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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax is the county seat for Fairfax County
Adjacent to Fairfax County, Virginia
Alexandria(355) ► Arlington County(455) ► Fairfax(48) ► Falls Church(137) ► Loudoun County(335) ► Prince William County(653) ► Washington, D.C.(2450) ► Charles County, Maryland(150) ► Montgomery County, Maryland(714) ► Prince George's County, Maryland(624) ►
Touch name on this list to highlight map location. Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
Battery Sater and Other Defensive Tactics Fort Hunt became fully armed as a coastal defense installation upon completion of Battery Sater, the last of the four gun batteries. Battery Sater also served as a command center for mines placed in . . . — — Map (db m41177) HM
According to tradition, the earliest congregation, which would become the Bethlehem Baptist Church, was organized circa 1863 by Samuel K. Taylor, a former slave, who preached in the homes of the African-American residents of Gum Springs. Shortly . . . — — Map (db m100708) HM
In addition to its use as a coastal defense during the Spanish-American War, Fort Hunt served further military purposes in later years. During World War II, the military transported enemy prisoners here in unmarked, windowless buses, literally . . . — — Map (db m41176) HM
To the north stood Clermont, the birthplace of Fitzhugh "Fitz" Lee. Born on 19 Nov. 1835, Lee was the nephew of Gen. Robert E. Lee. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1856. During the Civil War, Fitzhugh Lee was commissioned as a . . . — — Map (db m161) HM
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), originally designed as a New Deal Program under the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided work for young men during the Depression Era, a time of excessive unemployment. From . . . — — Map (db m41173) HM
Rivers were like highways in Washington's time and having access to the water connected Mount Vernon to the outside world. Riverfront activities were a part of daily life and ranged from shipping and receiving goods, such as tobacco, fish, flour, . . . — — Map (db m148150) HM
Welcome to Fort Hunt Park. The concrete platform in front of you, Battery Mount Vernon, once held a set of heavy guns designed to protect Washington, D.C. from naval attack. In 1885, Secretary of War William C. Endicott chaired a commission that . . . — — Map (db m41175) HM
Fort Washington, directly across the river, is the oldest existing fortification erected for the defense of the national capital. It was begun in 1814 to replace the first fort which was destroyed during the War of 1812 with Great Britain.
. . . — — Map (db m115808) HM
Gum Springs, an African-American community, originated here on a 214-acre farm bought in 1833 by West Ford (ca. 1785-1863), a freed man, skilled carpenter, and manager of the Mount Vernon estate. The freedman’s school begun here in 1867 at Bethlehem . . . — — Map (db m952) HM
Gum Springs, an African-American community, originated here on a 214-acre farm bought in 1833 by West Ford (ca. 1785-1863), a freed man, skilled carpenter, and manager of the Mount Vernon estate. The freedman's school begun here in 1867 at Bethlehem . . . — — Map (db m210268) HM
A 1784 brick house, spring house, and a designed landscape showcase the unique 1942 collaboration of two American masters of design, Walter Macomber and Beatrix Farrand. Green Spring is the only known place where both designers' work is extant. . . . — — Map (db m33710) HM
The gates, which were installed in 1819, were one of the finishing touches to the reconstruction of the White House after it was burned during the War of 1812. The gates were commissioned by President James Monroe and were fabricated at the New . . . — — Map (db m140956) HM
In 18th-century America, riverside property was considered prime real estate, allowing owners to take advantage of transportation and trade opportunities. Located on the banks of the Potomac River, the wharf was an incredibly important part of . . . — — Map (db m147903) HM
Home of George and Martha Washington
"No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this. It lyes [sic] in a high, dry country 300 miles by water from the Sea and…on one of the finest Rivers in the world."
-George . . . — — Map (db m147909) HM
Virginia's first airport permit was granted to Elvin W. Robertson's Hybla Valley Airport in February 1929. As President of Mount Vernon Airways, he utilized the airfield as a site for barnstorming and air circuses. Robertson, Fairfax Supervisor . . . — — Map (db m189494) HM
Fort Hunt played a key role in military development and defense. It was used as a major fortification during the Spanish-American War, as a logistical/training support center during peacetime, and as a military installation during WWI and WWII. . . . — — Map (db m41172) HM
The Washington family land south of here, named Mount Vernon in the 1740s, was part of a grant made in 1677 by the Northern Neck proprietors to Col. Nicholas Spencer and Lt. Col. John Washington. George Washington’s great-grandfather. John . . . — — Map (db m794) HM
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was founded in 1867 during post-Civil War Reconstruction. Freedmen were given one acre of land for religious and educational purposes and a burying ground for colored people. The first church was a one-room . . . — — Map (db m189258) HM
Construction of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway was the result of years of public support for a dignified memorial road connecting the nation’s capital with the home of its first president. The 15-mile roadway opened in 1932, to commemorate the . . . — — Map (db m93158) HM
This flagpole is dedicated to the veterans of P.O. Box 1142 who served this country as members of two military intelligence service (MIS) programs during World War II. Their top secret work here at Fort Hunt not only contributed to the allied . . . — — Map (db m71583) HM
Rumored to have been a slave cemetery, this burial ground is the final resting place of several white and black residents of Gum Springs.
In 1762, Humphrey Peake inherited three slaves — Caesar, Ben and Allee; a mare named Flower, five . . . — — Map (db m131555) HM
American Indians occupied the region at least 13,000 years ago. They hunted game and gathered nature's bounty while residing in temporary seasonal camps. Approximately 3,000 years ago, they began to grow crops and establish permanent villages. . . . — — Map (db m41174) HM
George Washington recognized and celebrated the beauty of the Potomac River and its connection to his life here, once describing it in a 1793 letter to Arthur Young as "one of the finest Rivers in the world."
When discussing his . . . — — Map (db m148148) HM
Fort Hunt, part of a national park known as the George Washington Memorial Parkway, reflects the history of Virginia and the nation. Places along the Parkway represent outstanding examples of cultural landscapes; historical, architectural, and . . . — — Map (db m115809) HM
British warships took advantage of the width and depth of the Potomac River to sail up from the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. Existing defenses were too weak to stop them from shelling Alexandria.
Aware that the nation’s Capitol was . . . — — Map (db m46129) HM
The Potomac River meanders over 383 miles from Fairfax Stone, West Virginia, to Point Lookout, Maryland, where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The watershed of the Potomac River stretches across: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, . . . — — Map (db m148154) HM
The thirteen adjacent elms representing the thirteen original colonies were planted in commemoration of the bicentennial celebration of George Washington’s birth and to revere the ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts organized . . . — — Map (db m939) HM
To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington the citizens of the original Washington, Tyne and Wear, England present to the people of the United States 250 trees planted along the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. . . . — — Map (db m940) HM
From Dream to Flight School
This section of Historic Route 1 boasted two private airfields that began operations in the mid 1920’s. When Dr. Hugo Eckener and First Officer Captain Ernst Lehmann flew the Graf Zeppelin . . . — — Map (db m68104) HM
While its location on the Potomac was usually a blessing—both for its beautiful views and commercial opportunities—Mount Vernon's safety was threatened by activities on the river during times of war.
American Revolution (1775-1783)
In . . . — — Map (db m147908) HM
African Americans in Woodlawn, four miles southwest of here, established Woodlawn Methodist Episcopal Church ca. 1866. The Woodlawn area, formerly part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, was home to African Americans who had been free . . . — — Map (db m131212) HM
The United States engaged in World War II (WWII) at home and on foreign soil. With formal entry of the United States into WWII, the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) began two top-secret programs, known as MIS-Y and MIS-X, at Fort Hunt. Under the . . . — — Map (db m41161) HM
When George Washington surveyed the future site of Alexandria in 1749, he described this area as a “fine improvable marsh.” Do you think that ideas about improving marshlands have changed since Washington's time? How can we improve Dyke Marsh . . . — — Map (db m108523)
Nearly 300 different kinds of birds find food, shelter, or a rest stop in Dyke Marsh. Birds that migrate thousands of miles along the Atlantic Flyway rest here on their way to winter homes in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. . . . — — Map (db m108487)
Your body has a heart and blood vessels to carry nutrients to your tissues, lungs to breathe, kidneys to filter out pollutants, and skin to protect you. When you look closely at Dyke Marsh, you can find natural systems that do all the same things. . . . — — Map (db m108522)
Nearby at John Mathew’s land on Hunting Creek, Governor William Berkeley constructed a fort authorized by the Virginia House of Burgesses on 21 Sept. 1674. Militiamen from Lancaster, Middlesex and Northumberland Counties garrisoned the fort under . . . — — Map (db m775) HM
After Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861 the District of Columbia was on the dangerous border between the divided states. Because of the city’s importance, the Union Army immediately occupied Northern Virginia, which allowed troops to . . . — — Map (db m47967) HM
Fort Willard Park contains significant earthworks and archaeological remains of a fort built in 1862 by the Union Army. It was one of 63 forts that were built surrounding the District of Columbia during the Civil War as part of the Defenses of . . . — — Map (db m154524) HM
In the distance is Jones Point, designated as the southern corner of the District of Columbia by President George Washington. In 1790 Congress established the nation’s capital with a ten-mile square of land ceded by Virginia and Maryland. Alexandria . . . — — Map (db m154908) HM
These trees were planted in commemoration of the eight Presidents of the United States who were sons of Virginia.
George Washington, 1789-1797
• Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
• James Madison, 1809-1817
• James Monroe, 1817-1825
• Wm. . . . — — Map (db m814) HM
Here, 400 years ago, the Piscataway tribe fed themselves on fish and waterfowl. In the early 1800s, Virginia farmers built retaining walls, called dykes, to drain this marsh and make farmland. The dykes proved too hard to keep intact. Without dyles, . . . — — Map (db m117252) HM
A View from the Beginning
Welcome to the 1820s
Thomas Francis Mason
Thomas Francis Mason, grandson of George Mason IV, was a prominent lawyer, mayor and judge in Alexandria, D.C. He worked tirelessly for the economic . . . — — Map (db m127722) HM
In 1929, Airway Beacon No. 55, a pilot’s navigation aid, was installed on this site owned by W.F.P. Reid. Beacon Field is named for the beacon tower. Under the Civilian Pilot Training Program established in 1938, Ashburn Flying Service trained . . . — — Map (db m69516) HM
In this vicinity stood Fort Lyon, the major fortification on the left flank of the Federal defenses guarding the city of Washington during the Civil War. Named in honor of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, the fort covered an area of nine acres with its . . . — — Map (db m154523) HM
The Huntley mansion house and its surrounding farm complex were built circa 1820 as a secondary residence for Thomson Francis Mason and his wife Elizabeth Clapman Price. Thomson Francis Mason, a prominent Virginia lawyer, was active in Alexandria . . . — — Map (db m7911) HM
Before the Civil War, the only full-time Huntley residents were those who worked the land: the enslaved people and the overseers. They labored to raise profitable crops of wheat, oats, rye, and corn for the Masons.
In August 1828, Bob, a . . . — — Map (db m144205) HM
The view changed in all directions after the Civil War and emancipation. New people and opportunities appeared.
The Harrisons became the new voices at Huntley in 1868. They were the first owners to live here full-time, and they immersed . . . — — Map (db m144232) HM
Saint Mark's Episcopal Church is one of several congregations that evolved from the efforts of nineteenth century students from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. The first congregation met at the original Groveton Schoolhouse on . . . — — Map (db m42387) HM
From here, it's easy to see why Betsey Mason wrote that she planned to visit Huntley for much-needed peace and quiet in the 1840s. The view—of the land and of the people who lived and worked here—has changed since then, but thanks to community . . . — — Map (db m198368) HM
During the Civil War, the U.S. Army constructed a series of forts and artillery batteries around Washington to protect it from Confederate attack. Forts O’Rourke, Weed, Farnsworth, and Lyon stood just to the north, and Fort Willard which still . . . — — Map (db m2330) HM
In the early 19th century these 10 acres were part of Burgundy Plantation. In the 1850s, John A. Fairfax established a 150 acre plantation named Fairview on the property. He improved the existing dwelling originally constructed between 1800 and . . . — — Map (db m131551) HM
This is the site of the Mount Eagle Mansion, built in 1790 by Bryan Fairfax.
George Washington was a long-time friend of Fairfax. Washington visited here frequently and dined here the last time only a week before he died in 1799. . . . — — Map (db m140957) HM
Battery between Fort O'Rourke and Fort Farnsworth
In the tree line in front of you are visible remnants of earthworks constructed by United States Army engineers in 1862 as a part of the Defenses of Washington. This earthen parapet . . . — — Map (db m131553) HM
In this vicinity a small African-American settlement grew from ten acres of land given to Jane Carroll by her owner, Dennis Johnston, before 1856. Jane's son, George, acquired an additional 121 acres from Johnston's heirs in 1899 and 1903. In 1904 . . . — — Map (db m163) HM
Schools at Potters Hill.
Based on picture captions left by early local historians like Edith Sprouse we believe there were at least three different school houses at the intersection of Telegraph and Beulah Roads. We have pictures and some . . . — — Map (db m106894) HM
In early January 1862, Colonel Wade Hampton, with a small detachment of cavalrymen crossed the Occoquan River, and rode towards Pohick Church looking for a fight. After going only a few miles beyond the church on Telegraph Road, it encountered a . . . — — Map (db m106896) HM
Mount Vernon's lower garden provided vegetables, fruits, and herbs to feed the Washingtons and their guests. Kitchen gardens were considered the most consequential part of gardening in the 18th century as they contributed to health and survival. . . . — — Map (db m182577) HM
A group of Virginia Indians referred to as the Doeg (but also Dogue, Taux, and other names) occupied villages and settlements along the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers by 1607. They included Tauxenent, near the mouth of the Occoquan River, Namasingakent . . . — — Map (db m32063) HM
George Washington was very fond of horses and dogs and owned many during his lifetime. Both animals could be found in the forest as part of various activities at the estate, such as foxhunts. The American Kennel Club credits George Washington for . . . — — Map (db m182650) HM
"When I speak of a knowing Farmer, I mean one who understands the best course of Crops […] & above all, Midas like, one who can convert everything he touches into manure, as the first transmutation towards Gold."
George . . . — — Map (db m182581) HM
Gardeners carefully pruned and trained dwarf variety fruit trees, such as apple, apricot, cherry, and peach. These living sculptures not only please the eye, but also maximize valuable growing space. Espaliers generally grow against a wall. . . . — — Map (db m182580) HM
"…there is nothing I more ardently desire; nor indeed is there any more essential to my permanent interest, than raising of live fences on proper Ditches or banks."
—George Washington to Overseers at Mount Vernon, July . . . — — Map (db m182585) HM
Most of this four-acre enclosure was devoted to an orchard that produced the apples, cherries, peaches, and other fruits needed in the kitchen. Vegetables, grains, and pasture grasses were grown in beds and allowed to "go to seed," providing the . . . — — Map (db m182590) HM
The forest around George Washington's home has been preserved and protected since the last quarter of the 18th century, beginning with Washington himself.
A working plantation made great demands on the surrounding forest, as wood was . . . — — Map (db m182653) HM
1. Miller's Cottage, Kitchen, Garden and Orchard
Constructed 1770-1771. From 1770 to 1799, George Washington employed several millers who lived in this cottage.
Constructed 1770-1771. The mill had two sets of . . . — — Map (db m140954) HM
In the 18th century, George Washington's Mount Vernon property included Dogue Run Farm, Muddy Hole Farm, River Farm, Union Farm, and Mansion House Farm, where you are now. As the map illustrates, more than half of this 8,000-acre property was . . . — — Map (db m148093) HM
In 1771, George Washington replaced a deteriorated gristmill that his father, Augustine, may have erected as early as the 1730s. The new mil ground grain from Mount Vernon and neighboring farms, and was outfitted with two pairs of millstones. In . . . — — Map (db m32060) HM
"The whole plantation, the garden, and the rest prove well that a man born with the natural taste may guess a beauty without having seen the model. The General has never left America…but it seems as if he had copied the best samples . . . — — Map (db m182659) HM
George Washington wanted to keep farm animals away from the Mansion without obstructing visitors' views of a pastoral landscape with animals grazing in the distance. Instead of fences, he used ha-ha walls, which have a top level that is even with . . . — — Map (db m194337) HM
Only members of the gentry used the Necessary, commonly known as an outhouse or privy, and likely only in good weather. Chamber pots were used inside the house in evenings and in cold or inclement weather. Slaves removed, emptied, and cleaned the . . . — — Map (db m140945) HM
This marker commemorates the establishment of the Purple Heart decoration by General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, on August 8, 1782.
The Purple Heart Trail memorializes those patriots who were awarded the . . . — — Map (db m14173) HM
The original Mount Vernon High School was located here on 8.8 acres that were once part of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Fairfax County purchased the land for $400 per acre in November 1938. Construction funding was provided by Fairfax . . . — — Map (db m100772) HM
A Cobblestone Quarry
Archaeologists and geologists agree that during George Washington's day, this area was a likely source of stone for the Mount Vernon estate. Cobbles (a naturally rounded rock fragment) were collected and used to . . . — — Map (db m182625) HM
Dedicated in 1932, the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway was created to honor George Washington’s 200th birthday. This scenic parkway connected Mount Vernon to the recently dedicated Arlington Memorial Bridge. As the ﬁrst modern motorway built by . . . — — Map (db m93157) HM
The house of moderate cost is not only America's major architectural problem but the problem most difficult for her major architects.
- Frank Lloyd Wright, 1936
Frank Lloyd Wright's solution was the Usonian house, a . . . — — Map (db m140946) HM
Samuel Powel, mayor of Philadelphia and good friend of the Washingtons, owned the handsome coach made by Clark Brothers, well known Philadelphia carriage makers who also built a small coach, or chariot for the Washingtons. A chariot accommodates two . . . — — Map (db m194335) HM
A punt is a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow that was designed for use on small rivers or other shallow water. This type of vessel was very common in 18th-century America. George Washington's records show that punts were used by hired and . . . — — Map (db m182619) HM
As a young man, George Washington acquired a riding chair similar to the 18th century example you see here (alongside a modern reproduction). Popular in America and England, riding chairs could travel country lanes and back roads more easily than . . . — — Map (db m217318) HM
"…it is miserable for a farmer to be obliged to buy his Seeds; to exchange Seeds may, in some cases be useful; but to buy them after the first year is disreputable."
George Washington to Farm Manager William Pierce . . . — — Map (db m182589) HM
This cabin represents dwellings inhabited by enslaved people who worked on Washington's outlying farm. Groups of cabins were arranged opposite an overseer's house.
At Dogue Run Farm, where Washington's 16-sided treading barn was originally . . . — — Map (db m182624) HM
There are no records that document the number of enslaved or free African-Americans who are buried in this cemetery. From oral histories and a handful of early 19th-century visitor accounts, estimates range from 100-150 people. Among those . . . — — Map (db m112650) HM
In 1929, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association placed a marker noting the location of the slave cemetery, believed to be the first commemoration of its kind at a historic site. Despite this recognition, the burial ground lay unattended for decades, . . . — — Map (db m112855) HM
In 1799, this estate was home to a community of 317 enslaved men, women, and children who had no choice but to live here. Most of these enslaved people lived and worked on the four outlying farms as rural laborers. About one quarter of the . . . — — Map (db m112852) HM
"When I speak of a knowing farmer, I mean one who understands the best course of crops; … and above all, Midas like, one who can convert everything he touches into manure, as the first transmutation towards Gold." . . . — — Map (db m182620) HM
"For every acre…, an Apple tree of good grafted fruit is to be planted on the premises, in a regular orchard truly laid out in rows forty feet apart…Between w[hi]ch, (also in regular order) rows of peach trees…"
George . . . — — Map (db m182594) HM
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