Falls Church, Virginia
#NC-08140-WP - Notecards
#PR-08140-WP - Open Edition Print
church to be built in Truro Parish was a wooden structure, which
stood just south of the current building. It was completed in
1734. Until that time, the area was served by clergymen who lived
near present day Quantico, and the nearest church was Occoquan
Church near Lorton.
very few widely separated churches in Truro Parish, this church
was identified as the one "near the falls" of the Potomac
River and became known as The Falls Church. One of the roads which
intersected near the church led to the ferry below Little Falls.
The name "Falls Church" was adopted by the community
which developed around the church.
In 1762 the
original wood building was judged to be "greatly in decay."
The vestry (church governing body) ordered a new brick building
constructed on the same property. In 1763 George Washington and
George William Fairfax were appointed church wardens with the
responsibility of contracting for a new building. After 1765 the
seat of Truro Parish, which had been at The Falls Church, returned
to the southern part of the county and The Falls Church became
the seat of the new Fairfax Parish.
building was designed and built by Colonel James Wren and was
completed in 1769. It is the oldest church building in Virginia
north of Quantico. Tradition holds that the Declaration of Independence
was read to local citizens from the steps of the south door. During
the Civil War The Falls Church was used as a hospital and later
as a stable. After the war, the federal government paid for repairs
caused by the occupation. These repairs are visible today in the
brick work beneath the windows.
© 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah