line. The Great Falls & Old Dominion Railroad arose in 1906 from the vision of two prominent men. Sen. Stephen B. Elkins of West Virginia had prospered through coal, lumber, and railroads in his home state. John R. McLean was involved in several businesses and owned The Washington Post. Elkins and McLean bought land on the Virginia side of the Potomac River at Great Falls. They turned it into a resort, complete with a carousel, dance pavilion, and an electrified trolley line to bring the crowds from Washington. The largely undeveloped land along the line was idea for residential communities, including one named after McLean.
Erected by The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park - Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks 🏞️, and the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad 🚂 series lists.
Three Markers in front of an Old Caboose image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Three Markers in front of an Old Caboose
The markers at Bluemont Junction are clustered in front of an old caboose, which serves as an information center.
38° 52.386′ N, 77° 7.959′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker can be reached from North Manchester Street, on the right when traveling north. Located in the W&OD Regional Trail Park, adjacent to the Four Mile Run City park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bluemont Junction (here, next to this marker); Rosslyn Station (here, next to this marker); Bluemont Junction, ca. 1934 (a few steps from this marker); Tracks into History (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Civil War Outpost (about 700 feet away); Reevesland (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lest We Forget (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alice N. Nicolson (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a picture of a train on the Great Falls Line captioned, “A small steam locomotive stops at Cherrydale in Arlington, along GF&OD around 1908.” The marker also has portraits of John R. McLean and Sen. Stephen Elkins. A small inset reproduces an advertisement used for the W&OD describing services to Great Falls.

This marker is one of a standard set used along the trail, and is duplicated elsewhere.
Also see . . .  Great Falls and Old Dominion Line. Wikipedia entry, with a rather detailed listing of stops along the line. One section of the old railroad was converted to the present day Old Dominion Drive. (Submitted on November 28, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 28, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,535 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 28, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Jan. 16, 2021