Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Leesburg!

Happy Birthday, Leesburg!  Two hundred fifty one years ago today, The Town of Leesburg was created by the Virginia General Assembly.

Leesburg is located just 35 miles outside Washington, DC, in the Virginia Piedmont between the Potomac River and the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountain range.

Originally the town was called George Town, in honor of the king of Great Britain, but was renamed Leesburg for the Lee family of Virginia.  The town's location was near the center of the county, and located at the major crossroads of Carolina Road (which ran north-south) and Leesburg Turnpike (which still runs east-west through the town).  Thus, it was the center of commercial and political activities in the county and was governed by a Board of Trustees until 1813. 

Few people know that the Town of Leesburg served as Capital of the United States, and home to the Federal Archives (including the Declaration of Independence & the Constitution) for a period during the War of 1812.

From 1847 through 1968, the W & OD Railroad ran right through town, with passenger and freight stops on the west side of King Street, bringing in even more commerce to the area.  Today, the trail where the trains ran is owned by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and is enjoyed by walkers, bicyclists and equestrians.  The park runs from Purcellville straight through to Alexandria.

In 1970, the town's Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Today, Leesburg remains the county seat of perhaps the wealthiest county in all of the US.  It spans nearly 8,000 acres, and is considering adding another 2,200 acres into the town limits.  Today's population is approaching 40,000 and some future propulation estimates go as high as 80,000 should the additional acreage be annexed.

Learn more about the people who call Leesburg Home (CLICK HERE).

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