We have learned that Rangel Communication Inc. will be filing an application with Fauquier County for a 199-foot monopole tower and tower compound in Thoroughfare Gap, just east of the Broad Run Post Office along the south side of Rt. 55. This area, steeped in history, is the gateway into Fauquier County from Haymarket to the east.
When I saw “replacement” of the circa 1878 Waterloo Bridge—the oldest metal truss bridge still in service in Virginia at the time—on the Fauquier County Transportation Committee agenda back in October 2013, I knew exactly who to turn to.
Stretching 15 miles from the village of Aldie in Loudoun County south to New Baltimore in Fauquier County, the Bull Run Mountains have stories to tell. The mountain range is home to 10 unique plant, forest and woodland ecosystems supporting uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. Its hills were the scene of the Battle at Thoroughfare Gap during the Civil War. The rocky ridges and quartzite cliffs on its western side, along with the shadow of its eastern toe and its hollows, are said to have once guided slaves fleeing bondage via the Underground Railroad.
Long before Shenandoah National Park was established in 1935, generations of people pushed up into the Blue Ridge Mountains and called them home. Houses dotted the hillsides and hollows, churches and schools served the population, and general stores and post offices brought services directly into the mountains.
Preserving historic resources is crucial to understanding our nation’s history. However, historic resources related to African-American and indigenous communities are woefully underrepresented in Virginia’s state database. This has resulted in important resources being overlooked or worse yet, irretrievably lost, and has meant these communities are rarely included as part of larger historic district conversations.