Clifton is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia.


In 1869, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad built Clifton Station as a stop for locally-produced commodities. The station was given its name by Harrison G. Otis, an antebellum immigrant who likely named the station after a town in his native New York.

Clifton was incorporated on March 9, 1902 and R. R. Buckley became the first mayor of the new town.

Following the enactment of state law in 1906 providing for the establishment of high schools, Clifton became the site of the county's first high school in 1907.

In 1961, the County proposed a merger with Clifton to form a city in response to the continued threat of annexation from the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. This failed because state law permitted mergers of counties with adjacent towns, but said nothing about towns wholly enclosed by counties.[1]

Present Day

In the early twentieth century, the exhaustion of the local natural pulpwood resources which initially prompted the creation of the Clifton Station caused the town's expansion to essentially halt, and the town was bypassed by the many real estate schemes perpetrated in the rest of Fairfax County. This stagnation lead to Clifton being essentially unchanged for much of the century: the population of the town in the year 2000 was not much different from 1900.

On July 8, 2010, the Fairfax County School Board voted to close the 58-year-old Clifton Elementary School, ending 140 years of public education in the community.[2]


  1. Baker, Robert E. "Fairfax County Change Stirs Row in Legislature." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): 1. Feb 07 1962. ProQuest. Web. 3 Aug. 2014 .
  2. Chandler, Michael A. "Board Votes to Close Clifton Elementary; Residents had Fought to Save Only School in Small Fairfax Town." The Washington Post: B.5. National Newspapers Core. Jul 09 2010. Web. 19 Dec. 2011.

External Links