Fields of Fire State Historic Marker Unveiled
On October 11th approximately 50 people gathered to witness the unveiling of the Fields of Fire marker and learn more of the backstory which inspired this marker. On June17th, 1863 approximately 8,000 members of the Union's XII th Corps encamped here en route to Gettysburg. The Corps had been devastated by sunstroke casualties on their hurried and grueling march to this point. The extreme heat continue through this leg of the journey, with the added hardship of the surrounding woods and fields catching fire while encamped here.

Fields of Fire Marker

Cavalry Engagement Near Hunter's Mill" marker unveiled
On April 7th, 2012, around 120 people attended the unveiling of "Cavalry Engagement Near Hunter's Mill", a new state historic marker which commemorates the action between the 1st NC Cavalry and the 3rd Penn Cavalry of 11-26-1861. It was the first time troops under JEB Stuart's command engaged the Union Cavalry. The 3rd Penn was caught from behind and suffered a 35% casualty rate in the running skirmish. The marker is located at the intersection of Lawyers Rd and Kedge Dr.

colorguard

The 17th VA Infantry Co D presented the colors. l-r Chris Haney, Mark Whitenton, Nick Cicali, Paul Goss.

core group

History Committee members: Tom Evans, Bob Eldridge, Jim Lewis, Charlie Balch, Steve Hull.

HMDL History Committtee Honored at the
Fairfax County History Conference
With more than 100 attendees, the Sixth Annual Fairfax County History Conference, Preserving Our Paths in History, Nov. 6 was a tremendous success this year. http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=346619&paper=81&cat=104

The Hunter Mill Defense League History Committee received the most prestigious award that the Fairfax County History Commission bestows, the Ross Netherton Award, for their work in creating the DVD “Danger Between the Lines,” a documentary relating the story of the people living amid the turmoil along Hunter Mill Road during the Civil War.

group awards

L-R: Recipients of the Prestigious Ross Netherton Award are members of the Hunter Mill Defense League History Committee: Tom Evans, Bob Eldridge, Jim Lewis, Charlie Balch, Steve Hull, and presented by Chairperson Sharon Bulova & Conference Chairperson, Lynne Garvey-Hodge.

Six Historic Markers Unveiled
The community and our elected officials turned out in force to see the unveiling of six historic markers on Saturday, November 21st, 2009. Between 175 and 200 people were on hand to witness the event at the crossroads of the W&OD Trail and Hunter Mill Road. Members of the History Committee have been working steadily over the past two years to complete the research and submission process for the six markers that were dedicated. They worked with four different sponsoring organizations to bring important parts of our history to light; VA Dept of Historic Resources, Fairfax County History Commission, Civil War Trails, and the W&OD Trail.

Proceeds from the sales of our products along with funds from W&OD, W&OD Friends, and the Fairfax County History Comission made it possible to place so many markers. Chairman Bulova noted that the placement of six markers at once may in itself be a historic moment in this county.

See the Markers
Look in the 'Other nearby markers section to link to the other markers, namely Hunter Station, Crossroads to war, Terror by the Tracks.

Event Photographs

 

History Comittee Members
History Committee members that worked to make this all happen standing by the Terror by the Tracks marker
are Charlie Balch, Tom Evans, Jim Lewis, Steve Hull, and Bob Eldridge.

Civil War Artifacts Along Hunter Mill Road
Author and Historian Tom Evans, a resident of the corridor, researched the Civil War action along Hunter Mill road in the early 1970's. He also searched many sites along the road looking for artifacts and evidences of the actions for which he found documentation. Tom has graciously allowed us to photograph and display part of his collection here. View the Collection here.

History
The Hunter Mill Defense League serves a scenic Fairfax County, Virginia, community that is twenty miles from the nation's capitol, near Vienna and Oakton, Virginia.  The community is connected by an historic 7.5 mile, tree-lined roadway.  Hunter Mill Road sets a tranquil tone and sense of pace for area residents.  Its essential winding path through wooded glades and gently rolling hills remains unchanged since the 1600s, when it was a prominent ridge trail used by Native Americans.  During the County's colonial period, it became the market road for many leaseholds and some large estates located along its way.  It was the site of major troop encampments during the Civil War.  The road was named for the mill owned by George Washington Hunter, a prominent landowner and miller, who established the prosperous Hunter's Mill on the banks of Difficult Run stream.

Modern residential development has been at very low density and sensitive to the prevailing rural landscape.  Those who live in the Hunter Mill Road corridor take pride in their natural and historic surroundings.  They have traditionally demonstrated an unusually high degree of civic participation and community spirit.

History Tours
Jim Lewis of the HMDL History Committee has created a Civil War bus tour of the sites along the corridor. It covers more that just the war period and is most entertaining. Organizations such as Vienna Parks and Recreation, the Reston Community Center, and the Bull Run Regional Civil War Roundtable have sponsored numerous tours that have been very well received.  Check the Webstore to see if tickets are on sale, otherwise, if you would like to be informed of upcoming tours, please send Jim and email at: antietam1862@verizon.net


Cartersville Baptist Church

History Project
Hunter Mill Road Eligible for Nomination to Virginia and National Registers
The State Review Board for Historic Preservation in Virginia declared that a Hunter Mill Road Historic District is eligible for nomination to the Virginia and National Registers.  This action signals that a formal nomination may be submitted and that projects involving federal funds must now be reviewed to determine their impact on historic resources.

The History Committee of the Hunter Mill Defense League submitted a preliminary request for Historic District designation to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in September 2001.  The Committee has collected photographs, interviews, court documents, book and newspaper accounts which describe the history of the road since colonial times. On the 7.2 mile roadway, there are more than fifty points of interest with heritage value.

In 1966, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act and created the National Register of Historic Places to officially recognize structures, sites, objects, and districts that embody the "historical and cultural foundations of the nation."  Since 1966, there have been nearly 100,000 listings on the National Register, with several thousand in Virginia alone.  Listing on the national or state registers informs owners, local planners, and government agencies of the existence of an historic resource.  However, it places no restriction on use of private property or construction of public projects.  Benefits of registry listing include Federal and State Rehabilitation Grants and Tax Credits for owners of historic buildings. When a formal nomination for an historic district is submitted, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources advises all property owners and invites their full participation in the review process.

Cartersville Baptist Church Historic Marker

Historic Significance of the Road
On July 10, 2006, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the Hunter Mill Road Special Task Force’s recommendation to approve the Area Plan Nominations that included adding language to the Comprehensive Plan for each of the four magisterial districts bordering Hunter Mill Road (Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Sully, and Providence).  The language acknowledges that official’s actions have been taken to recognize the historic significance of Hunter Mill Road.  The new language in the Comprehensive Plan identifies that Hunter Mill Road has been designated a Virginia Byway.  One can note the blue signs burdening the road.  Also, the new language states that Hunter Mill Road corridor has been determined to be eligible for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.


Cartersville Baptist Church Marker Installed

HMDL History Committee, under the direction of Chairman Michael Park, was successful in placing Cartersville Baptist Church on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Places.  Please drive by the Church located at the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Hunter Mill Road, and examine the historic marker placed there by the Fairfax County History Commission. On June 12, the Church members, friends and neighbors celebrated the Church’s 143rd anniversary.
Oakton Schoolhouse Relocated and Restored
The Oakton Schoolhouse located in the Oakton Community is a piece of history which was recently moved a half mile away to make way for a bank at the corner of Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)  and Hunter Mill Road.  The building was constructed in 1897 and expanded to an “L” shape building in 1904 and used as a school until 1912.  Moving the schoolhouse to the Oakton Community Park resulted in preservation of the original 1897 portion.

By 1912 the school’s enrollment was at capacity, the property was then sold and converted to residential use. It was later used as a hardware store, and since the mid 60’s was part of the Appalachian’s Outfitters store, a local landmark for decades.

Through the efforts of HMDL and much community support, the Hunter Mill Road corridor has become eligible for registration in the National Register of Historic Places.  The school is one of several historic sites in the corridor.

Its relocation and renovation was in part due to involvement of HMDL representatives.  Daniel Sponn led the effort and we are grateful to him and his team for their efforts in this very time consuming process.

In 1994 the County and concerned citizens explored options of what to do with the well-worn vacant former Appalachian Outfitters store.  HMDL raised awareness of a key Federal law requiring evaluating its historic significance and consideration of preservation options It is likely the Federal law would have been overlooked if it were not for HMDL’s participation.  

Chevy Chase Bank purchased the property, and for the next three years worked through the federally required process.  The State determined that not only the Oakton School House was historically significant, but that it also contributed to the “Oakton Crossroads Historic District” which included the old Appalachian Outfitters Store (since demolished), and the Methodist Church on Route 123.  The Federal review process resulted in a mitigation plan agreed to by Chevy Chase Bank and the County to relocate the historic schoolhouse, restore it and subsidize its maintenance.

Oakton Schoolhouse
Oakton Schoolhouse

Supervisor Linda Smyth had a key role in working with all parties in the relocation and preservation of the schoolhouse. The Friends of Oakton School House, a community-based volunteer support group, will assist the Fairfax County Park Authority with maintenance and interpretation. There are no plans for public access inside the structure at this time.

E-mail Local Officials

Click on Volunteer to check out opportunities for working on this exciting project.