Are you interested in moving to Northern Virginia and want to know more about Burke?
So who was Silas Burke? Was he famous? A landowner? Politician? Who were the Coffer’s? We’re going to find all this out when we explore Burke VA.
For a complete list of parks, shopping centers and things to do in Burke, please click here: https://forms.gle/wET91HBcgV3pKsnb6. Fill out the form and we'll get back to you ASAP!
In 1728 Francis Coffer was given a land grant of 378 acres in the area that is now Burke.
In 1824 Silas inherited “Woodbury” and married Hannah Coffer - Francis’ great-great granddaughter. He was a farmer, merchant, and politician. Silas brought the Orange and Alexandria Railroad to the area in the 1840s and the whistle stop was called Burke’s Station.
Original Burke’s Station
Burke's Station, built along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad around 1857, was the center of the town of Burke for decades as well as an important location during the Civil War. Several skirmishes occurred in and around Burke and the railroad, the most famous of which was Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s Christmas Raid of 1862. Civil War - Union troops took over Burke Station and it was here where J.E.B. Stuart sent his famous telegram to the Union Quartermaster General complaining about the quality of the mules he had captured. Original building Burke Station can still be seen. It is now the site of - was turned 90 degrees (B-roll of the station house) The railroad was moved north in the early 1900s and the old station was rotated ninety degrees. Today, it is home to a Nationwide Insurance office.
The current station, built in 1972, is located a little farther east and north of here and is serviced by Amtrak and the Virginia Railway Express. Burke Centre station is located West of the old Burke's Station
John Marshall worked for Silas Burke
John Marshall served as the first postmaster of Burke, while also running the Marshall General Store. He worked as an agent for the Burke Railroad Depot, and as a foreman for Silas Burke. It’s believed the Marshalls’ residence was located somewhere in the proximity of what is now the intersection of Burke Rd. and Old Burke Lake Rd. The Marshall family cemetery is located near Silas Burke Park.
There’s a little bit of a mystery involving an unknown soldier buried there. There is a stone carved with the letters “J.L.B.”
According to a local newspaper article, a soldier who was involved in a nearby skirmish in the area crawled all the way up to the Marshalls’ doorstep before dying of his wounds. The couple found the man a short while later and they couldn't tell which side he was on, Union or Confederate. The only thing they could identify was a sword with the initials “J.L.B.” The Marshalls would end up burying the unknown soldier in their family cemetery.
Also near here was the Copperthite Racetrack, also known as the Burke Station Racetrack. Open from July 4, 1908 for nearly a decade, it was a harness racing racetrack and wildly successful. It was built and owned by Henry Copperthite who owned the largest pie company in the country. He was known as the “King of Pie.” And guess what? He was also the latest resident of the Silas Burke house.
Huldah Coffer house
Built in the early 19th century and known as Locust Hill, It was the home of Thomas Coffer (1773-ca.1859) and then of his son Joshua Coffer (1814-1862).
Huldah was Joshua Coffer’s wife and 26 years his junior. Joshua and Huldah’s daughter Hannah Coffer married Silas Burke. "The house on the site today is most likely a second construction of the Coffer house and most likely dates from about 1876.” (Lost a lot of homes to fires back then…)
It was later the home of Ella (Coffer) Hall (1859-1908) and her husband Milton Dulaney Hall (1848-1939) who was the longtime Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools. Ella Hall allegedly committed suicide in 1908 by throwing herself in front of a train.
The building is now being cared for by the Burke Conservancy and serves as the Woods Community Center.
Lee Chapel Methodist church, named after General Robert E. Lee, replaced Mt Carmel Church which had been destroyed by fire. In 1928, due to impassable roads and other conditions the church closed down. But in 1939, community growth caused it to open again. However, in 1951, familes started to move away when their land was condemned for Burke Airport and the church closed again. (But wait, there’s no Burke Airport. I know, we’ll get to that in a minute. Stay tuned. The original building, plagued by vandalism and disrepair was burned in a controlled fire by the Burke VFD. But the cemetery remains on the site and I hear Easter sunrise services are held here.
Little Zion Baptist Church 10018 Burke Lake Rd./Pearson Cemetery
When Francis Coffer died in 1861, his will freed from slavery Charles T. Pearson, his three brothers, and his mother. The proceeds from the sale of Coffer’s property also went to the Pearson family. With this money, Charles Pearson built a home, farmed and later set aside a plot of land for the cemetery. In 1891, these freed slaves built the Little Zion Baptist Church. Reverend Lewis Henry Bailey was the church’s first pastor. The building still stands at the corner of Burke Lake Road and Winward Drive. The Pearson family cemetery is located on the grounds of the church. The congregation still meets to this day, but at a different location. PHOTO COURTESY GREATER LITTLE ZION BAPTIST CHURCH.
Donovan's Corner- Intersection of Ox Road and Burke Lake Rd.
In the mid-1800s the property belonged to tavern owner, Charles Arundell, and was called “Arundell’s Ordinary.”
April 10, 1865 – Fairfax County’s last shots of the Civil War fired in a skirmish between Mosby’s Raiders and the 8th Illinois Cavalry at Arundels Tavern in Burke.
Donovan’s Corner. Jeremiah Donovan was a butcher who owned land at the four corners of the intersection at Burke Lake Road and Route 123 early in the 20th century.
It was later owned by Judge Paul Brown. This home is now a private residence.
One of the oldest houses in Burke is this home called Mulberry Hill. It was built in 1790 by an attorney and Revolutionary War activist called Thomas Windsor. It was situated on 300 acres of land that was used for tobacco farming.
An even older home was featured in the Wash post in 2019. Known as King’s Grant, it was built from two log cabins that were built on the Ravensworth estate. One of the cabins is thought to have belonged to a farm manager on the estate. Just to give you an idea of the size of these plantations, Ravensworth had not one, but three mansions built on it. And King’s Grant is about 3.5 miles away. Photo courtesy Piers Lamb.
You can still see remnants of Old Burke. Turn of the Century homes still exist in the vicinity of Old Burke Lake Road and Lee and Jackson Streets. You'll see many of these homes still standing. Most of these homes were built at the turn of the century.
Burke Centre Conservancy
Burke began to grow when the federal government grew because of WWI and II. 1951, the was going to put an international airport here and condemned a lot of land for the purpose of building that airport. (Map of proposed site from the Evening Star on June 14, 1951.)
But a grassroots effort by the community, led by Judge Paul Brown, stopped the plans and the government decided on Chantilly instead.
Eight years after locals received the initial notification that the government had condemned their homes, the GSA now had to liquidate the unneeded land.
Some of this land was turned over to Fairfax County to create Burke Lake Park which we will talk about later in this video.
The rest of it became the planned community of Burke Centre.
This community was a mixture of homes, businesses, and industry spread over 1,700 acres and connected by nature trails and outdoor spaces.
The Burke Centre Conservancy was incorporated in late 70s. There are over 5800 residences in five neighborhoods that are organized into clusters. There are about 7 ponds in Burke Centre and over 100 trails within the conservancy.
Conservancy offices are just off Burke Centre Parkway on Johnson-Sabin Way. This street is named after Lt. Col. Dennis Johnson and Charles Sabin who lost their lives during the attack on the Pentagon September 11, 2001.
Burke Centre neighbourhoods include the COMMONS, the LANDINGS, the OAKS, the PONDS, and the WOODS. The Woods Community Center is considered an historical structure and his maintained by the Conservancy in its present location and condition. There are single family homes, condos and one co-op.
Burke Centre hosts a fall festival for two days, every September.
Central Burke is also where the Burke Nursery & Garden Center hosts a Pumpkin Playground every October.
Other neighbourhoods in Burke include Cherry Run, where homes range in the 700-900s although one sold last year for over $1M.
Cardinal Glen where single family are in the $700s and townhomes are in the mid-500s, and Rolling Valley West where the homes can run from the mid-500s to the 800s.
Luxury homes can be found in neighbourhoods like Burke Lake Meadow and Edgewater where the homes are priced between $1.1 and $1.8M
Huntsman Lake is situated around the Glenwood Manor neighborhood. There are basketball courts, picnicking, a playground and a paved network of trails, but there’s no loop trail around the lake. Homes here run in the in mid-5s low 6s for townhouse and $900k plus for a single family
Lake Braddock is a private lake owned by the Lake Braddock Community HOA. Homes here are single family and townhomes that range from low 700s to 900s, custom renovated homes can go for over a million $.
Lake Barton is another private lake in the heart of Burke Centre. There are several different townhouse styles here run between $400-600k. There is also Burke Cove, a condo community that has a dozen floorpans. They run from $275 for a 1-BR up to $375k for a 3BR.
Burke has its share of retirement communities. Across the street from Silas Burke House is the Heatherwood Retirement Community as well as the Burke Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Other retirement community in Burke is Burke Lake Gardens.
Crevanna Oaks and Summit Oaks are other options.
Train stations - VRE has two stops in Burke, the Rolling Road station and the Burke Centre Station. Both have adequate parking with the Burke Centre station having a 1500 car parking garage. A new trail opened in March, giving more neighbourhoods access to this station.
Metro - the Franconia Springfield Metro is about a 20 min drive during rush hour traffic.
Bus Lines - Burke is serviced by the 17B, 17K and the 18G, J, P as well as the Fairfax Connector 306 and 495 lines.
From April through December, the Burke Farmers Market takes place each Saturday morning, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Burke Centre VRE station parking lot.
The elementary schools in Burke are White Oaks, Terra Centre, Fairview and Cherry Run, although some students also attend Ravensworth and Kings Park/Kings Glen as well Sangster.
For middle School some students go to Lake Braddock Secondary School, which is a combination of middle school and high school. Others will go to school at Robinson, another combination middle/high school, and some kids will attend Irving.
Burke is home to Lake Braddock Secondary School, though many students within the district attend Robinson Secondary School and West Springfield High School, as well as South County Secondary School.
School boundaries can be ever-changing. For this reason, you’ll have to verify where your child attends school. Be sure to check the Fairfax County Public Schools website to verify which school your child will be attending. I left a link in the description.
Rolling Valley - Lidl, restaurants, Ross, Dollar Tree and a Petco, Staples, 9230 Old Keene Mill Rd. Burke, VA 22015
Burke Town Plaza - CVS, Safeway, Glory Days, Old Keene Mill Rd & Lee Chapel Rd., Burke, VA 22015
Burke Town Center - Walmart, Giant Food, several restaurants, 6011 Burke Centre Pkwy, Burke, VA 22015
Burke Centre Shopping Center - Safeway, CVS, Kohl’s, 5765 Burke Centre Pkwy, Burke, VA 22015
Burke Village Center - HMart, several restaurants 9532 Burke Rd, Burke, VA 22015
Hunstman Square - Giant, comic book store 7491 Huntsman Blvd, Springfield, VA 22153
Target - 10301 New Guinea Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Things to do:
Lakes and parks in Burke:
Burke Lake Park: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/burke-lake
Huntsman Park/Lake: 9150 Dorothy Lane, Springfield, VA
Lake Braddock Park 9450 Lake Braddock Dr, Burke, VA (private property)
Lake Barton Park 5726 Lakeside Oak Ln, Burke, VA
Burke Station Park - Access from Kerrwood Street or Ridge Ford Drive
Lake Hatch - (private property) located on the edge of Burke Station Park
Col Silas Burke Park - 5815 Parakeet Dr. Burke, VA
Greentree Village Park - 6600 Field Master Dr, Springfield, VA
Greenfield Park - Burke Road and Lake Braddock Drive
Joyce Park - Off of Coffer Woods Rd just past New England Woods Rd.
Middle Run Park - 7024 Spaniel Road, Springfield VA
Monticello Park - A dog park 5315 Guinea Road in Burke, VA
Orange Hunt Estates - 8650 Sandy Dr, Springfield, VA
(Smaller park with the same name at Huntsman Rd and Spur Blvd.)
Pohick Creek Stream Valley Park (parts of it located just below Orange Hunt Estates Park)
Rolling Valley West Park - 6512 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA
Burke Lake Park
Land that had been purchased to build an airport (Dulles was built instead) was later developed into Burke Lake Park and the planned community of Burke Centre.
Burke Lake Park is an 888-acre (3.59 km2) park centered on a 218-acre (0.88 km2) recreational lake.
The park contains an 18-hole par three golf course with driving range, carousel, ice cream parlor, miniature train ride, a disc golf course, miniature golf course, amphitheater, campsites, numerous picnic and sports areas, boat rental, and a 4.68-mile (7.53 km) jogging trail.
Food and Drink
There are too many restaurants in Burke to name them all. But suffice it say that if you’re looking for something special, you’re likely to find it here.
There isn’t much of a nightlife. There are bars such as Glory Days and Hopsfrog, but Burke is strictly a suburban area.
There is ONE brewery in Burke and that’s the
The Bunnyman Brewery opened in 2021. Located at 5583 Guinea Road it is the first brewery opened in Burke. It was named for the urban legend in Fairfax County involving a man dressed up in a bunny suit wielding an axe. I won’t get into the urban legend stuff here (there’s another video about that) but suffice it to say that the story has been around for decades and there may or may not be a bridge involved. Bunnyman is the first brewery opened in Burke, due to their being a “craft beer desert” in the area. So two friends got together, brainstormed and a brewery was born. They just celebrated their 1-year anniversary, so come on out and give them a try.
Summit Oaks/Crevanna Oaks: https://crevenna-oaks-apartments-in-burke.business.site/
Burke Centre Fall Festival: https://www.burkecentreweb.com/sub_category_list.asp?category=77&title=Burke+Centre+Festival+2022
Burke Farmer’s Market: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets/burke
Burke Nursery Pumpkin Patch: 9401 Burke Rd, Burke VA. https://www.burkenursery.com/ click on Pumpkin Patch
Living in Burke, VA
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Musicians from Burke
Greg Eklund, drummer for Everclear
Nikki Hornsby, singer- songwriter, musician
Travis Morrison, member of the band The Dismemberment Plan
Ryan Newell, lead guitarist in Sister Hazel
Mary Simpson, violinist