St. Mary's Church, Fairfax Station
Fairfax Station Road and Route 123 (Ox Road), Fairfax Station, VA, USA
www.stmaryofsorrows.org/Perm… - 1-703-978-4141
St. Mary's Church, Fairfax Station Reviews
History and a Picturesque Church Oct 28, 2007
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Fairfax Station, is one of the most picturesque churches in Fairfax County, Virginia. But, it has seen its share of history. The church was built in 1858-1860 to serve Irish immigrant railway workers. Soon, the congregation found itself in the midst of the Civil War.
In September 1862, 3,000 wounded Union soldiers were transported to nearby Fairfax Station from the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). A field hospital was established on the church grounds. Clara Barton (a clerk in the Patent Office and already active as a battlefield nurse) organized civilians to help care for the wounded soldiers and nursed the injured herself. Influenced by her wartime experiences in caring for the wounded, Clara Barton would later found the American Red Cross.
The war wasn’t over for St. Mary’s. In August 1864, a detachment of New York troops was camped at the church. A Confederate guerrilla force under the legendary John Mosby suddenly appeared on Ox Road and a skirmish ensured. The Union troops were defeated and their commander killed.
Historical markers on the church grounds describe and interpret both Civil War events and Clara Barton's involvement.
The church is active today and is a very popular place for weddings. (I’ve attended a wedding at this church.)
A later version of the railway station at Fairfax Station is still nearby, though it has been moved away from the railway right of way and rebuilt. It contains a small museum and community room and hosts an annual model railway display.
Part of the Daytripping around Virginia travel blog
Part of the list Civil War Historic Sites
Part of the list Andy's Northern Virginia Attractions and Travel Tips
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!