By Mitch Sutterfield
The “COVID Dormancy” is over: Historic Fairfax City, Inc. (HFCI), has revived the Old Town Tours. From May to October, HFCI ran one-hour monthly excursions around our city’s historic core, including stops at the Old Courthouse, Antonia Ford House, and Old Town Hall. We’ll follow the same schedule in 2024 starting in May. Tour groups included long-time residents, visiting scholars, GMU students, community volunteers, and out-of-towners, some with knowledge and anecdotes that rivaled that of the guides. The Old Town Tours support HFCI’s mission to promote the appreciation of the history and artifacts of the City of Fairfax.
On the tour, groups explored historic buildings that each have a story to tell: of fortunes made, romance pursued, violent deaths suffered, and the steady beat of progress from muddy crossroad to thriving city. At the heart of it all was the 1799 Courthouse and the people therein who built, settled, and ruled Fairfax City (formerly the town of Providence/Fairfax Courthouse).
“This is a town of lawyers,” said our first Mayor, John C. Wood. “We all know each other, and we run this town.”
Many thanks to all who contributed to this celebration of our community: HFCI, in particular Board members Al Leightley, Catherine P. Foster, Susan Gray, Cami St. Germain, Matt West, and Stephen Hoyle, along with tour guides Bob Reinsel and Tom Scibilia.