A Virginia VILLAGE
Reprinted by the Centennial Committee of the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society
"Celebrating Our Centennial Year"
President Sue Bachtel
Vice President Rowland Bowers
Treasurer Delores Cannon
Recording Secretary June Douglas
Corresponding Secretary Vivian Norfleet
Immediate Past President Col. Merl M. Moore
Elected Directors Louis & Sue Olom Mary Bowers Charles A. Hobbie Howard & Betty Hughes Melton Robert & Susan Wayland B.J. & Judith Segel Harry Cannon Florence Murphy Dick & Betty Allan Jerry Blystone Kenneth & Melena Huffman Harold & Ida Silverstein Raymond & Marie Stewart Martha Vinograd James M. Boren
Honorary Life Members Ruby and Mel Bolster Leath B. Bracken Mrs. Edgar D. Brooke Mrs. Meres G. Brown Major General and Mrs. William Carter Elizabeth Graham (Mrs. John A.) Miss Helen MacGregor Mrs. Charles G. Manly Mrs. Paul Schlager Louise Shepard (Mrs. Ernest) Mrs. Calvin W. Smith Lorraine Williams (Mrs. Fonda) Pat Wollenberg (Mrs. Roger)
Falls Church Village Preservation & Improvement Society
The Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) is pleased to be able to reprint A Virginia Village by Charles A. Stewart as part of its Centennial observance in 1985. We are especially grateful to the Mary Riley Styles Public Library of Falls Church for permission to use their copy of A Virginia Village for the reproduction.
A Virginia Village provides a snapshot of Falls Church at the turn of the century, at a time when the predecessor of VPIS, the Village Improvement Society (VIS) (pp. 16-18), was in full swing. Thus it is a fitting backdrop to our year of special activities.
As you will note, many of the buildings and settings in the 1904 edition have been lost or altered in the past 80 years. To make the book more useful and enjoyable to current readers, we have added a Foreword, Comments on the Structures Pictured, a Name and Street Index, and a biographical sketch and photograph of the author. The new information is not all inclusive and we invite you to cross-reference your reading with the other sources listed in the Foreword.
The Society is indebted to several of its members who worked long and hard to made this edition possible. In particular, we would like to thank the chairman of the project, Colonel Merl M. Moore (a former VPIS President); Mr. Edmund F. Becker, who wrote the Foreword; Mr. Henry H. Douglas, who as usual is an indispensable resource on the history of Falls Church; and Mr. Richard T. Allan, whose editing skills were invaluable.
We hope this 1985 edition will become a cherished reminder of The Society's 100th anniversary and a valuable edition to your personal library. Sincerely,
Rowland Bowers Vice President
Harold Silverstein Chairman, Centennial Committee
ABOUT THE FALLS CHURCH VILLAGE PRESERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY
In 1985, its Centennial Year, the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society comprises over 750 citizens and businesses dedicated to improving the quality of life in Falls Church.
The Society recognizes that it is the inheritor of the civic purposes and activities of the Village Improvement Society (VIS) of Falls Church established in 1885 and which group was modeled after the famous Laurel Hill Association of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and that VPIS' purposes, objectives and activities represent a continuum of the earlier organized and volunteer civic organization and effort to improve and preserve the historic tradition, residential character, quality of life and appearance of Falls Church, Virginia.
The values articulated by the founders in 1885 have not changed to the present:
to preserve the historic and predominantly single family detached residential and village character of Falls Church;
to preserve its historic structures and landmarks;
to promote architectural harmony and aesthetic values;
to beautify the community by planting trees, flowers, and shrubs; and
to work with governmental bodies and community groups to promote and fulfill these goals.
Archives of the Society may be found in the Virginia Room of the Mary Riley Styles Library, Falls Church, Virginia.
Charles A. Stewart's A Virginia Village is a charming depiction of the early days of Falls Church. It is the earliest attempt to put on paper the story of the Falls Church area. In addition to interesting stories about people and organizations and life generally in the small town of 80 years ago, the book contains photographs of 107 Falls Church houses, stores, and churches then standing. Reading it is a trip into nostalgia for old-timers—but the book is more than nostalgia. It pictures many elements which we associate with the community's lovely historic character and interest, and which intrigues newcomers and older residents alike.
Charles A. Stewart produced the book with the help of friends, including M.M. Ogden, who wrote the preface, and Pickering Dodge, who took the photographs. Joseph H. Newell printed it in a small backyard shop owned by his father, which was located on what is today North Washington Street next to the Columbia Baptist Church.
Not all of the structures standing in the town of Falls Church in 1904 are pictured in A Virginia Village. Some owners perhaps were not asked, or they did not wish to pay the two-dollar fee, or they declined for other reasons. A number of these absent structures were well-known features of the community, including the two W.&O.D. railway stations (East and West Falls Church, now gone), Mt. Hope, Shadow Lawn (or Whitehall), Tallwood, Jefferson School (no longer standing) and the old I.O.O.F. Hall (also gone). Falls Church—By Fence and Fireside, published in 1964 by the Rev. Melvin Steadman, mentions many others, such as Big Chimneys, which was still standing in 1904.
Of the 107 structures pictured, 24 were located near the present City, particularly in what was then known as the "East End" or East Falls Church. This former part of the town of Falls Church was returned to Alexandria County (now Arlington) in 1936. A large number of homes, stores, and other business establishments which constituted East Falls Church disappeared with the building of I-66, especially that part of the highway that lies between Westmoreland and Sycamore Streets in Arlington County. East Falls Church extended from the present City/County line down Lee Highway, and thus was located on both the north and south sides of I-66.
A review of the available records and the recollections of older residents indicates that 57 of the buildings shown are no longer standing; of the some 50 not pictured, 14 are no longer standing. Thus, of at least 157 buildings known to have been standing in town in 1904, 71 are known to have been lost (almost half).
The sources consulted (other than the book itself) include extensive notes made about 1970 by Mrs. John C. (Frances Butterworth) Cline, who died in 1979; Falls Church—Places and People, by Henry H. Douglas, published by the Falls Church Historical Commission in 1981 (still available in paperback); Rev. Melvin Steadman's Falls Church—By Fence and Fireside, published in 1964 (out of print); Henry H. Douglas' Falls Church Historical News and Notes, published between May 1970 and October 1972; Henry H. Douglas himself, who has made a hobby of Falls Church history; Mel and Ruby Bolster, charter members of VPIS; and many others.
While the City has lost much of its rural village character and charm, and has meanwhile acquired some ugly modernity in spots, the City's preservation ordinance, adopted in 1984, throws a protective cloak against further demolition around structures built as residences prior to 1911. Other buildings, such as churches and historic sites, are also protected by the ordinance, subject to certification by the Historical Commission to a Register. In addition, the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society and others continually seek ways to restore what aesthetic features have been lost.
Much additional information about houses, people and events in and around Falls Church will be found in the publications mentioned above and in other publications and documents making up the Falls Church Local Historical Collection in the Virginia Room of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. The Collection is a veritable treasure-house of historical information waiting to be explored, and anyone looking for more information concerning any of the persons or places mentioned in this book is urged to consult the Collection in the Virginia Room.
Edmund F. Becker, 517 Meridian St., Falls Church, Va.
CHARLES ALEXANDER STEWART
Charles Alexander Stewart (1860-1950), who is best remembered in Falls Church for his estimable little book, A Virginia Village, which was published in 1904, was born at "Beechwood," the Stewart family farm at the intersection of the Dismal Swamp and Northwest Canals. He was the fourth in a family of five. His father, William Charles Stewart (1810-1865), died at "Beechwood."
In 1887 Charles A. Stewart married Mary Isabella Tabb (1866-1939), daughter of Dr. Robert Bruce Tabb (1833-1906) and Elizabeth Anne (Warden) Tabb (1837-1891). Elizabeth Tabb Stewart, born in 1890, was the eldest of ten children and lived in the family home in East Falls Church from 1894 until 1971.
Mr. Stewart had a distinguished career in the United States Treasury Department where he became chief clerk in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and was a bank examiner when he retired in 1930. He was active in many community affairs. He was a vestryman of The Falls Church, was chairman of the Falls Church School Board continuously from 1910 to 1927, was active in the creation of Madison School and, while he was still living, the Charles A. Stewart Elementary School, on Underwood Street, was named for him. He was a trustee of Oakwood Cemetery in 1918, and was assistant secretary of the Arlington/Fairfax Savings and Loan from 1933 to 1940.
(From Falls Church Historical News & Notes, October 1972.)
COMMENTS ON THE STRUCTURES PICTURED
These comments provide information on the present status of the 107 structures pictured. They are arranged in sequence by item numbers, which correspond to the page numbers in the original book, and repeat the names exactly as given. The people named were the owners of the structures pictured. Present street addresses are given when the building is still standing. In the case of the 57 buildings now gone (they are marked by asterisks), the former or present street address is usually not known, and in such instances the approximate location is given. When the date of destruction is known, it is given; when a destruction date is not given, it presumably was some time prior to 1969, when the City's Architectural Inventory was prepared. Construction dates and other interesting details are provided when known, in capsule form.
[Sidenote: Front] The Lawton House. 203 Lawton St. Also known as Lawton Manor and Home Hill. Built in 1859 but renovated many times. Once headquarters of Confederate Gen. James Longstreet and later the home of Gen. Henry Ware Lawton. Formerly housed Mattie Gundry's "Gun-Well" school. Yard formerly used by Louise and Ernest Shepard to hold the first VPIS Attic Treasures sales. Threat to house stimulated formation of VPIS in 1965. Owners: Donald Rice and Elizabeth Loker.
[Sidenote: Front] Mr. A.M. Lothrop. Still standing at McKinley St. and Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Beautiful estate known as "Fair Mount." Owner: Randolph Rouse.
[Sidenote: *4] Mr. E.T. Fenwick. Was on Washington Blvd., East Falls Church, at the end of 24th Street.
[Sidenote: 5] Presbyterian Church. 225 E. Broad St. Built in 1884 with stone from the Tripps/Sisler quarry on S. Washington St., but the stone trim was transported from Seneca Maryland via the C.&O. Canal. Additions were built in 1968 from stone salvaged from the demolished old Columbia Baptist Church, thanks to architect and member, Kenton D. Hamaker, who died in 1982.
[Sidenote: *6] Mr. W.M. Ellison. Is the house built in 1852 by Wm. Henry Ellison and later left to his son, Wm. McElfresh Ellison, who in turn left it to his daughter, Fannie May, who married Carroll Shreve. Once housed the Falls Church library. Was torn down in 1955 to make way for the present Sunoco Gas Station on W. Broad and West St. (934 W. Broad). Ellison owned at least four structures in the area, and Ellison Street no doubt is named for him.
[Sidenote: 7] Mr. George G. Crossman. Built 1892. Located on part of the former large Isaac Crossman farm near Lee Highway and Little Falls St. at 2501 Underwood St. in Arlington. Plaque on house describes it as the Crossman-Grey House. Home of Stephen B. Grey.
[Sidenote: *8] Virginia Training School, Miss M. Gundry, Principal. Was at 309 W. Broad St., immediately west of the present Post Office. On the present site of the Winter Hill subdivision, formerly Tyler Gardens. Formerly the Schuyler Duryee House. Its large metal outside conduits, providing quick fire escapes for the mentally-handicapped inmates, attracted the attention of curious passersby.
[Sidenote: *9] Dr. J.B. Gould. 120 E. Broad St.
[Sidenote: 10] Mr. W.H. Nowlan. 114 E. Columbia St. near the Crossman Methodist Church. Built 1885. Now owned by the City, which converted it for handicapped adults in 1981.
[Sidenote: 11] Mr. G.W. Poole. On N. Washington Blvd. in Arlington County just behind what is now the First Virginia Bank, 6745 Lee Highway.
[Sidenote: *12] Mr. G.F. McInturff. Was on N. Maple Ave. on the present site of Garden Court Townhouses, adjacent to the George Stambaugh house, which was located on Great Falls St. (See item 61.)
[Sidenote: *13] Mr. M.E. Church. Had a real estate and insurance office and drug store on W. Broad St. facing the present Brown's Hardware at 100 W. Broad St. Note windmill. On site of the George Mason Square complex, now under construction. (See p. 89 for more details about Mr. Church.)
[Sidenote: *14] Mr. J.W. Brown Store and Residence. Old store and residence gone, torn down in 1959. Was on the N. corner of N. Washington and W. Broad Sts., next door to the "new" Brown's store. Business recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
[Sidenote: 15] Mr. Geo. L. Erwin. 300 W. Great Falls St., on corner of Little Falls and Great Falls Sts. A good example of what Falls Church was like at the turn of the century. Owners: Polly and Adrian Richey. Built 1893.
[Sidenote: 16] Mrs. Emma Garner. 211 E. Columbia St. Built 1894. Home of David M. Garner, son of J.W. Garner. (See item 46.)
[Sidenote: *17] Mr. E.C. Hough. Was on E. Jefferson St. next to 215 E. Jefferson on the left. E.C. Hough built this house in 1900. Parcel owned by L.F. Jennings.
[Sidenote: *18] Major M.S. Hopkins. Arringdon Hall, as this impressive house was known, was on N. Washington St. next door to the Village House Motel, razed in 1984 to make way for the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, now under constructions on N. Washington between Park and W. Great Falls St. Arringdon Hall was demolished in the mid-60s.
[Sidenote: *19] Mr. S.H. Thornburg. Was next door to the right of present Nowlan/Pendleton House at 114 E. Columbia St. on the present site of the Crossman Methodist Church parking lot (See item 10).
[Sidenote: *20] Mr. Nathan Banks. Was on the site of a present condominium apartment house on the North side of the 6800 block of Washington Blvd. in East Falls Church, Arlington.
[Sidenote: *21] James A. Dickinson, M.D. Was at 351 N. Washington St. Demolished in 1963 to make way for the Columbia Baptist Church parking lot. The owners were Mr. and Mrs. John H. (Frances Butterworth) Cline. Their daughter, Elizabeth Hughes Cline (Mrs. Howard Melton) and her husband are currently members of the VPIS Board.
[Sidenote: 22] Dr. Geo. B. Fadeley. 260 W. Broad St., corner of Little Falls St. opposite the Post Office. Was his office and residence, later the Falls Church Beauty School, and now the Potomac Academy of Hair Design. Built 1890.
[Sidenote: *23] Mankin Pharmacy. Demolished and replaced by tool-rental and restaurant businesses. Was on N. Washington St. to the right of the present State Theatre at 220 N. Washington. It was a small, real drug store, handling mostly drugs and pharmaceuticals, but may have had a "soda fountain."
[Sidenote: 24] Mr. Charles Crossman. House saved from demolition in May 1983 and moved from 421 N. Washington St., near the Columbia Baptist Church, to 345 Little Falls St. Moved by Col. Lawrence Pence and his wife Carol of Arlington, who are also renovating Shadow Lawn, (formerly Whitehall) at 335 Little Falls St. Built 1871. Crossman House was once affectionately known as Aunt Pansy's. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Richard Morde.
[Sidenote: *25] Dr. J. B. Hodgkin. Was on E. Fairfax St. on the site of the present Southgate Shopping Center facing The Falls Church (Episcopal).
[Sidenote: *26] Mr. D.O. Munson. Dr. Munson's house was probably part of the Munson Nurseries near Munson Hill, just off Leesburg Pike (Route 7) toward Baileys Crossroads. He was also a Colonel, and planted the silver maples that lined and overarched Broad St. House was demolished to make way for the Lafayette Condominiums, at 6141 Leesburg Pike.
[Sidenote: 27] Mr. Henry Crocker. 319 N. Maple, near Thurber Ct. Built 1890. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Vogel. Thurber Court is named after James Thurber, who once lived nearby.
[Sidenote: *27] Mr. E.F. Crocker. Was at 321 N. Maple. Demolished when Thurber Court was built.
[Sidenote: *28] Mr. G.W. Mankin. Was third building west of the original Brown's Hardware at 100 West Broad Street. Was the home of Mr. George W. Mankin after he moved out of the Clover House (not pictured in this book; referenced in Falls Church: Places and People, pp. 76, 77). Was approximately on the site of the present D&F Office Furniture at 134 West Broad.
[Sidenote: *29] Mr. C.H. Buxton. Was home of Charles Buxton, which was at E. Broad St. and Buxton Rd., but now replaced by a newer home next door to the Dulin United Methodist Church at 513 E. Broad St.
[Sidenote: *30] Mr. Summerfield Taylor. Lived over the Falls Church Market, a grocery formerly at the south-east corner of E. Broad and S. Washington Sts. Later replaced by the Falls Church Garage and Kent Cleaners. The "Historic Triangle complex," created by the City, is being replaced by the Independence Square Complex, now under construction.
[Sidenote: 31] Mr. A.P. Eastman. House still standing in East Falls Church at 6733 Lee Highway. He was a charter member and treasurer of the Village Improvement Society. Owner: Mrs. Charles R. Fenwick (Eleanor Eastman). House known as Everbloom.
[Sidenote: 32] Mr. Geo. F. Rollins. 109 E. Columbia St. Large house built in 1888. Also known as the Vosbury/Hall house. Owners: Dr. and Mrs. George Hall.
[Sidenote: 33] The Old Colonial Church. Interesting name for The Falls Church (Episcopal) at 115 E. Fairfax St. Has undergone considerable enlargement and renovation. Present brick church built in 1769 and thus the oldest church in the area. The City took its name from the church. On the National Register of Historic Places.
[Sidenote: *34] Mrs. C.E. Mankin's Store. Mr. Mankin's store was on the corner of N. Washington and E. Broad Sts. and was known as Mankin's Notion and Dry Goods Store. Mankin's wife Valinda ran the store in 1904 after he died the previous September. He served in the Confederate Army and saw Stonewall Jackson shot by his own troops. Now Robertson's office building.
[Sidenote: 35] Mr. Charles A. Stewart. House at 6857 Washington Blvd. in East Falls Church, Arlington. Author of A Virginia Village and other published and unpublished works. His daughter Elizabeth Tabb Stewart lived there until 1971. Name of new owners is unknown, but it is scheduled for demolition soon.
[Sidenote: *36] Mrs. Charles A. (sic) Mankin. Believed to be a picture of Home Hill which Charles E. Mankin built for his wife Valinda. It was located across the street from the then I.O.O.F. Hall on the site of the Post Office parking lot at 301 W. Broad St. The grounds were given to Mrs. Mankin by her mother. (There was no Charles A. Mankin.)
[Sidenote: 37] Mrs. Annie Eells. 414 W. Great Falls St. Built 1885. Known as the Eells/Roberts/Pierce Home. Enlarged and renovated. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Harold L. Pierce.
[Sidenote: 38] "Eastover," Mr. Pickering Dodge. 6763 25th St., corner of Washington Blvd. and 25th St., East Falls Church. Mr. Dodge took the pictures for A Virginia Village. Later owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hughes Butterworth (daughter was Frances) from 1917-1933. Present owners: Michael and Rita Flott.
[Sidenote: 39] Mr. W.A. Ball. 117 E. Columbia St. next to Rollins/Hall house at 109 E. Columbia. Probably refers to Rev. Samuel A. Ball, who was pastor of the Crossman Methodist Church across the street. Known as the Ball/Jackman house. Built 1890. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. George E. Jackman.
[Sidenote: *40] Mr. T.B. Snoddy. Was next to the N.E. corner of N. Washington and E. Columbia Sts. Now occupied by an office building at 400 N. Washington St.
[Sidenote: *41] Dr. T.M. Talbott. Was located on a piece of farmland across from the A.M. Lothrop place at the corner of McKinley Rd. and Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Christian Science Church, 809 N. McKinley Road, now on the site.
[Sidenote: *42] Mr. C.L. Blanton. Mrs. Cline stated that this house was then (about 1970) on Washington Blvd. in East Falls Church. Location unclear. (See poultry ad on p. 108).
[Sidenote: *43] Mr. Geo. W. Hawxhurst. Was on the N.E. corner of N. Washington and E. Columbia Sts., opposite the Charles Crossman House and next door to Snoddy's. The garage once housed the beginnings of the Falls Church library.
[Sidenote: *44] Mr. W.W. Biggs. Was on the corner of W. Great Falls and Little Falls St., facing Little Falls St. on the site of the Falls Church Community Center at 223 Little Falls. Later owned by the Cobb and O'Halloran families.
[Sidenote: 45] Mr. C.C. Walters. 900 Park Ave. at Spring St. Built 1891. Owned by Philip Brophy.
[Sidenote: 46] Mr. J.W. Garner. 219 E. Columbia St. Built 1890. Owned by Larry Lee Gregg and Cynthia Garner.
[Sidenote: *47] Town Sergeant John N. Gibson. East Falls Church. Was located on the south side of Washington Blvd., east of Lee Highway, between Moncure (p. 91) and Thompson (p. 97). Gibson, as town officer, had many duties. House demolished when I-66 was built.
[Sidenote: *48] Mr. J.C. Elliott's Store. East Falls Church. Was at Lee Highway and N. Fairfax Drive, with the electric trolley running on Fairfax Drive. The W.&O.D. R.R. was on the south side. Was Snyder's Hardware when it burned in 1948. It was replaced by the new Snyder & Co. store, 6847 Lee Highway, Arlington.
[Sidenote: 49] Miss Ada Rhodes. 110 W. Great Falls St. Now known as the Rhodes/Lennon House. Built in 1889 but has been completely renovated after a substantial fire in 1975. Front yard has been terraced and landscaped. Mr. Michael Lennon, the present owner, teaches renovation and restoration procedures.
[Sidenote: *50] Mr. W.W. Kinsley. Was on Lee Highway in East Falls Church, across from the present Continental Federal Savings and Loan, at 6711 Lee Highway, on a site now occupied by townhouses.
[Sidenote: 51] Mr. H.A. Fellows. On the S.W. corner of Roosevelt St. and Washington Blvd. in East Falls Church at 6404 Washington Blvd. Harry Andrew Fellows was for six years mayor of Falls Church. Wife Alice, who died about 1971, at age 105, was very knowledgeable about Falls Church. Owners: John and Marlys McGrath and three children, Michelle, Michale and Megan. Current owners are trying to restore the house to what it used to be. Now called Memory Lane.
[Sidenote: 52] Residence of Mr. G.A.L. Merrifield. 282 N. Washington St. Large imposing house built in 1895. House at 210 W. Great Falls St. also attributed to him. Was given an "Excellence in Design" award by VPIS for outstanding interior renovation. Owned by Craver, Matthews, Smith and Co., mail order and restoration consultants.
[Sidenote: 53] Cottage of Mr. G.A.L. Merrifield. 306 N. Washington St. Built 1870. Skinrood Realty once housed here. Renovated and owned by Craver, Matthews, Smith and Co., who own 282 N. Washington St., across Great Falls St.
[Sidenote: *54] Mr. Frank M. Thompson. Was on south side Washington Blvd., in East Falls Church, Arlington. Torn down for I-66.
[Sidenote: 55] Mr. Thomas Hillier. 116 S. Oak St. Built 1890. Now owned by Mrs. Alvin Tasker.
[Sidenote: 56] Mr. J.S. Riley. 312 Park Ave. Cherry Hill farmhouse, built c. 1840 on what was originally the 248-acre Trammell grant by Lord Fairfax. Was the home of "Judge" Joseph S. Riley, responsible for chartering the town of Falls Church in 1875, and of Miss Elizabeth "Betty" Styles. Owned by the City and administered by the Historical Commission. On the National Register of Historic Places.
[Sidenote: *57] Mr. O.H. Billingsley. Was on the North side of the 100 block of W. Broad St. near the present Brown's Hardware Store.
[Sidenote: *58] Mr. A.O. Von Herbulis. Was near St. James Church, on site of St. Joseph's School at 203 N. Spring St. He designed St. James Church and Rectory.
[Sidenote: 59] Mr. Andrew M. Smith. 316 N. Maple Ave. Built 1904, the year A Virginia Village was published. Also known as the Sheldon Cline House (brother of John H. Cline). Now owned by the Columbia Baptist Church.
[Sidenote: 60] Major Jos. T. Hiett. 115 E. Jefferson St. Built c. 1890. Hiett was an officer in the Confederate Army. Very unusual construction. Owners: Donovan and Joan Miers.
[Sidenote: *61] Mr. George Stambaugh. Was at the N.W. corner of N. Maple Ave. and W. Great Falls St., facing Great Falls St., now the site of the Garden Court Townhouses. Note that it had a windmill.
[Sidenote: 62] The Falls Church (Episcopal). A photo made during the Civil War. (See also pp. 33 to 61 for another photo and descriptive text.)
[Sidenote: 63] Mr. Charles A. Marshall. 215 E. Jefferson St., facing Cherry St., on a 3-lot parcel. Built c. 1900. Owned by L.F. Jennings.
[Sidenote: *64] Mr. John S. Garrison. Was on the S.W. corner of Washington Blvd. and Lee Highway in East Falls Church. Later the office of Dr. Howard Berger. Demolished for I-66.
[Sidenote: *65] Mr. F.A. Niles. Was near Seven Corners on Route 7. Later the home of the Duffys and Higgins.
[Sidenote: *66] Dr. T.C. Quick. Was on the N.W. corner of N. Washington St. and W. Great Falls, across the street from the present Trammell's Gate Housing Development. Tunis Cline Quick was a classmate of President Taft, who spoke from the steps of another former Quick home now occupied by the Ives-Pearson Funeral Home at 472 N. Washington St.
[Sidenote: *67] Miss Ellen W. Green. Was on the corner of N. Washington and E. Columbia Sts., on the present site of the parking lot of the Crossman Methodist Church.
[Sidenote: *68] Mr. Jno. D. Payne. Was at Seven Corners near Koons Ford, located at 1051 E. Broad St. Payne's Corners (now Seven Corners) was named for him. He was a former mayor of Falls Church, 1906-07.
[Sidenote: *69] The Rectory. Rev. George S. Somerville. Was the Rectory of The Falls Church (Episcopal) from 1900 to 1912 on S. Oak St., next to 116 in the present parking lot of 803 W. Broad St. Both houses were built by Thomas Hillier. (See item 55.)
[Sidenote: *70] Dr. L.E. Gott. Was on 15th Road, near the end of E. Columbia St., in what is now Arlington County. Dr. Louis Edward Gott was a surgeon in the Confederate Army. He apparently did not sign the Ordinance of Secession and helped draw up the town charter in 1875.
[Sidenote: *71] Mr. R.J. Yates. Was located in the middle of the 100 block of W. Columbia St. on the present site of the Columbia Baptist Church. It was once the site of the Forbes Institute, a private school run by the Forbes family.
[Sidenote: 72] Mr. S.A. Copper. 206 E. Jefferson St. Built 1889. On a very attractive lot. House and barn have been renovated. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Quinn.
[Sidenote: 73] Mrs. J.L. Auchmoody. 400 Great Falls St. Built in the 1850s. Julia L. Smith was married to Walter Auchmoody and helped run the Star Tavern, at the S.W. corner of Broad and Washington Sts. The Tavern once also served as the post office. House then known as "Mother Auchmoody's." More recently owned by the Hinman family and then Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Smith (now both deceased). Lot was subdivided under the terms of an easement, and a large house was built next door by Robert Daube. 400 W. Great Falls now owned by Elizabeth G. Warden.
[Sidenote: *74] Dr. Samuel Luttrell. Was at 133 E. Broad St. next to the Murphy House that was once the City Hall (See item 86). Was also once the home of the Edmonds family. Now on the site of the Bear's Head restaurant.
[Sidenote: 75] Mrs. C. Larner. 329 N. Maple Ave. at W. Columbia St. Built in 1850-53 but has had many alternations. Hip-roofed house painted red. Still has a well and pump and said to have a ghost. Has an underground room in back yard believed to have been a hiding place for slaves during the Civil War. Minie balls have been found on the grounds. Owners: Theodore W. and Mary Louise Jones.
[Sidenote: 76] Mr. W.H. Barksdale. 6403 Washington Blvd. across from the Fellows house in East Falls Church, Arlington. (See item 51). Owners: Col. and Mrs. Samuel Greenberg.
[Sidenote: *77] Mr. Wm. B. Wright. Was at 424 E. Broad St., but was demolished in 1979 to make way for the Tollgate Townhouse Development. Built 1870. Known as the Wright/Galpin House. Archeological investigations as the possible site of the Wren's Tavern were negative.
[Sidenote: 78] Mr. J.W. Seay. 116 W. Great Falls St. Built c. 1890. Known as the Seay/Porter/Oliphant/Kuhn House. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Beckham.
[Sidenote: *79] Mr. J.W. Wells. Was at 103 E. Jefferson St. across from Dr. Macon Ware's home at 108 E. Jefferson St. which is still standing with three new houses nearby.
[Sidenote: 80] Mr. M.H. Brinkerhoff. 200 E. Broad St. Built 1890 (?) Owner: Mr. Lawrence Proctor.
[Sidenote: 81] Mrs. A.V. Piggott. 400 E. Broad St. Better known as the Albert Brown Piggott House. Built about 1904, it basically is unchanged, but looks different. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rene Ossorio.
[Sidenote: 82] Mr. G.B. Ives. 209 E. Broad St., next door to the Falls Church Presbyterian Church, which now owns it. Known now as the Westminster House. Built in 1855 by Mr. Ives.
[Sidenote: 83] Mr. Nathan Lynch. 304 E. Broad St. Built in 1898. William Nathan Lynch had a two-level barn where he kept cows and sold milk. A gazebo and fishpond were added about 1928 by his son William Henry Lynch. Gazebo was built from the old Birch barn and the horses' teeth-marks are still visible. Rear of the property was subdivided in 1983 for four townhouses, part of The Wrens. Extensive renovation, inside and out, has been carried out by the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Seline.
[Sidenote: *84] Mrs. Mary G. Sims. Was located at 210 Little Falls St. between Park Ave. and W. Great Falls St. Now an office building across from the City Hall.
[Sidenote: 85] Mr. A.E. Rowell. 923 W. Broad St. The Rowell House was also known as the "Old Brick House." Built in 1855 by George B. Ives, the Rowell family lived here for 62 years. Formerly had a barn with a harness room and a glass conservatory for flowers. Was an antique shop several years ago and the yard was also used for antique sales. While the house still stands, it has been renovated and surrounded by a townhouse complex known as Rowell Court, and bears no resemblance to the original structure. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Rolander.
[Sidenote: *86] Dr. S.S. Luttrell. Was at 155 E. Broad St., and later known as the Murphy House. It served as the last temporary City Hall in the 1950s.
[Sidenote: 87] Oakwood Cemetery. Located off N. Roosevelt St. behind Koon's Ford. Many old time residents of Falls Church are buried here. A corner of the foundation of Fairfax Chapel, built about 1790, and demolished during the Civil War by Union soldiers, was recently (1984) revealed by the falling of a tree during a storm.
[Sidenote: *88] Mr. H.N. Ryer. Was in East Falls Church, Arlington.
[Sidenote: 89] Dr. M.E. Church. Description under his photo is eloquent. For photo of his home, see p. 13.
[Sidenote: 90] Miss B.C. Merrifield. 210 W. Great Falls St. Built 1876. Known as the Merrifield/Orme House. Once owned by Harry O. Bishop and Mayor Albert Orme. Presently owned by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Payne.
[Sidenote: *91] Mr. R.C.L. Moncure. Was on the south side of Washington Blvd. east of Lee Highway in East Falls Church, Arlington. Demolished when I-66 was built.
[Sidenote: *92] Mr. George M. Newell. Built 1896. Was on N. Washington St. on the present site of the parking lot next to the Columbia Baptist Church, and next to the James A. Dickinson house at 351. The 1904 edition of A Virginia Village was originally printed in his small shop at the rear, by Joseph H. Newell, his son. (Newell-Cole Printing is now located in Alexandria, Va.)
[Sidenote: 95] Mr. H.C. Birge. 610 Fulton Ave. Built 1890. Now known as the Schefer School. Originally part of a 25-acre tract of the Cherry Hill Farm. Rothsay Street along the rear of the property was dedicated to provide access to the Rothsay Station on the W. and O. D. railroad, between Pennsylvania Ave. and N. Lee St. Also known as Woodland. Owner: Mrs. Eileen L.C. Schefer.
[Sidenote: *96] The Inn. Another name for the Eagle House Hotel, which burned down about 1920. Was located near the present site of the State Theatre at 220 N. Washington St. Occupants from about 1915 to 1919 were Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon S. Cline, Sr. He was the Managing Editor of old The Washington Star. Several of their children have remained in the Falls Church area. Eli Northrup, an undertaker, was once the proprietor.
[Sidenote: *97] Mr. Henry R. Thompson. Was on the S. side of Washington Blvd. in East Falls Church, on the E. side of Lee Highway. Demolished about 1975 to make way for I-66.
[Sidenote: *98] Columbia Baptist Church. Was located in the 100 block of E. Broad St. Demolished in 1909. A new stone church was relocated on the corner of N. Washington and W. Columbia Sts. The stone building has been replaced by a much larger brick structure. Address: 103 W. Columbia St.
[Sidenote: 99] Dulin Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church (South). Now the Dulin United Methodist Church, 513 E. Broad St. Built on land donated by William Dulin about 1869, shortly after the Civil War, following the separation into the Northern and Southern branches of the Methodist church.
[Sidenote: 100] Mrs. M.E. DePutron. 508 Lincoln Ave. Was also known as the Sherwood Farm, on 210 acres. Included the hill on which Mt. Daniel Elementary School (2328 N. Oak) is now located. Built in 1893-94 by Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Coleman DePutron. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. Roger Wollenberg. Roger is currently a member of the City Council and a former member of the School Board. Pat Wollenberg was formerly Vice-chairman of the Historical Commission and a re-founder of the VPIS in 1965.
[Sidenote: 101] Mr. G.W. Cassilear. 502 Walden Court. Known also as the Cassilear/Lamont/Bell House, or Bonnie Briar. Built about 1898 on what was part of the Crossman tract. Property originally consisted of the house, a summer house (now gone), a fish pond, a sheep house (now gone), a concrete ice-house, and a barn, on 11.66 acres. Was owned by Mrs. William (Aloise) Bell, who died in February 1985.
[Sidenote: 102] St. James Roman Catholic Church. 905 Park Ave. Built about 1902 to replace the old church on West St. at the St. James Cemetery. Has been renovated and enlarged. Designed by A.O. Von Herbulis (See item 58).
[Sidenote: *103] The Methodist Episcopal Church. Isaac Crossman donated the land and funds for the Crossman Methodist Episcopal Church, built in 1875. It was demolished in 1963. The new Crossman United Methodist Church is now on the same site on the corner of N. Washington and E. Columbia Sts. This was the Northern Methodist church; Dulin was the Southern Methodist church.
[Sidenote: *104] Mr. V.E. Kerr. Was one of the group of houses south of the Falls Church Bank (now the site of George Mason Square) on the west side of South Washington Street about opposite The Falls Church (Episcopal). Other houses in this group were the Updike House, the James Walter Antique Shop and the Edith Thompson House (all gone).
[Sidenote: *105] Mr. Herbert G. Hopkins. Location unknown.
[Sidenote: *106] Dr. N. F. Graham. Was on the present Safeway grocery site at 7397 Lee Highway, at the end of West St. in Fairfax County.
[Sidenote: 107] Capt. M. S. Roberts, 409 S. West St. Known as the Roberts/Burdick house. Capt. Roberts, who was wounded at Antietam, built the house in 1867 with wood and hardware shipped by his brother from Maine. Milton E. Roberts inherited the property from his uncle about 1915 and began a poultry business. Subsequently sold part of the property to the City for Roberts Park. House now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Burdick.
[Sidenote: 109] The Misses Birch. The Birch House, 312 E. Broad St. Built about 1835 but added to and renovated several times. Sold by Mr. and Mrs. Milton T. Birch in 1976 to Historic Falls Church, Inc., which in turn sold it to Mr. James Reid to build "The Wrens" on the side and rear portion. The old barn had been converted to a garage and has since been renovated into a handsome carriage house, as part of "The Wrens." VPIS was the first patron, donating $1,000 toward the preservation of the structure. On the National Register of Historic Places. Now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Mabry. Kenneth and Patricia Loustalot were the first owners after restoration (April 1980).
[Sidenote: 110] Rev. H.A. Beach. 212 E. Jefferson at Cherry St. Built c. 1904. There was once a pump and a pulley for drawing water. Originally part of the Copper property (p. 72). Owners: John and Nancy Whitman.
[Sidenote: 111] Congregational Church. 222 N. Washington St., next to the State Theatre. Formerly used as a police station, town hall, school, recreation center and library, and finally became the Washington House, the current headquarters of the Woman's Club of Falls Church. Used for meetings and special events.
[Sidenote: *112] Mr. Eli J. Northrup. Was located on the E. side of N. Washington St. in the 100 block. Northrup helped organize the Oakwood Cemetery Assn. and the Falls Church Telephone and Telegraph Co. He was an undertaker and ran the Eagle House (p. 96) at one time.
STRUCTURES LISTED BY NAME
Auchmoody, Mrs. J.L. 73
Ball, W.A. 39 Banks, Nathan 20 Barksdale, W.H. 76 Beach, Rev. H.A. 110 Biggs, W.W. 44 Billingsley, O.H. 57 The Misses Birch 109 Birge, H.C. 95 Blanton, C.L. 42 Brinkerhoff, M.H. 80 Brown, J.W. 14 Buxton, C.H. 29
Cassilear, G.W. 101 Cherry Hill (Riley, J.S.) 56 Church, Dr. M.E. (Portrait) 89 Church, M.E. 13 Columbia Baptist Church 98 Congregational Church 111 Copper, S.A. 72 Crocker, Henry 27 Crocker, E.F. 27 Crossman, Charles 24 Crossman, George G. 7 Crossman Methodist Episcopal Church 103
DePutron, Mrs. M.E. 100 Dickinson, Dr. James A. 21 Dodge, Mr. Pickering 38 Dulin Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church (South) 99
Eagle House 96 Eastman, A.P. 31 Eastover (Dodge, Pickering) 38 Eells, Mrs. Annie 37 Elliott, J.C. 48 Ellison, W.M. 6 Erwin, George L. 15
Fadeley, Dr. George B. 22 Fellows, H.A. 51 Fenwick, E.T. 4
Garner, Mrs. Emma 16 Garrison, John S. 64 Gibson, John N. 47 Gott, Dr. L.E. 70 Gould, J.B. 9 Graham, Dr. N.F. 106 Green, Miss Ellen W. 67 Gundry, Miss M. 8
Hawxhurst, George W. 43 Hiett, Major Joseph T. 60 Hillier, Thomas 55 Hodgkin, Dr.J.B. 25 Hopkins, Herbert G. 105 Hopkins, Major M.S. 18 Hough, E.C. 17
Inn, The 96 Ives, G.B. 82
Kerr, V.E. 104 Kinsley, W.W. 50
Larner, Mrs. C. 75 Lawton House front Lothrop, A.M. front Luttrell, Samuel 74 Luttrell, Dr. S.S. 86 Lynch, Nathan 83
McInturff, G.F. 12
Mankin, Mrs. Charles A. 36 Mankin, George W. 28 Mankin Pharmacy 23 Mankin, Mrs. C.E. 34 Marshall, Charles A. 63 Merrifield, Miss B.C. 90 Merrifield, G.A.L. 52, 53 Moncure, R.C.L. 91 Munson, D.O. 26
Newell, George M. 92 Niles, F.A. 65 Northrup, E.J. 112 Nowlan, W.H. 10
Oakwood Cemetery 87
Payne, J.D. 68 Piggott, A.V. 81 Poole, G.W. 11 Presbyterian Church 5
Quick, Dr. T.C. 66
The Rectory (Somerville, Rev. G.S.) 69 Rhodes, Miss Ada 49 Riley, J.S. 56 Roberts, Captain M.S. 107 Rollins, George F. 32 Rowell, A.E. 85 Ryer, H.N. 88
St. James Roman Catholic Church 102 Seay, J.W. 7 Sims, Mrs. Mary G. 84 Smith, Andrew M. 59 Snoddy, T.B. 40 Somerville, Rev. George S. 69 Stambaugh, George 61 Stewart, Charles A. 35
Talbott, Dr. T.M. 41 Taylor Store 30 The Falls Church 33, 62 Thompson, Frank M. 54 Thompson, Henry R. 97 Thornburg, S.H. 19
Virginia Training School 8 Von Herbulis, A.O. 58
Walters, C.C. 45 Wells, J.H. 79 Wright, William B. 77
Yates, R.J. 71
STRUCTURES LISTED BY ADDRESS
Broad Street, East 100 block (Mankin's Store) 34 100 block (Columbia Baptist Church) 98 120 (J.B. Gould) 9 133 (S. Luttrell) 74 155 (S.S. Luttrell) 86 200 (M.H. Brinkerhoff) 80 209 (G.B. Ives) 82 225 (Presbyterian Church) 5 304 (N. Lynch) 83 312 (The Misses Birch) 109 400 (A.V. Piggott) 81 424 (W.B. Wright) 77 513 (Dulin Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church (South)) 99 500 block (C.H. Buxton) 29 1000 block (J.D. Payne) 68
Broad Street, West 100 block (M.E. Church) 13 100 block (J.W. Brown) 14 100 block (O.H. Billingsley) 57 100 block (G.W. Mankin) 28 200 block (C.A. Mankin) 36 260 (G.B. Fadeley) 22 300 block (Virginia Training School, Miss M. Gundry, Principal) 8 923 (A.E. Rowell) 85 934 (Ellison, W.M.) 6
Columbia Street, East on 15th Road (L.E. Gott) 70 109 (G.F. Rollins) 32 114 (W.H. Nowlan) 10 117 (W.A. Ball) 39 211 (E. Garner) 16 219 (J.W. Garner) 46
Columbia Street, West 100 block (R.J. Yates) 71
Fairfax Street, East 115 (The Falls Church) 33, 62 100 block (J.B. Hodgkin) 25
Fulton Street 610 (H.C. Birge) 95
Great Falls Street and Maple Avenue (G. Stambaugh) 61
Great Falls Street 110 (A. Rhodes) 49 116 (J.W. Seay) 78 210 (B.C. Merrifield) 90 300 (G.L. Erwin) 15 400 (J.L. Auchmoody) 73 414 (A. Eells) 37
Jefferson Street, East 103 (J.H. Wells) 79 115 (J.T. Hiett) 60 206 (S.A. Cooper) 72 211 (E.C. Hough) 17 212 (H.A. Beach) 110 215 (C.A. Marshall) 63
Lawton Street 203 (The Lawton House) front
Lee Highway 6700 block (W.W. Kingsley) 50 6733 (A.P. Eastman) 31 and West Street (N.F. Graham) 106
Lincoln Avenue 508 (M.E. DePutron) 100
Little Falls Street 200 block (M.G. Sims) 84 200 block (W.W. Biggs) 44
Maple Street, North 316 (A.M. Smith) 59 319 (E.F. Crocker) 27 321 (H. Crocker) 27 and Great Falls (G.F. McInturff) 12 329 (C. Larner) 75
McKinley Street (T.M. Talbott) 41
Oak Street, South 114 (The Rectory—Rev. G.S. Somerville) 69 116 (T. Hillier) 55
Park Avenue 312 (J.S. Riley) 56 900 (C.C. Walters) 45 905 (St. James Roman Catholic Church) 102
Roosevelt Street Oakwood Cemetery 87
Spring Street (A.O. Von Herbulis) 58
Underwood Street (G.G. Crossman) 7
Walden Court 502 (G.W. Cassilear) 101
Washington Blvd., Arlington near Lee Hwy. (R.C.L. Moncure) 91 east of Lee Hwy. (F.M. Thompson) 97 (H.R. Thompson) 97 at Roosevelt (W.H. Barksdale) 76 at Roosevelt (H.A. Fellows) 51 6831 (G.W. Poole) 11 6839 (E.T. Fenwick) 4 6857 (C.A. Stewart) 325 at 25th Street (P. Dodge) 38
Washington Street, North 100 block (Mankin Pharmacy) 23 100 block (E.J. Northrup) 112 200 block (The Inn) 96 222 (Congregational Church) 111 223 (M.S. Hopkins) 18 282 (G.A.L. Merrifield) 52 305 (T.C. Quick) 66 306 (G.A.L. Merrifield) 53 351 (J.A. Dickinson) 21 353 (G.M. Newell) 92 384 (The Methodist Episcopal Church) 103 at s.e. corner of Columbia St. (E.W. Green) 67 at n.e. corner of Columbia St. (G.W. Hawxhurst) 43 400 block (T.B. Snoddy) 40 421 (C. Crossman) 24
Washington Street, South (V.E. Kerr) 104
West Street, South 409 (M.S. Roberts) 107
Wilson Blvd. and McKinley Street, Arlington (A.M. Lothrop) Front
A Virginia Village
Old Colonial Church
PRESS OF J. H. NEWELL
FALLS CHURCH, VA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE TOWN OF FALLS CHURCH 3
THE OLD COLONIAL CHURCH 33
FALLS CHURCH IN THE CIVIL WAR 62
CHURCHES AND SOCIETIES, ETC. 77
In preparing this little book it has been the aim of the Editor to obtain facts of the early history, as well as to set forth what changes time has wrought in the erstwhile veritable hamlet of years gone by. To this end he has exerted every effort in the examination of records, that authentic data only, in describing the old church and village, may appear in these pages. Aside from the descendants of the old settlers, the heads of many households in the village of Falls Church have left kindred and friends in other sections of the country, and identified themselves heartily in the work of developing and beautifying the natural advantages of the spot they have selected for the building of new homes. It is but natural that interest should be taken in the evidence of their thrift and enterprise, by those whose lives were linked with theirs in times past, as in the town they have helped to build up. The attempt has been to join the past with the present, in reciting incidents of the early days, to show no less the improvements that have come as the years roll on.
The joint work has been done by Messrs. Chas. A. Stewart, Pickering Dodge and George M. Newell, Mr. Stewart having collected, edited and compiled the text, Mr. Dodge the photographic work, and Mr. Newell the printing.
The Editor is indebted for courtesies and assistance to Mr. H. H. Dodge, Superintendent of Mount Vernon, a vestryman of Pohick Church, Mr. H. S. Ryer, stenographer, Mr. F. M. Richardson, Clerk of the Court, Fairfax Co., and Rev. George S. Somerville, Rector of the Falls Church. Valuable information was obtained from Howe's History of Virginia, Snowden's Old Landmarks in Virginia and Maryland, as from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
M. M. O.
A Virginia Village.
Falls Church, while a Virginia village, is thoroughly cosmopolitan. According to a recent census only about fifty per cent. of its inhabitants are natives of Virginia, the rest coming from the various States of the Union or from foreign countries.
Falls Church might properly be called a national village, since its citizens are chiefly employees of the government, and the interests of its eleven hundred people naturally center at the National Capitol.
Every geographical section of the United States has here a representative type of citizen who has chosen this quiet village for a home. For this and other reasons Falls Church is probably the most thoroughly American community in the country. This distinction, if admitted, must come as a natural sequence from its situation as a suburb of the Nation's capital, from the cosmopolitan character of its society, and from the fact that so many of its residents are connected with the Executive Departments as a part of the machinery of representative government.
The village is situated in a county of the Old Dominion rich in events of historic interest. In Colonial days, in the times of the Revolution, as in the days of the civil strife, Fairfax County furnished her quota of illustrious sons. At Gunston Hall on the Potomac dwelt George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, pronounced the most remarkable paper of the epoch, and the foundation of the great American assertion of independence as afterward draughted by Jefferson. In Fairfax County lived and died the immortal Washington, and his ashes repose in its soil at his beloved Mount Vernon. During the late civil war every part of its territory was a battle ground and breast-works thrown up by contending armies over a generation ago may still be seen here and there within its borders. At the beginning of our war with Spain twenty-five thousand volunteer soldiers from a dozen States pitched their tents on a favored spot in this ancient county, where they were schooled to proficiency in the art of modern warfare.
The old Episcopal church, from which Falls Church takes its name, still stands as a monument linking colonial days with the present. Around it cluster memories of great events in American history, for past its substantial walls have marched soldiers of all our leading wars since the day Washington guided the lordly Braddock over the road hard by down to the time of our recent war with Spain. The old church has passed through many vicissitudes since Washington worshipped there. It served as a recruiting station for patriots of the Revolution, then abandoned as a house of worship for a long period of years; subsequently it was reopened and throughout the civil war used alternately as a hospital and a stable by the Union Army. To complete the chain of events in this connection soldiers enlisted for the Spanish-American war were encamped near by and pickets of the camp stood guard under the shadow of its walls.
Falls Church thirty years ago was a mere hamlet of, perhaps, a dozen houses. It is to-day the largest town in the county of Fairfax and its population is steadily increasing. Forces are now at work which may eventually make it the largest town in Northern Virginia, with the possible exception of Alexandria. Upon the completion of the new bridges now in course of construction across the Potomac and the improved facilities for reaching Washington by means of steam roads and trolley lines, the tide of suburban home-seekers from the capital city must turn this way, whereby this Virginia village is destined to become a Virginia city which may bind the old mother commonwealth closer than ever before to the Federal City and the National government.
The Town of Falls Church.
Falls Church is an incorporated town of about eleven hundred inhabitants. Endowed by State law with the name of town when a mere hamlet, it is still "the village" to its citizens. It is situated on the Bluemont branch of the Southern Railway 9 miles from Alexandria, and 45 miles from Bluemont at the foot of the Blue Ridge. An electric railway connects it with Georgetown, D. C., 6 miles distant, and it is 13 miles over the Southern Railway to the business center of Washington. Located originally in Fairfax County its growing area has overlapped into the adjoining county of Alexandria, taking within its corporate limits the extreme southwestern part of what was at one time the District of Columbia.
It is essentially a village of homes, nearly all of which are set in ample grounds adorned with rare trees, well-kept lawns, and tasteful shrubbery and hedges. Its fourteen miles of streets are bordered with beautiful maples, and in summer the principal avenues are bowers of living green.
Like the National Capital in its inception, Falls Church is a town of magnificent distances. Within its corporate limits is room for ten thousand people without overcrowding.
At an altitude of 300 feet above Washington, summer days here are pleasant and summer nights cool and sleep-inducing.
The social atmosphere is most refined, and the moral tone of its citizens cannot be surpassed. No saloons have been allowed in Falls Church since its incorporation as a town thirty years ago.
The town has an excellent graded public school with a high class of instructors, besides a number of private schools. Eleven churches, including three for colored people just outside the town limits, afford ample accommodation for all church-goers within a radius of many miles. All the leading religious denominations are represented. The church edifices are most creditable for a town of its size, and two are fine examples of church architecture.
The history of Falls Church begins with the building of the old Episcopal Church from which the place takes its name, but the town itself is of modern growth. By a strange series of coincidences the old church, as well as the town at a later period, has been in touch in various ways with the National Government since Colonial days. Washington was a vestryman and at times attended service here. It served as a recruiting office for patriots of the Revolution. Dolly Madison took the road for Leesburg leading past this church when fleeing from the White House during the panic of the British invasion. Capt. Henry Fairfax went forth with his company of Fairfax volunteers from the Falls Church to the Mexican war and his body, borne home from far Saltillo, found a resting place within its churchyard. Skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops occurred all around its walls, and during the war of '61 it served the purposes of a hospital for Union soldiers. To make the chain of incidents complete, a farm near by was chosen at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war as a training camp for United States volunteer soldiers.
Few events of moment in government affairs can occur without directly affecting some resident of Falls Church, since this little town has its quota among the officers of the army and navy, in the rank and file of the army, and on the forecastle of the man-of-war, to say nothing of a full representation on the rolls of the several executive departments. When the battle ship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor two jackies from Falls Church were on board, fortunately escaping with their lives. After Aguinaldo's capture by General Funston, it was a Falls Church man who commanded the gunboat which conveyed the captive around the Island of Luzon to Manila. The brave General Lawton, killed on the firing line in the Philippine war, had so recently been a citizen of the town that his death was deplored as a personal loss by his former neighbors.
About the middle of the last century there was a large influx of settlers to Fairfax County from Northern New York and the New England States, attracted by the milder climate and the cheaper lands then offered for sale. Among the families who came about that period and settled nearest the old Falls Church were the Baileys, Birches, Barretts, Coes, Ellisons, Iveses, Lounsberrys, Munsons, Osbornes, Ryers and Sherwoods—all familiar names, and many of them or their immediate descendants now prominent residents of this village.
Early in the seventies two government clerks drove over the rough and hilly road from Washington and looked around the little hamlet of a dozen houses scattered along the Leesburg turnpike from the old brick church to the railroad station at West End. They were impressed with its inviting hills as the ideal situation for country residences. The excellent water from unlimited springs, the cool breezes and pleasing prospect from the hilltops overlooking hot and dusty Washington in the distance, persuaded them to make their homes in this ideal place. At that time the railroad facilities to Washington were most unpromising. The coaches were little better than the present freight car caboose, the schedule was unreliable, the trains slow, and a change of cars had to be made at the Alexandria junction. Such drawbacks did not deter these men from carrying out their purpose of locating here. They decided to ride or drive back and forth to their work in the department at Washington. Others soon followed these pioneers, and a settlement of government employees was the result. Many of those who followed the first two pioneers were from New England. They were families for the most part endowed with all those sturdy qualities of integrity, frugality and piety, characteristic of their section, and soon the church of their fathers stood within a stone's throw of the church of the early Virginians.
Since the day our townsmen, Mr. Charles H. Buxton and Prof. W. W. Kinsley, the pioneers of modern Falls Church, first settled here, the increase of population has been slow, but it has been of steady and sterling growth. The conservatism of the land-owners has given less rapid growth than were its tone purely speculative. The population as reported by the United States census for 1890 was 792; the census of 1900 gives the population at 1007, an increase of over 27 per cent. during the ten years. The tax roll for 1903 shows property of taxable value of $420,125, an increase of $149,040 over 1890.
Of all those who followed Messrs. Buxton and Kinsley to Falls Church, who built homes and made the little straggling settlement at the cross-roads the beautiful village it is to-day, space will not permit even a brief mention. But there are a number of well-known citizens still residing here who formed the nucleus of that "department colony" of thirty years ago, and through whose influence in great measure this village has become a settlement of government employees. Most prominent among these settlers of the 70's who are connected with the executive departments in Washington are Messrs. G. A. L. Merrifield and M. S. Roberts of the Pension Bureau, Albert P. Eastman of the War Department and George F. Rollins of the Treasury Department.
The rate of taxation levied by the town government is 60 cents on the hundred dollars, 30 cents of which is for school purposes and 30 cents for all expenses of the corporation. To this must be added the taxes collected by the county of Fairfax, 75 cents on the hundred dollars, making a total tax on property holders in the town of $1.35 on each one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation. Property within the corporation is exempt from county road tax and district school tax. Property in that part of the village lying within Alexandria County is assessed in like manner by the town and the authorities of the latter county. The tax rate for Alexandria County for the year 1903 on the one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of personal and real property was: State tax, 35 cents; county levy, 40 cents, and for court-house purposes, 10 cents—a total of 85 cents chargeable to the property owners of East Falls Church, the section of the village in this county. An additional tax of 50 cents for road purposes and 40 cents for the district school is levied against taxable property in this county outside of East Falls Church.
When scarcely entitled to be designated by the name of village, the little settlement on the Leesburg turnpike known as Falls Church was, by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, incorporated as a town. The act in question was approved March 30, 1875, and on April 13 following the new town began its career with the following officials duly installed: Mayor, Dr. J. J. Moran; Clerk, H. J. England; Town Sergeant, E. F. Crocker; Councilmen, Dr. J. J. Moran, George B. Ives, J. E. Birch, T. T. Fowler, Isaac Crossman, J. J. Carter, Dr. L. E. Gott.
The act of incorporation was successively amended by the State Legislature in 1879, 1890 and 1894. Sections 1 and 2 of the act of incorporation as amended, approved March 2, 1894, read as follows:
SECTION 1. So much of the territories in the counties of Fairfax and Alexandria, together with all the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging, as is contained in the following boundaries, to-wit: Beginning at the corner of Alexandria and Fairfax counties, on J. C. DePutron's farm; thence to the corner of J. C. Nicholson and W. S. Patton, in Mistress Ellen Gordon's line; thence to the corner of Sewell and L. S. Abbott on the new cut road; thence to the corner of A. A. Freeman and Mrs. Henry J. England on the Falls Church and Fairfax Court House road; thence along centre of said road to centre of bridge over Holmes Run; thence easterly in a straight line to the northwest corner of the colored Methodist church on the road leading to Annandale; thence easterly to the crossing of the Alexandria and Georgetown roads at Taylor's corner; thence along the north line of said Georgetown road to the corner of T. M. Talbott and Emma Taylor's estate; thence to a pin oak tree near Dr. L. E. Gott's spring; thence to a stone on the property of J. A. and Mrs. J. H. C. Brown, formerly the northeast corner of John Brown's barn; thence to the crossing of Isaac Grossman's and Bowen's line on the chain bridge road; thence to the place of beginning, is and shall continue forever to be a body politic and corporate under the name and style of the town of Falls Church, and shall possess and exercise the rights and powers conferred on towns by the general laws of this State and shall be subject to the restrictions and limitations imposed by said law in so far as the provisions thereof are not in conflict with the provisions of this act.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted. That the government of said town shall be vested in a council of nine qualified voters, who shall be elected by ballot on the fourth Thursday in May, eighteen hundred and ninety-four; three of whom shall hold that office for one year, three for two years and three for three years respectively, the same to be determined by lot. The successors of the three whose terms expire each year shall be elected annually on the fourth Thursday in May and shall hold their offices for three years, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. The terms of office of all councilmen shall begin on the first day of July of each year succeeding their election. Any person entitled to vote in the magisterial districts of Falls Church or Providence, in Fairfax County, or Washington magisterial district in Alexandria County, and residing in said corporation and duly registered by the town clerk, shall be entitled to vote at all elections for councilmen. The town clerk and two members of the council whose terms of office do not expire with that year, and who shall be designated by the mayor, shall conduct such election between the hours of one and seven, post meridian, and shall make return of the same to the mayor who shall issue certificates, countersigned by the clerk, to those elected. Tie votes shall be decided by lot, and contests shall be decided by the council under the law governing contests for the county offices.
Section five provides that the council shall annually levy and collect necessary taxes for roads, streets, school and corporation purposes, which tax for all purposes shall not exceed sixty cents on one hundred dollars without the consent of two-thirds of the resident freeholders of the corporation. An amendment gives the council the privilege of levying an additional tax of ten cents on the hundred dollars for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a high school course in Jefferson Institute, the public school, whenever requested by the town school board.
Section eight provides that the "town sergeant shall be the executive officer of the council, and shall have the authority, jurisdiction and fees of a constable of Fairfax and Alexandria counties within and one mile beyond the corporate limits. He shall, unless otherwise provided, be the town treasurer and as such shall collect all taxes, fines and licenses, and disburse the same upon the warrant of the council, signed by the mayor and clerk."
The same section makes the sergeant overseer of roads and streets, giving him the same powers as overseers of roads under the special road laws of Fairfax and Alexandria counties, his compensation to be fixed by the council.
Section nine provides that no district school tax and no district road tax shall be assessed and collected, except by the council, on any property within the corporation limits.
The last important section of the act of incorporation, which assures the peace and quiet of this village, is the restriction placed upon the liquor traffic. It reads as follows:
SEC. 10. That any person applying to the county of Fairfax or the county of Alexandria for a license to sell liquors of any kind, either as a keeper of an ordinary or eating house, or as a merchant, within the corporate limits of the town of Falls Church in the said counties, or within one mile beyond the limits of the said corporation shall produce before the courts or boards having control of the issuance of licenses for the sale of liquor of said counties a certificate of said council of said town to the effect that the applicant is a suitable person and that no good reason is known to said council why said license should not be granted. And the courts of said counties or boards having authority shall not grant the said license to sell liquors within the limits above prescribed until and unless such a certificate be given. And under no circumstances and in no event whatever shall the sale of liquors be licensed in any part of the corporation where license for the sale thereof has been prohibited under the provisions of chapter twenty-five of the Code of Virginia, known as the local option law.
The town is divided into three wards and each ward is represented by three councilmen.
THE BOARD OF HEALTH, appointed annually by the council, looks after the health of the town, with authority to carry out such sanitary regulations as may be deemed wise and expedient. The Board of Health for the present year consists of Dr. T. C. Quick, Chairman, and Councilmen John H. Wells and Elmer I. Crump.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT of the village was organized in 1898. The officers are a chief engineer and three fire wardens, one from each ward, and a captain of the fire company. The equipment for fighting fires consists of one fifty-five and two twenty-five gallon chemical engines of the most approved pattern and one fully equipped hook and ladder truck. The larger engine is kept in the central part of the village while the two smaller ones are stationed at East Falls Church and West End respectively. The officers are Chief Engineer, Dr. J. B. Gould; Fire Wardens—1st ward, Geo. T. Mankin; 2d ward, Edgar A. Kimball; 3d ward, D. B. Patterson.
THE VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY, an important factor in the growth and development of the village, was organized about twenty years ago. The chief object of the society has been the improvement and adornment of the streets and the fine shade trees which emborder the village thoroughfares everywhere attest the fidelity of its members to the object in view. In addition to the work of this character the society has aided in various other ways in the work of improving the village besides furnishing social entertainments for its members and friends. About fifteen hundred dollars have been raised by the society and disbursed to excellent advantage in securing substantial benefits to the public weal.
The Village Improvement Society was organized in the fall of 1885, the first officers being Mr. W. H. Doolittle, President; Rev. D. H. Riddle, Vice-President; Mr. S. V. Proudfit, Secretary and Mr. A. P. Eastman, Treasurer.
This society was modeled after the famous Laurel Hill Society of Stockbridge, Mass., and from a pamphlet published some years ago setting forth its object we learn that its funds have been expended on roads, sidewalks and street lamps, for a survey of the corporation, a piano for the public school and other improvements at the school, for taking the census and for Arbor Day expenses—a total expenditure up to that time of about eight hundred dollars. The greater part of the money raised by the society is from voluntary dues or the proceeds of lectures or other entertainments. The funds raised in this manner are generally expended through the town council or in conjunction with appropriations made by that body.
The first observance of Arbor Day in the State was by the Falls Church Village Improvement Society, when in 1892 this society instituted the observance of the day by the public school. Since that date the society has defrayed all Arbor Day expenses.
By an ordinance of the town adopted February 8, 1904, the third Friday in April of each year is designated as Arbor Day, to be observed under the auspices of the Village Improvement Society for the planting of such trees, plants or shrubs as it may desire.
The officers of the Village Improvement Society for the present year are as follows:
President, M. E. Church; Vice-President, Franklin Noble, D. D.; Secretary, Miss Belle Merrifield; Treasurer, George W. Hawxhurst; Assistant Secretary, Dr. George B. Fadeley.
The meetings are held on the first Monday of each month, except July and August, at the homes of the different members.
On these occasions after the adjournment of the business meeting, a literary and musical programme is provided by the hostess of the evening. Aside from the matter of business, the social part of these gatherings is a distinct feature of the society, which serves to keep alive the interest of its members, bringing together congenial friends and giving "new-comers" an opportunity to become acquainted with their neighbors.
PIONEER BUSINESS MEN. Among the most prominent business men of Falls Church who located here about the time the place was incorporated as a town, or soon thereafter, may be mentioned Mr. M. E. Church. Mr. Church is a native of Vermont, and upon settling here engaged in the drug business; he now conducts a successful real estate, loan and insurance business. He is also connected with other important commercial interests, and has been an indefatigable worker in promoting the welfare of the village.
Mr. George W. Mankin, a native of this State, was one of the early settlers in the village. He conducted a general merchandise business for a long period of years, but at present is engaged in the drug business with his son Mr. Geo. T. Mankin, under the firm name of George T. Mankin & Co. Mr. Mankin has established as high reputation as a business man and citizen as had his brother Mr. Charles Mankin, the well known dry goods merchant, but recently deceased.
Mr. Wm. M. Ellison, whose father was one of the early northern settlers in this community, is a successful lawyer and real estate broker. Mr. Ellison stands high as a business man and citizen, having served his town as a councilman for many years past and as mayor of the town for several terms. He was recently re-elected councilman from the West End ward.
Among other prominent merchants who early settled here are Mr. J. W. Brown, dealer in hardware and general merchandise, and Mr. George Gaither, dealer in groceries.
Mr. Isaac Crossman, who came here from Pennsylvania soon after the civil war, purchased for farming purposes a large block of land which is now situated almost in the center of the village. The price paid was about forty dollars per acre. A large part of this land has been divided into town lots and sold. To indicate the increase in real estate values since the war, the land of this Crossman property lying nearest the northern boundary of the village sells for one thousand dollars and upward per acre.
FEW OLD HOUSES. Practically all the houses of the village are modern, but there are a few old buildings of historic interest. Among these is the Lawton house, at one time the residence of General Lawton. This house was the headquarters of General Longstreet when the place was in possession of the Confederates soon after the first battle of Manassas. What was once known as the Star Tavern, now a grocery store, is a relic of by-gone days. It flourished in the days before the railroad came, and was a favorite stopping place for travelers over the road from the mountains leading past its doors to the then important mart, Alexandria. The place was kept during the civil war by W. H. Erwin, father of our townsmen Messrs. Walter, George and Munson Erwin.
The old big chimney house situated in the field opposite the Odd Fellows' Hall was built in Revolutionary times and is probably the oldest dwelling in this vicinity. It is owned by the venerable John Lynch, who was the sexton of the Episcopal Church for so many years before and after the civil war. Mr. Lynch is now a resident of Maryland.
THE COLORED SETTLEMENT. The colored people have a settlement a short distance south of the town limits, consisting of probably a hundred cottages with a population of between four and five hundred. They have a school building and three churches and many of the little cottages and surroundings indicate industry and thrift in the occupants.
HOTELS. The Falls Church Inn, where an old Virginia welcome awaits the way-farer, accommodates transient and regular boarders. Besides there is the "Evergreens," a large summer boarding place which has a high reputation. There are numerous other homes, in or near the village, where boarders are taken for the summer months.
NEWSPAPER. Falls Church has one newspaper published weekly, called "The Falls Church Monitor." This paper was first established by Mr. E. F. Rorebeck, under the name of "The Falls Church News." Mr. M. E. Church is Editor and Mr. R. C. L. Moncure, General Manager.
EXCELLENT NATURAL DRAINAGE. Four Mile Run, traversing the northeastern section of the corporation, separates the main part of the village from all that portion lying in Alexandria County and known as East Falls Church. This little stream empties into the Potomac four miles below Washington, whence its name. Where it breaks through the hills at Barcroft its water-power is used for milling purposes, as in the days when General Washington's flour mills were situated at or near the same point. The southern section of the village is drained by Holmes' Run, which empties into the Potomac just south of Alexandria. The two rapid little streams named take their rise a short distance to the west of the village and afford ample drainage for all the territory embraced within the corporation boundaries.
RAILWAY DEPOTS AND POST-OFFICES. Indicating the wide extent of territory covered by Falls Church, it possesses two railway depots and three independent post-offices. The Southern Railway's East Falls Church and West End stations are one mile apart. The electric railway also has stations and ticket offices near those of the steam road. The Falls Church post office is on Broad street in the center of the village. East Falls Church post office is located at the electric railway station and West End post office at the West End steam railway station, the former being one-half mile and the latter about one mile distant from the main office.
STREET LIGHTS. The village streets are now lighted by kerosene lamps, but a movement is already on foot looking toward a better system of street lighting and it is probable that an electric light plant will be installed for that purpose within the near future.
A BANK IS NEEDED. The organization of a bank is being considered by a number of enterprising citizens. There is already a sufficient amount of banking business transacted by the residents of the village, which is now divided among the banks located at Leesburg, Fairfax, Alexandria and Washington, to make such an institution a paying investment from the start.
THE PARK. Crossman Park, the densely wooded hill over which the electric road runs from East End to West End, is an attractive spot to nature lovers. Hundreds of old chestnut trees make it a favorite resort for picnic parties in summer and nut-hunters in the fall. It is altogether a charming piece of woodland without undergrowth, and needs no gravelled walks or other evidences of the hand of man to add to its present charm.
Near the park may be seen the stone which marks what was at one time the western corner of the District of Columbia. It is situated on the land of Mr. S. B. Shaw and is only a few yards from his residence. On the west corner is chiseled "Virginia 1791," while on the opposite corner the words "Jurisdiction of the United States" are still quite legible.
FALLS CHURCH TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CO. The Falls Church Telephone and Telegraph Company, of which Mr. M. E. Church is President and General Manager, is connected with the lines of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Washington and with the lines of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The stations on this line include Alexandria, Arlington, Ash Grove, Bailey's Cross Roads, Ballston, Barcroft, Belaire, Bluemont, Chesterbrook, Clarendon, Chain Bridge, Colvin Run, Dunn Loring, Dranesville, East Falls Church, Fairfax, Fort Myer Heights, Glencarlyn, Hall's Hill, Herndon, Hamilton, Kenmore, Lewinsville, Langley, Leesburg, Merrifield, Oakton, Paeonian Springs, Purcellville, Round Hill, Rosslyn, Vienna, Wiehle, and West Falls Church. All stations are equipped with Long-Distance Metallic Circuit Telephones.
In addition to the telephone line Falls Church has two Western Union Telegraph offices besides two express offices.
CAMP ALGER. Falls Church has gained a national reputation within recent years by reason of the establishment near the village of the camp for volunteer soldiers at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. This camp was one of several of the kind established in the Southern States for the purpose of organizing an army for the invasion of Spanish territory.
The farm of Mr. C. L. Campbell, about one and a half miles southwest of the village was selected by the War Department for the army corps to be assembled nearest Washington, and as soon as the contract was signed for the lease of the property, troops from fourteen States were hurried here as fast as recruited.
The first troops on the ground were the District of Columbia Volunteers. They were followed by those from Pennsylvania, and later came troops from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee and Virginia, all forming the Second Army Corps of the Spanish-American War.
The Second Army Corps was made up of the troops assembled at Falls Church, to which Major General William M. Graham, U. S. V., was assigned by orders of May 16, 1898. General Graham assumed command May 23, 1898, announcing the official designation of the camp as "Camp Russell A. Alger."
The strength of this army corps before the last of May consisted of 922 officers and 17,467 men. In June the number in camp was 1,103 officers and 26,002 men; in July the strength of the corps was 1,183 officers and 29,747 men. In August the corps consisted of 1,347 officers and 33,755 men, the highest number in this corps before disbandment at the end of the war.
By orders of May 24, the troops then on duty at this point were organized into a First Division composed of three brigades of three regiments each, and by orders of June 9, 1898, the Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and 33rd and 34th Michigan Volunteer Infantry were constituted a separate brigade.
On June 9th the separate brigade mentioned was assigned as the First Brigade, 3rd Division. On August 2, 1898, a second brigade was organized composed of the First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and the Third Virginia Volunteer Infantry.
The First Brigade, consisting of the Massachusetts and Michigan troops, left Camp Alger for Santiago de Cuba on June 22 and 24, 1898. Troops of the Second Brigade were returned to their States for muster out on September 7 and 8, 1898.
The tents of the provost guard pitched at the electric railway terminus at East End with pickets posted at various street corners made Falls Church appear like a town under martial law. Under all the circumstances the conduct of the troops was admirable. The homes of the citizens were thrown open to the soldiers doing picket duty in the village, and the ladies of the place vied with each other in contributing to the comfort of sick soldiers at the camp.
The summer of 1898 was a most eventful one in Falls Church. No such stirring scenes had been witnessed here since the days of the civil war. Troop trains arriving or departing, drills at camp and practice marches through the town, martial music from many bands, reveille and taps, all contributed to impress the town folk with the fact that the country was at war.
FINANCES OF THE TOWN. The expenses of the town government for the year ending August 31, 1904, was $2,188.47. The assessed valuation of the town is $420,125, which is about 50 per cent of the real value. The tax levy for all purposes is six mills. The levy is divided as follows: For corporation purposes three mills; for school purposes three mills. The total receipts for fiscal year 1904 were $2,289.20.
There is no bonded indebtedness. A number of times propositions to bond the town for school or street purposes have been voted upon but each time the citizens have decided against incurring any bonded debt.
The following are the officers of the town government:
OFFICERS OF THE TOWN. George N. Lester, Mayor; Henry Crocker, Clerk; John N. Gibson, Sergeant; R. C. L. Moncure, Corporation Attorney. Members of Council: 1st ward, Elmer I. Crump, S. E. Thompson, G. A. Brunner; 2nd ward, E. A. Kimball, Geo. N. Lester, Geo. W. Hawxhurst; 3rd ward, Thomas Hillier; Wm. M. Ellison, H. C. Birge. Committees, Street Lamp Lighting: E. A. Kimball, Thos. Hillier, S. E. Thompson. Finance: Wm. M. Ellison, Chairman, H. C. Birge, Geo. W. Hawxhurst. Board of School Trustees: J. W. Brown, Chairman, R. J. Yates, Clerk, J. S. Riley.
HEALTH. In the matter of health Falls Church leads. Statistics obtained by the U. S. Census Bureau relating to the mortality rate show that out of 341 towns and cities from which returns were received the lowest death rate for the year ending May 31, 1900, was in St. Joseph, Mo., with 9.1 for each 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Portland, Oregon, 9.5, St. Paul, Minn., 9.7, and Minneapolis, Minn., 10.08. For the same period there were only 5 deaths in Falls Church, its population then being 1,007. The average annual death rate in Falls Church is about 9.5 per 1,000, only 57 deaths having occurred here between August 17, 1898 and September 2, 1904, a period of a little over six years.
The death rate in the United States for 1900, according to census returns was 17.8 per 1,000, the rate in cities where such statistics were gathered being 18.6, and in rural districts 15.4.
For the purpose of comparison the death rate per 1,000 in the following cities as reported by the U. S. Census Bureau for 1900 will be of interest. Baltimore, Md., 21.0; New York, N. Y., 21.3; Washington, D. C., 22.8; Alexandria, Va., 24.2; Norfolk, Va., 25.2; Lynchburg, Va., 27.7; Richmond, Va., 29.7; Petersburg, Va., 31.1.
IDEAL COUNTRY HOMES. To the generosity of a nearby nurseryman the town is indebted for its wealth of trees. When the first streets were laid out Mr. D. O. Munson donated liberally from his nursery stock and to him is chiefly due the credit for the present attractive appearance of the tree-lined streets.
The conventional arrangement of the average suburban town has not been followed in laying out the streets of this village, and even the sinuous main avenue, lined on either side by a row of full grown maples, adds to its charm. Beyond the town to the westward the view of rolling plain and delightful wooded expanse greets the eye, and in the distance the smoky Sugar Loaf looms up to beckon one to mountain scenes. In an afternoon drive from the village to the south or west the lover of nature may find pleasure at every turn.
The healthfulness of Falls Church is proverbial, while its charming situation, accessibility to the city of Washington and the homelike tone pervading every part of its area have surprised and attracted all whose privilege it has been to visit here for the first time. The place to the tired city man can afford all the enjoyment of retirement and tranquillity. With an abundance of green lawns, well shaded walks and drives, pure water, churches, good schools and the necessary stores; what more could the seeker desire to complete his ideal of a country home.
Possessing advantages imperfectly pictured herein, Falls Church welcomes the jaded fathers and mothers from the city to the place where children may enjoy life with nature, where the climate, conducive to refreshing sleep, soothes tired nerves and makes life to such again buoyant with youthful hopes and joys.
The original church at the Falls is said to have been built in 1709. This is only tradition, as no satisfactory evidence has been obtained relating to its exact location or the date when first erected.
Court records establish the fact that there was a church on the present site of the Falls Church in 1746. On March 20th of that year John Trammell, in consideration of the sum of fifty shillings sterling, transferred, by deed of bargain and sale, to the Vestry of Truro Parish in Fairfax County a certain parcel of land containing two acres "where the Upper Church now is." John Trammell owned at that time the greater part of the land upon which the town of Falls Church is now situated. In June, 1745, he leased to Walter English his plantation of 244 acres "near the head of the north of Holmes' Run extending to Four Mile Run, excepting two acres for the use of the church."
The vestry book of Truro Parish commences about 1732. This book is in the possession of Mr. H. H. Dodge, of Mt. Vernon, a vestryman of old Pohick Church. Through the courtesy of Mr. Dodge, the Editor was permitted to make a careful examination of its pages, and to copy from the minutes of the vestry meetings therein such entries as appeared to throw any light upon the early history of the Falls Church.
Some apparently trivial entries have been copied, such as the payment of a sexton's salary for a number of successive years, but the name of the sexton in such cases has an important bearing upon the subject, when it is not improbable that the churches indicated as the "Upper Church," the "New Church," etc., may be the church later designated as "The Falls Church."
In addition to religious matters, the duties of the church vestry in these early times embraced many secular affairs. Under the direction of the Parish Vestry tithes were collected from the land owners, and "processioners" were appointed by them to survey and establish all land boundaries within the parish. Such matters as related to the relief of the poor, the medical care of the sick, charges for burial of the dead, the maintenance of the blind, the lame, and the maimed, also of foundlings and vagrants, now looked after by the county government, were then a part of the duty of the vestry of each parish.
By a general law passed in the Colony in 1667, Act IV, 19th Charles II, the right was vested in the county courts, when expedient, to set aside and appropriate not more than two acres of land for church and burial purposes; ministers' salaries had been fixed the year before at 16,000 pounds of tobacco, or about $650.
As early as October, 1734, John Trammell was paid by the Vestry of Truro Parish 320 pounds of tobacco for grubbing a place for a new church, for which Robert Blackburn had drawn plans.
In November of the following year, Thomas or James Bennitt was paid 150 pounds of tobacco as sexton of the New Church. Record of the payment of 400 pounds of tobacco to James Bennitt, Sexton of the New Church, appears under date of October 6, 1740, and again May 21, 1745. On the latter date the Vestry decided to build a church "at or near the spring nigh Mr. Hutchinson's on the mountain road ... with doors, windows & seats after the manner of the Upper Church." The deed from Andrew Hutchinson to the Vestry of Truro Parish for two acres of land upon which this new church was to be erected, recorded in Liber A. No. 1, page 464, Fairfax County Land Records, does not show this land to have been in the vicinity of Falls Church.
On October 12, 1747, the vestry records indicate that Mary Bennitt was sexton of the Upper Church, supposed to be the same which was called the New Church before this date, and that Wm. Grove was sexton of the more recently built church on the mountain road near Mr. Hutchinson's. Mary Bennitt's salary as sexton of the Upper Church was 400 pounds of tobacco until 1749, when it was increased to 460 pounds. Her salary was again raised to 560 pounds in 1752, and so continued until 1755, when James Palmer became sexton at "Falls Church," so designated in the records. James Palmer appears to have been succeeded by Gerard Trammell, the Vestry at a meeting held November 12, 1759, having allowed the latter 560 pounds of tobacco as sexton of Falls Church.
In February, 1749, the Vestry decided to build an addition to the "Upper Church," and the contract for the improvement was given to Charles Broadwater, Gent., who undertakes to complete the work by the laying of the next parish levy for the sum of 12,000 pounds of tobacco. Mr. Charles Broadwater was at that time one of the vestrymen, and among those present at the meeting were George Mason and the Rev. Charles Green. The vestry meeting held October 25, 1762, elected George Washington a Vestryman in place of Wm. Peake, Gent., deceased, and at the same meeting it was ordered that the sexton at Falls Church be allowed 560 pounds of tobacco for his services.
The Vestry of Truro Parish met on March 28, 1763, at the Falls Church. Those present were: Henry Gunnell, Wm. Payne, Jr., Church Wardens; John West, Wm. Payne, Charles Broadwater, Thomas Wren, Abraham Barnes, Daniel McCarty, Robert Boggers and George Washington.
It appears that this meeting was called for the purpose of deciding whether to repair the old church, then greatly in decay, or to erect a new building. It would seem that the matter of abandonment of the site of the old church was also to be acted upon, and the erection of a new one in a more convenient place.
The Vestry decided that the old church was too dilapidated to repair, and resolved that a new church be built at the same place. It was ordered that the Clerk of the Vestry advertise in the Virginia and Maryland Gazettes for workmen to meet at the church on the 29th of August next following, to undertake the building of a brick church, to contain 1,600 feet on the floor, with a suitable gallery. The record of the vestry meeting of October 3, 1763, shows that 30,000 pounds of tobacco had been levied toward building Falls Church, and was to be sold by the Church Wardens for the best cash price obtainable. George Washington was not present at this meeting; but as an evidence of his interest in the contemplated improvements he copied in his diary under date of 1764 the advertisement published in the Maryland Gazette for "undertakers to build Falls Church."