Herndon Historical Society

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: 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.

Did you know that there are all sorts of interesting history articles posted on the Herndon Historical Society’s webpage? Click on the link below to learn all about Herndon’s rich history!


Herndon WinterMarkt

Virginia history meets German history. 🇩🇪 And both converge in historic Herndon for WinterMarkt on December 14! 🎄 #ItsON

Did you know...
The first Germans arrived in Jamestowne, VA in 1608 with a contingent of about five glassmakers and three house builders recruited to work by the Virginia Company of London and encouraged to establish residency in the New World. By 1620, German sawmill wrights arrived and moved farther inland along the James River. Needing swift-moving waters to power the wheels of the sawmills, they tried occupying lands controlled by the Native Americans. They also tried recruiting additional workers to build the sawmills, but within seven months, all but one German died, either from starvation or disease. The lone German survivor sailed back to Europe

The first Germans to actually settle in Virginia came in 1714 and were miners from the northwestern Siegen region of Germany. About 42 of them settled in present-day Orange County in Central Virginia and excavated the iron ore found in the Rappahannock River basin.

A third and smaller group of Germans came in 1721 and settled at the Little Fork in Culpeper County in Northern Virginia. Many of them were relatives of the German emigrants of 1714. By 1727, the Germanna settement had nearly reached as far west as the Blue Ridge Mountains!

In Northern Virginia there are a couple of interesting German Historical sites:

Madison - The Hebron Lutheran Church was built by German settlers in 1740 and is the oldest Lutheran Church in countinuous use in the United States.

Lovettsville - Learn about the German settlement at the Lovettsville Historical Society Museum, and research your family's roots through various genealogical records.


Herndon Police Department

The Herndon Police Department Honor Guard stands final watch over K9 Leon. Leon was medically retired in February due to illness. He lost his battle to cancer on Thursday. Thank you for your service, Leon. His partner, PFC Ashman, and his family are in our thoughts.
🖤💙🖤 #k9 #herndonpd

This Sunday enjoy a free wagon ride from the Frying Pan Country Store to the historic Frying Pan Meeting House! The Meeting House will be open for tours from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Please see the flier for more details.

Did you miss Barbara Glakas’s kick-off event for her new book, “Herndon’s Hidden History?” No fear – she will be at the Elden Street Tea Shop on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 PM where she will do a book talk and a book signing.

She will also be at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern on Thursday, April 18 from 6:00-8:00 PM where she will do a book signing. A portion of the proceeds from books sold at Jimmy’s will benefit the Herndon Historical Society.

Additional copies of Barbara’s book are also available at the Herndon Depot Museum every Sunday from 12:00-3:00 PM.

So come on out for a little history and a lot of fun!

For some reason the photo from this month’s “Remembering Herndon’s History” is not appearing with the article link, so we are reposting it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Rather than delete the original, we are leaving it up so that we don’t lose the great comments or render the shared links useless. Our apologies for the duplicate post, but hopefully the wonderful photo will make it with it! 😊 https://patch.com/virginia/herndon/remembering-herndons-history-memories-herndon-drug-store


Remembering Herndon's History: Memories Of A Herndon Drug Store


patch.com "Generations of Herndon residents remember going to the local pharmacy on Station Street."


Fairfax County all-girls robotics team bound for world championship | WTOP

Women's History Month may have just ended, but these local girls are still making history. 😍🕹🤖


wtop.com An all-girl robotics team from Fairfax County is about to represent Virginia and D.C. at an international competition featuring space innovation and STEM inspiration.

Join us at the Herndon Depot Museum on March 31st for Barbara's kick-off event! She will begin with a brief presentation at 1:00 followed by Q&A and a book signing. We hope to see you there!

Herndon Community Center 40th Anniversary - Celebration 40 Years Serving the Community. Free Admission to the HCC and ongoing activities on Monday, March 25.

Join the celebration of an important part of Herndon’s history, and enjoy free admission on Monday, March 25!


herndon-va.gov Time flies by when you are having fun, or should we say providing fun, fitness facilities, recreation activities, and special events. The Herndon Community Center (HCC) has proudly served the residents of the Town of Herndon and surrounding areas for 40 years! Thank you to everyone who has wor...


School Stumbles Upon Chalkboards From 1917 During Renovation, Perfectly Preserved Lessons Provide Rare Look Into Past.

Not Herndon history, but fascinating history nonetheless! 😲


blog.theliteracysite.greatergood.com They quickly realized that the boards were from 1917… Over 100 years ago!

Herndon WinterMarkt

Have you heard? Historic Herndon is getting its very own traditional outdoor German holiday market! 😃🇩🇪🤗 Follow the Herndon WinterMarkt page to learn more about this festive event and all of its trimmings! 🎄 #ItsON


A traditional German-style Christmas Market with a family focus supporting the Town of Herndon and surrounding communities. This is open to the public.

A big ”thank you” to the Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon for once again including the Herndon Historical Society (HHS) in the Homes Tour. HHS volunteers served as docents in one of the beautiful homes (a big “thanks” to them too!). Not only was it a fun and informative event, but the Homes Tour shared the proceeds with HHS and the other sponsoring organizations.

Last month Homes Tour Co-Chair, Keven Leblanc, personally delivered a generous check to HHS President, Nancy Saunders. Thank you again for letting us be a part of this annual holiday tradition! 🎄

Follow the Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon’s page to learn more about the 2019 tour!


What a beautiful old building from nearby Frederick. It’s so sad that it no longer stands, but interesting to read its history nonetheless.


The center cupola of the Main Building of the Maryland State School for the Deaf offered a sweeping view of Frederick and its surroundings. The observation platform at the top of the five-story spiral staircase was just one of the building's many features. The massive brick building was completed in 1875. The school included separate dormitory-style rooms for boys and girls, classrooms, study halls, infirmary, kitchen facilities (where meals were prepared three times a day, seven days a week), apartments for live-in instructors and employees, and other amenities. In the school's early years, the students rose at 6:00 am, and begun classes at 7:30 am. They attended vocational training in the afternoon: the boys in the print shop, tailor shop, shoe repair shop, or cabinet shop, and the girls in cooking and sewing courses, and later, cosmetology. In 1919, military drilling for the boys and uniforms were added. The building eventually became an impediment to the school's progress and was razed in 1967 and replaced by modern facilities.

Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation

On this #InternationalWomen’s Day, we honor Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard, VACP Second Vice President. Chief DeBoard also serves as president of the Fairfax, Virginia based Police Unity Tour – Chapter IV, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and raising funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.
Thank you to all of our outstanding women officers. You are the best!

156 years ago today, Confederate Captain John S. Mosby and his band of rangers attacked Herndon. Mosby, a Virginia native, lawyer and graduate of the University of Virginia, conducted guerrilla operations around Northern Virginia during the Civil War. After the war, he served as Ulysses S. Grant's presidential campaign chairman in Virginia. Learn more about Mosby and his Herndon raid at the Herndon Historical Society’s Depot museum on Sundays from 12:00 to 3:00.


Remembering Herndon's History: A Story of Yankeetown


patch.com Remembering Herndon's History: A Story of Yankeetown

Arlington Historical Society

Interesting local history ...

On this day in Arlington history, March 3, 1853, Congress passes an act appropriating a sufficient sum of money to repair the Chain Bridge

The first bridge at the location was opened on July 3, 1797. It was a wooden covered bridge, and rotted and collapsed in 1804. The second bridge, of similar type, burned six months after it was built.

The third bridge was built four years later in 1808 and is where the bridge received its name. It was a chain suspension bridge, using 1¼ inch bars. It was designed by Judge James E. Finley and was 136 feet long by 15 feet wide. It was destroyed by flood in 1810 or 1812. The fourth bridge was also a chain suspension bridge, and though damaged by floods in 1815, it lasted until 1840. The fifth bridge was built in 1840, and made of chain and wood. This span collapsed in 1852.

It was replaced by a crossbeam truss structure that resembled a long garden arbor or pergola, but retained its historical name. During the American Civil War, the Chain Bridge was a popular place for the Union Army to access the countryside encampments from Virginia. The truss bridge was swept away in an 1870 flood, and a lightweight iron truss replacement was erected in 1872-1874. Traffic restrictions were placed on the bridge in the 1920s, and it was fully closed following the record flood of 1936.

The eighth and present version of the bridge is a continuous steel girder structure, completed in 1939 on piers dating from the 1870s.

It’s not just people who make this town and its history so special. ❤️ Thank you for your service, Leon. Wishing you lots of treats, pats and wags in your retirement.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the retirement of #K9 Leon for medical reasons. He will remain comfortably at home surrounded by his family, including his handler and partner, PFC Ashman. Thank you for your service, Leon. You're a good boy. #herndonpd
Photo cred: Ashman Family

This is part of an old advertisement, but for what?? 🤔 There’s a similar one at the Herndon Depot Museum. Come down for the museum’s reopening tomorrow (Sunday) from 12-5 to learn more about this mystery device, and enjoy the model trains that will be in display! We hope to see you there!! 🚂

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office

As you may recall, in January the Herndon Historical Society had a special presentation about Clara Barton which touched on all of the women who served during the Civil War. In case you missed it or would like to learn more, check out this video from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Thanks to NOVA's Public History and Historic Preservation Program AND Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office for sharing!

At a recent talk at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Audrey Scanlan-Teller and Tracey McIntire described the hundreds of women who secretly donned military uniforms and fought on the battlefields of the Civil War.

Rowan Tree

Welcome March Women's HERstory Month! We are humbled to host some incredible events this month that amplify women's voices to honor the past, inform the present and inspire the future.

RSVP at bit.ly/ogwonderwomen for our Turning Point Suffragist Memorial fundraiser on March 8th, #internationalwomensday

And check out all our other events at www.workrowan.com/happenings.
#HERstory #HonoreWomen2019 #wonderwomen #TogetherWeInspire #balanceforbetter #Riseoffemaleleaders #suffrage #IWD #herndonva


Sailor in iconic V-J Day Times Square kiss photo dies at 95

wtop.com The ecstatic sailor shown kissing a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II has died. George Mendonsa was 95.


Remembering Herndon's History: A Prominent Summer Resident


patch.com Main image: J.J. Darlington. From the J. Berkley Green Collection of the Herndon Historical Society."


Fairfax Volunteers


Fairfax 1909


Herndon, Va


Back of picture says Old Stone House, home of Olive Wrenn. Does anyone know where this home is?


Postcard. Still there?


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.


Herndon library "little helpers" 1931


Dr Charles Russell, Herndon physician


Herndon High


Design & Wine: Stepping Out in Style with Mary Sears

There's always something fun to do in Historic Herndon! 🎨 See more photos in the comments below. 😍 #ItsON


artspaceherndon.org Be inspired to design your perfect Spring Shoes. Mary Sears will discuss the elements & principles of Color, Line, Variety, Balance, and Unity as they apply to shoes. We’ll provide ink, fabric paint and markers and a wide variety of resource materials.

Early steam locomotive and crew at Herndon Depot, circa 1910. From the J. Berkley Green Collection of the Herndon Historical Society. http://www.herndonhistoricalsociety.org/historicalpictures.html


When Hairspray Reigned Supreme! Big 80s Hairstyles in all their Decadent Glory

Yes, this is part of Herndon’s history too ... 😎


thevintagenews.com The 1980s was a very creative era when it came to music and popular culture in general. From new wave to glam rock, people were largely rejecting the

Arlington Historical Society

"After gripping the Atlantic seaboard with chill, the Great Arctic Outbreak lashed it with an epic blizzard that roared up the coastline with hurricane-strength winds. After dumping nearly a foot of snow in the Carolinas, the storm struck Washington, D.C., the day after the mercury hit an all-time low of -15 degrees. Already tucked beneath a thick blanket of snow, the nation’s capital received 21 additional inches. Capitol Hill was buried under 10-foot-high snowdrifts, and “the great marble Capitol looked like a snow palace,” reported the Baltimore Sun."

Earlier this month the Herndon Historical Society (HHS) was pleased to present Tim Bonnett and Kimra Traynor with a plaque designating their home’s recent inclusion in Herndon’s Historic Homes Registry. Circa 1918, their Elden Street home exudes historic charm. To learn more about its rich history, contact HHS or visit the Herndon Depot Museum when it reopens on March 3!


Herndon school 1897


Estelle Holden, Herndon and Fairfax resident 1880-1974


Help me out with this picture. The back says Dr William M. Myers and his pet fox. Is this a Herndon area Dr? Date unknown but from a picture not tintype.


Herndon High class of 38 or 39


Herndon Library right after completion. Late 20's??


Maxine Armfield and Walter Wyatt 1932. Entered pix since the backdrop is across the street from my Grandfathers house on Eldon street. Still there??

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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