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

Falls Church Virginia Historical Markers

Back of Marker image, Touch for more information
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2007
Back of Marker
Virginia, Falls Church — Big Chimneys
Large log house named for its two huge chimneys. One datestone was inscribed 1699, the traditional date quoted for the community's founding. First recorded owner of site is Henry Gunnell (1773 22.75 acre grant). James Gordon, owner 1803-1836, had . . . — Map (db m4192) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Cherry Hill
Greek revival house believed built in 1845 by Wm. Harvey, who bought 66.5 acres (part of 1729 248-acre Trammell grant). Outbuildings added about 1857. Name derived from trees lining lane from Leesburg Turnpike. In 1870, Joseph S. Riley bought the . . . — Map (db m555) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — City of Falls Church Veterans Memorial
To all men and women who served their country during war and peace [Dedication plaque on Flag Pole] Flag Pole Dedicated on the 50th Anniversary of The American Legion Falls Church Posts and Auxiliary Units . . . — Map (db m125855) WM
Virginia, Falls Church — Columbia Baptist Church
In 1859, the church trustees bought this ½ acre (part of 1729 248-acre Trammell Grant) for $100. The 2-story clapboard over timber church served as a Union hospital and appears in Matthew Brady photos. Pastor John Read was shot by Mosby Troops . . . — Map (db m17576) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Dulin Methodist Church
After the Civil War demolition of Fairfax Chapel, the original part of this Gothic revival church was built by Southern sympathizers in 1869 on 2 acres donated by Wm. Y. Dulin (Part of 1742 208-acre Geo. Harrison Grant). Original chapel now forms . . . — Map (db m2841) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Fairfax Chapel
Circuit riders brought Methodism to area in the late 1700s, holding meetings in homes. Fairfax Circuit initiated in 1776. Clapboard chapel built in 1779 and enlarged in 1798 on acre of land donated in 1818 by heirs of George Minor (a part of 1731 . . . — Map (db m86184) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Falls ChurchBetween the Armies
In 1861, Falls Church was a farm village located on the Alexandria-Leesburg Turnpike. On May 24, when Virginia's vote of secession became effective, Union troops crossed the Potomac and occupied Arlington Heights and Alexandria. On June 1, the 2nd . . . — Map (db m2825) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Falls Church Home FrontCherry Hill Farm in the Civil War
Although soldiers repeatedly overran and raided Cherry Hill Farm during the Civil War, this ca. 1845 farmhouse and the ca. 1856 barn behind it survived almost intact. William Blaisdell, of Massachusetts paid $4,000 for the 66-acre property in 1856. . . . — Map (db m65407) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Galloway Methodist ChurchHistoric African American Cemetery
In 1867, African Americans built Galloway United Methodist Church and established the historic cemetery you are facing. According to local tradition, before and during the Civil War enslaved people on the Dulany plantation secretly worshiped in the . . . — Map (db m72029) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Hangman's Tree
On this site stood the Hangman's Tree According to legend, an old oak used by Col. Mosby to hang Union spies after the Battle of The Peach Orchard during the Civil War. The tree was removed 1968. Marker by the Falls Chruch . . . — Map (db m37608) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Harriet and George BriceSeizing Freedom and Facing Challenges
You are standing across the street from land that Harriet Brice, a “free woman of color,” purchased in 1864. Together with her husband, George Brice, she struggled to farm the property during the Civil War. Although we had gained her . . . — Map (db m72112) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Henderson House
This Colonial Revival bungalow (part of 1724 1,279-acre Pearson Grant) bought by Dr. Edwin B. Henderson in 1913. Henderson's ancestors include Powhattan Chief Mimetou. In 1904 he was first African-American certified to teach physical education; . . . — Map (db m4202) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Henry Fairfax
In Memory of Henry Fairfax An upright magistrate A sincere Christian Died in command of The Fairfax Volunteers at Saltillo Mexico 1847 But for his munificence This church might still have been a ruin. Erected by the . . . — Map (db m77662) HM WM
Virginia, Falls Church — History of "Gravel Bank"
This neighborhood along Railroad Avenue and the train tracks known as "Gravel Bank" was once home to several African-American families and businesses, and a vibrant part of the larger community. Lucinda Gaskins, an African-American woman, had . . . — Map (db m144998) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — James Wren
In grateful memory of James Wren 1728 – 1815 Vestryman, Trustee & Architect of The Falls Church — Map (db m77643) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Jefferson Institute
In 1875, citizens of newly chartered town subscribed to build school, as classes were held in Baptist Church, in 1880 Joseph Birch donated land (a part of 1837 24.5-acre Kidwell grant) specifying it always must be used for education. In 1882 . . . — Map (db m2856) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Living in FearMosby's Falls Church Raid
Confederate Col. John Singleton Mosby's Partisan Rangers (43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry) conducted raids on Falls Church through the summer and fall of 1864. On the night of October 17, a detachment of Mosby's command rode through the village down . . . — Map (db m69552) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — New York Memorial Stone at Falls Church
In Memory of the Civil War Soldiers who were buried here in this Hallowed Ground 1861-1864 Edward Bowman, 21st NYVI John Decker, 20th NYSM Patrick Doyle, 20th NYSM Horace Dougherty, 144th NYVI Franklin E. Dunham, 20th NYSM . . . — Map (db m77610) WM
Virginia, Falls Church — Original Site of Saint James Church
The Mass in the early 1870's was celebrated in the home of the Sewall family, known as Walnut Hill, on South West Street. In 1874 the mission of Falls Church was established by the Bishop of Richmond and administered by priests from Saint Mary's . . . — Map (db m144996) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Pearson's Funeral Home
This property at 472 N. Washington St. was part of a 1729 land grant from Lord Fairfax to John Trammell. Developed only after half the original 248 acres was sold in 1865 to Isaac Crossman, and the Fairfax and Georgetown Turnpike (now Lee Highway) . . . — Map (db m125860) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Presbyterian Church
In 1846 Presbyterians first met in private homes. In 1854, Dr. Simon J. Groot bought 11 acres for $179 (part of 1729 246-acre Trammell grant); Built two-story Groot Hall in 1856; Used for Sunday services, private school, community groups, town hall, . . . — Map (db m2865) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Presidential Visit to Falls Church, 1911
July 21, 1911 was the 50th anniversary of the 1861 Confederate victory at Bull Run (Manassas), the first major land battle of the Civil War. For the occasion President William Howard Taft left the White House with a four-car caravan to drive the . . . — Map (db m125857) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Rolling Roads
Site believed near intersection of two indian trails, later used by colonial horsemen and wagons. Tobacco growers improved the routes for delivering this valuable crop which was about ½ of all colonial exports. Draft animals pulled large . . . — Map (db m4204) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Star Tavern
(Front Side of Marker): After no luck in western goldmines Walter H. Erwin in 1852 bought two acres for $100 (part of 1729 248-acre Trammel grant). Built frame tavern on this site which became a landmark on Leesburg Pike. 1861 sketch shows it . . . — Map (db m2874) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Tallwood
Neo-colonial Brice residence, built in 1870 on 95-acre farm of John Green (Part of 1742 208-acre Harrison grant). Yale Rice, descendant of founder of Yale Univ., bought the property in 1890. Dr. and Mrs. Milton Eisenhower owned the house 1938-1943; . . . — Map (db m2838) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Taylor’s Tavern
Two-story building with verandahs stood on 56 acres bought in 1856 by Wm. Taylor (part of 1731 271-acre T. Harrison grant). Tavern faced Alexandria-Leesburg Pike west of Junction with Georgetown Road (Wilson Blvd.). Near here on June 24, 1861, . . . — Map (db m2837) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Taylor’s TavernProfessor Lowe's Balloons
At the beginning of the war, Union commanders were uncertain of Confederate intentions and military capabilities. On June 22, 1861, civilian balloonist Thaddeus S.C. Lowe inflated his racing balloon Enterprise at the Washington Gas Company to . . . — Map (db m41495) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — The Birch House
Located on 2.1 acres of land purchased by Joseph E. Birch for $105 in 1849 (part of 1837 24.5-acre Kidwell grant). Original house was 1 1/2 story "I" house, raised to 2-stories in 1850s; 1873 addition doubled the size. Blacksmith/farmer Birch was on . . . — Map (db m2858) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — The Falls Church
This Georgian-style church designed and built in 1767-69 by James Wren, related to Sir Christopher, replacing the 1733 frame structure on 2-acre lot (part of 1729 248-acre Trammel grant). Washington and Mason were vestrymen. After the 1788 . . . — Map (db m2870) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — C-90 — The Falls Church
The first church on this site was built in 1734 and was in Truro Parish. George Washington was elected a vestryman, October 3, 1763. In 1765 the church fell within the newly created Fairfax Parish, of which Washington was chosen a vestryman. The . . . — Map (db m4189) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — The Falls ChurchVandalism and Renewal
The Civil War dramatically affected this 1769 Anglican/Episcopal church that stands before you. The congregation disbanded as the war broke out, with some families fleeing the village. Confederate forces occupied the church in August and September . . . — Map (db m72085) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — The Story of Big Chimneys1699-1914
"Big Chimneys," named for its two large brick chimneys, was probably the first permanent structure on the land that is today within the City of Falls Church. The home stood just east of this sign. The year "1699," inscribed on a chimney-stone, is . . . — Map (db m4201) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — C-91 — Tinner Hill
An early rural branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded here on Tinner Hill. In 1915, the Town of Falls Church proposed an ordinance to segregate black and white residential sections. Local African . . . — Map (db m55735) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Tinner Hill Monument
(Left Side Plaque): This monument commemorates the inhabitants of the Tinner Hill area who risked their livelihoods and their lives to defend the principles of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Constructed by the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation . . . — Map (db m4203) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — To the Glory of God and in Honor of George Washington
To the glory of God and in honor of George Washington who was a vestryman in 1765 of the old Falls Church Built A.D. 1734 This tablet was placed by the Falls Church Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution October . . . — Map (db m77601) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Town Hall
Town was incorporated in 1875. A simple frame town hall was built here about 1880 on 1/4 acre (part of 1729 248-acre Trammell grant). Town Hall bell was rung for council meetings and fires. Later used only for police station. Torn down in 1953. Town . . . — Map (db m2871) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Tracks into HistoryThe Washington & Old Dominion Railroad
The railroad that became the Washington & Old Dominion was born in Alexandria in response to the competition in shipping posed by the port in Baltimore, which was served by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The B&O was diverting farm produce from the . . . — Map (db m2902) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Train Wrecks
Accidents happened on the Washington & Old Dominion. Mishaps resulted from washouts of the roadbed, loose rails, rotting ties, or from livestock wandering across the tracks. Crew negligence also played a part. One of the earliest and most serious . . . — Map (db m2899) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Turnpike Tollgate
(Text on Front of Marker): Alexandria-Leesburg Pike, chartered in 1813, was completed after 1838. An 1862 map shows a house and tollgate on four acres bought by John Williams in 1857 (Part of 1837 24.5-acre Kidwell grant). An older tollhouse . . . — Map (db m125848) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Virginia Training School
(Front Side of Marker): The Duryee home and 11 acres were bought by Mattie Gundry in 1899 for $2,500 (part of 1773 22,75-acre Gunnell grant). On this site she opened the Virginia Training School for retarded children. At that time, it was the . . . — Map (db m125844) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — West Falls Church Station
In 1912, from the station that stood nearby to your right, you could board a modern interuban passenger coach at 7:34 a.m. and arrive in Georgetown by 8:00 sharp. It was a new century and Washington, D.C., was on the move. The demand was heavy in . . . — Map (db m2901) HM
Virginia, Falls Church — Wren’s Tavern
Famous ordinary believed to be part of Federal-style mansion built on 145 acres bought for $291 in 1787 by James Wren (part of 1742 208-acre G. Harrison grant). Lying north of Alexandria-Leesburg Rolling Road, tavern operated 1789-1815 under James . . . — Map (db m2842) HM

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