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Part 1: 1600-1800

1600s
The land that will become Loudoun is uncharted wilderness inhabited by Sioux (Manahoac), Algonquin, Iroquois and Piscataway Indians.
They farm, hunt and fish, and occasionally trade with white trappers and daring adventurers who make it up the Potomac to Point of Rocks. Potomac means “great trading place.”
1649
King Charles II of England grants five million acres of the “Northern Neck Proprietary” – land between the Rappahannock and Potomac, which includes Loudoun – to seven English noblemen.
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The Founding and Revolution: 1775-1783

1775
While there are no battles fought in Loudoun, the county will contribute more soldiers to the war for independence from Britain than any other in Virginia.
1776
Francis Lightfoot Lee of Leesburg is a signatory to the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, a copy of which is read on the steps of Loudoun County Courthouse to cheering crowds.
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Part 2: 1800-1900

1800
Loudoun’s population is 20,523 including 333 freedmen and 6,078 enslaved persons.
1814
When the British burn the White House in The War of 1812 the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are smuggled out by horse to a property outside Leesburg. This leads to the claim that Leesburg was, briefly, the capital of the U.S.
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The Civil War (1861-1865)

1861
Both Loudoun delegates to the Secession Convention vote against seceding from the Union, but in May, Loudoun votes in favor – 1,626 to 726. The dissenting minority are mostly Quakers and Germans from Lovettsville and Waterford. In June, the Loudoun militia is called up for Confederate service.
1861
Confederate victory on October 21st at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on banks above the Potomac on the outskirts of Leesburg.
36 Confederate and 223 Union soldiers are killed, including Col. Edward Baker, a sitting U.S. Senator, still the only sitting Senator to be killed in military engagement. Bodies of drowned Union soldiers float down river to Washington DC, shocking residents. Today the Leesburg site, east of Battlefield Parkway, is a National Historic Landmark and cemetery.
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Part 3: 1900-1999

1900
The W & OD reaches Bluemont. The village becomes a swanky hill country resort for Washington DC’s smart set, and the Blue Ridge Inn, built in 1893, is the place to stay.
1903
1,000-acre Morven Park and its colonnaded Greek Revival-style mansion in Leesburg becomes home to wealthy lawyer, horseman and future Virginia Governor, Westmoreland Davis.
Elected in 1917, Davis leads Virginia in the final year of World War One. He lives until 1942 and is buried on the property.
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Part 4: 2000-Present Day

2002
Acting legend and Virginia resident Robert Duvall attends the gala opening and private screening of his movie, “A Shot at Glory” at the Tally Ho theater, downtown Leesburg.
2003
National Parks name Loudoun County Courthouse a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site.
The Thomas Balch Library and Oatlands Historic House & Gardens are soon also listed.
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SOURCES & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Eugene Scheel - Cartographer, Writer and Historian

Laura Christiansen - Curator of Manuscripts and Archives, Thomas Balch Library