Why Is Preserving Our Rural Landscape So Important—and So Difficult?

A special experience for Loudoun’s residents and neighbors is provided by the ambiance of many historic villages and the physical beauty of the surrounding 250,000 wooded and rural acres—the large majority of the county’s land area. In recent University of Virginia surveys, Loudoun’s residents named our rural landscape as a thing they love most about our county, and residents said the same thing in recent Envision Loudoun community meetings.

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What Does ‘Historic’ Mean?

At a recent meeting, a Loudoun supervisor asked a very significant question in a discussion about a Loudoun site. She wanted to know when something is actually historic, and not just old. She said, “My grandmother has stuff in her garage from her mother. I don’t think that stuff is historic, but how do we know?” And how do we know whether a particular building or road or open field in Loudoun is historic in nature?

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In Our Backyard: A History of Waterford Schools

Early 19th century education in Virginia was largely organized by religious groups or private individuals; in Waterford, the Society of Friends (Quakers) established an education program around 1805. According to the late historian John Divine, during the 19th and 20th centuries, the village of Waterford supported at least 10 schools, some housed in purpose-built schoolhouses and some in private residences. Many of these structures are still standing. The relatively large number of schools in this small, rural community is testimony to the value the Quakers placed on equal education for all children.

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