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

Frying Pan Meeting House

 
 
Frying Pan Meeting House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 17, 2007
1. Frying Pan Meeting House Marker
Inscription.  Frying Pan Springs Meeting House was erected c. 1791 on land granted by Robert “Counsellor” Carter to a group of “Old School” Baptists. In addition to local farmers the fundamentalist beliefs of its members also attracted free blacks and slaves to the congregation. From the beginning blacks were listed as members, baptized in the springs behind the meeting house and interred in the adjacent burial grounds.

In the post-Revolutionary period, Baptists were among the first to establish themselves apart from the Episcopal Church which had dominated religious life in colonial Virginia. Even in its wood construction this meeting house represented a symbolic break from traditional brick Episcopal churches. The simple materials and plain style were in keeping with the conservative doctrine of the congregation. Largely unaltered, this structure provides one of the few remaining local examples of 18th century vernacular church architecture.

The meeting house served as a landmark upon the rural landscape of western Fairfax County from the 1790s into the mid-20th century. The last surviving member of the declining congregation
Close Up View of the Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 17, 2007
2. Close Up View of the Map
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deeded the meeting house and its adjoining springs, baptismal pond, grounds and cemetery to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 1984.
 
Erected by Fairfax County Park Authority, Division of Historic Preservation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1791.
 
Location. 38° 56.39′ N, 77° 24.783′ W. Marker is in Herndon, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is at the intersection of Centerville Road (County Route 657) and Frying Pan Road (Virginia Route 608), on the right when traveling north on Centerville Road. Located in Frying Pan Park, of Fairfax County Parks System. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Herndon VA 20171, 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. A different marker also named Frying Pan Meeting House (a few steps from this marker); Civil War at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Frying Pan Meeting House (a few steps from this marker); Mosby’s Rock (approx. half a mile away); Historical Site of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Story of Arrowhead Farm (approx. one mile away); Laura Ratcliffe
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(approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Laura Ratcliffe (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Herndon.
 
More about this marker. To visit this site, plan to stop at the main parking lot off West Ox Road (VA Route 608) and use one of the walking trails to get to the meeting house. There is limited pull off space next to the marker, and depending on the time of day, Centerville Road can be dangerous to cross.

The marker has a rendition of a map of the area with the caption, “Frying Pan Meeting House & Grounds as surveyed 26 June 1797.”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 27, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,273 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on February 22, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 27, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Apr. 23, 2021