Take a Walk Through Herndon History

Early churches and schools.

The holiday season is a time to celebrate, and for many of us that means the addition of an unwanted pound or two. What a great excuse to go for a walk!

Next time you feel the need to get out and stretch your legs, walk with a purpose. Take a walking tour of some of the properties listed on Herndon’s Historic Registry.

You can start at the Herndon Depot on Lynn Street. (If you decide to walk between noon and 3:00 p.m. any Sunday afternoon except Christmas, stop in and tour the museum, too!)

Next, cut through the Municipal Parking Lot and turn left on Center Street. (If the ArtSpace gallery is open, stop in and view the current exhibit.) Diagonally across the street you will find 725 Center Street, #2 on the Registry. Now a private residence, it was one of our early public schools. The structure was built in two sections: the rear, with its east-west axis, in 1868; the front, perpendicular to the rear section, in about 1876.

Continue to the corner and turn right on Elden Street. Stop in front of 808 Elden, #12 on the Registry. Completed in 1875, this was originally the parsonage for the Herndon Methodist-Episcopal Church. The Church owned the house until 1941, when it became a private residence.

Continue down Elden to Grace Street. Just across Grace, at 820 Elden, is the Herndon Masonic Lodge, #21 on the Registry. It was built in 1881 to house St. Timothy’s Protestant Episcopal Church. The Masons bought the property in 1969.

Turn right on Grace and walk one short block. Two doors past the intersection with Vine Street is 752 Grace, # 7 on the Registry. It was built sometime between 1884 and 1890 as the rectory for St. Timothy’s.

Continue up Grace, past Haley Place. The small bungalow across the street at 761 is #8 on the Registry. It was built in 1920 as the home for Mary Castleman and her daughters, who operated a private boarding and day school in the structure next door, now 763 Grace Street (not on the Registry). For many years, the Castlemans lived in the school building. The bungalow was constructed when the failing health of one of the daughters created a need for separate living space. 

Continue up Grace Street until you reach the W&OD Trail. Turn right on the trail and walk back to the Depot. Be sure to take time to read the historic markers along the way!

For additional information about these and the other properties on the Historic Registry visit the Historical Society website (www.herndonhistoricalsociety.org). There’s a map following the description of each site, so you can plan the route for additional holiday (or any day) walking tours!


Remembering Herndon’s History is written by members of the Herndon Historical Society. Carol Bruce is the president. The Society operates a small museum that focuses on local history. It is housed in the Depot and is open every Sunday from noon until 3:00. 

The Historical Society is seeking volunteers to help keep the museum open each Sunday. If you have an interest in local history and would like to help, contact Carol Bruce at 703-437-7289 or carolbrcom@aol.com.


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