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Fairfax, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Dairy Barn Complex

Historic Blenheim

 
 
Dairy Barn Complex Marker image. Click for full size.
October 31, 2009
1. Dairy Barn Complex Marker
Inscription.  
“The outlook for agriculture in Fairfax is dismal.”
County Agent R.B. Davis, Jr., 1946

Why was Davis so pessimistic? As he wrote, Blenheim owner Marguerite “Daisy” Duras’s diary cows were setting production records. Just seven years earlier in 1939, her Uncle Harry P. Willcoxon’s dairies were lauded for bringing “Fairfax milk into favorable notice in city markets.” Grandfather Alfred Willcoxon helped found the Central [Fairfax] Farmers Club; he grew corn, hay, wheat, and oats as one of Fairfax’s principal farmers.

But suburbia came swiftly to Fairfax. World War II’s population boom doomed Fairfax’s agricultural economy. “Having decided to discontinue the dairy business,” Duras and her daughter Barbara advertised an auction of “Dairy Cows, Dairy Equipment and Machinery” in September 1948. Three months later, The Fairfax Herald advertised corn for sale at the “former Willcoxon Farm.”

Rezoning Blenheim to suburban residential use began by 1953. By the end of the decade, the process transformed the Willcoxon Farm into today’s neighboring suburbs.
 
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City of Fairfax, Virginia. (Marker Number 2.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1948.
 
Location. 38° 51.322′ N, 77° 17.58′ W. Marker is in Fairfax, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Old Lee Highway. The marker is located at the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax VA 22030, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Blenheim (within shouting distance of this marker); Blenheim House (within shouting distance of this marker); Blenheim (Willcoxon Farm) (within shouting distance of this marker); Boxwood Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Willcoxon Family Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Grandma's Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Fairfax Elementary School (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fairfax (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax.
 
More about this marker. On the right side of the marker is a photograph captioned:
Mural: A large crowd gathered for the Farm Sale on September 25, 1948 at the dairy barn complex, which also included a calf house and granary. The large frame barn built in the 1920s featured
Dairy Barn Complex Marker image. Click for full size.
July 25, 2009
2. Dairy Barn Complex Marker
two cupolas and a glazed tile silo. The Civil War Interpretive Center now stands behind the former dairy barn complex. The farmyard area once included a machinery and hay shed, horse barn, and cow shed.
City of Fairfax Historic Collections.

On the lower middle of of the marker is a photograph captioned:
Left:The Blenheim dairy barn had 50 stanchions for milking the Willcoxon’s Holstein and Guernsey diary cows.
City of Fairfax Historic Collections

In the center of the marker is a copy of a public sale notice captioned:
Inset: Similar advertisements to the Willcoxon Farm Sale filled pages of the The Fairfax Herald during the late 1940s.
Fairfax County Public Library Historical Newspaper Archives.
 
Close-up of Public Sale notice on marker image. Click for full size.
July 25, 2009
3. Close-up of Public Sale notice on marker
Historic Blenheim House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 19, 2016
4. Historic Blenheim House
Rezoning Blenheim into suburban residential use transformed the property into today's neighboring suburbs.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2009. This page has been viewed 1,635 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 25, 2009.   4. submitted on February 18, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 25, 2024