Located just south of I-66, east of the I-495 interchange, Falls Church covers a beautiful 2.2 miles, although there is a great deal of unincorporated land surrounding the city limits that is part of Falls Church and Fairfax counties. Some 12,000 years ago, the area's gently rolling landscape was traversed by Native American hunter-gatherers. The Indians moved inland from the north and east and traveled two trails that intersected within the present boundaries of Falls Church. After a series of wars ending in 1677, they left the region and settlers gradually moved in.
The community grew up around The Falls Church, which was founded in 1734 and whose congregation has included President George Washington and Virginia statesman George Mason. Falls Church became a township in 1875 and by 1878 there were more than 100 residences, 11 commercial structures and eight churches. The population increased from 792 in 1890 to 1,128 in 1910 by which time Falls Church was the largest town in Fairfax County. In 1948, after exceeding 5,000 people in population, Falls Church became an independent city, led by parents determined to improve the quality of local schools.
Today, Falls Church is the home to Thomas Jefferson and Mount Daniel Elementary schools and George Mason Middle and High Schools. All four of these schools have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Excellence in Education and George Mason Middle School has been given the Blue Ribbon Award. In 1982, Falls Church became the first Virginia school system to offer the rigorous International Baccalaureate academic program, which requires community service, a senior thesis, and academic courses in all subject areas. This program allowed students during their senior year the opportunity to take special tests to qualify for college credit. In an attempt to encourage continued learning, all classrooms within the schools have been set up with multiple computers, making the student to computer ratio very small and giving all students access to the Internet. There are numerous colleges and universities in the area for those seeking higher education.
Falls Church is situated between the employment and retail centers of Tyson's Corner and Seven Corners. The city's downtown is located at the intersection of Virginia Route 7 and U.S. Route 29 -- at the crossroads of Northern Virginia. All of this makes the community a choice business location. The city is just three miles from Arlington, 35 miles from Baltimore and 80 miles from Richmond. Residents have access to a number of local airports including Ronald Reagan International and Dulles.
Falls Church maintains 11 landscaped parks featuring ball fields, tennis and basketball courts and many hiking and biking trails all within the city limits. Residents enjoy an abundance of nearby entertainment including Six Flags America and Busch Gardens, various art and history museums, a collection of libraries and sporting events including professional teams in both Baltimore and Washington D.C. For those who prefer adventurous outdoor activities, residents can spend a day skiing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, hiking, or rock climbing.
Falls Church may be small in area and population, but residents take enormous pride in being a modern city that maintains its small-community atmosphere and preserves its historical heritage making it the perfect place to live, work, and relax.
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