Fairfax Station is a historic area with pre-Revolutionary roots. The Station was constructed as part of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad in 1852. It played a vital role in local economic development and figured heavily in the American Civil War. Southern Railway closed the station permanently in 1973. A replica was constructed utilizing much of the original and dedicated as a museum in 1987.
The purpose of the Friends of the Fairfax Station, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3), all volunteer organization, is to maintain and operate the rebuilt Fairfax Station railroad depot as a museum. An all volunteer, self-supporting group, The Friends of the Fairfax Station depends upon membership dues, admission fees, special events, gift shop sales and community room rentals to maintain and run this museum. Thousands of visitors attend regular train displays and other special events.
The museum today supports a number of programs and activities dedicated to supporting the community and preserving local history. Special events include its periodic “Hands On Days,” where visitors can take part in educational activities to learn about local history and railroads in Fairfax County.
In addition to its exhibits and special events, the Station:
- Sponsors local high school and college students for internships;
- Supports a range of Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs;
- Cooperates with the U.S. National Park Service/Clara Barton National Historic Site in its educational programs; and
- Provides special educational programs for young visitors interested in local history.
The Station further promotes public education through its Civil War forum and tours. Custom programs and specialized tours are offered for various community groups.
Volunteers are responsible for all aspects of the operation and maintenance of the Station but receive generous support and assistance from the local community.