Filled with quaint restored buildings and shops, this Haymarket packs a lot of history into a small amount of acreage. Founded in 1799, this Western Prince William County historical gem has many stories to tell. The town grew around the intersection of Carolina and Dumfries roads and was used by early settlers as a path from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, the town was directly in the path of marching armies. Maybe you knew this already, but did you know the four facts?
- The Haymarket Museum served many purposes before it housed the town’s history. Once, it was the first two-story school house in Prince William County. It served as a school for about twenty years. After the larger Haymarket School was built, the school was no longer needed and the building served as a public space. It was a polling place, a library, a meeting place for the Haymarket Women’s Club, a town hall and the office for the town police and constable. In 2002 the building nearly burned to the ground, forcing the Town Council out. When they rebuilt and reopened, the building became the Haymarket Museum. How’s that for versatility?
- Masonic roots run deep in the town’s history. Records as early as 1769 show Masons lived in the Haymarket area before it was even officially Haymarket. When the town was chartered in 1799, many of the judges, lawyers and clerks were Masons who petitioned the Grand Lodge of Virginia to establish a lodge in the town. In 1802, lodge number 67 was officially established. The charter from this lodge was found on a dead, unknown Confederate soldier in Centreville, VA and was hung on the wall of the grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, but disappeared after his death. The Masons searched for the charter, but couldn’t find it. The lodge was later reestablished as lodge number 313 in 1911 and remains a central presence in Haymarket today.
- Paul’s Church didn’t start out as a church. Built around 1799 to 1801, the building began as a district courthouse for Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier and Loudon counties. The district court system was abolished in 1807 and the building became Hygeia Academy until 1816. It wasn’t until 1830 that William Skinker, Jr. deeded the building and 1.5 acres of land to Leeds Parish to use as an Episcopal church. During the Civil War, the North and the South both used the building as a hospital and used the grounds to bury their dead. In 1862 the Union converted the building to horse stables and eventually burned it. In 1867 the building was gutted and rebuilt to serve as a church again.
- The whole town was nearly burned to the ground in 1862. After Confederate snipers fired on Union Troops, Union officer Lieut. Kurd Baron von Veltheim of the 68th New York Volunteer Infantry ordered troops to burn the town. Only one house and the shell of a church was left, and the town was virtually unpopulated for the remainder of the war.
We encourage you to come visit this unique town and enjoy modern dining and weekend activities in the heart of history. See the Haymarket website for more information.
Are you looking to purchase a home in Haymarket? Check out www.ColganRealEstate.com