275th Commemoration of Fairfax County Neighborhood History Project
In 1742, Fairfax County was created out of Prince William County. The mostly rural population was about 4,125. Today, more than 1.1 million people live in this urban area. Because Fairfax is on the doorstep of the nation's capital, residents come and go. Some people grow lifelong roots. But many don't know the history of their own neighborhood community.
As part of Fairfax County's 275th Commemoration, neighborhoods are being encouraged to document their own history. Fairfax changed significantly after World War II as the federal government expanded. Workers populated new suburban communities. Schools and shopping centers were built. Parks were born.
The Neighborhood History Project encourages communities to do their own history--to help citizen historians to document their micro-level, grassroots area for future generations. Your community can be part of it by generating interest in the project: Post this on your neighborhood or community website, in your newsletter, on your blog and Facebook pages. Ask your neighbors and civic association members to share photos (to compare places then and now), for images (such as posters or signs), for vignettes about life in earlier days, for short articles about famous (and infamous) people who lived there. Mine your early newsletters and community directories for information about significant events that took place, traditions and how they got started, etc. Ask the oldest residents what they like and dislike about the neighborhood. Ask new ones the same thing.
If your neighborhood already has documented its history, share it.
Information about The Neighborhood History Project will be shared during a public history fair on Saturday, June 17, at the official Fairfax County 275th Commemoration at the historic Fairfax Court house. (You'll even have a chance to meet the current Lord Fairfax, whose forebear Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, owned the land in 1719!)
THIS IS PART OF MY STUDENT INTERNSHIP FOR A CERTIFICATE IN PUBLIC HISTORY AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION AT NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
PLEASE RECORD YOUR 'HOOD'S HISTORY!