An Early Colonial Settlement

The City’s history dates back to the late 1600s when it was an early Colonial settlement shared with native Indians. The community grew up around The Falls Church, founded in 1734, and whose congregation included President George Washington and Virginia statesman George Mason.

Falls Church slowly grew around the intersection of two Indian trails that led to the lower Potomac River Falls, not far from the current intersection of Leesburg Pike (Broad Street) and Lee Highway (Washington Street). It gained township status by 1875. Falls Church became an independent city in 1948 — led by parents determined to improve the quality of local schools. In addition to establishing an excellent independent school system, a responsive council-manager form of government was formed. As an independent city, Falls Church has its own police department, volunteer fire department, water system, public library, recreation and parks division and public works division.


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