skip to Main Content
Dedicated to the History of Burke, Virginia | P.O. Box 243 Burke, VA 22009

Historic Maps of Burke, No. 1

In 1862, the United States was in the middle of a civil war. Maps were a key part of fighting an effective and strategic war. This map was created by engineers working for General Irwin McDowell, a career soldier of the United States Army and the chief commander of the troops at the Battle of 1st Bull Run (or 1st Manassas).

Read more

Burke’s Bluesman

It’s a good time to revisit the theme of “notable people from the Burke area.”  On this occasion, we’ll look at one of our most renowned musicians.

John Jackson was born February 25, 1924, in Woodville, Rappahannock County, Virginia, to tenant farmers Suddy and Hattie Jackson.  (Sources vary as to a middle name, but his vital records indicate that he had none.)  With his thirteen siblings, he grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, helping his parents with the constant variety of tasks to be done on the farm.

Read more

Fairfax County Irish Residents

The early population of Fairfax County, Virginia was composed primarily of Northern Europeans, many of whom were holders of land grants or individuals designated to act as caretakers of land grants for their proper owners living in England. Over time, English paupers migrated to this country and served as laborers or overseers for the large landowners. Later, these laborers acquired small parcels of land and became yeoman farmers. Their primary crop was tobacco, supplemented by small grains, such as wheat, oats, and Indian corn.

Read more

History of Lake Accotink – Part Three

(In case you missed it, “A History of Lake Accotink- Part 1 and Part 2” can be found at and

When we left Lake Accotink in Part 2 of the History of Lake Accotink it was the end of WWII.  The lake, designed to be a reservoir for Fort Belvoir, and its surrounding land now belonged to the federal government.  Time passed.  As modern water systems began meeting the needs of Fort Belvoir and the reservoir became unnecessary, the Army considered ways to release the lake and the surrounding land for recreational purposes.

Read more

Burke’s “Little Post Office”

The current post office for Burke opened in 1989 but the history of postal service and post offices in Burke goes back over 150 years beginning in 1852 with the appointment of John A. Marshall as postmaster of what was then Burke’s Station. The history continued through 1903 when the name was changed to Burke to 1972 when the Burke post office became a branch of Springfield to today.

Over the years the post office was located in a wide variety of buildings (generally provided by the Postmasters), sometimes in the depot, sometimes in separate buildings, and often in stores.   The Post Office usually announced, with varying degrees of precision, when an office changed its location.  On the grounds of Sunrise at Silas Burke House on Burke Lake Road stands a small white building that is part of that long history.  This small building, that has survived three moves in its lifetime, served for many years as the Burke Post Office.

Read more

Burke’s Famous Architect

By Brian Slawski One of the pleasures of studying Burke’s history is discovering how many notable and interesting individuals have lived in our ostensibly small and sleepy stretch of Fairfax County.  Any list of these individuals would surely include Walter Macomber.

Walter Mayo Macomber was born February 25, 1894, in Revere, Massachussetts, just outside Boston.  While he was still a boy, his family moved to nearby Waltham, “The Watch City,” and by the age of 16 he was working as an “errand boy” in the city’s major employer, the American Waltham Watch Company.  Soon, however, he would find his way to much bigger things.

Read more
Back To Top