Fairfax colloquially known as Fairfax Courthouse, Downtown Fairfax, or Fairfax City, and officially named the City of Fairfax, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The city of Fairfax is an enclave surrounded by the separate political entity Fairfax County. Fairfax City also contains an enclave of Fairfax County, as detailed below.
The city of Fairfax and the area immediately surrounding the historical border of the city of Fairfax, collectively designated by Fairfax County as "Fairfax", comprise the county seat of Fairfax County. The city is part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as a part of Northern Virginia. The city is 17 miles west of Washington, D.C. The Washington Metro's Orange Line serves Fairfax through its Vienna station, which is a mile northeast of the city limits. CUE Bus and Metrobus operate in Fairfax. Virginia Railway Express's Burke Centre station is situated three miles southeast of the city's boundaries. Virginia's largest public educational institution with 35,189 students in 2017 is George Mason University, which is located in unincorporated Fairfax County, along the city's southern border.
The city derives its name from Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who was awarded 5,000,000 acres of land in northern Virginia by King Charles. The area that the city now encompasses was settled in the early 18th century by farmers from Virginia's Tidewater region. The town of "Providence" was established on the site by an act of the state legislature in 1805.
The scene of the first land battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Fairfax Court House took place here on June 1, 1861, after a Union scouting party clashed with the local militia with neither side gaining advantage. A second battle took place here two years later on June 27, 1863, where Union troops were defeated. This battle delayed the movements of Confederate cavalry chief Jeb Stuart with disastrous consequences for Lee at Gettysburg a few days later.
Fairfax was officially renamed the "Town of Fairfax" in 1859. It was incorporated as a town in 1874. It was incorporated as a city in 1961 by court order. Under Virginia law the city was separated from Fairfax County yet remains the county seat. In 1904 a trolley line connected Fairfax with Washington, D.C.
- Bailey's Crossroads
- Crystal City
- Dale City
- Dunn Loring
- Fairfax Station
- Falls Church
- Fort Belvior
- Great Falls
- Lake Ridge
- Manassas Park
- Oak Hill
- Pimmit Hills
- Round Hill
- Wolf Trap
- South Riding
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Data last updated: Feb 17, 2020 9:08:am.