Falls Church History Room
ARCHIVES: The FCHR contains archives covering a variety of City related individuals and organizations, including the Falls Church Historical Commission, the League of Women Voters Falls Church, and the Village Preservation and Improvement Society.
ASSESSMENT RECORDS: Assessment records are available in the FCHR for following:
- Proposed Assessments books (1981-2003)
- City of Falls Church Land Book (2004-2011 and 2013)
- Capitation taxes (1950-1964)
- Personal property records (1949-1955)
Current – and some historic – assessment and sales records can be found online through the City’s Real Property Assessment Finder.
The FCHR – while not the City archive- does contain a number of City related documents and reports. Many may also be found online through the City’s website.
- Town & City Council Minutes (1875-present, no records 1885-1897)
- City Council Agendas (1997-present)
- Budgets (1949-present)
- Capital Improvement Plans (1960-present)
- Proceedings (1997-present)
- Ordinances (1950-present) & Resolutions (1969-present)
BOARDS & COMMISSIONS
- Charter Review Committee (1965-1981)
- Falls Church School Board (1934-1958)
- Broad Street Improvements, Susanne Bachtel (1963-1991)
- Historical Commission
- [Mayor] Kellogg Reports Monthly (1951-1955)
- Planning Commission Minutes (1937-1997)
- Planning Commission Proceedings (1980-present)
- Chamber of Commerce: City Business Directory (misc 1989-2005)
- Chesapeake & Potamic: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County (1940)
- Chesapeake & Potamic: Falls Church & Vicinity (1947)
- Collins Fairfax County Directory (1906)
- Community Directories (roughly 1978-2010)
- Directory of Residents Who Lived in Falls Church Prior to 1940
- Haines Directory: Northern Virginia Suburban (1980- 2020)
- Hill’s City Directory (biennially 1957-1975, 1972)
- White Pages (roughly 1980-2018)
- Family histories
- Marriage and death notices
- Cemetery records
- Voter registration books (1901-1930s)
- Voter registration rolls (1965-1970s)
- Approximately 500 maps (1608-present)
- Topographical, plat and Sanborn maps
- Site and street plans
The FCHR houses a number of Falls Church related newspapers and community newsletters, either in print or on microfilm/fiche.
- List of historic newspapers & community newsletters available in the collection
- Search our index of newspapers & newsletters
- Search Fairfax County Public Library’s index of historic newspapers
A number of Falls Church related newspaper can also be accessed online:
The collection includes more than 120 oral histories recorded by H.H. Douglas and the Falls Church Historical Commission from the late 1960s through 1981.
PHOTOGRAPHS: The historic photo collection includes over 20,000 negatives and 8,000 prints. Several thousand images have been scanned and can be searched and viewed online in our Digital Collection and Index.
SCRAPBOOKS: The collection includes several community scrapbooks, including:
- City of Falls Church (1973-1976)
- Falls Church Garden Club (1946-1969)
- Falls Church Lions Club (roughly 1968-2001)
- Mary Riley Styles Public Library (1940-2007)
- Old Dominion Chrysanthemum Society (1970-1990)
- Press Clippings (1945-1953)
- Women's Club of Falls Church (1947-2000)
VERTICAL FILES: The FCHR maintains a “vertical file” of over 50 drawers of clippings and miscellaneous documents organized into 3 categories:
- Street address
YEARBOOKS: The library has print copies of the following yearbooks:
- George Mason High School (1952, 1954-2021)
- George Mason Middle School (1984-1995, 2001)
- Meridian High School (2022-present)
- Jefferson High School (1935, 1937, 1939, 1945)
- Misc City reports & studies
- Falls Church Historical Commission Historical Heritage Symposia (1994-1998) and misc. documents (1960-2001)
- Pictorial Family Bible 1872-1885
Gernand, Bradley E. and Netherton, Nan. A Virginia Village Revisited. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company/Publishers, 2000.
Steadman, Melvin Lee. Falls Church, By Fence and Fireside. Falls Church, VA: Falls Church Public Library, 1964.
Taylor, Cathy. Historic Falls Church. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2012.
Victorian Society of Falls Church. Victorian Falls Church. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2007.
Wrenn, Tony P. Falls Church: History of a Virginia Village. Falls Church, VA; Historical Commission of the City of Falls Church, 1972.
For a Deeper Dive...
Alves, Joseph Hodges and Spelman, Harold. Near the Falls: Two Hundred Years of The Falls Church. Falls Church, VA: The Falls Church, 1969.
Beltz, Ella C. Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 1873-1973. Falls Church, VA: Beltz, 1976.
Block, Eugene B. Above the Civil War: Thaddeus Lowe, Balloonist, Inventor, Railroad Builder. Berkeley, Calif, Howell-North Books, 1966.
Camp, Shirley. Past Times Around Falls Church. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1997.
Douglas, H.H. Falls Church, Places and People. Falls Church: Falls Church Historical Commission, 1981.
Falls Church City Public Schools Celebrating 50 Years: A History. Falls Church, VA: City of Falls Church, 1999.
Falls Church Historical News and Notes. Falls Church, VA: Village Preservation and Improvement Society, 1970.
Footprints in Faith: Columbia Baptist Church History. Falls Church, VA: Columbia Baptist Church, 2007.
Gernand, Bradley E. A Virginia Village Goes to War. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company/Publishers, 2002.
Harrison, Noel Garraux. City of Canvas: Camp Russell A. Alger and the Spanish American War. Falls Church, VA: Falls Church Historical Commission, 1988.
Henderson, James H. M. and Henderson, Betty F. Molder of Men: Portrait of a “Grand Old Man,” Edwin Bancroft Henderson. New York: Vantage Press, 1985.
Jewell, Marianne H. Dulin from Saddlebags to Satellites: A Story of Faith and Service. Falls Church, Va., Dulin United Methodist Church, 1969
Jones, Carrol Anne. Doers of the World: 125 Years of History: Saint James Catholic Church, Falls Church, VA. Vienna, VA. Coronae Rosarum Publications, 2017.
Stewart, Charles Alexander. A Virginia Village: Historical Sketch of Falls Church and the Old Colonial Church. Falls Church, VA: J.H. Newell, 1904.
Wrenn, Tony P and Douglas, Henry H. Cherry Hill Farm: Falls Church, VA. Falls Church, VA: Falls Church Historical Commission, 1977.
Falls Church: Places and People
Molder of Men: Portrait of a "Grand Old Man," Edwin Bancroft Henderson
Victorian Falls Church
Falls Church, Virginia, was settled in 1699 and named for its first church. Located near Washington, D.C., this rural farming community grew into an important crossroads during the 19th century. Prior to World War II, its most significant growth occurred during the Victorian era. The area and lifestyle of its residents were significantly impacted by the Northern migration into the South for better farmland; the Civil War; the expansion of railway service; the developing role as a suburb of
Washington; and military buildup during the Spanish-American War. This collection of vintage images portrays the people, places, and events that are central to the Victorian heritage of Falls Church.
Historic Falls Church
Once the largest farm population center in what was then Fairfax County, Falls Church has slowly evolved over the past three centuries into the unique town it is today.
Fertile soil and abundant streams at former Native American cross trails provided ideal farmland to early settlers, and though the first known home was built in 1699, it wasn't until 1875 that Falls Church was incorporated into a town, taking its name from the prominent 18th century Anglican church built at these old cross trails. The town has seen the coming of Revolutionary independence and a mere seven miles from downtown Washington, DC, Falls Church sat close enough to witness the nation's capital burn during the War of 1812, and was transformed by the effects of the Civil War. Since 1900, residents have experienced the growth of the post-World War II suburban ideal and felt the impact of the civil rights movement, ultimately developing Falls Church into a small town with established religious, educational, and civic institutions amidst urban sprawl.
A Virginia Village Goes to War
As told by the villagers themselves, this book details the history of Falls Church, Va., during the Civil War and how it fell victim to a duo of military "firsts". The first aerially-directed bombardment of a human settlement and the first use of aerial reconnaissance in the war by hot-air balloon.
Falls Church: A Virginia Village Revisited
Falls Church by Fence and Fireside
First published in 1964 as a special project of the Falls Church Public Library, this book is a comprehensive survey of the history of Falls Church, Virginia, from its colonial roots up through the 1960s. The main text relates, in detail, the history of t
Oral Histories & FC History Videos
Desegregation of FC Libraries & the Question of Access (06/04/2023)
Public libraries are the cornerstones of American democracy but they have not always been accessible to all.
Oral History Interview: Kay Britto (10/19/2022)
Interview of Kay Britto about growing up in Falls Church in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s by MRSPL Librarian Pete Sulivan. Recorded on October 19, 2022, at the FCCTV studio at Meridian High School. Video posted on April 12, 2023.
Oral History Interview: Chet DeLong (07/07/2022)
Chet DeLong, longtime Falls Church resident, Mary Riley Styles Public Library board member and volunteer interviewed by library director, Jenny Carroll. Recorded on July 7, 2022 at the FCCTV studio at Meridian High School.
City Council Agendas, Minutes, & Videos
Falls Church Assessment Property Finder
Falls Church History Room Digital Collection
Falls Church News Press
View issues of the weekly Falls Church New Press from 2008-present.
Municode - Falls Church Code
Virginia Chronicle is a historical archive of Virginia newspapers, providing free access to full text searching and digitized images of over 3 million newspaper pages.