Guided Tour Of Ashburn On W&OD

W&OD Mile 27

Ashburn was originally called Farmwell, after a nearby mansion by that name, torn down in the 1970's. In the early 1800's, tobacco farming exhausted the land. The agricultural village changed into a commercial village when the railroad arrived (1860), although The Civil War (1861-1865) and the depression which followed the war delayed the change. In 1896, the village got a new name after lightning struck an ash tree, which burned for a week. Too far from Washington to be a railroad suburb, at its heyday, 1880-1920, Ashburn grew into the largest commercial center in Loudoun County east of Leesburg. It was also a Summer resort for people escaping the heat in the city.

After automobiles arrived, people could obtain services elsewhere, provided that the county paved the roads. The village continued to grow, but at a slower pace.

Thousands of tract houses surrounded the village, beginning in 1980. The village was uncomfortable with, and looked different from, the houses which surround it. In the village, Ashburn Road stayed only two lanes wide, but in the developments it is three-to-four lanes wide. Pedestrians don't need to worry about the traffic, because during its prosperity Ashburn built a sidewalk which runs the length of the village.

The houses of Ashburn, the village, remind us of another way of life; they were built by hand. No two were alike. While the village was not quaint, like Waterford, it is historic.

  1. Greater Zion Church, 1899
  2. One-room school 1892 where black children went prior to integration.
  3. Mill 1903 now Oak Barn Furniture.
  4. 20722 Ashburn Road. Lyon's Store, now the "Ferguson House."

    Above: Norman's Feed Store.
  5. Norman's Feed Store, c. 1880
    Above: Former Masonic Hall (upstairs) and store downstairs.
  6. Masonic Hall
  7. 43699 Hay Road. Unknown date, original German siding.
  8. take Jenkins Lane to Calvary Church, 1926 replaced earlier building, 1877.
  9. 43843 Jenkins Lane. Unknown date. One of three fine houses along railroad right-of-way, once considered a prime real estate location.
  10. 43855 Jenkins Lane. Unknown date.
    Ashburn Hotel, now a private residence.
  11. Ashburn Hotel, large three-section Victorian building, c. 1882, built to attract drummers (salesman) as well as tourists during the Summer. Restored; German-siding painted in light purple with darker trim. One of the finest houses in Ashburn.
  12. Presbyterian Church 1876 and graveyard, on the southern edge of the village.
 Self-Guided Tours of Towns On Trail
  Falls Church
  Dunn Loring
  Round Hill

Based on Eugene Scheel's map and book on Loudoun County. Also based on research on-site.

Last updated Dec 3, 2003. | Send an email to the person who maintains these pages. | Guide to these pages

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