Falls Church, Virginia
Falls Church is an independent city located in Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 10,377. This city is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. A much larger number of people reside in Greater Falls Church and use Falls Church as their mailing address.
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Falls Church is the smallest county-level political subdivision in the United States by area and, obviously, the smallest by size in Virginia. The smallest independent city by population in Virginia is the City of Galax.
The church from which the city takes its name was first built in 1734 of wood. George Washington was one of the churchwardens. It continues to be part of the Episcopal Church, although it is also now affliated to the Anglican Communion Network.
For thousands of years, up to about 1667, Native Americans inhabited the area in and around present-day Falls Church. Today's Broad Street and Great Falls Street follow their prehistoric footpaths.
In the late 17th century, settlers from the Tidewater region of Virginia began to migrate to the area. The former "Big Chimneys" house, located on Annandale Road about a block west of Maple Ave., was built in 1699. Thus 1699 is generally accepted as the founding date of Falls Church.
In 1734 a wooden church was built to serve Truro Parish, which had been formed two years earlier from a larger parish centered in Quantico. By 1757, the building was commonly known as "The Falls Church", as it was along the main north-south road to the Great Falls on the Potomac. The present-day brick church, designed by James Wren replaced the wooden one in 1769, at which point it became the seat of the newly-formed Fairfax Parish.
By the start of the American Civil War, Falls Church had seen an influx of Northerners seeking land and better weather. Thus the township's vote for Virginian secession was about 75% for, 25% against. The town changed hands several times during the early years of the war. Confederate General James Longstreet was headquartered at Home Hill (now the Lawton House on Lawton Street) following the First Battle of Manassas. The world's first wartime aerial reconnaissance was carried out from Taylor's Tavern (near Seven Corners) by Thaddeus Lowe and his hot-air balloon. Falls Church later became the world's first target of an aerially-directed bombardment, courtesy of Lowe and his balloon.
Following Reconstruction, Falls Church was a sleepy rural community. It gained township status in 1875. A 1915 law passed by Commonwealth allowing segregation led to the establishment of the NAACP's first rural chapter, which successfully prevented the measure from being enforced in the area. In 1948, Falls Church became an independent city in order to control its own school system.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 10,377 people, 4,471 households, and 2,620 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,013.4/km² (5,225.8/mi²). There are 4,725 housing units at an average density of 916.8/km² (2,379.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 84.97% White, 3.28% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 6.50% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.52% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. 8.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 4,471 households out of which 30.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% are married couples living together, 8.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% are non-families. 33.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.31 and the average family size is 3.01.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $74,924, and the median income for a family is $97,225. Males have a median income of $65,227 versus $46,014 for females. The per capita income for the city is $41,051. 4.2% of the population and 2.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 4.3% of those under the age of 18 and 4.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- James Thurber, who had a childhood summer home here, and where he lost his left eye in an accident.
- Dr. Milton Eisenhower, brother of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- Mitch Wallenstein, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counterproliferation Policy
- City of Falls Church
- The Falls Church
- Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society
- James Thurber biography
- Maps and aerial photos