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The essence of Arlington County goes beyond highways and high-rises—and reaches deep into the past. More than a dozen prehistoric Native American sites have been discovered within the present boundary of the county, and in the early 17th century Captain John Smith found a large, thriving Necostin village on what is now the site of the Pentagon. From the Revolution to the Civil War to the Great Depression and the postwar boom, Arlington County has been a canvas for American history.
Get a close look at sites that reflect that fascinating heritage with historian Kathryn Holt Springston. After an introductory presentation at the Ripley Center, a bus tour travels through diverse neighborhoods in East Falls Church, Fostoria, Clarendon, Cherrydale, Fort Myer Heights, Glencarlyn, and Ballston. All were originally commuter towns that sprang up along the route of the first rail line that connected Arlington with the District around the turn of the 20th century.
Participants visit such historic structures as the Ball-Sellers House, a circa-1780 log cabin that’s the oldest residence in the country; the Mary Carlin House from around 1800; and the Clarendon post office, opened in 1937. A catered box lunch is served in a firehouse, and the group enjoys refreshments at a private home at the end of the tour.
Program begins at the Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., S.W., Room 3035, and continues by bus, returning to the Ripley Center at its conclusion.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)