• History

    A Brief History

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    Fauquier County, Virginia

    Established May 1, 1759

    The area we now know as Fauquier County today was listed as part of the Northern Neck of the Colony of Virginia by Captain John Smith in 1608. In 1759 Fauquier County was formed from a portion of Prince William County. The name Fauquier was chosen in honor of Francis Fauquier, the Governor of Virginia from 1758-1768. The county encompasses 666 square miles of land in the Piedmont region of Virginia. Today it is best known for its picturesque rolling hills, horse farms, wineries, and history.

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    Old Town Warrenton

    Incorporated January 5, 1810

    Warrenton had its origin at the junction of the Falmouth-Winchester and Alexandria-Culpeper roads, where a trading post known as the Red Store was established. At the time of the Revolution a settlement had begun, and by 1790 the first courthouse was built, a jail was erected and an academy named for General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero, was founded. Richard Henry Lee donated 71 acres of land for the county seat, which was incorporated as the Town of Warrenton in 1810.​

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    The "Old Jail"

    Operated from 1808-1966

    The Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail (formally known as The Old Jail Museum) is located in the old Fauquier County prison complex. It was erected in 1808 as the 6th jail in Warrenton. After 15 years of operation poor conditions forced the county to build a new jail, directly behind it. In 1823 the new jail was opened, but not before they added an addition to the 1808 building and upgraded it into the jailer's home. In 1966, the complex was closed and taken over by the Fauquier Historical Society to be preserved as a history museum.