The history of Burke dates back to shortly before the Civil War. Silas Burke -- the city's namesake -- prevailed upon his neighbors to grant rights of way to the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, with Burke Station being located thereon. The station is still standing and now houses a railroad museum. The stately Burke home also stands today on its original location.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the city of Burke leaned to the Northern cause, but many of its citizens fought for the Confederacy. The Alexandria and Orange Railroad was critical to the war effort by the North and the defense of the nation's capital. Confederate forays against the railroad, however, kept it inoperative much of the time.
The famous Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart raided Burke Station a number of times, leaving Major John Mosby and his ?Mosby Raiders? to continue to harass the railroad. Following the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), Clara Barton cared for thousands of wounded Union soldiers at St. Mary of Sparrows Catholic Church in Burke. Her work marked the beginning of the Red Cross, with Barton as its founder. The well-maintained church still stands on its original location. The "town" reverted to a quiet and quaint farming area after the Civil War, which is how it remained until the mid-20th century.
The semi-rural landscape of modern Burke encompasses a beautiful collection of landscaped parks and lakes, which provide recreation and fun for the entire family. Burke Lake offers the best of both worlds; it provides 100 shaded campsites, as well as all the essential extras such as bathrooms, showers, fire pits and grills. The park's centerpiece is one of Virginia's most popular fishing holes - a 218-acre lake with a phenomenal largemouth bass population. Visitors can relax and camp in the peace and quiet of beautiful park settings surrounded by acres of forest, while still having access to the nearby metro rail that gives way to all the fun and excitement of the nation's capital.
The nearby D.C. area is home to a number of attractions. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy their proximity to football's Washington Redskins, hockey's Washington Capitals and basketball's Washington Wizards, the latter two playing in the top-of-the-line MCI Center. Just 40 miles away is Camden Yard, home of the American League Baltimore Orioles baseball team.
A popular local entertainment venue is The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The center provides residents and tourists with a wide variety of cultural events to choose from, including off-Broadway productions often opening in historic Ford's Theater. For the music lover, the capital city also has its own symphony orchestra.
Historic Fairfax County was established in 1742 and named after Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax. The county covers 399 square miles and within those boundaries houses a number of major shopping hubs, national parks, restaurants and popular cultural attractions.
Fairfax County's historical attractions are plentiful. The Woodlawn Plantation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House, the Sully Plantation, the Colvin Run Mill, Mount Vernon (the home of George Washington), and Claude Moore Colonial Farm can all be found within the county. Additional cultural attractions such as the Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, the George Mason University Center for the Arts, the Harris Theatre, the Patriot Center at George Mason University, the Ernst Community Cultural Center at NVCC, the Alden Theatre, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, and the Reston Community Center offer a broad range of popular attractions and performances guaranteed to satisfy all tastes and interests.
The former home of patriot-farmers George Washington and George Mason, Fairfax County definitely has rural roots. As recently as the 1950s, it was the leading dairy-producing county in the Commonwealth. Now it is a major world center of commerce and trade and is considered the technology hub of the East Coast. More than 4,000 technology companies currently have offices in the county, including industry leaders in aerospace, e-commerce, Internet services, software development and telecommunications. It is often referred to as the home of the Internet, with more than half of the world's Internet traffic crossing northern Virginia's borders each day.
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