Herndon, Virginia: Wikis


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Herndon, Virginia
—  Town  —

Location of Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
Settled 1858
 - Type Town
 - Mayor Stephen J. DeBenedittis
 - Total 4.2 sq mi (10.9 km2)
 - Land 4.2 sq mi (10.9 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 361 ft (112 m)
Population (2008)
 - Total 21,378
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 703, 571
FIPS code 51-36648[1]
GNIS feature ID 1495675[2]
Website http://www.herndon-va.gov

Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States. The population was 21,655 at the 2000 census, which makes it the largest of three towns in the county.[3]



Herndon was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, American naval explorer and author of Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. Commander Herndon captained the ill-fated steamer SS Central America, going down with his ship while helping to save over 150 of its passengers and crew. The settlement was named Herndon in 1858. In the 1870s, many Northern soldiers and their families came to settle in the area, taking advantage of moderate climate and low land prices. Herndon also offered a group of friendly and local native Americans who helped the town to prosper via trade and instruction. [4]

Originally part of the rural surroundings of the Washington, D.C. area, the town of Herndon developed into a hub of dairy farming and vacationing for area residents, aided by its presence along the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad (later to become the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad).[4] When the railroad was converted into a hike-and-bike trail, Herndon capitalized on history and small-town feel (in a major metropolitan region) by converting its train station into a museum and visitors center, by relocating a Norfolk Southern Railway caboose to a nearby site, and by replacing the name of the Norfolk Southern on the caboose with that of the W&OD.

Although the caboose does not resemble anything that ever traveled through Herndon, it remains an iconic part of the downtown area that both locals and tourists visit on a daily basis. The caboose and station offer to some a taste of the original town that has since faded into the suburban countryside. [5]

On January 14, 2004, the Town of Herndon commemorated its 125th anniversary.[6]

The town of Herndon was part of a nationally-reported controversy involving illegal immigration beginning in 2005.[7] The controversy revolved around a day labor center called the Herndon Official Worker Center (HOW Center), constructed by the town and operated by Reston Interfaith's Project Hope and Harmony under a grant from surrounding Fairfax County. The HOW Center was created in response to daily gatherings of Hispanic workers at a local 7-Eleven store[7] and resulting allegations of gang activity, public drunkenness, and public urination.[8] What had started as a local issue became national news when the Minuteman Project anti-illegal immigration group joined the local groups opposing the day laborers[9] and watchdog group Judicial Watch sued the town and county to block the center's construction.[10] The HOW Center opened in December 2005, on the site of the former Herndon Police headquarters.[11] The 2006 election for Mayor and Town Council revolved mainly around the issue, and resulted in unseating the pro-center Mayor and two councilmembers.[9] The center closed after less than two years of operation, in September 2007. The Town Council had demanded that any operator of the day-labor center check the laborers' identification, and a subsequent court decision required the town to open the center to all workers.[12] The Town Council chose instead to close the center entirely.[12][13]


Herndon is located at 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861 (38.971478, -77.388675)[14].

Boundaries of Herndon as of 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 21,655 people, 6,962 households, and 4,970 families residing in the town. The population density was 5,129.9 people per square mile (1,981.3/km²). There were 7,190 housing units at an average density of 1,703.3/sq mi (657.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 57.89% White, 9.51% Black, 0.42% Native American, 13.86% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 12.95% from other races, and 5.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.01% of the population.

There were 6,962 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 38.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 111.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $72,912, and the median income for a family was $79,140 (these figures had risen to $92,947 and $108,446 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[15]). Males had a median income of $44,197 versus $35,548 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,941. About 4.7% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


The Center for Innovative Technology building, between Herndon and Dulles airport

Herndon is part of the Dulles Technology Corridor, which Fortune magazine named the "Netplex" because of the presence of the headquarters of such companies as AOL, Verizon Business (formerly MCI, formerly WorldCom, originally UUNET), and Network Solutions, which began as the INTERNIC — the registry where every domain name was once administered.

Some of those companies are within Herndon. For example, Airbus North America.[16]

Other companies may have Herndon mailing addresses, but are located in the unincorporated area of Fairfax County south of Herndon. For example, on September 18, 2008 Volkswagen of America officially opened its new US Headquarters in Herndon, [17] which is in Woodland Park.

Several companies are located in nearby Dulles Corner Park (which has a Herndon address, but is outside Herndon). These include Northrop Grumman Technical Services.

In the 1990s World Airways occupied a suite in Dulles Corner Park.[18] In 2001 World Airways moved its headquarters to Peachtree City, Georgia.[19]


The town is organized as an incorporated town by the Commonwealth of Virginia, [20] [21] and is governed by an elected Mayor and Town Council [22] who serve on a part-time basis. The current Mayor is Stephen J. DeBenedittis, elected in 2008. The Mayor chairs the Council and heads the executive branch of the town government, and is supported by a full-time professional staff headed by the Town Manager (Art Anselene as of 2007). The Police Department, independent of the county police department, is headed by Colonel Toussaint E. Summers, Jr. and consists of 70 sworn officers along with the assistance of the Herndon Police Citizen Support Team. The Herndon Police Department achieved national recognition on November 8, 1986 by becoming the 7th police agency in Virginia and the 42nd police agency in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. [23]


Herndon boasts a wide variety of diversions and celebrations year round. Among the community events are:

April Taste of the Town (Herndon Council for the Arts)
May Friday Night Live! (free concerts May-August), Farmers' market (May-October), Towne Square Singers, Big Truck Days, Public Works Forest and Meadow Wildflower Walk
June Herndon Festival, held for four days
July Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks
September Labor Day Jazz Festival, Annual Motorcycle Poker Run (Fraternal Order of Police), Annual NatureFest Celebration

Herndon contains the Herndon Depot Museum, the site of "Mosby's Raid on Herndon Station". The raid was a Civil War skirmish that took place on St. Patrick's Day in 1863. Also within the town is a golf course, community center with basketball and racquetball courts, and an aquatic center. Adjacent to the community center is Bready Park, with indoor tennis courts. Additionally, every residence within the town borders is within a mile or less of a public park.

Nearby attractions include the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (which houses the Enola Gay B-29 Superfortress, a Concorde supersonic passenger airplane, an SR-71A Blackbird plane and the Space Shuttle Enterprise), Frying Pan Park, Sully Plantation, Reston Town Center, Mount Vernon, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Colvin Run Mill, Aldie Mill, Oatlands Plantation, Manassas National Battlefield Park and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (which runs through the town).



Primary and secondary schools

Herndon is within the Fairfax County Public Schools district.

Zoned elementary schools include[24][25]:

Herndon Middle School and Herndon High School serve the town proper.

Some unincorporated areas with Herndon addresses are zoned to Westfield and Oakton High Schools in unincorporated Fairfax County.

Public libraries

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Herndon Fortnightly Library in Herndon.[26]

Famous residents

Sister cities

Its sister city is Runnymede, England, United Kingdom.[27]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Virginia by Place - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000". US Census Bureau. April 1, 2000. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US51&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-PH1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=ST-7.  
  4. ^ a b "Herndon History". Town of Herndon, Virginia. January 18, 2006. http://www.herndon-va.gov/history-herndon.html. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  
  5. ^ Charles V. Munro (October 19, 2005). "A history of Herndon through the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.". Herndon Connection. http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=242526&paper=66&cat=104. Retrieved December 27, 2009.  
  6. ^ "HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 327". Virginia Legislative Assembly. January 29, 2004. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp524.exe?041+ful+HJ327.  
  7. ^ a b Brush, Silla (October 24, 2005). "Local Labor Pains: America's immigration debate lands on Main Street". US News & World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/051024/24labor.htm. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  8. ^ Gilbert, Daniel (15 December 2005). "Day laborer center opens in Herndon". Potomac News (Media General).  
  9. ^ a b "'Minutemen' Open New Front in Fight Against Illegal Immigration: Citizen Group Targets Illegal Laborers Where They Work". ABC News. November 2, 2005. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1275372. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  10. ^ Bazar, Emily; Stephanie Armour (October 24, 2005). "Cities tackle day labor dilemma". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-10-23-day-workers_x.htm. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  11. ^ Aizenman, N.C.; Timothy Dwyer (December 15, 2005). "Words Fly at Day-Laborer Center in Herndon: Contested Site Opens With Few Jobs but Much Debate". Washington Post. p. B01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121402308.html. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  12. ^ a b Brulliard, Karin (September 15, 2007). "'What We Had Here Was a Family': As Herndon's Day-Laborer Center Closes, Job Seekers Band to Find Another Site". Washington Post. p. B01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/14/AR2007091401051.html. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  13. ^ Kumar, Anita (June 11, 2007). "Virginia town tackles immigration: A labor center fuels a debate as it keeps undocumented workers off street corners.". St. Petersburg, FL: St. Petersburg Times. http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/11/Worldandnation/Virginia_town_tackles.shtml. Retrieved February 10, 2008.  
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  15. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=Search&geo_id=16000US5126496&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US51%7C16000US5126496&_street=&_county=herndon&_cityTown=herndon&_state=04000US51&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=160&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
  16. ^ "Airbus in North and Latin America". Airbus. http://www.airbus.com/en/worldwide/airbus_in_north_america.html. Retrieved October 12, 2007.  
  17. ^ url = www.volkswagengroupamerica.com/company/newhome.htm | title= Our New Home
  18. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 25-31, 1998. 103.
  19. ^ "History of World Airways." World Airways. Retrieved on September 29, 2009.
  20. ^ "Code of Ordinances - Town of Herndon, Virginia; Charter, Chapter 2, Powers". Town of Herndon. http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=10218. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  
  21. ^ "Code of Virginia, Title 15.2 - Counties, Cities and Towns, Chapter 11 - Powers of Cities and Towns". Commonwealth of Virginia. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC15020000011000000000000. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  
  22. ^ "Code of Ordinances - Town of Herndon, Virginia; Charter, Chapter 3, Mayor and Council". Town of Herndon. http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=10218. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  
  23. ^ Herndon Police Department (February 22, 2005). "Special News Release" (Microsoft Word). Press release. http://www.dhusch.com/Press_Releases/PRCALEA%20Presentation%20022205.doc. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  
  24. ^ "About Herndon >> Herndon Public Schools". Town of Herndon. January 18, 2006. http://www.herndon-va.gov/Herndon%20Schools.html. Retrieved January 19, 2008.  
  25. ^ "Coates Elementary School". Fairfax County Public Schools. June 22, 2009. http://www.fcps.edu/coateses. Retrieved July 4, 2009.  
  26. ^ "Library Branches." Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  27. ^ "Runnymede's Town Twinning Association". Runnymede Borough Council. http://www.runnymede.gov.uk/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/RBC%2520Portal/LGCL%2520Categories/Community%2520%2526%2520Living/Twinning/Twinning. Retrieved October 4, 2006.  

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