Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society Founded 1885
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Pictoral History of Falls Church

Cool historical photos from around Falls Church
A few old photographs of various buildings in Falls Church.  Unfortunately some have been lost but others are still standing! 

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Falls Church During the Civil War

Falls Church was the site of considerable activity during the Civil War (1861 - 1865).  Below are some selected sources documenting some highlights of events. 

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Independence Day Resource Page

Each Independence Day, the Society sponsors a reading of four historical documents which help tell the story of how the American Constitution and way of life were created.  The documents that will are read by residents present and of every age include 1) George Mason's Fairfax Resolves, 2) The Virginia Declaration of Rights, mostly drafted by Mason and a precursor to the Bill of Rights 3) the American Bill of Rights and 4) the Declaration of Independence.   The Society extends a cordial welcome to all residents of Falls Church and the surrounding communities to participate in these patriotic readings about the origins of our country.  Admission is free. 

Click HERE to access the resource page and copies of the documents.

Falls Church: A Virginia Village Revisited

The authors are Bradley E. Gernand and Nan Netherton. Both are Falls Church residents as well as professional historians . The theme of the work is the continuity and continuation of Falls Church's values, ideas, and historical trends. The title hardens back deliberately to the title of the first published history of Falls Church (Falls Church: A Virginia Village) by Charles A. Stewart, published in 1904. To order your copy of this exciting new book complete and mail the order form. The Tricentennial Committee is publishing this book in honor of the Tricentennial. It will be published during the second half of the year 2000. The book will contain 275 photographs, including 22 in color.

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for more information about the book and bios about the authors!

The Fire of Civic Zeal (VPIS history)

This document summarizes the history of the Society after its re-formation in 1965 to 1971. It was written by the Society's former president Elwood Street.

Click HERE to read


Tricentennial Events and Projects

The vision to recognize the 300-year history of Falls Church was first launched by the Village Society from a request by two of our most revered long-time members, Louis T. Olom and the late Harold Silverstein.  During 1999, the Society participated in a number of official Tricentennial events and completed a number of special projects to celebrate the Tricentennial.

    * Dave Eckert continued to serve as the Village Society representative to the Tricentennial Committee.

    * The Board approved funding up to $6,600 for a loan to sponsor the printing of the Tricentennial Book to be published by the City's Tricentennial Commission and authored by Society members Nan Netherton and Brad Gernand,  Entitled Falls Church: A Virginia Village Revisited.  The book will also contain artwork of the streams, hills and valleys of Falls Church approved for use by the Board in 1998.

    * The Society co-sponsored two Leadership Roundtable to gather former City Council members, Planning Commissioners, and City Managers to discuss various issues that occurred during their terms, held on February 7 and 28.

    * The Society participated in the Tricentennial Organizations Committee Information Fair held at the Kemper-Macon Ware Lodge on Sunday March 14.  The Society assisted with the decorations for the event's Saint Patrick's Day theme. The fair began with the dedication of the Gift to the City from the Organizations Committee, the bust of George Mason.  Perhaps for the first time ever, representatives from nearly two dozen volunteer organizations in the City were able to pose in a group photo.  Also available were the Tricentennial Postal envelopes celebrating volunteers and organizations, featuring the logos from over 30 organizations, including the Village Society.

    * The Society held the 16th Annual Independence Day Readings on Sunday, July 4 at 2:00 pm in the old sanctuary of the Falls Church Episcopal..  Ross Netherton served as moderator.  New booklets were prepared for the readings, including background information on the Founding Fathers Portraits commissioned by the Society and displayed in City Council Chambers.

    * The Society participated in the rededication of Crossman Park at Four Mile Run, an official Tricentennial Event, held on Saturday, July 17.  Dave Eckert provided an overview of the Society's Four Mile Run Urban Forest Stream Valley Demonstration Project and gave tours of the area and accompanying nature trail to officials and citizens in attendance.

    * The Board approved funding for the preservation of the Bill of Rights quilt, created by the Falls Church chapter of Quilters Unlimited in 1991.  The quilt, previously unprotected, was mounted in a museum-quality frame and installed in the rear of City Council chambers.  The quilt was displayed at the 16th annual Independence Day Readings on July 4 prior to mounting and installation.  The quilt was formally presented to City Council by representatives of Quilters Unlimited and the Society on September 13.

    * The Board approved funding for the reconstruction of the foundation of Big Chimneys Inn, the reason for the Tricentennial, and an accompanying interpretive sign installed in Big Chimneys Park and dedicated on Saturday, August 28.  A subcommittee consisting of Society members Meade Atkeson, Brad Gernand, and Hunter Peil worked with the Falls Church Historical Commission for the content of the sign, which included the only known photo of Big Chimneys.  Eagle Scout candidate Matt Jackson installed the foundation and also discovered a number of artifacts, including a spike and civil war bullet.

    * The Society, in co-sponsorship with the Victorian Society at Falls Church, held the Tricentennial Tour of Homes on Saturday October 2 and Sunday October 3.  Ruth Rodgers and Midge Wang coordinated the tour and related publicity, resulting in the most successful Falls Church home tour in recent history.  A total of 11 distinctive Falls Church homes and one garden were made available for the tour, along with costumed docents, musicians, floral arrangements, and perfect weather.  Catered lunches were also made available at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse for tour participants.  Approximately 150 people attended the tour each day.

    * The Board approved support to name a new garden to be established at Grove Avenue and the W&OD Bike Trail the "Tricentennial Garden".  It is anticipated that a portion of the Tricentennial; Garden will include the Joe Morsch Memorial Garden.  A concept plan was presented by the Tricentennial Commission in November.  Development of the Tricentennial Garden will continue in 2000.

    * Progress continued on development of the President's Garden beneath the W&OD Bike Trail Bridge at Route 7.  Information on all past Presidents was collected and the plaque containing the "Honor Roll of Presidents" for both the Village Improvement Society (1885-1919) and the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (1965-1999) was completed.  Installation of the plaque will be completed in 2000.

The Society also served as a sponsor, co-sponsor, or participant in several designated Tricentennial events, including Arbor Day, the Memorial Day Parade, the 6th annual Tinners Hill Festival, Summer Concerts in the Park, and the 6th annual showing of "It's a Wonderful Life".

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Contact Information

Village Preservation and Improvement Society
P.O. Box 6824, Falls Church, Virginia 22040