“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Virginia, City of Falls Church Historical Markers

Back of Marker image, Touch for more information
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2007
Back of Marker
1 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
2 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
3 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
4 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
5 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
6 Virginia, Falls Church — Henderson House Reported missing
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
7 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
8 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
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9 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
10 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
11 Virginia, Falls Church — Star Tavern
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 with a verandah and green . . . Map (db m2874) HM
12 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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 Virginia, Falls Church — The Tinner Hill Historic SiteBirth Place of the first rural branch of the NAACP in the Nation, 1918
This historic site is a testament to the long African American struggle to gain equality and civil rights. It also honors a moment of triumph for the human spirit. African American life in Falls Church predates the 1700s. Enslaved . . . Map (db m151023) HM
17 Virginia, Falls Church — Tinner Hill
Charles H. and Mary E. Tinner in 1890 paid $375 for 2.5 acres here (part of 1724 1,291-acre Pearson Grant), built a home on the crest and later provided lots from that property for their children. They farmed the land, quarried granite from the . . . Map (db m151022) HM
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18 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
19 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
20 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
21 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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Jun. 6, 2023