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´╗┐Title: A History of the Town of Fairfax
Author: Rust, Jeanne Johnson
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the Town of Fairfax" ***

Transcriber's note:

      The copyright on this work was not renewed.


[Illustration: _Sketch by John H. Rust, Jr._]




Illustrations by Paul R. Hoffmaster

First Edition
Second Printing

Copyright 1960, by Jeanne Johnson Rust
All rights reserved

Printed by Moore & Moore, Inc., Washington, D. C.

Designed by William M. Guillet

To My Husband

_and his favorite town--his birthplace_.

[Illustration: Map of Fairfax]


  1. _Court House_                            Pages 29, 33, 57
  2. _Duncan's Chapel_                        Pages 39, 43
  3. _Payne's Church_                         Page 19
  4. _Store Site_                             Pages 25, 31
  5. _Ford Building_                          Page 25
  6. _Rose Bower_                             Page 38
  7. _Site of Willcoxon Tavern_               Pages 24, 32, 48
  8. _Rectory_                                Pages 25, 48
  9. _Truro Church_                           Pages 20, 38, 61
  10. _Coomb Cottage_                         Page 36
  11. _Coomb Cottage Building No. 1_          Page 36
  12. _Coomb Cottage Building No. 2_          Page 36
  13. _Cooper Carriage House_                 Pages 37, 45
  14. _Confederate Monument_                  Page 64
  15. _Site of Ratcliffe Home_                Page 32
  16. _Ratcliffe Grave Yard_                  Page 32
  17. _Earp's Ordinary_                       Pages 23, 45
  18. _Willard Place_                         Page 55
  19. _Blenheim_                              Page 24
  20. _Ratcliffe Race Trace_                  Page 32
  21. _D'Astre Place_                         Page 37
  22. _Richardson House_                      Page 38
  23. _Site of Judge Thomas House_            Page 37
  24. _Oliver Building_                       Pages 25, 44
  25. _Farr Home_                             Page 22


        _Introduction_                                 6

  I.    _Jamestown_                                    7

  II.   _Rebellion_                                   10

  III.  _The Gentry and the Convicts_                 14

  IV.   _The Push Inward_                             17

  V.    _The Town_                                    23

  VI.   _The Revolutionary War_                       26

  VII.  _The Court House_                             29

  VIII. _Development of the Town_                     36

  IX.   _The Civil War in Fairfax_                    43

  X.    _Spies_                                       53

  XI.   _Stealing of Important Papers_                57

  XII.  _Reconstruction_                              61

        _Bibliography_                                68

        _Index_                                       69


_When man reaches out into space to explore a new planet, his
adventure will be comparable in many ways to that of the colonists
who braved the space of water in the early seventeenth century to
establish their proprietary rights on a strange continent called

_These colonists found themselves confronted with the need to feed,
house and clothe themselves with unknown and untried materials
reaped from a wilderness which hid their enemy, the red man, and
housed the dread mosquito which carried the deadly malaria._

_Proof of their danger lies in the history of the Jamestown Colony.
Being attacked by red savages upon landing at the malaria infested
Jamestown and inexperienced with survival under wilderness
conditions, the colonists were reduced to eating their own dead
before help finally arrived._

_Strengthened in number and sustained by food and help brought by
Lord de la Warr, the colonists eventually set up a government,
bought peace with their enemy, and settled down to raise tobacco on
the land to which they received proprietary rights. Later they
expanded their holdings; developed their resources; improved their
government; established churches, schools and colleges; gained their
independence from their mother country; survived civil strife; and
advanced their civilization._



At Jamestown the colonists found that they could not succeed without
expanding the Indian's agriculture. They found the savages of the
Tidewater section growing corn, muskmelon, pumpkin, watermelon,
squash, maypops, gourds and peas in their fertile well-organized
gardens. Grapevines were cultivated at the edge of clearings and
there were rich harvests of chestnuts, hickory nuts and acorns.
Strawberries and other small fruits grew in abundance and mulberry
trees stood near every village. Tobacco was grown to itself, in
carefully prepared hills arranged in well-organized rows. It
developed into a slender plant less than three feet tall and the
short, thick leaves, when ripe, were pulled from the stalk and dried
before a fire or in the sun. The colonists learned to grow and store
the Indian foods for cold winters and they learned to earn their
livelihood from the export of the tobacco they grew.

In the northern part of Fairfax County, the Indians grew corn. They
fished, mined, and herded buffalo. In order to have sufficient
grassland for their "cattle", or buffalo, the Indians deliberately
set fire to the forests. They also burned their "old fields" that
had once been cultivated for they found that grass grew voluntarily
on them if the trees were kept down.

Maxwell in "The Use and Abuse of Forests by Virginia Indians" tells
us, "Virginia, between its mountains and the seas was passing
through its fiery ordeal and was approaching a crisis at the time
the colonists snatched the fagot from the Indian's hand. The tribes
were burning everything that would burn and it can be said of the
Alleghanies that if the discovery of America had been post-poned
five hundred years, Virginia would have been pasture land or

This point is further illustrated by the Manahoac Indian's remark to
Captain John Smith that he knew not what lay beyond the Blue Ridge
except the sun, "because the woods were not burnt".

Although the settlement by colonists helped to slow down this
burning process, it did not stop it altogether. The colonists
cleared their land by burning also and when they had exploited one
area moved on to another. (They did not burn as large areas as the
Indians.) As other freemen came, they pushed upward and inward along
the waterways to find unexploited land. This, of course, hastened
the development of the Fairfax County area but it left acres of "old
fields" going idle for want of a little fertilizer. Many ignorant
overseers of large land holdings knew little of fertilization or
replenishing the soil and they too, when they had exhausted one part
of the proprietorship, moved on to another, which they cleared by
burning. They gathered slaves from other plantations to help fell
the trees and at night large groups of negroes gathered round the
mound of burning trees and raised their voices in the spiritual
singing that was characteristic of them. Sometimes the burning
lasted for two or three days and laughter, song and wine were

Fairfax County itself was gradually being occupied by men from two
of the colonies: viz., Maryland and Jamestown. The Maryland
colonists were English traders who, for one reason or another, had
left their colony (1632) and taken up their residence among friendly
tribes along the Virginia shore of the Potomac. The Maryland
colonists preceded the Jamestown colonists by a few years.

The Jamestown colonists in their search for unused land had
gradually started to move into Fairfax County around 1649. Word had
spread that the area farther north (part of which is now known as
Fairfax County) was the "land of opportunity" and wealthy
land-holders began buying large units of five hundred to three
thousand acres for speculation. Among these were the Masons,
Draytons, Baxters, Brents, Vincents, Merriweathers, Fitzhughs,
Hills, Dudleys and Howsings.

Most of these men were not ready to make their homes here, however,
for this area was still infested with unfriendly Indians. Instead
they hired indentured slaves who came from England, Scotland,
Ireland, France, etc., who worked the land for a few years, earned
their freedom and then became land owners in their own right. It
stands to reason, therefore, that the society of the Fairfax County
area at that time was necessarily crude. These indentures, though
vigorous and having outstanding individuals among them, had the
reputation of not being given to the amenities. Unfortunately, the
men in well established areas south of the indentures did not have a
realistic understanding either of the struggles and trials of these
men who were pioneering the Indian infested areas farther north.
This lack of understanding led to dissension and, in some instances,



When the wealthy land-owners of the southern part of the colonized
area started buying up land in lower Fairfax County for speculation,
they did not buy out the title of the Doeg Indians, who occupied
this area at that time. (The white man established no relations with
the Doeg except to hold him off whenever possible). A series of
murders were committed on the frontier by Doegs and in retaliation
the colonists mistakenly killed Indians who were not Doegs. By 1675,
through a series of hot-headed misunderstandings the Susquehannock
Indians became involved and they struck whenever and wherever they
could. Captain John Smith described the Susquehannocks as having
booming voices, being seven feet tall and treading on the earth with
much pride, contempt and disdain.

Although no records were kept at the time, we can assume that many
homes were burned, women and children killed, etc. It is a known
fact that thirty-six people were killed on the Rappahannock in one
raid and that Indian retaliations of one nature or another caused
the English settlements that had reached Hunting Creek to recede to
Aquia, where they stayed for the next ten years.

Sir William Berkeley in order to help the frontiersmen, unwisely,
and at great expense to the people, commanded a fort to be built at
the mouth of each head river; e.g., one was built at Colchester on
the Occoquan. These forts proved of no value, being made of mud and
dirt. Other precarious forts were built in place of the mud ones.
These proved useless too and the governor and gentry declined to do

Taking matters into their own hands, two hundred men (including men
from the Fairfax County area) joined under the leadership of
Nathaniel Bacon. They incited the Occannechi to massacre the
Susquehannock. Then, having disposed of the worst enemy, they turned
on the Occannechi and murdered them. The few Indians who survived
stabbed at the colonists occasionally but gradually drifted into
Pennsylvania taking the Doegs with them. The frontiersmen and
governing gentry, however, still remained at odds and another
cleavage began to appear. This one was centered around the men's

From the first, tobacco had been their staple product. It was
Virginia's principal export crop. It was used as money. Salaries of
ministers and civil officers were paid with it. Bounty for wolves
and Indian scalps were offered in it and necessary equipment was
bought with it.

However, due to English navigation laws forbidding the colonists to
export to other countries, by 1682 England became over-supplied with
tobacco and the planters soon began to feel the effect of this
surplus. Growers began to go deeper and deeper into debt.

Major Robert Beverly and William Fitzhugh, young planter-lawyer from
this area, concluded along with other prominent men that the
solution lay in some type of crop control but England refused. She
did not want to lose the two shillings tax on each hogshead of
tobacco. She advised the colonists to wait until Thomas, Lord
Culpeper, the titular governor of the colony returned to Virginia.

Lord Culpeper had received the titular grant to all of this area
and a great deal more besides. He was happy in England, however, and
not at all anxious to come to Virginia. He was 47 years old at the
time and described as "able, lazy, unscrupulous".

While waiting for his return, the people became desperate. Taking
hoes and farm tools, they roamed the countryside pulling up and
cutting tobacco plants wherever they went. Some destroyed their own
crops. The county militia was called out and plant cutting was
brought under control but by this time 30,000 to 50,000 pounds of
tobacco had been destroyed.

A few months later the people again became impatient and the
government in Jamestown reacted by declaring the destruction of
tobacco "open and actual rebellion". It promised a reward of 2000
lbs. of tobacco for information and promised to pardon the

Finally, in December, Thomas, Lord Culpeper, departed from London
and the arms of his mistress. He was briefed by the Privy Council
before he left and as soon as he arrived in Virginia declared the
offense to be treason. He had several planters executed as examples
and granted amnesty to almost every plant cutter who would take the
oath of loyalty to the king. There were approximately twenty men
from this general area who took the oath.

In the meantime economic conditions improved for the colonists. The
English began dumping their surplus tobacco upon the continent of
Europe and the diminished colonial supply found a quick market.

As far as the Indian situation and forts were concerned, Lord
Culpeper suggested that a small band of volunteer light horsemen be
hired to range the woods of the heads of the rivers to protect the
frontiersmen against surprise attack by the Indians. His suggestion
was accepted by the Assembly and the "Rangers" were organized.

They were comprised of one lieutenant, eleven soldiers, and two
Indians. They were supplied with horses and other necessities to
range and scout the areas they served.

Lord Culpeper then proceeded to return to England where he was
relieved as governor and his commission was turned over to Lord
Howard of Effingham. It is rather ironic that neither Lord Culpeper
nor Lord Fairfax, who inherited his estate and for whom the County
and Town were named, cared particularly for Virginia. Lord Culpeper
came under duress and returned as soon as possible to England. Lord
Fairfax came, according to tradition, only after he had been
disappointed in love in England and because his holdings demanded
his attention. The people struggled on, however, and gradually the
wealthy land owners began to move northward to occupy the tracts of
land upon which their grandfathers had speculated.



George Mason II had moved to Pohick in 1690 but his home was
considered such an outpost that runaway slaves were returned there
by Indians. In 1746 the fourth George Mason moved to his property on
Dogue Neck and built Gunston Hall in 1758. By 1734 Captain Augustine
Washington moved his family to his plantation on Little Hunting
Creek. His home was destroyed by fire and he moved back to the north
bank of the Rappahannock in 1739. In the spring of 1741 William
Fairfax built Belvoir. After his daughter married Lawrence
Washington in 1743, the original part of Mt. Vernon was finished.

Along with the gentry's influx into the county, however, there was
also the influx of convicts. Heretofore this land had, as stated,
been occupied mostly by indentured slaves. When these indentures
achieved their freedom and became land-holders in their own right,
they found they too needed help for harvesting the fields. England,
recognizing this need and being anxious to rid herself of an
undesirable element, began to export convicts to America. Benjamin
Franklin called this "the most cruel insult that perhaps was ever
offered by one people to another".

Robert Carter, in his first term as proprietary agent, made numerous
grants to the Irish and Hugenots and they took a substantial number
of these convicts who were gin fiends, beggars, murderers and
arsonists. These cheaper servants after serving seven years became
parasitic wanderers, creating hotbeds of undisciplined passion
wherever they went.

They received credit for burning many warehouses, private homes,
public buildings, churches and finally the Capitol itself in
Williamsburg. Arson became epidemic in the Northern Neck.

All legislative efforts to abort this infiltration by convicts were
stopped by the "greedy planter" who loved the cheapness of this
labor and the practice of importation survived the Revolution.

Consequently, this area was comprised of gentry, indentures,
convicts and slaves. Yet the homes of the former two were similar in
many ways. Their houses were made of wood; their roofs were made of
oak shingles. The walls were made of clapboard sealed on the inside
with mortar made of oyster shell lime which gave the room a look of
antiquated whiteness. Some houses were constructed of bricks made by
the colonists themselves. Most houses consisted of only two rooms
and several closets on the ground floor with two prophets chambers
above. They built separate houses for the kitchen, for Christian
servants, for Negro slaves, and several for curing tobacco. Each
household gave the appearance of a small village. There were no
stables. Cattle and horses were allowed to run in the woods.

Merchandise was supplied by traveling salesmen from England who took
their loaded ships from creek to creek.

Due to the fact that most people lived on widely separated
plantations there were very few schools. Sometimes a house was
erected on one of the old fields which had outlived its usefulness
and there the children of the plantation owner along with those of
relatives and neighbors would attend school under the supervision of
a tutor hired by the main family. These were called "Old Field
Schools". They were made of logs held together by wooden pins. The
roof was shingled with hand-hewn wood shingles and a large field
stone fireplace was used to heat the room. There were few books
available and the tiresome methods of teaching were heavily
interspersed with strict discipline. School began at eight o'clock
in the morning and a recess was taken at eleven. It opened again at
one o'clock and closed at four o'clock in the afternoon.

Public school systems did not make their appearance until 1857. As a
rule, the parish halls of the various churches were used to house
the students.

The children of the poor learned from their parents the art of
working in the fields. The wealthier families sent their eldest son
to England to be educated and other sons were educated at the
College of William and Mary which had been established in 1693.

Recreation was found in the form of wrestling, playing with quarter
staff, cock fighting, and pursuing wild horses. Beverly gives us a
lively description of the latter: "There is yet another kind of
sport which the young people take great delight in and that is the
Hunting of wild Horses which they pursue sometimes with Dogs and
sometimes without. You must know that they have many Horses foaled
in the Woods of the Uplands that never were in hand and are as shy
as any Savage creature. These having no mark upon them belong to him
that first takes them. However, the Captor commonly purchases these
Horses very dear by spoiling better in the pursuit; in which case he
has little to make him amends beside the pleasure of the Chace. And
very often this is all he has for it, for the Wild Horses are so
swift that tis difficult to catch them; and when they are taken tis
odds but their Grease is melted, or else being old, they are so
sullen that they can't be tamed." (Due to the capture of tame horses
roaming the woods, the sport of capturing wild horses was eventually



At this time the northern and central parts of the County were
sparsely settled due to the large tracts of land held by a few. King
Carter, of course, had assigned most of the land to himself during
his second tenure as proprietary agent. However, there were large
tracts owned by William Fitzhugh, William Moore, Cadwallader Jones
and Lewis Saunders, Jr., which consumed most of the land in and near
the Town of Fairfax. Since men could only "seat" themselves on this
land, most of the indentures went over into the valley where they
could work land that belonged to them. Thus the development of this
territory was delayed for years.

However, when King Carter found what seemed to be substantial
deposits of copper in the northern part of the county, he and his
sons opened up a pre-existing Indian trail which came from Occoquan,
past the future site of Payne's church, near the future site of
Fairfax Court House, where it veered west and continued towards
Chantilly. Ox Road made accessible the area now known as the Town of
Fairfax; became a deciding factor in the future placement of the
Court House that was to serve this area; and created the original
western part of The Little River Turnpike.


FOR the greater ease and convenience of the inhabitants of the
county of Prince William, in attending courts, and other public
meetings, Be it enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council and
Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby
enacted by the Authority of the same. That from and immediately
after the first day of December now next ensuing, the said county of
Prince William shall be divided into two counties: That is to say,
all that part thereof, lying on the south side of Occoquan and Bull
Run; and from the head of the main branch of Bull Run, by a straight
course to the Thorough-fare of the Blue Ridge of mountains, known by
the name of Ashby's Gap, or Bent, shall be one distinct county, and
retain the name of Prince William county: And be one distinct
parish, and retain the name of Hamilton parish. And all that other
part thereof, consisting of the parish of Truro, shall be one other
distinct county, and called and known by the name of Fairfax
county.... And a court for the said county of Fairfax, be constantly
held by the justices of that county, upon the third Thursday in
every month, in such manner, as by the laws of this colony is
provided, and shall lie by their commissions directed.]

As people followed this road inward to seat land, a new parish was
set up which was named "Truro" by King Carter. He expected the
parish to be a mining district and named it after a borough of
Cornwall, England, which was a shipping port for tin and copper ore.

Truro tried to provide meeting places for all and called upon a man
by the name of Samuel Littlejohn, who seated land south of the
future site of the Town of Fairfax, for help in supplying a place to
worship for this particular area. Mr. Littlejohn complied by renting
his tobacco barn for regular services.

He received 1000 lbs. of tobacco a year for its rent. The barn was
fitted with six benches which ran the length of the house and two
benches which stood at each end of the building. A Communion table
and a reading desk with a small window on each side of the desk
concluded the specified alterations. This was in 1765. The exact
location of this barn has not been identified but it seems likely
that it was in the vicinity of Edward Payne's home on middle ridge
near the Ox road, where Payne's church was built in 1766. (The
Virginia Army National Guard Nike Site is now located on part of
Payne's land.)

At a meeting on February 3rd and 4th, 1766, the vestry resolved that
a new church be built on the middle ridge near Ox Road ... on the
land "supposed to belong" to Mr. Thomazen Ellzey, young
planter-lawyer, "who being present consents to the same". (Mr.
Ellzey owned a large tract of land including the Magner tract of
which "Brecon Ridge" is now a part. According to local tradition, he
gave the "glebe" land which consisted of 40 acres for the minister
who was allowed to collect as salary whatever he could grow on the
"glebe".) Vestrymen present these two days were "Mr. Edward Payne,
Colo. George Washington, Capt. Daniel McCarty, Colo. George William
Fairfax, Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr. William Gardner, Thomas
Withers Coffer, William Linton and Thomas Ford."

Edward Payne was to undertake to build the church for 579 lbs. of
Virginia currency agreeable to a plan and articles drawn up by a Mr.
John Ayres who was to be paid 40 shillings for his plan and
estimates. These plans were to be modeled after the Falls Church.

Hearsay relates that "Edward Payne, vestryman and builder of the
church, and Col. George Washington had an argument concerning the
location of the church. A fist fight insued and Mr. Payne, who was a
tall man but not as tall as Col. Washington, knocked Col. Washington
down--it being the first and only time Washington was ever knocked
down". The church was located according to Mr. Payne's judgment and
records show it was accepted on September 9, 1768, as agreeably
built according to plan, with the exception of the brick pediments
over the door which were to be corrected by Mr. Payne.

The church was used for services until the time of the Revolution
after which it was used only occasionally. Early in the last century
the Baptists took possession of it as abandoned property, with the
Court's permission, and upon the division of that denomination in
1840 the Jerusalem Baptist Church (new school) was organized in the
building and continued to use it until 1862.

_Photo by Ollie Atkins_]

At that time Federal troops camped in the vicinity tore the church
down brick by brick and used the material to build chimneys and
hearths for their winter quarters. A small frame Baptist church now
covers part of the original foundation of Payne's church. A model of
the original Payne's Church can be found in the design and
construction of the present chapel at Truro Episcopal Church in

During the development of the parish and its move northward and
inward, the Court in 1752 ordered Lewis Ellzey, Hugh West Jr., James
Hamilton, James Halley and others to view and mark a road to be
cleared for the most convenient way from Alexandria to Rocky Run

This road is now locally known as the old Braddock Road, named after
General Braddock who presumably traversed it on his way to Ft.
Duquesne. Although historians disagree on the authenticity of this
route being taken by Braddock, around the road has grown a legend of
"buried treasure".

The story goes that the road was impassable and the weather
extremely inclement when Braddock and his men used it. They had to
cut down trees and other growth to clear their way. Added to this
was the fact that they were carrying a chest of gold coins, with
which to pay the men. They had two cannons, which were proving
extremely burdensome, and were constantly becoming bogged down in
the mud.

Finally, having lost so much time due to the condition of the road
and the heaviness of his cannons and gold, Braddock decided to
lighten his load. Taking the gold coins, he stuffed the nozzles of
both cannons with the coins and then buried the cannons near a
spring on the road near Centreville. The story continues that the
spring has since dried up and although many people, including the
British, have searched for years for the "buried treasure", it has
never been found.

Near the intersection of Ox Road and Braddock Road was a tract of
land (the future site of George Mason College, the northern Virginia
branch of the University of Virginia) which was owned by the Farr
family. The large home on this tract of land was burned by Union
forces during the Civil War in retaliation for a very brave act by
the young fourteen year old Farr boy.

This young boy, knowing that Union troops were located at Fairfax
Station waiting to attack the Court House, built a road block of
logs across the Ox Road over which these troops had to pass. Hiding
himself in the underbrush nearby, he fired so heroically upon the
enemy troops, as they approached, that they assumed there was a
large group of Confederates waiting for them and withdrew to Fairfax
Station. When they learned of the hoax, they returned and burned the
Farr home to the ground.



Historically, the most important house in the town of Fairfax is the
Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House at 10386 Main Street. This little
brick house was built in 1805 when the town was founded and the
original half meets the specifications of the 1805 Virginia State
Legislature. It is sixteen feet square, has a brick chimney, and is
"fit for habitation." The Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House is
considered to be in "pristine" form and unchanged from its original
condition except for an 1830 addition which is believed to have been
built by the same brick mason.[1]

    [1] _The Richard-Ratcliffe-Allison House is listed on the Virginia
    Historic Landmarks Register and on the National Register of
    Historical Places. It belongs to the City of Fairfax and is an
    integral part of the founding of the town._

The little brick house was the first structure completed when
Richard Ratcliffe established his town named Providence (now
Fairfax). Henry Logan bought the house and later sold it to Gordon
and Robert Allison. They added a large parlor and bedroom to
the house and built a stable in the backyard to take care of
the horses of their paying guests and possibly those of the
Alexandria-Winchester Stage Coach Line.

_Photo by Ollie Atkins_]

Richard Ratcliffe's tavern at the northwest corner of the
intersection of Chain Bridge Road and The Little River Turnpike was
one of the larger houses in Fairfax. Caleb Earp operated a store in
the basement of this tavern and the crossroads was known as "Earp's
Corner" when George Mason recommended in 1789 that the court house
be located at this juncture.

The tavern was extended westward by a Capt. Rizin Willcoxon and
subsequently bought by the Allisons. An 1837 inventory shows there
was a store, a cellar, a granary, a bar, kitchen, parlour, dining
room, tailor's shop, sky parlour, and at least twelve bedrooms in
the tavern.

Capt. Willcoxon, who was a relative and friend of Richard Ratcliffe,
built the addition to the tavern out of bricks kilned by slaves. The
foundation of the Willcoxon home on Route 237 was also built of
bricks from the same kiln. This home was named "Blenheim." The name
of Union soldiers who occupied the house during the Civil War can be
found etched on the walls of its attic.

Although "Blenheim" is still standing today, the Ratcliffe tavern
was torn down in the 1920's and the bricks and mantels were
purchased by Col. Francis Pickens Miller who incorporated them into
the large brick building which is now known as Flint Hill Private


Progress began to embrace Fairfax in the 1900's but before the
1800's there was only a tavern, a store, a tannery, and several
private homes located at "Earp's Corner."

Still standing today are the Truro Episcopal Church rectory, which
was built as a home by Thomas Love and later sold to Dr. William
Gunnell, the Ford Building and the Oliver Building, both of which
were built by members of the Gunnell family.

These homes were representative of the times. Georgian architecture
had begun to spread up and down the coast. Plaster and paneling had
begun to replace lime walls. Beautifully carved mantels and
staircases had made their appearance. Mahogany furniture upholstered
in satin or brocade had replaced crudely constructed pieces.
Portrait painters roamed the country. Tutors moved in to educate the
children of the wealthy. Life was much safer and almost as
conventional as country life in England.



While the rich progressed from rough shacks to Georgian homes, there
was no such advance for the poor. There was not even any improvement
in agricultural implements and the poor were finding it more and
more difficult to compete with the large landholders and their
scores of slaves.

They resented the tight band held over them by the mother country,
who, they felt, neither understood their problems nor how to cope
with them, as well as they did (e.g., the impractical way the
English tried to fight the Indians during the French-Indian war).


Added to this was the constant pressure from the mother country for
more money to exploit her domain, felt in the enforcement of the
"Sugar Act", "Stamp Act", "Tea Act", and "Boston Port Act".

The smoldering embers of hate began to flare in the hearts of the
radicals. The gentry hoped to keep the radicals under control for
they felt the Virginia colony had less cause to fight than the other
colonies. The colony of which they were a part was "the most
populous, prosperous and important one of the thirteen." They had
not felt the sting of taxes like their northern mercantile brothers
nor the sting of poverty like their less fortunate southern

For example, when the "Stamp Act" was being considered. Richard
Henry Lee applied for the position of stamp distributor. When a
fight developed in the House concerning the "Stamp Act", Peyton
Randolph, Edmund Pendleton, Richard Bland and George Wythe opposed
Patrick Henry's resolutions bitterly.

The gentry in Fairfax seemed to be the exception for George
Johnston, a prominent lawyer living between Alexandria and Mt.
Vernon, backed Patrick Henry in his protest. George Mason wrote the
Non-importation Resolutions in 1769, his Fairfax Resolves in 1774
and his famous Bill of Rights in 1776. George Washington, Fairfax
planter, was, of course, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army
and brought the country through to victory under the most difficult

Large numbers of able-bodied citizens in the County served under
Washington in the Revolution. An artillery company was formed out
of the two militia companies in Fairfax and two later drafts took
eighty-two more men. There were a few English sympathizers like the
Fairfax family who did not take part but almost every influential
family in the County fought on the side of Independence.

During this time Patrick Henry served as Governor of the
Commonwealth of Virginia, and in this capacity, appointed a Sheriff
to serve the County of Fairfax. One of the most interesting
documents in view at the Fairfax County Clerk's Office is the
original of this command signed by P. Henry.

The County itself was touched by battle on two occasions: (1) The
Continental Army under General Lafayette crossed the Potomac near
Chain Bridge and (2) Rochambeau's Army of French allies came up
through the County over the old King's Highway to Alexandria, where
French transports awaited them.

The country prospered after the war but economic levels changed. The
new rich who had prospered by government contracts during the war
took the place of men who had lost their business along the coast
line and of men whose homes had been ramshackled by English troops.
Currency fell and prices rose. The farmer, who had by now turned to
wheat instead of tobacco for his livelihood, was receiving high
prices and seemed to be getting rich. However, his labor supply was
extremely limited and he found it difficult to raise enough crops to
supply his own needs. What labor he could find demanded extremely
high wages and the products which the farmer needed came at
extremely costly prices. In spite of difficulties, however, the
farmer saw the need for a good road to Alexandria, where he could
export his wheat. Thus the farmers of Fairfax, Alexandria, and
Loudoun Counties joined together to build The Little River Turnpike,
which was one of the first improved roads in the United States. This
road was completed in 1806 and as stated before, tolls were
collected for it at Earp's Ordinary. Another strong factor in the
completion of this road was the establishment of the County Court
House at the present site in the Town of Fairfax.



In 1618 Gov. Yeardley established the prototype of the county court
by an order stating that "county courts be held in convenient
places, to sit monthly, and to hear civil and criminal cases." It
determined rates of local taxation, registered legal documents,
licensed inns and exercised control over their prices, directed the
building and repair of roads, and rendered judgments in both civil
and criminal cases.

While Fairfax County was still a part of the colony, the first
sessions of Court were probably held in Colchester, a thriving
seaport town where large quantities of tobacco were exported.
Charles Broadwater, John Carlyle, Henry Gunnell, Lord Thomas
Fairfax, George Mason, and George Washington were among the
Gentlemen Justices during the period of 1742 to 1776.

The first entry of the Court's minutes were made in 1742 at a
session held in Colchester. This was an order removing the county
records from Colchester to the new court house two miles north of
Vienna. This court house, where the Fairfax Resolves were written,
was called "Freedom Hill". Ambiguously, a gallows was constructed
here and death sentences were carried out promptly. The court house
remained at Freedom Hill for ten years when it was moved to

There are many theories concerning the move to Alexandria: Roads
were poor and slow; there was still Indian hostility--the treaty of
Fontainebleau did not come until 1762; there was pressure from the
more influential citizens of Alexandria to move it to that city.

At any rate, the Court was moved to Alexandria in 1752 and there it
remained until 1799. The gallows remained at Freedom Hill. When a
death sentence was passed, the prisoner was taken out The Little
River Turnpike from Alexandria to Annandale, thence along "Court
House Road" to the gallows. Eventually the name "Court House Road"
was changed to "Gallows Road", which name a portion of the road
bears today.

During the forty-seven years court was held in Alexandria, the
building fell into such disrepair that it finally became an unfit
place in which to hold business, thereby speeding the acceptance of
a proposal by George Mason and other influential residents that the
Court be moved to Fairfax.

At that time there lived in Fairfax a man by the name of Richard
Ratcliffe who held large tracts of land in this area. His holdings
began at the Ravensworth line and swept over and through all the
area that the Town of Fairfax now occupies, traveling on into what
is now Loudoun County.

When plans became final to move the Court House from Alexandria to
Fairfax, Richard Ratcliffe sold to Charles Little, David Stuart,
William Payne, James Wren and George Minor, for one dollar, four
acres of land "to erect thereupon an house, for holding the Pleas of
the said County of Fairfax, a clerks office for the safe keeping of
the records and papers of the said County, a Goal and all and every
other building and machine necessary for the Justices of the Peace
for the said County from time to time to erect for the purpose of
holding the pleas of the said County, preserving the Records and
publick papers, securing and safe keeping of prisoners and
reserving good order and the publick peace but for no other
use or purpose whatever and also the undisturbed use of and
privilege of all the springs upon the lands of Him the said Richard
Ratcliffe ...", dated June 27, 1799.

Records show that a Richard Ratcliffe came to this country from
England in 1637 along with John Bristoe, Robert Turner, Henry
Warren, Thomas Clarke and Robert Throckmorton--Lord of the Manor of
Ellington. It is assumed that the descendants of Ratcliffe and
Throckmorton worked their way into the vicinity of the future town
of Fairfax for their names appear often in the records and newspaper

The Richard Ratcliffe who gave the land for the court house came
here from Maryland. He was the son of John Ratcliffe of "Poynton"
and "Doyne" Manors, Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland.

He married Lucian Bolling who was from one of the families who had
moved into this area from the Jamestown Colony. Her father was
Girard Bolling who was one of 18 children and descended from Thomas

Mr. Bolling was a planter and merchant who owned a store in Fairfax.
Ratcliffe became associated with his father-in-law in the mercantile
business and took over the business after Mr. Bolling died. In
Ratcliffe's will he left "the brick store and land lot to his sons
for the purpose of keeping store in or on if necessary".

He and his wife had five daughters and four sons. Penelope married
Spencer Jackson. Nancy married Stephen Daniel. Jane married Thomas
Moss, a future clerk of the court. Patsy married Richard Coleman.
Lucian married George Gunnell. His sons were Robert, who was Deputy
Sheriff in 1801, Charles, John and Samuel. Two of his sons were
evidently a disappointment to him for in his will he speaks of
Samuel "having conducted himself badly for several years past" his
debts were to be paid by the executors, who were Robert and Charles
Ratcliffe, Thomas Moss, Gordon Allison and Roger M. Farr. He also
stated that two of his sons had received more than his daughters
but he hoped his sons would do better and his daughters would

The Ratcliffe home place, "Mt. Vineyard" will be recalled by older
citizens in the town as the Rumsey place, which burned years ago.
The family graveyard still exists today. It is located on Moore

Besides owning a great deal of land and a mercantile business, Mr.
Ratcliffe owned a race track on the east side of town. Its
approximate location was east of Route 237, north of The Little
River Turnpike and west of Fairview Subdivision. His personal
property was valued at $4445.34. In his will the slaves were divided
among his wife and children. Some of the slaves were valued as high
as $600 each, while others were valued at a dollar.


In 1836, when Mr. Ratcliffe died and the town had to be surveyed in
order for his estate to be divided, John Halley, the surveyor
writes: "In laying off I commenced at the northwest corner of Rizin
Willcoxon's Tavern House, Robert Ratcliffe having represented that
that house was considered when built as being exactly on the corner
of the lot on which it stands, and the side and gable ends of said
house ranged with the streets. I have therefore taken the ...... of
said house as a guide". The tavern was valued at $4000.00 at that

Robert Ratcliffe had evidently used the northwest corner of the
tavern when in 1805 he laid off the town when An Act of the Assembly
established a "Town at Fairfax Court House on the Land of Richard
Ratcliffe by the name of Providence".

_Photo by Ollie Atkins_]

Meanwhile, a red brick building had been erected for the court
house. It had a gabled roof, an arcaded loggia and a cupola. In the
cupola hung a very fine bell which had been imported from England.
This bell rang to remind the citizens of church time, court, town
meetings, etc.

The inside of the court house was beautifully paneled with walnut
wainscoating and behind the Justice's chair the wall was paneled
from floor to ceiling. There was a gallery for slaves and rows of
hand carved wooden pews for freemen.

On the outside was a place for tying horses in the yard and nearby
stood a well with the traditional "old oaken bucket". The
inscription on the bucket read, "He who drinks therefrom will return
to drink again!"

Among the first Justices of the Peace to serve in the new Court
House after April of 1800 were James Coleman, David Stuart, Charles
Little, William Stanhope, Richard Bland Lee, Robert F. Hooe, William
Payne, Richard Ratcliffe, William Deneale, Humphrey Peake, Richard
W. Poeh, Hancock Lee, William Gunnell, Richard M. Scott, Francy
Adams, James Wiley, Augustine I. Smith, and James Waugh. These men
formed a committee that took turns serving as Justices of the Peace.
They were known as Gentlemen Justices and were appointed and
commissioned by the governor until 1851.

In 1843 an agricultural journal was published at the Fairfax County
seat. It was called the "Farmer's Intelligencer" and was edited and
published by J. D. Hitt. The first issue which appeared on October
21, 1843, showed agitation for a revision of the Virginia
constitution in advocating a more economical and simplified court
procedure. It may or may not have been indicative of general
feelings at the time, but from 1851 until 1870 Justices were elected
by the voters of the County. Among these were Silas Burke, John B.
Hunter, James Hunter, W. W. Ellzey, Minnan Burke, Ira Williams, M.
R. Selecman, William W. Ball, John Millan, Nelson Conrad, T. M.
Ford, David Fitzhugh, S. T. Stuart and Elcon Jones.

From 1870 to 1902 the County Court was presided over by a single
judge elected by the state's legislature. During that time Thomas E.
Carper, Richard Coleman, J. R. Taylor, J. F. Mayhugh and John D.
Cross were among those who served. Governor Yeardley's order was
abolished in 1902 by a constitutional convention and by 1904 the
circuit courts took over the former work of the county courts. Their
decline was brought about because they had become the symbol of
opposition to a centralized government. Thomas Jefferson said, "the
justices of the inferior courts are self-chosen, are for life, and
perpetuate their own body in succession forever, so that a faction
once possessing themselves of the bench of a county, can never be
broken up...."

John Marshall said "there is no part of America where less disquiet
and less ill feeling between man and man is to be found than in this
commonwealth, and I believe most firmly that this state of things is
mainly to be ascribed to the practical operation of our county

William Moss served as Clerk of the Court from 1801 to 1833. From
1833 until 1887 F. D. Richardson, Thomas Moss, Alfred Moss, S. M.
Ball, H. T. Brooks, W. B. Gooding, William M. Fitzhugh, D. F.
Dulaney, and F. W. Richardson served as Clerks. F. D. Richardson who
was born in 1800 and entered the Clerk's Office under William Moss
in 1826 was either Clerk, Deputy Clerk or Assistant Clerk to the
date of his death on October 13, 1880, a period of 50 years. His
son, F. W. Richardson, born Dec. 16, 1853, went into the Clerk's
Office when he was 18 years old (1871) and served as Deputy and
Assistant Clerk until the death of his father in 1880, when he was
elected Clerk of the County and Circuit Courts.

It is said that Ripley wrote in "_Believe It or Not_" that "'Uncle
Tude' (F. W. Richardson) and his father had been Clerks of the
Fairfax Courts continuously for one hundred and five years".



As the court house drew men to this area and the population
increased, a school for girls was established on the property west
of Truro Episcopal Church. Known as Coomb's Cottage, it was a
finishing school for young girls and boasted a roster of
approximately one hundred young ladies from both the north and the

The school was built and established by Dr. and Mrs. Baker, who were
English. In addition to the main house (a white frame building west
of the church), there were a number of other buildings. Two of these
are located across Route 236 from the Church and are still standing
today. One is a professional building, the other a private home.
They were moved to their present location by Judge Love when he
bought the original school property. (The school closed down during
the Civil War and was never re-opened).

The present Truro Episcopal Rectory had been built as a home by
Judge Love's father, Thomas R. Love, who later sold it to Dr.
William Gunnell and built his home in the large grove of trees on
the Layton Hall property, near the site of the present town hall.
"Dunleith", as the large brick home was called, was destroyed by
Union forces and replaced by an ordinary frame house after the war.

The Cooper Carriage house was built during this time by a Mr. Cooper
who had come to Fairfax from the North. Mr. Cooper was a highly
respected citizen and a very gallant Confederate soldier. He was
wounded seven times. Cooper Carriage House is located east of the
professional building which was a part of Coomb's Cottage.

Another house built before the Civil War was the home of Judge Henry
W. Thomas which stood on the site now occupied by the large,
pillared, grey stucco house belonging to Mrs. John Barbour. This
house served as headquarters for the Union officers and afterwards
as a hospital.

The old cedar posts on the porch of the frame part of this house
were the original posts that held the gallery in the old court
house. When some remodeling of the court house was done, Judge
Thomas bought the posts. They were later removed to a white frame
house which served as a tenement house for the Barbour estate. This
house is still standing today and the porch roof is sustained by
tapering posts, which are more delicate and slender than ones
usually found on outside porches.

Also built during this era was the D'Astre place, which is the
present home of Mr. A. B. McClure. This home was owned by a
Frenchman who had the reputation for making wonderful wines. The
vineyard of Niagaras, Delawares, Concords bear out the tribute. The
runway from the cellar to the highway where the barrels were loaded
is evidenced today by a road leading to a log house near the grape
arbors. The tenement house, now owned by Mrs. Douglas Murray, boasts
a concealed attic room, hidden behind a closet. Here Confederate
soldiers picked off the Union troops as they marched past. The house
was raided many times by Union troops but still managed to keep its

Beyond the D'Astre place was the home of Charles Broadwater, which
has recently been torn down for widening of The Little River
Turnpike. When torn down, the well house revealed numerous musket
balls from the war. The house itself was a study in architectural
beaming. Each wall header was constructed of large hand-hewn oak
timbers. Each timber had hand-hewn slots which received studs
secured by wooden pegs.

The large colonial brick house at the corner of Sager Avenue and
University Drive was possibly built during this era too. The land
had been part of the Ratcliffe division, designated as Lot 26, and
had passed from the Moss family to the Jackson family. Later, a Mr.
Harry Fitzhugh, who taught school here, bought it and eventually
sold it to Mr. F. W. Richardson.

The Draper house at the corner of Main and Route 237 was built in
1827 by Dr. S. Draper who occupied it until 1842, at which time a
Mr. William Chapman bought it. The wide upstairs portico and two
immense chimneys at each end of the brick house were characteristic
of the houses built at that time.

The large white frame house belonging now to Mrs. Fairfax Shield
McCandlish, Sr., and being located across from the Fairfax Post
Office was built before 1839 and was owned and occupied by the
Conrad family. They called it "Rose Bower". A son, Thomas Nelson
Conrad, served as a Captain in the Confederate Army and at one time
as a Rebel Scout. In 1859 it was bought by a Mr. Thomas Murray who
later rented it to a lawyer by the name of Thomas Moore. Mr. Moore
had married one of the young ladies who attended Coomb's Cottage--a
Miss Hannah Morris from Oswego County, New York. Mr. Moore was to
have the distinction of carrying the court records to Warrenton,
when the war clouds gathered around Fairfax.

By 1843 Zion Church was founded under the leadership of the Reverend
Richard Templeton Brown. He writes: "On the 8th of February last we
had the pleasure of a new congregation at this very destitute place
and prompt measures were adopted for the immediate erection of a
plain and substantial church. The edifice has been commenced, and,
if not entirely finished, will be used during the present year. Some
of the most influential citizens of the place and neighborhood are
interested in the work; the ladies also are zealously engaged; and
we trust that, by the blessing of God, the Church at this place will
exert a wide and purifying influence."

At that time there were five communicants and twelve families
regularly connected with the church. Services were first held at the
court house, but when for some reason it was forbidden, Mrs. Daniel
Rumsey of "Mount Vineyard"; a Baptist lady, saying that she "could
not see the Ark of the Lord refused shelter", offered her parlor in
which the congregation met until the church was completed. She was
the mother of Mr. William T. Rumsey, who gave the lot for the church
and was one of its first vestrymen.

The church was completed and consecrated by Right Rev. William
Meade, D. D. on June 28th, 1845, under the name of Zion Church.

In 1861, when Fairfax became involved in war, the church became a
storehouse for munitions. It soon thereafter rapidly deteriorated
and was finally torn down by Union soldiers to provide material for
their winter quarters on a neighboring hillside.

In the meantime, the Methodists, it is thought, probably organized
in this vicinity around 1800. The Rev. Melvin Steadman thinks they
may have worshipped at Payne's church for a while or possibly at the
Moss family's home. The first structure built by them, according to
local tradition, was a log cabin which was built around 1822. By
1843 a more elaborate frame building had been built on land given by
a Mr. Bleeker Canfield. Records show that the membership of the
Fairfax Circuit fluctuated between a high of 604 in 1819 to a low of
332 in 1839. The black proportion usually made up a third of the
total, sometimes more.

Around 1850 the church members found their sympathies divided and
two churches were formed--a southern congregation and a northern
congregation. The latter worshipped in a structure near the
intersection of Routes 236 and 237 known as Ryland Chapel. This
congregation existed until the 1890's.

The Southern church is first recorded in 1850 with 93 members. It
reached a peak of 212 in 1852, dropped in 1854 and fluctuated around
125 until the war.


In 1846 the era of rail-roading began. Nurtured by Virginia State
legislation, the Manassas Gap railroad was chartered in 1849. It was
to run through the Town of Fairfax as shown by the plat below. Deep
embankments where the railroad bed was laid can still be sighted
today--one particular spot in the town lies east of the old Farr
cottage (now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Dennis) on Route 237.
These trenches served as embankments for various battles in this
area but other than that have seen no service due to destruction by
both sides during the Civil War.

Forerunner of the fabulous county fairs which were held for years at
the county seat was the first fair held on October 16th and 17th,
1852, at the court house. It was sponsored by the Fairfax
Agricultural Society. The officers of this organization were Richard
M. C. Throckmorton, President; H. C. Williams, First Vice-President;
W. W. Ball, Second Vice-President; Levi Burke, Third Vice-President;
S. T. Stuart, Corresponding Secretary and F. D. Richardson,
Recording Secretary and Treasurer.

Among the exhibitors who were awarded prizes were William Swink,
Ruben Kelsey, Dr. W. P. Gunnell, Charles Kirby, Charles Sutton,
James P. Machen, R. M. C. Throckmorton, Mrs. W. T. Rumsey, Mrs. E.
V. Richardson, Mrs. Mildred Ratcliffe. Mr. Joseph Williams of "Ash
Grove" exhibited corn of "enormous dimensions". The stalks measured
16 ft. 9 inches and the distance to the first ear was twelve feet
six inches and to the second ear thirteen feet one inch.

It was also the custom at this time to send out notices of funerals.
A typical notice was published in a local newspaper as follows:

     "Yourself and family are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral
     of John R. Richardson from the Presbyterian Church to the Public
     Cemetery, this afternoon at 3:00 o'clock. Funeral services by Rev.
     John Leighton.

     Palmyra, Friday, June 8, 1855"

By 1859 Providence had taken the name of "Fairfax" when Culpeper
abandoned it, and being located in a border county was destined to
be the scene of the very first skirmish of the Civil War.

Preceding this skirmish, the citizens of the Town of Fairfax had
debated and appraised the act of seceding from the Union. When on
April 17, 1861, the convention in Richmond adopted "The Ordinance of
Secession" to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the
United States of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all
the rights and powers granted under said Constitution, the people in
Fairfax came forth to vote.

In those days votes were taken orally and penned by the Clerk of the
Court. One page of the voting on secession is still filed among the
records of the Clerk of the Court of Fairfax County.

The picture below shows 21 out of 22 people in Fairfax voting in
favor of secession. The one dissenter, (on this particular page),
Henry T. Brooks, was later appointed Military Clerk of the Court of
the County of Fairfax, when Union forces took over the Town.




Among the representatives in Richmond in February of 1861 when
Virginia was debating secession from the Union was a young man (35
yrs. old) by the name of John Quincy Marr.

He was a graduate and former professor of Virginia Military
Institute. A tall, strong man with black hair and dark eyes, he was
an affable, witty and popular lawyer.

While the convention at Richmond still hesitated, Marr returned home
to Warrenton to raise a company of infantry, known as the "Warrenton
Rifles", who were being made ready to uphold the secession.

Late in May in 1861 the "Warrenton Rifles", after having been to
Dumfries, Fauquier Springs, Bristow Station and Centreville, found
themselves bivouacked in the Methodist Church building (Duncan's
Chapel) at Fairfax.

The village was under the command of Lt. Col. Richard S. Ewell, a
veteran recently resigned from the United States Army, whose
conversation was said to be so full of profanity "that an auditor
declared it could be parsed". He had two mounted companies (one from
Rappahannock County and one from Prince William County) who had
"very few fire-arms and no ammunition".

Although Colonel Ewell was absent scouting on the day of May 31st,
1861, William (Extra Billy) Smith, who was a neighbor and good
friend of Marr, arrived at Fairfax around supper time that evening.
After chatting with Marr for a while, he retired to the Joshua
Gunnell house (the Oliver Building) which was diagonally across from
the Chapel.

In the meantime, Lt. Charles H. Tompkins, Co. B, 2nd U. S. Cavalry
was riding with eighty men towards Fairfax Court House to
reconnoiter the country in the vicinity of the court house.

Tompkins was an Indian type fighter and he made no attempt to seize
the pickets who might warn Marr and his men. Instead, he and his men
rode wildly up and shot at them. One guard rushing into the chapel
shouted, "The enemy's cavalry are approaching". Marr hurried his men
into the surrounding clover fields where they fell in rank.

Governor Smith, hearing all the racket, jumped out of bed and ran to
join his friend, Marr. In his haste he left his coat behind and, it
is rumored, even his shoes, which were placed outside the bedroom
door to be polished by the old negro servant before morning.

Upon arriving at the clover field, he looked around for Marr but not
finding him, asked one of his men, "Where is your captain?"

"We don't know, Sir," was the reply. Marr had disappeared and his
men were in a state of confusion.

"Boys, you know me. Follow me!" urged the 63 year old governor.

Halfway to the courthouse more confusion arose when one of the young
Riflemen challenged Col. Ewell, who, having returned to Fairfax, had
been struck in the shoulder and was bare headed, bald and bleeding.
"Extra Billy", coming to the rescue, introduced Col. Ewell, "Men,
this is Lt. Col. Ewell, your commanding officer, a gallant soldier
in whom you may place every confidence."

The half-company followed Ewell up to Main Street. Then turning the
company over to Smith again, Ewell left to send a messenger for
reinforcements from Fairfax Station.

"Extra Billy" assumed Tompkins and his men would return by the same
way they had gone. He positioned the remains of the Riflemen around
fence posts in front of Cooper's Carriage Shop.

At 3:30 A.M. they heard sounds of Tompkins and his men returning.
When Tompkins reached almost to the carriage shop, "Extra Billy" and
his men "let loose", causing Tompkins' men to "run off ingloriously,
pulling down fences and making their escape through fields" while
leaving the ground strewn with "carbines, pistols, sabers, etc."

Tompkins wrote that he ascertained at least 1000 of the enemy were
in Fairfax, perceived that he was "largely outnumbered" and departed
"in good order", having killed at least twenty-five "rebels".

Actually only Ewell and one private were injured. Col. Ewell was
taken to "the brick tenement" to have his wound treated and in the
confusion lost his shoulder epaulet. It was found there later and
due to the importance and historical implication of this incident
that it represented, the epaulet was cherished by people of the town
for many years. It is now in the hands of the Clerk of the Court and
Mrs. Thomas P. Chapman, the latter being a descendant of Col. Ewell.

Only one man was killed and that was Marr. He had been shot by a
random bullet at the outset of the fracas. Jack, a colored servant
of the Moore family, found him later in the morning, face down in
the clover field, gripping his sword in his right hand. The "random,
spent bullet" had probably been fired as far as three hundred yards
away. Directly over Marr's heart was "a perfect circular suffusion
of blood under the skin, something larger than a silver dollar, but
the skin was unbroken, and not a drop of blood was shed". The shock
of impact had stopped his heart.

Thus it was that the first Confederate officer, to be killed in
action with the enemy, lost his life in the Town of Fairfax.

On June 8th, 1861, Company B, 2nd United States Cavalry went out on
a scouting expedition. They entered the village of Fairfax where
they had a skirmish with the units in this vicinity. When the
company returned to camp, they realized that two of their members
had been captured. Soon they discovered that these two were to be
hanged the next morning. They mounted their horses, rode down to
Fairfax, found where the two men were imprisoned and rescued them.
The picture above is from the Pictorial War Record.


In July of 1861 Fairfax housed a detachment of Confederates who had
been sent out to delay the Yankees who were on their way to seize
the Manassas Railroad Junction. This junction connected with another
line leading to a point near Richmond (the ultimate Yankee goal).
Unfortunately, when the Unionists under Hunter entered Fairfax, the
Confederate units fled, leaving large quantities of forage and camp
equipment behind. Hunter paraded his men, four abreast, with fixed
bayonets, through the streets of Fairfax. He even had the band play
the national anthem and other patriotic songs as the men marched
along. From here, they proceeded towards Manassas.

Everyone knows of the inglorious retreat of the Unionists from
their encounter with the Confederates at the first battle of
Manassas. Most people know, too, that spectators had followed the
Union troops out from Washington to watch the battle--that they were
dressed in fancy clothes and riding in everything from wagons to
fine horse-drawn carriages, expecting to applaud an easy Union
victory. What the spectators saw, however, was quite different from
their expectations.

A combined attack by Confederate forces around 3:45 in the afternoon
overwhelmed the Unionists, who fell back and retired. As they were
retreating in orderly fashion, Kemper's battery reached an
advantageous position on a rise of land and let go with its guns.
The first shot hit a suspension bridge and upset a wagon, which, in
its unwieldy position, served as a barricade for other vehicles.
Other shots followed the first one and soldiers and spectators alike
were seized with panic. Horses ran away, carriages overturned, women
screamed and fainted, soldiers and spectators ran for their lives.
It was every man for himself. "The roar of their flight was like the
rush of a great river". Many of these people made their escape back
through the Town of Fairfax, much to the amusement of citizens who
had viewed Hunter's parade a few days before.

In the First Battle of Manassas the Confederate forces had trouble
distinguishing their flag, the "Stars and Bars", from the Federal
"Stars and Stripes". When the Confederate flag had been decided upon
in Alabama in March of 1861, the people had voted to keep the red,
white and blue colors and the blue canton. They had voted to use
three (instead of thirteen) alternating stripes of red and white and
to use stars to represent the states. This resulted in a flag so
similar in appearance to the Union flag that Confederate forces,
becoming confused, fired upon their own men.

General Beauregard stating that he "never wished to see the 'Stars
and Bars' on another battlefield" designed a Battle Flag which
consisted of a St. Andrew's Cross in blue with a white border along
the sides, mounted on a field of red. Thirteen five pointed stars
were placed on the blue stripes.

Flags of Gen. Beauregard's design were made by three Miss Carys
(Constance, Hetty and Jennie) of this area and sent to Gen.
Johnston, Gen. Beauregard and Gen. Van Dorn in October. The flags
were accepted by these officers before massed troops of the Army in
a ceremony at the fort on "Artillery Hill" in Centreville.

In December, a spectacular military display was held at Yorkshire,
when Gen. Beauregard presented Battle Flags to various regiments of
the Confederate Army.

On this occasion a new song, "My Maryland", by J. R. Randall, was
played by the band. However, one of the first renditions of "My
Maryland" had been given in Fairfax in September of 1861, by Miss
Constance Cary and others, when they sang to soldiers of the
"Maryland line".

On October 1, 1861, President Jefferson Davis with General Joseph E.
Johnston, Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard and General Gustavus W. Smith met
at the Willcoxon Tavern to confer regarding the success of the First
Battle of Manassas. They decided that the Confederates were in no
condition to take advantage of their success and begin an offensive
against Washington. On Oct. 3, 1861, President Davis reviewed "a
brilliant turnout" of troops at the court house.

There were two more skirmishes at the court house in November of
1861. By December of 1862 the town found itself under the command of
an Unionist, Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton, who was living at
the home of Dr. William Presley Gunnell (present Truro Rectory) when
Mosby made his famous raid.

Here is the story in Mosby's own words, written to a friend in

"I have already seen something in the newspapers of my recent raid
on the Yankees, though I see they call me Moseley instead of Mosby.
I had only twenty men under my command. I penetrated about ten miles
in their line, rode right up to the General's Headquarters
surrounded by infantry, artillery and cavalry, took him out of his
bed and brought him off. I walked into his room with two of my men
and shaking him in bed said, 'General, get up!' He rose up and
rubbing his eyes, asked what was the meaning of all this. I replied,
'it means, sir, that Stuart's Cavalry are in possession of this
place, and you are a prisoner!...' I did not stay in the place more
than one hour.

We easily captured the guards around the town, as they never dreamed
we were anybody but Yankees until they saw pistols pointed at their
heads, with a demand to surrender...."

Stoughton was taken by Mosby to Culpeper and turned over to Fitz
Lee, with whom Stoughton had attended West Point.

Mosby was disappointed in what happened--"Lee came out of his tent
and welcomed General Stoughton ... as a long lost brother. He took
him into the tent to give him a drink and left me out in the rain!"

Lincoln was so outraged with Stoughton that he dismissed him from
the Army.

It is no wonder that Episcopal ministers who have inhabited the
Gunnell home in the past have complained of the lights flashing on
during the wee small hours of the night and of the stairs creaking.
It is hard to tell whether Mosby's ghost is coming again for
Stoughton or whether Stoughton's ghost is wandering through the
house, wary of a second attempt to surprise him at night.

Mosby writes further about his raid: "Just as we were moving out of
the town a ludicrous incident occurred. As we passed by a house an
upper window was lifted and a voice called out in a preemptory tone
and asked what cavalry that was. It sounded so funny that the men
broke out in a loud laugh. I knew that it must be an officer of
rank; so the column was halted and Joe Nelson and Welt Hatcher were
ordered to search the house. Lt. Col. Johnstone of the Fifth New
York Cavalry, was spending the night there with his wife. For some
reason he suspected something wrong when he heard my men laugh and
immediately took flight in his shirt tail out the back door. Nelson
and Hatcher broke through the front door, but his wife met them
like a lioness in the hall and obstructed them all she could in
order to give time for her husband to make his escape. The officer
could not be found, but my men took some consolation for the loss by
bringing his clothes away with them. He had run out through the back
yard into the garden and crawled for shelter in a place it is not
necessary to describe. He lay there concealed and shivering with
cold and fear until after daylight. He did not know for some time
that we had gone, and he was afraid to come out of his hole to find
out. His wife didn't know where he was. In squeezing himself under
the shelter, he had torn off his shirt and when he appeared before
his wife next morning, as naked as when he was born and smelling a
great deal worse it is reported she refused to embrace him before he
had taken a bath. After he had been scrubbed down with a horse brush
he started in pursuit of us but went in the opposite direction from
which we had gone."

Mosby's Rangers at this time were composed chiefly of young men from
Fairfax and the adjoining counties, with some Marylanders. Among the
men from Fairfax County were Franklin Williams, Richard Ratcliffe
Farr, Capt. V. Beattie. The men had to arm, equip and supply
themselves, so although they turned captured cattle and mules over
to the Confederacy, they kept any horses they were able to find.
They wore Confederate uniforms and through necessity on occasion
captured overcoats. The "Jessie Scouts" of the Federal Army also
wore the grey uniform in order to deceive the people and gain

An amusing illustration of the confusion and deception created by
this occurred near Fairfax.

"A party of Federal soldiers dressed in grey, rode up to a worthy
old farmer and after a short conversation asked him whether he was a
'Unionist' or a 'Secessionist'. The unsuspecting citizen told them
he was a 'Secessionist', whereupon the Federals carried off all of
his horses that were in sight.

A short while thereafter a party of Confederates rode up, wearing
the blue overcoats which effectually (?) concealed their grey
uniforms and propounded a similar question. Hoping by his
protestations of loyalty to recover his lost property he told them
he was a 'Union man', whereupon they too took such horses as they
could find.

FAIRFAX.--Sketched by A. R. Waud.]

Finally a party came along dressed partly in blue and partly in
grey, and asked the same question. Eyeing them critically for a
moment and remembering his past unfortunate experience, he replied:

'Well, gentlemen, to tell you the truth, I am nothing at all and
d----d little of that.'"

The fact that the Yankees had an abundance of horses is illustrated
by the following article found in the Pictorial War Record (March
18, 1882).

"Some people will no doubt be astonished to learn that large
fortunes had been made every year from the commencement of the war
out of the dead horses of the Army of the Potomac. The popular idea
is that when Rosinante yields up the ghost he is buried in some
field, or left to moulder into mother earth in the woods somewhere.
Not so. He has made his last charge, and gnawed his last fence rail,
but there is from $20.00 to $40.00 in the old fellow yet.

A contract for the purchase of dead horses in the Army of the
Potomac in the year 1864 was let for that year to the highest
bidder, at $1.67 per head, delivered at the factory of the
contractor. During 1863, $60,000.00 was cleared on the contract, and
that year it is thought $100,000.00 was made on it. The animals die
at the rate of about fifty per day at the lowest calculation.

At the contractor's establishment they are thoroughly dissected.
First the shoes are pulled off; they are usually worth fifty cents a
set. Then the hoofs are cut off; they bring two dollars a set. Then
comes the caudal appendage, worth half a dollar. Then the hide--I
don't know what that sells for. Then the tallow, if it is possible
to extract tallow from the army horse, which I think extremely
doubtful, unless he die immediately after entering the service. And
last, but not least, the shinbones are valuable, being convertible
into a variety of articles that many believe to be composed of pure
ivory, such as candle-heads, knife-handles, etc. By this time the
contractor gets through the "late-lamented" steed, there is hardly
enough of him left to feed a bull-pup on.

Hereafter, kind reader, when you see a dead "hoss", don't turn up
your nose at him, but regard him thoroughly, as the foundation for a
large fortune in a single year. He may, individually, be a nuisance,
but 'there is that within which passeth show'--$100,000.00 a year."

Horses, supplies, good fighting men and pickets were important to
the Confederates. So were spies. Mosby was aided greatly by two
young ladies who resided in Fairfax. One was Laura Ratcliffe and the
other was Antonia Ford.



Little is known of Laura Ratcliffe's activities but she was often
called "Mosby's pet" and was the heroine subject of many poems
dedicated to her by Mosby and J. E. B. Stuart. She was devotedly
attached to the Confederate cause and sought every opportunity to
become possessed of the secrets and movements of the Union Forces.
She is reported to have been a maiden lady of great intelligence and
high accomplishments and was very well spoken of by people who knew
her. She resided near Fairfax during the entire war, communicating
with Mosby whenever he came through this section, and it is a
mystery that she succeeded in eluding the vigilance of Union Scouts.

Not so fortunate was her contemporary, Antonia Ford, who spent many
months in Old Capitol Prison, as the result of a raid made on her
home after Mosby's successful capture of Stoughton. Union officers
felt so strongly that she had had a part in this affair that her
home was ordered searched and they found a commission from J. E. B.
Stuart which read as follows:


     KNOW YE:

     That reposing special confidence in the patriotism, fidelity and
     ability of Antonia J. Ford, I, James E. B. Stuart, by virtue of the
     power vested in me as brigadier general in the Provisional Army of
     the Confederate States of America, do hereby appoint and commission
     her my honorary aide-de-camp, to rank as such from this date.

     She will be obeyed, respected and admired by all true lovers of a
     ---- nature. Given under my hand and seal at the headquarters of
     the Cavalry Brigade at Camp Beverly the 7th October, A. D., 1861,
     and the first year of our independence.

    (signet ring seal)      (signed) J. E. B. Stuart

    (X true copy)            (signed) L. L. Lomax"

Antonia was an attractive, young, dark-haired lady, charming to talk
with, witty, and well received in both Washington and Virginia

Extracts from a pamphlet written by Alice M. Coates read:

"In the advance of Federal Troops to Bull Run, some of the Federal
officers stopped overnight with Mr. Ford at Fairfax.

His daughter, Antonia, a heroic young lady of 22 intensely loyal to
the South, listened at the keyhole and heard the plans proposed.
Next morning she asked for a pass to visit a sick aunt, a few miles
South, which was granted.

She immediately reported these plans to the Southern troops."

Antonia aroused no suspicion on this venture in August of 1862, but
only after March 8, 1863, was she questioned and by March 17th,
Major Willard of the Union Army arrived to take Antonia to the Old
Capitol Prison.

Although Major Willard was quite a few years older than Antonia, he
had been to the Ford home quite frequently as a visitor and had
found Miss Ford most charming. She, in turn, had been attracted to

How wretched this Union officer must have felt when he was given
the responsibility of personally arresting her and her father and
taking them to prison.

He fulfilled his duty, however, and then dedicated himself to
securing her release and before many months had passed Antonia and
her father were free again. Evidently they harboured no hard
feelings towards Col. Willard, for they, at a later date, smuggled
him through Confederate lines when they were taking him back to
Washington by wagon after one of his frequent visits to their home.

In March of 1864 Col. Willard and Antonia were married. Seven years
later Antonia died (some think due to malnutrition suffered from her
stay in prison) and left one son, Joseph.

This son lived with his grandmother at Fairfax until his marriage
when he built the beautiful large home on the original Willard
estate, which now includes Layton Hall Subdivision, University Drive
extended, the Belle Willard School, the Joseph Willard Health
Center. (His father before him owned the Willard Hotel in

Joseph and his wife lived a life of luxury, traveling abroad and
entertaining in their large spacious home. The fireplace in their
dining room is framed with beautiful blue and white tiles which they
bought in Holland on their wedding trip abroad.

Many of the schools, churches, and private homes in this area are
landscaped with American and English boxwood which the Willards grew
as a hobby. When the land was bought for development, hundreds of
boxwood bushes became dispersed throughout the town and its

Joseph Willard became a lieutenant-governor of Virginia and an
Ambassador to Spain during the administration of Woodrow Wilson. He
had married Belle Layton Wyatt from Middlesex County who was a
distinguished hostess. Their home became the scene of many brilliant

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 attended the wedding of Mrs.
Willard's grand-daughter, Belle Wyatt Roosevelt, to John Palfrey of
Boston. Secret service men swarmed around the Willard home and a
special ramp was built from the flag-stone walk at Truro Episcopal
Church onto the sill of the church door, so the President could
attend the wedding in his wheel-chair.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy (Fairfax Chapter) dedicated
the chimes in the cupola of the Fairfax Methodist Church to Antonia
Ford, commemorating a small Southern girl who left a heritage of
unselfish love and devotion to the South in general, and to the Town
of Fairfax, in particular.



During the time that the Union Army occupied Fairfax a group of
Blenkers Dutch held the court house in the spring or autumn of 1862.
They had been recruited in Pennsylvania from the most ignorant and
reckless German characters and could not understand a word of

Due to the Blenkers Dutch, many important papers at the court house
were stolen or destroyed. These men broke open the safe and used
wills, deeds, or anything that came into their hands to keep their
fires going. It was only by luck that the will of Martha Washington
was saved.

A Lt. Col. Thompson who was in command walked in on the men burning
papers and made them stop. Reaching down to see what they were
burning, he picked out a paper at random. Finding it to be the will
of Martha Washington, he put it in his pocket and either mailed it
to his daughter or gave it to her after he returned home.


Years later the people of Fairfax learned that the will had been
sold by Miss Thompson to J. P. Morgan and they set out to recover
it. In the Fairfax County Historical Society Year Book, 1952-53, is
an interesting account of the correspondence between Mr. Morgan's
son and the citizens of the Town, the Governor of Virginia, and
others. The will now rests beside that of George Washington in a
glass enclosed case in the Clerk's Office of Fairfax Court House.

It is also well known that Washington's will barely escaped being
burned in the fire at Richmond, where it had been sent for safe
keeping. When Union forces took possession of Richmond, they went to
the state library and scattered papers all over the floor, taking
what they wanted. They overlooked Washington's will, however, and
Mr. Lewis, who was Secretary of the Commonwealth, picked it up and
kept it until after the war, when Mr. O. W. Huntt was sent by the
County of Fairfax to Richmond to retrieve the will.

Later on, at the Centennial, copies of Washington's will were
evidently sold amidst much criticism from a metropolitan newspaper,
for we find a letter from Mr. Richardson, Clerk of the Court,

"Mr. Andrew Jackson some years ago being a resident of this place
made a complete copy of the will (Washington's) and had it certified
by the Clerk and published as such. He was assisted in this by the
Honorable W. W. Corcoran of Washington, D. C., and these are the
copies sold at the Centennial."



As the reconstruction period came after the war, Fairfax found
herself in a very destitute position. Most of her churches had been
burned, her fields destroyed by constant skirmishes, her homes used
as headquarters or hospitals by Union soldiers. The Willcoxon
Tavern, Duncan's Chapel and doubtless other places had been used as
stables for Union horses. Deflation closed in; the people again
found themselves having to "pick up the pieces".

Zion Church had been used as a storehouse for munitions for a while
and had then been torn down by Union soldiers to provide material
for their winter quarters. In February, 1867, Rev. W. A. Alrich was
sent to undertake reorganizing the Church. He found eighteen
communicants for whom he held services in the court house. He
reported "a deep interest manifested in religious matters, and a
willingness to make every sacrifice for the sake of the Master and
his cause. The people, in their impoverished condition, are making
an earnest effort to rebuild their Churches."

Bishop Whittle visited on December 13th, 1869, and there were
fourteen persons attending services at the Court House. He reported
the new church as being under roof but completion delayed for lack
of funds. He wrote, "I think there is no congregation in the Diocese
more deserving of help than this, where the people have shown such a
determination to help themselves."

By 1872 the second Zion Church had been completed. By December of
1876 the church had been furnished and freed from debt. Its frame
building had been erected on the foundation of the original church
at a cost of about $2,000.00. In 1882 the present Rectory property
was purchased.

Among the families who formed the congregation after the war were
the Bakers, Balls, Chichesters, Fairfaxes, Fitzhughs, Fergusons,
Gunnells, Hunters, Mosses, Ratcliffes, Ryers, Stuarts, Terretts,
Towners, Burkes, Coopers, Loves, Rumseys, Moores, Fords, Bowmans,
Keiths, Thorntons, Bleights, Moncures, Ballards, and McWhorters.

The Methodist Church in the meantime found its strength in the
southern church's Fairfax Circuit and began to replace the first
Duncan's Chapel which had been used by both Confederate and Union
forces and was believed to have been finally burned and destroyed by
Union troops. In 1882 the local board purchased the lot adjoining
Duncan Chapel and built a nine room parsonage. Both of these
buildings are used today for official county business.

In 1882 the widely scattered rural membership was hampered by severe
winters, bad roads, severe epidemics (diphtheria) and in 1888 Rev.
O. C. Beak wrote of the general business depression in this area
which caused the church to suffer "from removals". (The Methodist
Church did not reach its "Golden Age" until the 1900's.)

The following map of the 1887's shows a black school located next to
the Fairfax Cemetery. Church services for the black people were
evidently held here too, for older residents of the town speak of
sitting on the opposite side of the road listening to the hymns
pouring forth from the little schoolhouse.

By 1882 the people began to look forward again throughout the entire
nation. The telephone had been invented in 1876. Better news
service of the papers followed the founding of the Associated Press.
The foundation for the fine art of American printing was being laid.
It was one of the most vigorous artistic and intellectual periods.


In Fairfax telephone service was started in 1887. Offices were
located in Alexandria, Annandale, Fairfax Court House, Centreville,
Gainesville, Haymarket and Thoroughfare. The price of a message to
Alexandria was 15 cents, to any other point 10 cents; there was no
charge for the answer. Messages were limited to five minutes. The
first phone in Fairfax was installed in the Willcoxon Tavern. Here
the town people could go to make or receive calls.

Captain S. R. Donohue set up a newspaper office at the west corner
of Sager Avenue and Payne Street. He had operated a paper of his own
in Alexandria called "The Alexandria Times". When he moved to
Fairfax, he brought his printing press with him. This press, which
was the first in Fairfax, had to be hand-operated by two men and can
still be seen today in the present Fairfax Herald Building.

On Oct. 1, 1890, the people of Fairfax held one of the most
spectacular affairs that the town has seen. The occasion was the
erecting of the Confederate monument at the town cemetery. As
Captain Ballard who headed up the affair proclaimed, the "purpose
was to collect together the remains of the Confederate soldiers who,
in defense of a common cause, found sepulchre upon Fairfax soil, and
to erect a monument to the memory of the Confederate dead."

Two thousand people were to come in all types of conveyances--from
the best Washington had to offer down to the backwoods ox cart. Some
were even to walk as far as thirty miles to pay tribute to their
fellow man.

The town was appropriately decorated for the occasion. Large
American flags hung suspended across the streets. Red, white, and
blue buntings were artistically draped across the fronts of houses,
archways, and gates.

R. E. Lee Camp, Confederate Veterans of Alexandria, turned out with
a long line of men, bringing with them Lee Camp, Sons of Confederate
Veterans. They were the two principal organizations present along
with Marr Camp of Fairfax County. Members of other Confederate
Veterans Camps came from all over the state--some singly and some
in groups. The soldier organizations made their headquarters with
Marr Camp just south of the Court House. Here the column was formed
for the parade.

At the top of the hill on the Fairfax Station Road, Schroeder's full
brass band, dressed in colorful uniforms with the bright yellow
instruments reflecting the sun, waited for the columns of soldiers
to form. The hundreds of people who had come to witness this
historic occasion, in their enthusiasm to view everything, delayed
the parade for one and a half hours.

Finally, the people were persuaded to make room for the lines to
form and the proud procession began. First came the vivid brass band
playing its lively military music. Next came Judge D. M. Chichester
as Chief Marshal. He was assisted by Capt. J. O. Berry, Dr. W. D.
McWhorter, and Benjamin Simpson, Esquire. Then followed the columns
of veterans. The procession led from the top of the hill at the
court house, turned left up The Little River Turnpike and then
proceeded to the town cemetery.

Here on a crest stood the monument made of Richmond granite. It
covered the remains of two hundred heroes. As the people gathered
respectfully near the monument, the Rev. J. Cleveland Hall opened
the service with a prayer. Capt. Ballard then gave the presentation
speech. Gov. William Fitzhugh Lee made appropriate response on
behalf of the Ladies' Memorial Association. The Honorable James L.
Gordon, who was poet of the day, rendered an "eloquent poem".

The assemblage then returned to the court house which had been
decorated with flags and flowers. Here they heard Senator John W.
Daniel, General Eppa Hunton, Gen. M. D. Corse, Col. Arthur Herbert,
and Col. Berkley. Afterwards, they were served a delicious dinner by
the ladies, who also held a fair inside the court house to help
raise money for the monument. (It cost $1200.00).

Although we do not have a picture of this occasion, through the
courtesy of The Honorable Paul E. Brown, Judge of the Circuit Court
of Fairfax County, we are able to show a picture of the
commemoration of the Marr monument, which took place in June of 1904
and was probably similar in many ways.


Social life continued and in 1891 a Phantom Ball was given by
Messrs. Joseph E. Willard, C. Vernon Ford, Charles and Fay
Kilbourne, and Dr. W. P. Malone. Miss Helen Moore was listed among
the guests.

In 1892 when the town was chartered, there were two hundred people
living at Fairfax Court House. There were three white churches--one
Episcopal, one north and one south Methodist. There were two black
churches. There was a school for white and a school for black, three
or four stores, a newspaper office, a number of comfortable old
homes, an old-fashioned tavern, and an undertaker's shop. The bell
at the Court House called three to four hundred people to business,
to law, and to religion.

_Today, approximately 14,000 people live at Fairfax Court House.
There are seven white churches--Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian,
Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, and Christian Science. There are two
black churches. There are three schools for elementary students, one
junior high school, and one senior high school, and construction
will begin soon for a college. There are three shopping centers,
several apartment buildings, a medical center, two large telephone
buildings, a library, and a bank. Extensive additions have been made
to the original court house and an eight acre tract of land has been
purchased on South Payne Street for the future Town Hall._

_Fairfax is just one small example of the results of colonization.
Through the trials and tribulations endured by the Jamestown and
Maryland colonists, a community was carved out of a wilderness.
Through perseverance and courage the colonists built and held on to
a civilization. They created homes, schools, churches, and
established an independent stronghold on a new continent. It was not
easy. Neither will the conquest of a new planet be easy but
certainly a wonderful heritage has been left by those who went

_As a visitor to Fairfax County in 1798 wrote--_

_"There is a compound of virtue and vice in every human character;
no man was ever yet faultless; but whatever may be advanced against
Virginians, their good qualities will outweigh their defects; and
when the effervescence of youth has abated, when reason asserts her
empire, there is no man on earth who discovers more exalted
sentiment, more contempt of baseness, more love of justice, more
sensibility of feeling, than a Virginian."_


Bull Run Remembers _by Joseph Mills Hanson_

Deed Books and Will Books in Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of
Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia--1907

Fairfax County, Virginia, Yesterday ... Today ... Tomorrow--1952.

Flags of America _by W. H. Waldron_

Gentlemen's Magazine

Historic Fairfax County _by Columbus D. Choate_

Historic, Progressive Fairfax County in Old Virginia--1928

Historical Society of Fairfax County, Va., Inc. Yearbook--1951

Historical Society of Fairfax County, Va., Inc. Yearbook--1952-1953

Historical Society of Fairfax County, Va., Inc. Yearbook--1954

Historical Society of Fairfax County, Va., Inc. Yearbook--1955

Historical Society of Fairfax County, Va., Inc. Yearbook--1956-1957.

History of Fairfax County _by Elizabeth Burke_

History of Truro Parish in Virginia, _by Rev. Philip Slaughter,
D.D., and edited by the late Rev. Edward L. Goodwin_.

Landmarks of Old Prince William _by Fairfax Harrison_--Vol. I, II

Manassas (Bull Run)--1953

Memorials of Virginia Clerks (1888). _Compiled by F. Johnston_,
former clerk of Roanoke County.

Mosby and His Men _by Crawford_

Mosby's Rangers _by Williamson_

Pictorial War Record

The Alexandria Gazette

The Fairfax Herald

The Falls Church Echo

The March of Democracy _by James Truslow Adams_, Vol. I, II, III.

The Memoirs of Col. John S. Mosby, _edited by Charles Wells

Townsmen Brochure--1945

Virginia Cavalcade

Willards of Washington by _Garnett Laidlaw Eskew_

_The author is indebted to the following people for their help in
compiling the foregoing information_:

  Mr. Ollie Atkins
  The Honorable Paul E. Brown
  Mr. W. Lindsay Carne
  Mrs. Thomas Casey
  Mr. Thomas P. Chapman, Jr.
  Mrs. H. N. Clark
  Mr. Courtland H. Davis
  The Rev. Raymond W. Davis
  Miss Barbara Duras
  Mrs. H. John Elliott, Jr.
  Mrs. Earl W. Emerson
  Mr. Wilson M. Farr (deceased)
  Mr. W. Franklin Gooding
  Mr. Alex Haight
  Mr. Charles Patton Henry
  History Committee of the Fairfax Methodist Church
  Mr. F. Wilmer Holbrook
  Mr. J. Kenneth Klinge
  Mrs. Doreen H. LaFalce
  Mrs. Thomas B. Love
  Mrs. F. S. McCandlish, Sr.
  Mr. and Mrs. F. S. McCandlish, Jr.
  Mrs. Douglas Murray
  Mrs. Charles H. Pozer
  Mrs. Barbara Ritchie
  Mr. John W. Rust (deceased)
  Mr. Glenn W. Saunders
  Mr. Roy A. Swayze
  Mr. Byron E. Wales



John H. Gano


Adams, Francy, 34

Alabama, 47

Alexandria, 4, 21, 27, 28, 30, 64

_Alexandria Times_, 64

Alexandria-Winchester Stage Coach Line, 23

Allison, Gordon, 31

Allison, Robert, 23

Alrich, Rev. W. A., 61

Annandale, 30, 51, 64

Aquia, 10

"Artillery Hill", 48

Ashby's Gap, 18

"Ash Grove", 41

Associated Press, 63

Ayers, John, 19


Bacon, Nathaniel, 11

Baker family, 62

Baker, Dr. & Mrs., 36

Ball family, 62

Ball, S. M., 35

Ball, WM. W., 34, 41

Ballard family, 62

Ballard, Capt., 64, 65

Baptists, 20, 39, 67

Jerusalem Baptist Church, 20

Barbour, Mrs. John, 37

Baxter family, 9

Beak, Rev. O. C., 62

Beattie, Capt. V., 50

Beauregard, Gen., 47, 48

Belvoir, 14

Berkeley, Sir Wm., 11

Berkley, Col., 65

Berry, Capt. J. O., 65

Beverly, Maj. Robt., 11, 16

Bill of Rights, 27

Bland, Richard, 27

Bleight family, 62

Blenheim, 4, 24

Blenkers Dutch, 57

Blue Ridge, 18

Bolling, Girard, 31

Bolling, Lucian, 31

Boston Port Act, 27

Bowman family, 62

Bowman, Gen., 21

Braddock, Gen., 21

Braddock Road, 21

Brecon Ridge, 19

Brent family, 9

Bristoe, John, 31

Bristow Station, 43

Broadwater, Chas., 29, 37

Brooks, Henry T., 35, 42

Brown, Judge Paul E., 65

Brown, Rev. R. J., 38

Bull Run, 18, 54

Burke, 62

Burke, Levi, 41

Burke, Minnan, 34

Burke, Silas, 34


Camp Beverly, 54

Canfield, Bleeker, 39

Carlyle, John, 29

Carper, Thos. E., 34

Carter, Robert, 15, 17, 18

Carys, Misses Constance, Hetty, Jennie, 48

Catholic Church, 67

Centennial, 60

Centreville, 21, 43, 48, 64

Chain Bridge, 28

Chain Bridge Road, 23

Chantilly, 17

Chapman, Mrs. Thos. P., 45

Chapman, William, 38

Charles County, MD, 31

Chichester family, 62

Chichester, Judge D. M., 65

Christian Scientist Church, 67

Circuit Court of Fairfax, 65

Civil War, 22, 24, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43-54

Clark, Thos., 31

Coates, Alice M., 54

Coffer, Thos. W., 19

Colchester, 11, 29

Coleman, James, 34

Coleman, Richard, 31, 34

Coomb's Cottage, 4, 36, 37, 38

Confederate Monument, 4, 64

Conrad, Thos. Nelson, 34, 38

Continental Army, 28

Cooper family 37, 62

Cooper Carriage House, 4, 37, 45

Corcoran, W. W., 60

Cornwall, England, 19

Corse, Gen. M. D., 65

Country Club Hills, 24

Courthouse Road, 30

Cross, John D., 34

Culpeper, 13, 41, 49

Culpeper, Thomas Lord, 11, 12


Daniel, Sen. John W., 65

Daniel, Stephen, 31

D'Astre Place, 4, 37

Davis, Jefferson, 48

de la Warr, Lord, 6

Deneale, Wm., 34

Dennis, Gordon, 41

Doeg Indians, 10

Dogue Neck, 14

Donohue, Capt., S. R., 64

Doyne Manor, MD, 31

Draper, S., 38

Drayton family, 9

Dudley family, 9

Dulaney, D. F., 35

Dumfries, 43

Duncan's Chapel, 4, 43, 44, 61, 62

"Dunleith", 37


Earp, Caleb, 23

Earp's Corner, 23, 24

"Earp's Ordinary", 4, 24, 45

East Street, 24

Ellzey, Lewis, 21

Ellzey, Thomazen, 19

England/English, 10, 16, 25, 28, 36, 55

Episcopal Church, 66, 67

Ewell, LCol/Gen. Richard S., 43-45


Fairfax family, 62
  Agricultural Society, 41
  Cemetery, 62
  Col. George Wm., 19
  County, 7-11, 17, 18, 27, 28, 30, 34, 42, 44, 50, 65, 67
  Court House, 4, 17, 28, 29, 32, 33, 38, 39, 41, 44, 57, 60, 61, 63,
    64, 66, 67
  Herald, 64
  Lord, 13, Thos., 29
  Post Office, 38
  Resolves, 27, 29
  Station, 22, 45, 65
  "Store", 4, 25, 31
  Town, 6, 17, 18, 19, 23, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40-42, 44, 46, 51, 55-57,
    61, 64
  William, 14

Fairview Subdivision, 32

Falls Church, 19

"Farmer's Intelligencer", 34

Farr, 14-year-old son, 22
  Home, 4, 22, 41
  Richard Ratcliffe, 50
  Roger, M., 31

Fauquier Springs, 43

Ferguson family, 62

Fifth N. Y. Cavalry, 49

Fitzhugh family, 9, 62
  David, 34
  Harry, 38
  Wm. M., 11, 17, 35

Flint Hill School, 24

Fontainebleau, 30

Ford family, 62
  Antonia, 52-56
  Building, 4, 25
  C. Vernon, 66
  Thomas, 19
  T. M., 34

Fort Duquesne, 21

Franklin, Benjamin, 14

"Freedom Hill", 29, 30

French-Indian War, 26


Gainesville, 64

Gallow's Road, 30

Gardner, Wm., 19

Gentlemen Justices, 34

George II, 18

George Mason College, 21

"Glebe Land", 19

Gooding, W. B., 35

Gordon, James L., 65

Greenway Hills, 24

Gunnell Family, 25, 62
  George, 31
  Henry, 29
  Joshua, 44
  Dr. Wm. P., 34, 36, 41, 48

Gunston Hall, 14


Hall, Rev. J. Cleveland, 65

Halley, James, 21
  John, 32

Hamilton, James, 21
  Parish, 18

Hatcher, W., 40

Haymarket, 64

Henderson, Alexander, 19

Henry, Patrick, 26-28

Herbert, Col. Arthur, 65

Hill family, 9

Hitt, J. D., 34

Hooe, Robert, 34

Howard, Lord of Effingham, 13

Howsing family, 9

Huguenots, 15

Hunter family, 62
  Gen., 46, 47
  James, 34
  John, 34

Hunting Creek, 10

Hunton, Gen. Eppa, 65

Huntt, O. W., 60


Indians, 7-9, 11, 12, 30
  Manahoac, 8
  Occannechi, 11
  Susquehannock, 10, 11

Irish, 15


Jackson, Andrew, 60
  Family, 38
  Spencer, 31

Jamestown Colony, 5-7, 9, 12, 31

Jefferson, Thos., 35

"Jessie Scouts", 50

Johnston, Gen. J. E., 48
  George, 27

Johnstone, LCol., 49

Jones, Cadwallader, 17
  Elcon, 34


Keith family, 62

Kelsey, Ruben, 41

Kemper Battery, 47

Kilbourne, Chas. & Fay, 66

King's Highway, 28

Kirby, Chas., 41


Ladies' Memorial Assn., 65

Lafayette, Gen., 28

Layton Hall, 36, 55

Lee Boulevard, 4
  Fitz, 49
  Hancock, 34
  Richard Bland, 34
  Richard Henry, 27, 34
  R. E. Confederate Camp, 64
  Gov. Wm. Fitzhugh, 65

Leighton, Rev. John, 41

Lewis, Mr., 60

Lincoln, Pres., 49

Linton, Wm., 19

Little, Chas., 30, 34

Little Hunting Creek, 14

Littlejohn, Samuel, 19

Little River Turnpike, 4, 17, 23, 24, 28, 30, 32, 37, 65

Logan, Henry, 23

Lomax, L. L., 54

London, 12

Loudoun County, 28, 30

Love family, 62
  Judge, 36
  Thos. R., 25, 36

Lutheran Church, 67


Machen, James P., 41

Magner Tract, 19

Main Street, 23, 38, 44

Malone, Dr. W. P., 66

Manassas, 46, 47
  First Battlefield, 48
  Railroad, 40, 46

Manor, "Doyne", 31

Marr, Camp (Vets), 64
  Capt. John Q., 43, 44
  Monument, 66

Marshall, John, 35

Maryland Colonists, 8, 31, 50

Mason family, 9

Mason, George, 14, 23, 27, 29, 30

Maxwell, 8

Mayhugh, J. F., 34

McCandlish, Mrs. Fairfax Shields, 38

McCarty, Capt. Daniel, 19

McWhorter family, 62
  Dr. W. D., 65

Meade, Rt. Rev. Wm., 39

Merriweather family, 9

Methodist Church, 39, 43, 56, 62, 66, 67

Middlesex County, 55

Millan, John, 34

Miller, Col. Francis P., 24

Minor, George, 30

Moncure family, 62

Moore family, 62
  Helen, 66
  Street, 32
  Thos., 38
  Wm., 17

Morgan, J. P., 57, 59

Morris, Mrs. Hannah, 38

Mosby, John S., 48-50

Moss family, 38, 39, 62
  Alfred, 35
  Thos., 31, 35
  Wm., 35

Mount Vernon, 14, 27

Mount Vineyard, 32, 39

Murray, Mrs. Douglas, 37
  Thos., 38

"My Maryland", 48


National Register of Historical Places, 23

Negro Slaves, 15

Nelson, Jos., 49

Non-Importing Resolutions, 27

Northern Neck, 15


Occoquan, 11, 17, 18

Old Capitol Prison, 54

"Old Field Schools", 15

"Old Oaken Buckets", 34

Oliver House, 4, 25, 44

Ordinance of Succession, 42

Oswego County, N. Y., 38

Ox Road, 17, 19, 21, 22


Palfrey, John, 56

Palmyra, 41

Payne's Church, 4, 17, 19, 21, 39, 43
  Edward, 19, 20
  Street, 64, 67
  Wm., 30, 34

Peake, Humphrey, 34

Pendleton, Edmund, 27

Pennsylvania, 57

"Phantom Ball", 66

Pictorial War Record, 46, 51

Poeh, Richard W., 34

Pohick, 14

Port Tobacco, MD, 31

Potomac, 28

"Poynton" Manor, 31

Presbyterian Church, 41, 67

Prince William County, 18, 43

Privy Council, 12

Providence, 23, 33, 41


Randall, J. R., 48

Randolph, Peyton, 27

"Rangers", 12

Rappahannock County, 43
  River, 14

Ratcliffe family, 62
  Chas., 31
  Division, 38
  Graveyard, 4, 32
  Home, 4, 32
  Jane, 31
  John, 31
  John of Poynton, 31
  Laura, 52, 53
  Lucian, 31
  Mildred, 41
  Nancy, 31
  Patsy, 31
  Penelope, 31
  Racetrack, 4, 32
  Richard, 22, 24, 30, 31, 33, 34
  Robert, 31, 32, 35
  Samuel, 31
  Tavern, 24

Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House, 23

Ravensworth, 30

Rebel Scout, 38

Revolutionary War, 20, 26-28

  Mrs. E. V., 41
  F. D., 35, 41
  F. W., 35, 38, 60
  House, 4
  John R., 41

Richmond, 42, 43, 46, 48, 60, 65

"Ripley's Believe It Or Not", 35

Rochambeau, Gen., 28

Rocky Run Chappell, 21

Rolfe, Thos., 31

Roosevelt, F. D., 55
  Belle Wyatt, 55

Rose Bower, 4, 38

Rumsey family, 62
  Mrs. Daniel, 39
  Place, 32
  Wm. T., 39, 41

Ryer family, 62

Ryland Chapel, 39


Sager Avenue, 38, 64

Saunders, Lewis, Jr., 17

Schroeder's Band, 65

Scott, Richard M., 34

Second US Cavalry, 44, 45

Selecman, M. R., 34

Simpson, Benjamin, 65

Smith, Augustine I., 34
  "Extra Billy", 44, 45
  Gen. Gustavus W., 48
  Capt. John, 8, 10

Sons of Confederate Vets, 64

Spain, Ambassador To, 55

Stamp Act, 27

Stanhope, Wm., 34

Stars and Bars, 47

Steadman, Rev. Melvin, 39

Stoughton, Brig. Gen. E. H., 48, 49

Stuart family, 62
  David, 30, 34
  J. E. B., 49, 53, 54
  S. T., 34, 41

Sugar Act, 27

Sutton, Chas., 41

Swink, Wm., 41


Taylor, J. R., 34

Tea Act, 27

Terrett family, 62

Thomas, Judge Henry W., 4, 37

Thompson, LCol. (USA), 57

Thornton family, 62

Thoroughfare, 64

Throckmorton, Lord of Ellington, 31
  Richard, 41
  Robert, 31

Tidewater, 7

Tobacco, 11, 19, 29

Tompkins, Lt. Chas. H., 44, 45

Towner family, 62

"Truro", 19
  Episcopal Church, 4, 20, 21, 25, 36, 38, 56, 61
  Parish, 18, 19
  Rectory, 4, 25, 48

Turner, Robert, 31


United Daughters of the Confederacy, 56

University Drive, 38, 55


Van Dorn, Gen., 38

Vienna, 4, 29

Vincent family, 9

Virginia, 26, 42, 43

Va. Historic Landmark Register, 23

VMI, 43

Va. National Guard, 19

Va. State Legislature, 23, 40


Warren, Henry, 31

Warrenton, 4, 38, 43
  Rifles, 43

Washington, D. C., 4, 54, 60, 64
  Capt. Augustine, 14
  George, 19, 20, 27, 29
  Laurence, 14
  Martha, 57
  Wills, 58, 59, 60

Waugh, James, 34

West, Hugh Jr., 21

West Point, 49

Whittle, Bishop, 61

Wiley, James, 34

Willard Estate, 55
  Hotel, 55
  Joseph, 56, 66
  Major, 54, 55
  Belle Willard School, 55
  Joseph Willard Health Center, 55

Willcoxon, Capt. Rizin, 24
  Tavern, 4, 32, 48, 61, 64

William & Mary, 16

Williamsburg, 15, 18

Williams, Franklin, 50
  H. C., 41
  Ira, 34
  Joseph, 41

Wilson, Woodrow, 55

Wines, Niagara, Delawares, Concords, 37

Wren, James, 30

Wyatt, Belle Layton, 55

Wythe, George, 27


Yeardley, Gov., 29, 34

Yorkshire, 48


Zion Church, 38, 39, 61, 62

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the Town of Fairfax" ***

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