Herndon is an incorporated town in Fairfax County.

Originally established in 1857 as a stop on the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, a post office with the name Herndon was established on July 13, 1858.[1] The name came from Captain William Lewis Herndon, captain of the SS Central America, which had sunk in September of 1857, who was considered a hero for his actions during the sinking.

Herndon was incorporated as a town on January 14, 1879.[1][2] The original area of the town, 4⅓ square miles, was deliberately so large to prevent saloons from being established too close to the railroad station in the town.[3]

On March 22, 1917, a fire swept through Herndon's business district, destroying 16 businesses and leaving a dozen families homeless.[4][5]

Herndon began a period of rapid growth in the mid-1980s following the opening of the local access lanes on the Dulles Toll Road in 1984.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Netherton, Ross De Witt, and Nan Netherton. Fairfax County in Virginia: A Pictoral History. Norfolk: Donning, 1986. Print.
  2. Mauro, Chuck. "Looking Back to 1879." Herndon, VA Patch. Patch.com, 6 Feb. 2011. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.
  3. Geddes, Jean. Fairfax County: Historical Highlights from 1607. Fairfax, VA: Denlinger's, 1967.
  4. "Herndon Virginia History." Herndon Web Herndon Virginia Community Web Site. Web. 04 June 2011.
  5. "Herndon, Va., Fire Loss is $100,000." The Washington Post (1877-1922): 4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Mar 24 1917. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.
  6. Tannenbaum, Jeffrey A. "The New Boom Towns -- Herndon --- in Herndon, Va., Growth Elicits some Mixed Feelings." Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition ed.: 1. Mar 30 1989. ProQuest. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.

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