The area of Fairfax County known as Burke is named for Silas Burke (1796–1854), a 19th-century farmer, merchant, and local politician who built a house on a hill overlooking the valley of Pohick Creek in approximately 1824. The house is still standing. When the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was constructed in the late 1840s, the railroad station at the base of that hill was named "Burke's Station" after Burke, who owned the land in the area and donated a right-of-way to the railroad company. The community that grew up around the railroad station acquired a post office branch in 1852. Currently, railroad tracks on the same historical line are owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway and form part of the Manassas line of the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail system, of which two stations lie in the Burke area. The original Burke Station building can still be seen in the community, turned 90 degrees from its historical footprint.
The first large subdivision in the vicinity, Kings Park, was constructed beginning in 1960, and was followed by many others over the next two decades, converting Burke into a densely populated suburban community.
A historic marker in Burke denotes the Huldah Coffer House, owned by a prominent resident of the county for many years. Another, privately erected, notes the site of the former Lee Chapel Methodist church, which was purposely burned in 1951 after having been abandoned for some years, but whose cemetery remains on the site.
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Data last updated: Aug 12, 2020 7:02:am.