The Burke Historical Society’s Annual Burke History Day will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The event will take place in Old Town Burke at The Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, 9501 Old Burke Lake Road, Burke, VA 22015, across from the Burke Post Office. The theme for this year’s Burke History Day is transportation and will feature exhibits, children’s activities and presentations about various forms of transportation and the evolution of how people traveled to and from Burke for profit and pleasure. In addition, the Burke School will present a special exhibit in celebration of their 75th anniversary.
Whether it’s the rolling hogsheads filled with tobacco heading to the ports in Alexandria or the steam locomotives bringing residents of our nation’s Capital to Burke to the horse races, transportation in all its varied forms played a critical role in forming the Burke we know today. Going beyond the four-legged forms of transportation of Burke’s very early days, you’ll learn about the early days of flight in our area and the growth of air transport that necessitated the addition of a second airport for the region and how Washington had its site set on Burke. Early roads that at times were nearly impassable, gave way to the roadways now serving the entire Northern Virginia region. From the rich and continuous history of the railroad to the innovation of slugging, transportation in Burke is a compelling topic to explore.
The event is also a fitting occasion to observe the Burke School’s diamond jubilee. This building at the corner of Burke Lake Road and Lee Chapel Road opened in 1939 as the Burke Elementary School (replacing a smaller building that had served that purpose since 1912). Built as a WPA project and dedicated in 1940, the school has seen many changes over the years, including expansions, integration, and eventual conversion to today’s special education center. The Burke School will share this history with the public through historic photographs, memorabilia, and anecdotes from former students and teachers.
The event is free, open to the public, and is in conjunction with the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s Annual Open House.