[One of a series of unique people, places or things across the local area.]
Oakton may seem to be home only to residential subdivisions, shopping centers and a few municipal buildings, but visitors who investigate further will find hidden historical treasures.
Hunter Mill Road, a 7.2-mile-long road connecting Oakton with the Dulles Toll Road and Route 7, was the site of much action during the Civil War.
The area near the road’s intersection with the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail changed hands at least 10 times during the war, according to the Hunter Mill Defense League’s History Committee, which arranged to have several historical markers placed near the road.
Union and Confederate troops were active in the area and traversed the site on the way to both the battles at Manassas, the slaughter at Antietam and the pivotal showdown at Gettysburg.
Heading back south, the old Oakton Schoolhouse at 2841 Hunter Mill Road affords a glimpse at late-19th-century architecture. The restored structure previously was located on Chain Bridge Road near the south end of Hunter Mill Road, but was moved to its current location in 2007.
The school building formerly was one of several structures at the original site used by the camping-supply store Appalachian Outfitters. Not far north on Hunter Mill Road from that location stands a massive oak tree that has survived decades’ worth of traffic passing nearby.
Oakton also is home to two sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former Oakton Trolley Station, built in 1905 and served by the Washington and Fairfax Electric Rail Co., now is a red-roofed private residence at 2923 Gray St.
The three-story building served the trolley line until 1939, then became a post office, general store and boarding house before being restored as a single-family home in 1988. It was added to the historic register in 1995.
Another site on the registry, the circa-1884 Vale Schoolhouse, is located at 3124 Fox Mill Road. The one-room, clapboard building with rooftop belfry was named to the national historic register in 2011.
Heading back toward Vienna, Flint Hill Cemetery at 2845 Chain Bridge Road holds the graves of many prominent local residents. The cemetery also is the final resting place of 26 Union and Confederate soldiers, including four rangers who were under command of the “Gray Ghost,” Confederate Col. John Singleton Mosby.
The Flint Hill Cemetery Association will hold a Candlelight Cemetery Tour, led by local historian Jim Lewis, on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. to raise money for a columbarium at the site. Tour participants will begin congregating at the cemetery at about 6 p.m., then start the proceedings an hour later.
Those who wish to register for the tour, for which
Organizers are seeking tax-deductible $10-per-person donations; children may attend for free. Participants may register by Oct. 15 by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.