History Commission

The City of Fairfax Regional Library
10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA 22030
Lynne Garvey-Hodge

History Commission - Events


For a full listing of History Commission related events, please visit the Fairfax County Public Meetings calendar. 

Previous Events

November 11, 2018

On Sunday November 11, 2018, the History Commission held a special 100th Anniversary Commemoration event at the Historic Fairfax County Courthouse to honor the county men who died during World War I. Braddock District Supervisor John Cook served as the Master of Ceremonies. The program opened with the Presentation of Colors by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. Other dignitaries who participated in the program included Congressman Gerry Connolly, Delegate David Bulova, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, and Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity. Chapter members of the Fairfax County NSDAR were recognized for their chapter’s installation of the war memorial with the WWI plaque in the 1920s. Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 41 and BSA Troop 1865 greeted the guests and participated in the recognition of the names of the county men who died and the laying of wreaths at the war memorial. Mary Lipsey delivered a brief talk about how World War I impacted Fairfax County and the barbershop quartet Mint Condition performed patriotic songs throughout the program. After the laying of wreaths at the WW1 memorial and the playing of taps, the guests were invited to a reception and exhibits inside the historic courthouse. Members of the committee who planned the program included Heather Bollinger of the Circuit Court Archives, History Commission members Gretchen Bulova and Mary Lipsey, and Virginia Room Librarian Laura Wickstead.

Learn more about the American Civil War, 1861-1865, and how it affected life in Fairfax County.  All suggested books can be found at a local Fairfax County Library.

Adults  |  Children

Driving Tour of Fairfax County's Civil War History, Footsteps to Fairfax Trail

This trail is a great scout, family, school, club, or homeschool activity!  Simply download the directions, questions, and answer form and start your tour of history.  

Footsteps to Fairfax Trail Directions  |  Footsteps to Fairfax Trail Questions  |  Footsteps to Fairfax Trail Answer Form        

Fairfax County Civil War History Education Kit

The Outreach Kit provides an interactive experience for those interested in learning more about Fairfax County during the Civil War.  It is available for check out through the Fairfax County Regional Libraries.

Included in the kit are:

  • a notebook of learning activities, illustrations and resources about the Civil War and Fairfax County
  • a replica haversack and its contents similar to what a Civil War soldier would have carried
  • a CD which includes down-loadable files of the learning activities etc

The learning activities:

  • provide background to Virginia's secession
  • describe both military and civilian experiences
  • introduce the military experience of men who were in the US Colored Infantry
  • explore the impact of the casualties of war
  • can be adapted for a range of age groups and interest

The haversack and its contents provide a hands on experience by examining replicas of items that the soldiers carried to war. Learners are challenged to think about the limits of what the soldier can carry and how difficult that would be.  The kit can be used in many venues: classrooms, scout meetings, home schooling, tutoring, etc.

Related Resources

Fairfax County History Commission Historical Roadside Markers

Civil War Trails

Laurel Grove Colored School and Church Marker Dedication June 13, 2009

On June 13, 2009, the grounds of the Laurel Grove Colored School and Church were filled with people who came together to celebrate the dedication of a historical roadside marker that memorializes the actions of a community of freedmen and freedwomen who organized a congregation and provided educational opportunities for their children after the Civil War. (Pictured in photo from left, Fairfax County History Commissioners Esther McCullough, Debbie Robison, Anne Barnes, Naomi Zeavin, Phyllis Walker Ford, and Sallie Lyons at the Laurel Grove Colored School and Church Marker Dedication.)

Gabrielson Marker

April 26, 2008

On Saturday April 26, 2008, a roadside historical marker (pictured, right) honoring the achievements in wildlife conservation of Dr. Ira Gabrielson was dedicated at the Oakton Library. Trish Strat, an Oakton resident, spearheaded the effort. Through her research, text development, and coordination with the History Commission, Ms. Strat has provided the public with an appreciation and understanding of Dr. Gabrielson’s accomplishments.
Oakton resident Dr. Ira Noel Gabrielson was a pioneer conservationist, distinguished field ornithologist, and renowned author. He served as the first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and an international leader of conservation projects. Gabrielson was a founder and the first chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and first president of World Wildlife Fund-US. For his life’s work, he was inducted into the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Hall of Fame in 1978. His land, between Leeds Road and Difficult Run, is a Fairfax County park known as Gabrielson Gardens Park.

Civilian Consevation Corps Marker

April 5, 2008

A county marker was dedicated on April 5, 2008 in Lake Accotink Park on the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. It marks a fire trail carved out of the forest by the CCC in the 1930s.

June 5, 2004

Nearly two dozen people braved blustery winds and light rain to attend the unveiling of Fairfax County's newest historic marker on June 5, 2004. It commemorates a Civil War-era Orange & Alexandria Rail Road (O & ARR) trestle that once spanned Accotink Creek. Completed in the 1850s, the O & ARR was a vital transportation link through Fairfax County into central Virginia. Lake Accotink Park Manager Tawny Hammond summarized the research and fundraising done to place the marker. Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chair Winnie Shapiro also made remarks, along with History Commissioner Jack L. Hiller and Fairfax County Supervisors Sharon Bulova and Dana Kauffman. Speaking over the roar of Accotink's spillway less than 100 feet behind him, Supervisor Kauffman acknowledged the continued importance of transportation within Fairfax County, remarking, "Although I can't imagine someone putting up a marker to the Beltway 100 years from now!" (Pictured admiring the newly unveiled historic marker at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield on June 5, 2004, are (from left) Fairfax County Supervisor Dana Kauffman and son, Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Lake Accotink Park Operations Manager Lee Ann Shenefiel, and Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chair Winnie Shapiro.)  

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