Herndon Historical Society

Herndon Historical Society


Here's an old photo, ca. 1940 give or take a couple of years. The car belonged to Herndon Fire Chief Walter A. Farr. You can see the FD (Fire Department) emblem on the car grill, and sirens, extra lights. The license plate tag 'topper' has CAMP LEE. Chief Farr moved to Petersburg, VA ca. 1941 and worked as a machinist at CAMP LEE. I'm not sure whether this photo was taken at his residence on Spring St. in Herndon, or in Petersburg. His two daughters are pictured, Cathleen (second from the left) and Louise (second from the right). The other girls are unidentified.
Love this Old Town and appreciate all the work of the Herndon Historical Society❤️
Herndon High
Dr Charles Russell, Herndon physician
Herndon library "little helpers" 1931
Benjamin D Utterback obit from Oct 1899. Quite an interesting story of bravery at the end of the War Between the States. Mr Utterback prior to enlisting with J. Mosby was incarcerated as a citizen for conspiring with the enemy. When released he joined Mosby's Rangers.
Postcard. Still there?
Back of picture says Old Stone House, home of Olive Wrenn. Does anyone know where this home is?
Herndon, Va
Fairfax 1909
Fairfax Volunteers

The official page for the Herndon Historical Society (HHS).

The Herndon Historical Society was founded in 1971. Its purpose, as stated in the Society's constitution, is “…to bring together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of the Herndon, Virginia, area.” The Society established a museum in conjunction with the Town’s centennial celebration in 1976. The museum, which is open from noon to 3PM on Sundays, is located in Herndon’s historic train depot adjacent to the WO&D trail in the heart of the downtown. The museum contains an array of materials and collectables that illustrate the life, conditions, events, and activities of Herndon and the surrounding area. If you would like to become a member of the HHS, please click here: http://www.herndonhistoricalsociety.org/images/MembershipForm_rev2.pdf.

The Society is involved in many activities beyond maintaining the museum. More details can be found in the Society's newsletters (www.herndonhistoricalsociety.org/newsletterminutesarchive.html), however some of those activities include: • THE DEPOT Although the Town of Herndon owns the depot, the Historical Society has from time to time expended funds to help maintain it. The most recent project was the restoration of the original railroad semaphore that is fixed on the depot roof. • HISTORIC HOMES REGISTRY The Society sponsors the historic home registry program designed to increase public awareness of Herndon’s older homes and buildings and their contribution to the Town’s distinctive character and spirit. Once an owner documents the history of the home and demonstrates that it satisfies certain criteria—such as the original structure being 50 or more years old and compatible with the character of Herndon, as well as being of historical or architectural significance to the Town—the application is approved and a request for a resolution is submitted to the Herndon Town Council. Once the resolution, which certifies the historic significance of the structure, is adopted, the structure is eligible to receive a plaque. All documentation becomes part of the Society’s research library, and a picture and brief history are placed on the Historical Society’s website. . Click here for more information about applying for the Registry. • THE CABOOSE In 1989, longtime Society member and railroad aficianado George Moore located a surplus Norfolk and Western caboose, arranged for it to be transported to Herndon, and coordinated with the Herndon Department of Public Works to install the section of track on which it sits. Located adjacent to the W&OD trail—formerly the W&OD railroad line—the caboose serves as a reminder of the town’s rail history. Although the caboose is now the property of the Town of Herndon the Society continues to monitor its condition and to fund the interior maintenance. Following his death in 2003, the caboose was dedicated in George’s memory. In 2008, the interior was restored and the windows were improved to make them water tight. • ANNUAL MODEL TRAIN SHOW Each December for the last few years the Historical Society, along with the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts and the Herndon Chamber of Commerce, has sponsored an Annual Model Train Show. This event—which is held in ArtSpace, Herndon’s community art gallery—features both HO and N gauge model trains. • THE GAS HOUSE MINI PARK In 1999, the Historical Society funded restoration and improvements at the gas generating facility located across from Herndon’s Municipal Center. Improvements included a display that explains how the facility operated, along with landscaping for the mini-park that surrounds it. The park is dedicated in memory of former Society president Larry Clarity, and the benches it contains were donated in memory of another longtime member, Bill Moffett. • AND MORE ... The Society continues to engage in educational and preservation-oriented activities designed to ensure that the public remains interested in and aware of the history of the Herndon area. For example, Society members were actively involved in working with the Town to ensure that the historic “yellow house” was relocated from behind Adams Green Funeral Home to a new site at the corner of Oak and Pearl Streets and made available for sale when it was slated for demolition.


Remembering Herndon's History: 1936 Fire Endangers Elden Street


patch.com By Barbara Glakas

What's in a Name? -- Herndon Elementary School


The What's in a Name? series was created to commemorate, preserve, and educate viewers about the origin of the names of Fairfax County's public school buildi...

You are cordially invited to the Herndon Depot Museum’s grand reopening event for the 2020 season on Sunday, March 1, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM! The museum is located at 717 Lynn Street in Herndon, Virginia.

Come take part in the many events that will be happening inside our historic depot museum on March 1st:

Ø Train lovers and children will enjoy our Train Show. Come see the fascinating N-scale model trains running through the beautiful handmade scenery.

Ø Train enthusiasts and antique lovers will also want to take part in our Silent Auction. Up for sale will be antique railroad collectibles such as kerosene lamps, framed stock certificates and photos, railroad spikes, railroad locks and brass keys, model trains and much more! Bidding begins at 12:00 noon and ends at 3:30 PM.

Ø History buffs, children and electronics enthusiasts will love our new Telegraph Exhibit. Antique working telegraph equipment will be set up in our Station Master’s Room. Visitors can learn about Morse code and will be able to send messages on the telegraph equipment!

Ø Navy enthusiasts and Herndon High School band members who went to Normandy last summer will see artifacts exhibited in our new U.S.S. Herndon display. Some of those artifacts were donated by the Herndon band when they returned from their trip!

We hope to see you at the Herndon Depot Museum on March 1st for this afternoon of fun!

Thanks for sharing, Kathy Gaynor!

Herndon Community Television (HCTV)

Life in Historic Herndon. 🤗🎄🇩🇪 #ItsON!

Last month Herndon held it’s first Wintermarkt celebration, attended by over 7000 people! Check out this video to relive the highlights and learn more about this new yearly tradition.


These two photos are from 1954 and 2019. They show Elden Street, from Center Street, looking east. After 65 years, several of the buildings in the 1954 photo still exist (although now have different uses). But roadway, sidewalk and parking situations have certainly improved!

Image credits – The Herndon Observer and Barbara Glakas, respectively.

First Snow 2020

Photos from Herndon Historical Society's post

Mayor Lisa Merkel

Mayor Merkel has made her mark on Herndon’s history, and her influence will shape the Town for years to come. Please join us in thanking her for her service, and wishing her well on her future endeavors.

News for the New Year.....



Remembering Herndon's History: How Elden Street Got Its Name


patch.com By Barbara Glakas


These two photos are from c. 1981 and 2014, taken from the Herndon Depot looking west down the W&OD Trail. What a difference thirty years makes! Note the warehouses and cement factory that once occupied the space that is now taken up by the caboose, Municipal Center, Herndon Library and Town Green!

Image credits - Richard Downer and Barbara Glakas respectively.

The Herndon Depot Museum is now closed for the winter season. We will re-open the first Sunday in March. However, we are still available for private tours and merchandise sales (such as our fabulous Herndon books and wooden Herndon Depot signs, that are still available for pick up before Christmas!). Just send us a private message here or email [email protected] to make arrangements for your event or purchase. Keep an eye on our page as we will continue to post interesting information about Herndon history throughout the winter. Wishing you a happy holiday season and a joyous 2020!

Join us for holiday festivities in Historic Herndon this weekend! 🎄

The Holiday Model Train Show will be Sat and Sun from 10-4, including model train displays at the Depot Museum and the Municipal Building, as well as tours of the caboose! 🚂

WinterMarkt, a traditional German Christmas market, will be Sat from 12-8 on the Old Town Hall Green. ❄️ Just before WinterMarkt opens there will be a live ice carving demonstration from 10-12 near the Depot and WinterMarkt entrances!

All events are rain, snow or shine. ☃️ We hope to see you there!!





The Story Behind Vintage "Shiny Brite" Christmas Ornaments

A little German Christmas history to help you get ready for Herndon’s first annual WinterMarkt this Saturday. 🤗🎄

crackerjack23.blogspot.com My first Shiny Brite ornaments. If you frequent antique or vintage shops, you’ve undoubtedly seen Shiny Brite ornaments, even if you ha...


Remembering Herndon's History: The Civilian Conservation Corps


patch.com The story of the Great Depression and the Civilian Conservation Corps' impact on Herndon.

Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon

It’s finally here - the Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon! 🤗❤️🎄 Get your tickets at the Herndon Florist or the Herndon Community Center, and enjoy all of the beautifully decorated homes TODAY!!! 🏠

Don’t forget to stop by ArtSpace for refeshments and to see all of the wonderful holiday gifts that are for sale, including the Historical Society’s replica Herndon Depot signs and Herndon history books. #ItsON.


Saturday December 1, 2018 10am - 4pm in the heart of historic Herndon!

Send us a message on Facebook, or email us at [email protected]

In addition to our replica Herndon Depot signs, we also have several Herndon-themed books for sale that make great holiday gifts as well! Books will be on sale this Saturday, December 7, at ArtSpace during the Homes Tour. We will also be selling them in the Depot this Sunday, December 8 (from 12:00-3:00), and at the Depot during the Train Show over the weekend of December 14-15.

Herndon Historical Society

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your favorite Herndonite? 🤔 Well then stop by the Herndon Depot Museum today from 12-3 to pick up a replica Herndon Depot sign! 🎁 They come in 4 sizes and the smallest will even fit in a Christmas stocking. 🎅 Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season! 🎄

Small (3.5" x 15") $24
Medium (4" x 28") $39
Large (6.5" x 40") $74
XL (11" x 54") $124


Shown here is a c. 1938/1939 Stewart-Warner Radio. It works! The Stewart-Warner Corporation was founded in 1905 and made automotive parts, particularly speedometers. In 1925 they began producing radios. The former Herndon Garage on Elden Street sold Stewart-Warner radios as early as 1926.

Come see all the interesting artifacts that represent Herndon’s rich history at the old Depot Museum in the heart of Historic Herndon (open Sundays from 12:00 – 3:00).

Life in a small town. ❤️ #HistoricHerndon

So today we are reminded to be Thankful for our blessings, and I wanted to share something that happened to us yesterday. My staff and I were trying to get the shop ready for the holidays and on such a pretty day as we had yesterday decided to hang our heavy Holiday garland. We were struggling with it when 3 gentleman stepped out of their construction van, basically said "step aside ladies" and proceeded to get out their ladders and spent a good half hour hanging the garland for us. When they were finished I offered to pay them something or give them free flowers but they refused saying it was "our pleasure to help" and drove away. So when we are all feeling like humanity has lost it's way, you know it really hasn't! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Everyone!


Remembering Herndon's History: Narciso Gonzales And St. Timothy's


patch.com Letters from Herndon's Rawson Lodge.


Shown here is an early 1900s penny arcade machine that used to be at Sasher’s Pharmacy on Station Street. Drop your pennies in the working arcade and view its pictures!

Come see all the interesting artifacts that represent Herndon’s rich history at the old Depot Museum in the heart of Historic Herndon (open Sundays from 12:00 – 3:00).


Remembering Herndon's History: Dr. Detwiler's Safe


patch.com A large black safe – weighing about 750 pounds – sits in the Herndon Historical Society's depot museum...

On Sunday, September 29, from 1:00-5:00 PM is the town’s annual NatureFest at Runnymede Park, Herndon’s 58-acres natural park off Herndon Parkway. Come learn about bats, mammals, raptors, reptiles, bees, plants, sustainability, and HISTORY! The Herndon Historical Society will have an exhibit in which you can learn about the park’s c. 1909 stone house, the old lumber mill on Sugarland Run, and Paleo-Indian artifacts!



Remembering Herndon's History: The Untimely Death of Mrs. Martz


patch.com Sarah "Sallie" Miley was born in 1870 in Loudoun County.

Chats With Charlie - Barbara Glakas

Join Herndon Historical Society’s Vice President, Charlie Waddell, for Chats with Charlie! 😃 Learn interesting tidbits about Herndon, it’s rich interesting and all of the amazing people who make Herndon such a wonderful town. 🤗


Chats With Charlie - Barbara Glakas


Shown here is a 1960s era Herndon Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary uniform that once belonged to past President, Virginia Wilson!

Come see all the interesting artifacts that represent Herndon’s rich history at the old Depot Museum in the heart of Historic Herndon (open Sundays from 12:00 – 3:00). 🚂

Labor Day Festival | Town of Herndon, VA

Looking for something to do today? Well come on down to Historic Herndon for the Labor Day Festival from 11-5! 🍇 And while you’re there, stop by the Herndon Depot Museum - it will be open from 1-5 today. We hope to see you there - choo choo! 🚂 https://www.herndon-va.gov/recreation/special-events/labor-day-festival

herndon-va.gov Join us in downtown Herndon for the annual Labor Day Festival featuring unlimited Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, great music, a craft show, sponsor gallery, and delicious food vendors.


Remembering Herndon's History: The Caywoods of Herndon


patch.com By Barbara Glakas


Did you happen to go to the Greenberg Train Show at the Dulles Expo Center today? If you happened to miss it, not to worry - it’s still going on tomorrow! 🚂

The show includes:

Ø Huge model railroad displays.
Ø 200+ tables of trains for sale.
Ø 60+ model train exhibitors.
Ø Free workshops and prizes!

It runs from 10AM to 4PM and admission is $9, but kids get in free and there’s a $1 coupon on the link below! It’s a great way to get out of the heat and to have a day of family fun. Choo choo!!


trainshow.com Purchase Discount Tickets HereUse coupon code W11 for $1-off online tickets! Kids 11 & under are free and do NOT need a ticket Click here for help To purchase tickets following these steps: - Enter the number of tickets you want in the box above and press the NEXT button. - Enter your discount code....

Did you know that the Town of Herndon had a grist mill in the 1870s, formerly located where our Town Green is now? Grist mills were used to grind grain. Last weekend members of the Herndon Historical Society attended a demonstration at the c. 1811 Colvin Run Mill, a fully functioning grist mill in Great Falls. Check their website to learn when you can see the mill in action and enjoy other great events!


Did you miss Barbara Glakas’s kick-off book talk for her new book, “Hidden History of Herndon?” No fear, she will be having another book talk this Thursday, July 18, at 7:00PM at ArtSpace Herndon! Enjoy the presentation, purchase a signed copy of the book and learn something new about our Town's rich history.

Also on exhibit at ArtSpace that evening will be the beautiful photographs of the annual Herndon Town Calendar Photo Competition! Two great Herndon events rolled into one.

So come on out and join us for an evening of FREE Herndon family fun! 🤗 (ArtSpace Herndon - 750 Center Street)


Remembering Herndon's History: A Herndon Song


patch.com A Hometown Song Written by Walter Wiley, Jr.


Remembering Herndon's History: How the Town Got Its Name

Do you know how the Town of Herndon got its name? This article not only tells you how, it does so with the words of the people who live here when it was named. Fascinating.

Note – the contact information and the end of the article is not correct. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer at the Herndon Depot Museum, please email Herndon [email protected].

patch.com You may know of the man the town was named for—but do you know how and why he was chosen as its namesake?


Remembering Herndon's History: The Pines


patch.com Remembering Herndon's History is a monthly feature that delves into the rich and vibrant history of the Herndon community.


Herndon Band Perform In Normandy, France For D-Day: Report

Yes, we’ve already shared other versions of this story, but it’s worth sharing over and over again. ❤️ Proud of our students, thankful for our Veterans. 🇺🇸

patch.com The Herndon High School band will perform at the 75th D-Day celebration in Normandy, France.


Pride of Herndon Band prepares to leave Va. for 75th anniversary D-Day celebrations | WTOP

wtop.com The Herndon High School band of Herndon leaves Tuesday to participate in 75th D-Day celebrations in Normandy. Band members will carry pictures and stories of crew members who served on the USS Herndon during the invasion.

Arlington Historical Society

Rolling Thunder will be rolling out of Historic Herndon this weekend too ... 🇺🇸


In 1988 Rolling Thunder made its first ride to the Vietnam War Memorial. Ray Manzo, a former US Marine Corps corporal, US Army Sgt Major John Holland (Ret.), Marine 1st Sgt Walt Sides (Ret.) and Sgt Ted Sampley (Ret.) are the four men credited with starting Rolling Thunder.

Rolling Thunder began as a demonstration following the era of the Vietnam War, which was a difficult time in our history. Many of America's military were killed or missing in action (MIA) and their remains were not being returned home or respectfully buried. There were also reports of prisoners of war (POW) who were left behind when the war ended. In 1987, Vietnam veteran Ray Manzo came to DC with his idea and bothered by these accounts, enlisted the help of fellow veterans Holland, Sides, and Sampley, to organize a motorcycle demonstration to bring attention to the POW/MIA situation.

Choosing Memorial Day weekend for the event, they envisioned the arrival of the motorcycles coming across the Memorial Bridge, and thought it would sound like “Rolling Thunder.” On Memorial Day 1988, Cpl. Manzo recruited 2,500 men and women to attend Rolling Thunder I. Rolling Thunder has evolved into an emotional display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.



Remembering Herndon's History: Herndon, Resort Along The Railway


patch.com In this month's edition of Remembering Herndon's History, we take a look at the railroad that bisected the town of Herndon.

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717 Lynn St
Herndon, VA

General information

The mailing address for the HHS is PO Box 99, Herndon, Virginia 20172-0099. However the physical street address of the Depot Museum is 717 Lynn Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170.
Other History Museums in Herndon (show all)
Herndon Depot Museum Herndon Depot Museum
717 Lynn St
Herndon, 20170