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, October 8, 2012
Remembering Herndon's History remembers Herndon's first Metro.
A 100-year-old newspaper article provides a glimpse back at the origins of Herndon’s 21st century reality. At the Herndon Depot Museum there is a 100-year-old copy of The Observer newspaper, dated October 12, 1912. (The Observer name of 1912 was the inspiration for the name of the more recent Herndon Observer newspaper that served Herndon from 1976 until 2010.) The headline on a front-page article read, “Electric Cars In Operation - New Schedule Convenient and Satisfactory—Some Operating Troubles—Changes in Mail Service.” With Metro opening at the Wiehle Avenue station in 2013 and scheduled to reach Herndon and beyond in 2017-18, this document gives new meaning to the old saying, “History repeats itself,” and the more recent expression, “…
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…
Sunday, May 13, 2012
There’s a host of interesting—and sometimes amusing—information to be found when reviewing the old Town Council minute books.
One of the most important of the many duties carried out by the Town Clerk’s office is keeping the minutes of the Town Council meetings. Those minutes, going back to the first Town Council meeting on January 14, 1879, are archived on the Town website (www.herndon-va.gov), and anyone can access them. While most folks I know look to the minutes to document or verify something that took place at a recent meeting, skimming through the old records is a great way to get some insight into Herndon life in days past, and to find out how much things have (or haven’t, in some cases) changed. Following is just a sampling of what can be found in those archives. (Thank you to Town Clerk Viki Wellershaus and her staff for their assistance with this …
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Ledger records can help describe what life was like in the past.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
• By Virginia Clarity The records people keep can give a wealth of knowledge and history. William Harmon Kephart was born in 1856, into a family of weavers. In his early years he spent his days in his father’s handloom woolen factory in Beltsville, Maryland, weaving carpets. During the Civil War the family moved to Loudoun County, where his father built Rock Bridge Woolen Mills near Lincoln. Mr. Kephart later moved to Herndon, where he and his wife raised their family—a son, Herman, and a daughter, Mary. His home and shop were near the end of Coral Road. The exact site is now a parking lot. Not only did Mr. Kephart weave rugs, but he also did carpentry and woodworking. He made furniture, window and door frames, well buckets, and axe …