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Calling all scholars, teachers, history enthusiasts and others!

Join Historic Preservation, Prince William Historic Commission and Historic Prince William in a new endeavor to share and preserve our rich local history by contributing to the Journal of Prince William County History!

The Prince William County Historic Preservation Division, Historic Prince William, and the Prince William Historic Commission are collaborating on a brand new publication -- the Journal of Prince William County History.  It will feature articles about local individuals, businesses, events and other important moments in our community's past.  Share your knowledge and passion for history by submitting an article for the March 2019 inaugural issue!

If you have any questions, please contact Bill Backus at or call 703-365-7895.

Thank you for preserving Prince William County's History.

Preserving Our Historic Resources


The Department of Public Works is dedicated to the preservation of Prince William County's historic resources.  Our Historic Preservation Division staff serve as the caretakers of County-owned historic structures, interiors, archaeological resources, natural resources, historic landscapes, artifacts and collections.  We also help build community identity through telling the story of our community. 


Staff recognizes the critical role we play in caring for our historic treasures and traditions.  This role benefits our community, our state and our nation.  We take this responsibility very seriously and strive to fulfill the need to identify, protect, preserve and rehabilitate historic sites for public use and posterity.  


Our goal is to show the connections between our history, our present, our future and our growth as a community.  We pledge to:

  • Bring history to life and to light through interpretation, research, living history, special events, lectures and exhibits

  • Collect, preserve and interpret objects, documents, structures and archaeological resources

  • Advance our knowledge of our community’s history

  • Make these resource meaningful and worthwhile for every citizen

  • Invite and train citizen volunteers so they can learn about our community’s past and share it with their fellow citizens and neighbors 

  • Provide a tourism destination to promote Prince William County and economic development


Many people have called Prince William County home.  Our rich heritage features a diversity of cultures spanning hundreds of years from:

  • a long prehistory of American Indians to . . .

  • the early contact of American Indians with English settlers to . . .

  • the establishment and expansion of the English colonies to . . .

  • the foundation of a new nation to . . .

  • the horror of an American Civil War to . . . 

  • the struggles and victories of an enslaved community to . . .

  • the healing of a nation to . . .

  • the industrial revolution to . . .

  • the step into the 20th and 21st centuries. 


Our staff interprets the lives and struggles of all people, as well as the events and places in our community's history.  Please join us to learn and appreciate the importance of the very community where you live and its contributions to the history of our nation. 

ONLINE resources


Tidbits of History

John Baylis was the brother-in-law of Thomas Blackburn, owner of Rippon Lodge.  Baylis served in many roles for the community, including sheriff.  In 1765, Baylis was shot during a duel at Quantico Church (Dumfries Cemetery).  He was moved to Rippon Lodge, where he passed away in the parlor. 

Upcoming Events
Complete listing of our Annual Events and Programs

​We warmly welcome you to our historic sites.  Please review our full list of upcoming events and programs.  We hope to see you soon at our sites.

Enjoy our archive of newsletters

​Our newsletters are filled with all the news, findings and happenings at our historic sites.  Learn more about our efforts to preserve our local treasures and lore.  


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