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Places (POIs) visited during this tour

Place #1
Distance: 0.01mi , Attraction : Main Street
Map Pin
10209 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
POI 1 Tour Image
Hey, you found me! If you need to park, there is ample parking next to and behind the Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center. I'll see you at the front of the building soon.
Place #2
Distance: 0.04mi , Attraction : Historic Building
Map Pin
10209 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
POI 2 Tour Image
Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
Whatever mode of transportation you used to get here, a good starting point is at the Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center. You may go inside before or after your walking tour as it gives an excellent introduction to Fairfax through its permanent exhibit, the “Fairfax Story.” Admission is free. But I’ll still give you little background about the town.

Fairfax derived its name from Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron who received a land grant of 5,282,000 acres called the “Northern Neck” from King Charles II of England who was in exile during the English Civil War. The region once included what is now Loudoun and Arlington Counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax. The City of Fairfax began as the Town of Providence in 1805, a community centered on the Fairfax County Courthouse, which was completed in 1800. It was officially renamed the Town of Fairfax in 1875 and became an independent city in 1961. What began as an agricultural region primarily based on raising tobacco with enslaved labor, followed by wheat and livestock, Fairfax has become an affluent, complex, and populous commercial and residential Metropolitan DC suburb.

Now for the building in front of you. Built in 1873 for the then-considered expensive price of $2,750, this remains the oldest two-story brick public school house in Fairfax County. It was a byproduct of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 1870 to improve and reorganize its existing public school system. A brick, two-story addition was built on the front of the original school in 1912, almost doubling in size. It continued to operate as a school until 1925 when the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan bought it to publish and print a newspaper, the Fairfax Independent. A fire damaged the building in 1930 which was repaired by the 1940’s. After the editors declared bankruptcy, the KKK left and it was put back into use as a school again. Fairfax County Schools held the area’s first special education classes inside in the 1950’s after which it became administrative offices followed by a police academy. In 1992, the former school was rehabilitated into the Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center. Now, walk eastbound on Main Street until you are able to see a long driveway leading to a large brick house with columns and chimneys across Main Street.

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Tour itinerary stops | Additional places you'll see on this self-guided tour

Map Pin Place 1 Welcome!
Map Pin Place 2 Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
Map Pin Place 3 Farr Homeplace
Map Pin Place 4 Intersection
Map Pin Place 5 Starbucks
Map Pin Place 6 Intersection
Map Pin Place 7 Draper House
Map Pin Place 8 Ratcliffe-Allison-Pozer House
Map Pin Place 9 Old Town Hall
Map Pin Place 10 Fairfax Herald and Print Shop
Map Pin Place 11 Ralston's Store, Nickell's Hardware Store, and Fairfax Hay & Grain
Map Pin Place 12 Intersection
Map Pin Place 13 Ford Building
Map Pin Place 14 Intersection
Map Pin Place 15 Moore House
Map Pin Place 16 Intersection
Map Pin Place 17 Dr. William Gunnell House
Map Pin Place 18 Intersection
Map Pin Place 19 Intersection
Map Pin Place 20 Intersection
Map Pin Place 21 The Old Fairfax Jail
Map Pin Place 22 Fairfax County Courthouse and the Marr Memorial
Map Pin Place 23 Fairfax County Courthouse
Map Pin Place 24 The Joshua Gunnell House
Map Pin Place 25 Mission Accomplished!

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