Sunday, March 3, 2013
On Sunday, March 17, Mosby’s Raid on Herndon Station will be reenacted at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. The Herndon Historical Society and the Herndon Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the event with support from the Town of Herndon.
Many Herndon residents are familiar with Confederate Captain John S. Mosby’s raid at Herndon Station on March 17, 1863. But few may be familiar with the story of a famous Union Officer who was also involved in that raid, Major William Wells. William Wells was born in Vermont in 1837 and attended school at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, William and three of his brothers joined the Union Army. He enlisted as a private and joined the First Vermont Cavalry. Within months he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and soon after to Captain. By 1862 he had earned the rank of Major. He was only 27 when he rose to the rank of Brevet Major General. By the time he left the military in 1866 he held the rank of …
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Roberts Carpets and Oriental Rug Co. has been in business in Herndon for 40 years, selling carpets, wood flooring, and ceramic tile.
Chuck Roberts, the owner of Robert’s Carpets, started doing business in Herndon at 697 Spring St., in the building that now is home to Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern. Twenty years later, Chuck moved it to the current location, a few doors away at 681 Spring St. The building that houses Jimmy’s today dates to 1897, when the original owner, Magnus T. Wilkins, opened a general store there. Roberts Carpets operated in Alexandria for six years before opening a second store in Herndon. Chuck ran into Reston developer Robert E. Simon in the early ‘60s, saw what he was doing, and decided to move to Herndon. “You could lay down in the middle of Elden Street at lunch time and you wouldn’t have got run over. It was that slow at that time,” Chuck said. He …
Monday, December 10, 2012
Holiday concerts and pageants, Toys for Tots and the five-year review of the Town of Herndon's Comprehensive Plan.
1. Herndon Middle School is holding a holiday concert Tuesday night, which will also serve as the end of the school's Toys for Tots drive. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and representatives from the US Marine Corps will be on hand to collect and pick up the donated toys. 2. Jimmy's Old Town Tavern is holding a Holiday History Book Sale featuring titles by local authors and historians Chuck Mauro and Eric Buckland from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday evening. The award-winning authors will also be on hand to sign copies of their books. 3. If you're looking for more holiday cheer, Herndon United Methodist Church is holding a children's Christmas pageant and holiday dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The pageant is called "Special Delivery!" adn the cost is $5 …
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Another in an occasional series of columns that looks at some of Herndon’s past that can be found in the old Town Council minute books.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Carol Bruce
Sunday, November 18, 2012
This is another in an occasional series of columns that looks at some of the interesting—and sometimes amusing—insights into Herndon’s past that can be found in the old Town Council minute books. From the very beginning, livestock were a topic of considerable interest among the Town’s elected officials. On April 26, 1879, the Council adopted regulations that made it unlawful “to allow horses, mules, hogs, cows, and ox to run at large and graze on sidewalks or highways of the Town.” In furtherance of the cause, two months later—on June 7—it was announced that the first pound for animals picked up running at large had been completed, at a cost of $4.40 for labor and materials. Impounded animals apparently were there on the honor system, …
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Because next Sunday is Veterans Day, we thought it would be appropriate to tell the story of Congressional Medal of Honor winner Wesley L. Fox, a legendary hero within the Marine Corps whose roots are in Herndon.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services. One of those medals was awarded to a Marine who was born in the Herndon area—Colonel Wesley L. Fox. The oldest of 10 children, Wesley Fox was born in 1931 to John Wesley and Desola Lee Fox. They lived off Dranesville Road, not too far outside the Town limits. John, a bricklayer by trade, had a small farm of about 50 acres where he raised cattle, hogs, wheat, and corn. John’s brother, Dave—who lived nearby—also was a farmer. Dave often helped John with his farm. In a recent interview, Fox said that he enjoyed his childhood in Herndon, where the family lived in an old four-room farmhouse with no electricity or plumbing. He recalled …
Monday, September 10, 2012
Located in the center of Town on the Town Green, the building we now call the Old Town Hall has had many uses in its 73 years.
Sitting proudly at the corner of Elden and Station Streets is Herndon’s first official municipal building, now commonly referred to as the Old Town Hall. But long before the building was erected in 1939, the Town Hall property served as a center of commerce, government, and community activity. In 1856, the Alexandria and Washington Railroad Company installed a railroad turntable on the property to re-route train traffic. Later, that piece of land became known as a railroad park, a community gathering place. Picnics were held there, and later there were fundraising carnivals sponsored by the Fire Department. The land was owned by Daniel Calyer. In 1861, he sold one half acre of triangular-shaped land to the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire…
Sunday, August 19, 2012
This is the third in an occasional series of columns that looks at some of the interesting—and sometimes amusing—insights into Herndon’s past that can be found in the old Town Council minute books.
It was the American scientist, inventor, statesman, printer, and philosopher Benjamin Franklin who said, “…in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” We all pay them. Many of us complain about them. Some politicians today argue against them. Taxes have always been a certainty in the Town of Herndon, although by today’s standards they were slightly less than negligible in years past. For example: Note: Millage is based on a Latin word that means thousandth. So, one mill is equivalent to 1/1000th. Applied to taxes, that means one mill is equivalent to $1 per $1,000 in taxable value. And lest one consider not paying one’s property taxes: On June 13, 1924, the Town Council passed a motion to post a list showing all delinquent taxes…
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The conference will be held in November.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Herndon's Chuck Mauro will be taking part in the eighth annual History Conference this November. The conference will focus on courage and conflict in Fairfax County during the Civil War. The event will be held Nov. 10 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Sherwood Conference Center located at 3740 Old Lee Hwy. in Fairfax. Speakers and presenters include Sharon Bulova, author Greg Clemmer, author and historian Chuck Mauro, the Jon Vrana Players, Susan Rosenvold of the Clara Barton Medical Museum, historic re-enactor Dan Storck, and Park Authority historians Mike Henry, John Rutherford and Jim Daniels, among others. Registration for the event is $20 per person which includes breakfast, lunch, a mid-day snack and parking. For more …
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The significance of stained-glass.
What’s the story behind the old stained glass windows that two Grace Street residents recently found in their garage? We may never know for sure, but the mystery is an intriguing one. While I was acting as a docent in the Herndon Depot Museum one recent Sunday afternoon, two Town residents—Phil Jones and Aubrey Stokes—walked in and inquired about the significance of the stained glass windows in the transom above the depot doors. They were plastic, I explained. The originals were colored glass, but I did not know when the change occurred. Jones and Stokes, who live in an old brick home on Grace Street, told me they had been working on their garage recently, cleaning off old shelves and removing some wooden boards from the rear wall. They …
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Another Herndon Festival has recently come to an end. Do you know how and why the Herndon Festival first got started?
Flashback to 1980: Jimmy Carter was President, Tom Rust was Mayor of Herndon, and Herndon’s population was a little over 13,000. At that time, the Town had an annual arts and crafts show near the old Town Hall, but a man named Arno Randall wanted more. A Herndon resident, Randall had just been elected as an officer in the Herndon Jaycees, a civic organization that was very active in Town at that time. Trying to think of an activity that would bring local businesses, civic organizations, residents and shoppers together, he recalled a festival that he had once seen in his travels. This was something that he thought would work in Herndon. Randall went to see Herndon’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Art Anselene (now Herndon’s Town Manager…