Fairfax Station, Virginia
#NC-08260-WP - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Pack #AST-740
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Red Cross can trace its roots to St. Mary's Church, where Clara
Barton, the organization's founder, tirelessly nursed Union soldiers
wounded at the Second Battle of Manassas and the action at Chantilly
in early September 1862. Previously a file clerk in the U.S. Patent
Office in Washington, D.C., Barton became known as the Angel of
Mary of Sorrows for years after the Civil War, the church was
built largely by Orange and Alexandria Railroad workers who had
settled in the area. The Irish Catholic railroad laborers had
tired of celebrating Mass from boxcars standing at Fairfax Station.
The graves of a number of these church builders and their family
members can be found in the churchyard today.
of the church near the railroad depot on the main road from the
Fairfax Courthouse made it vulnerable to Union and Confederate
conflicts over control of rail lines in the area. As President,
Ulysses S. Grant authorized $765 to compensate the church for
damage inflicted by the Union troops.
remains an active parish with strong ties to the past. Since 1873,
parishioners have enjoyed the Annual Labor Day Picnic in the churchyard.
The church also continues to be a popular location for weddings.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
© 1997 Tery White, Drawing © 1997 Bill Harrah