Herndon, Virginia
Herndon is a town in Fairfax County
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

, Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The population was 21,655 at the 2000 census, which makes it the largest of three towns in the county.


Herndon was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon
William Lewis Herndon
Commander William Lewis Herndon was one of the United States Navy's outstanding explorers and seamen. He chose to go down with his ship while other lives were still aboard and while in command of the steamer Central Americas 44th trip, which sank in a three day and night hurricane off Cape...

, American naval explorer and author of Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. Commander Herndon captained the ill-fated steamer SS Central America
SS Central America
SS Central America, sometimes called the Ship of Gold, was a 280-foot sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s. She was originally named the SS George Law, after Mr. George Law of New York...

, going down with his ship while helping to save over 150 of its passengers and crew. The settlement was named Herndon in 1858. In the 1870s, many Northern soldiers and their families came to settle in the area, taking advantage of moderate climate and low land prices. Herndon also offered a group of friendly and local native Americans who helped the town to prosper via trade and instruction.

Originally part of the rural surroundings of the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 area, the town of Herndon developed into a hub of dairy farming
Dairy farming
Dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or an animal husbandry, enterprise, for long-term production of milk, usually from dairy cows but also from goats and sheep, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy factory for processing and eventual retail sale.Most dairy farms...

 and vacationing for area residents, aided by its presence along the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad (later to become the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad
Washington and Old Dominion Railroad
The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad was an intrastate short-line railroad located in Northern Virginia. Its oldest line extended from Alexandria on the Potomac River northwest to Bluemont at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Snickers Gap, not far from the boundary line between...

). When the railroad was converted into a hike-and-bike trail
Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park
The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park is a popular and unusually-shaped regional park in Northern Virginia. The park's primary feature is the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail , an asphalt-surfaced paved rail trail that runs through densely populated urban and suburban...

, Herndon capitalized on history and small-town feel (in a major metropolitan region) by converting its train station into a museum and visitors center
Herndon Depot Museum
The Herndon Depot Museum, also known as the Herndon Historical Society Museum, is located in the town of Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia. Built in 1857 for the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad, the depot later served the Richmond and Danville Railroad, the Southern Railway and the...

 by relocating a Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

 caboose to a nearby site and repainting it in W&OD livery.

Although the caboose does not resemble anything that ever traveled through Herndon, it remains an iconic part of the downtown area that both locals and tourists visit daily. The caboose and station offer a taste of the original town that has since faded into the suburban countryside.

On January 14, 2004, the Town of Herndon commemorated its 125th anniversary.

The town of Herndon was part of a nationally reported controversy involving illegal immigration
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 beginning in 2005. The controversy revolved around a day labor
Day labor
Day labor is work done where the worker is hired and paid one day at a time, with no promise that more work will be available in the future. It is a form of contingent work.-Types:Day laborers find work through three common routes....

 center called the Herndon Official Worker Center (HOW Center), constructed by the town and operated by Reston Interfaith's Project Hope and Harmony under a grant from surrounding Fairfax County
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

. The HOW Center was created in response to daily gatherings of Hispanic workers at a local 7-Eleven
7-Eleven is part of an international chain of convenience stores, operating under Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd, which in turn is owned by Seven & I Holdings Co...

 store and resulting allegations of gang activity, public drunkenness, and public urination.
What had started as a local issue became national news when the Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project Inc.
The Minuteman Project is an activist organization started in April 2005 by a group of private individuals in the United States to monitor the United States – Mexico border's flow of illegal immigrants. Co-founded by Jim Gilchrist, the name derives from the Minutemen, militiamen who fought in the...

 anti-illegal immigration group joined the local groups opposing the day laborers and watchdog group Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch is an organization that describes itself as "a conservative, non-partisan American educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law." According to its mission statement, Judicial Watch "advocates high standards of...

 sued the town and county to block the center's construction. The HOW Center opened in December 2005, on the site of the former Herndon Police headquarters. The 2006 election for Mayor and Town Council revolved mainly around the issue, and resulted in unseating the pro-center Mayor and two councilmembers. The center closed after less than two years of operation, in September 2007. The Town Council had demanded that any operator of the day-labor center check the laborers' identification, and a subsequent court decision required the town to open the center to all workers. The Town Council chose instead to close the center entirely.


Herndon is located at 38°58′17"N 77°23′19"W (38.971478, -77.388675).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2010, there were 23,292 people, 7,472 households, and 5,357 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 5,129.9 people per square mile (1,981.3/km²). There were 7,190 housing units at an average density of 1,703.3 per square mile (657.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 50.7% White, 9.5% Black, 0.7% Native American, 17.9% Asian (8.5% Indian, 1.6% Vietnamese, 1.5% Chinese, 1.2% Filipino, 0.7% Korean, 0.1% Japanese, 4.2% Other Asian), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 16.0% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.6% of the population.

There were 6,962 households out of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 38.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 111.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $72,912, and the median income for a family was $79,140 (these figures had risen to $92,947 and $108,446 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $44,197 versus $35,548 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the town was $26,941. About 4.7% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


Herndon is part of the Dulles Technology Corridor
Dulles Technology Corridor
Located in Northern Virginia near Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Technology Corridor, dubbed the "Netplex" in 1993 by Fortune magazine, contains the "vital electronic pathways that carry more than half of all traffic on the Internet...

, which Fortune magazine named the "Netplex" because of the presence of the headquarters of such companies as AOL
AOL Inc. is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is headquartered at 770 Broadway in New York. Founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, it has franchised its services to companies in several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services...

, XO Communications
XO Communications
XO Communications is a telecommunications company owned by XO Holdings, Inc...

, Verizon Business
Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. is a global broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average...

 (formerly MCI, formerly WorldCom, originally UUNET), and Network Solutions
Network Solutions
Network Solutions, LLC is a technology company founded in 1979. The domain name registration business has become the most important division of the company. As of January 2009, Network Solutions managed more than 6.6 million domain names.-History:...

, which began as the INTERNIC — the registry where every domain name
Domain name
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System ....

 was once administered.

Some of those companies are within Herndon. For example, Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 North America.

Others have Herndon mailing addresses, but are located in unincorporated Fairfax or Loudoun counties, e.g., south of the Dulles Toll Road. These include Deltek
Deltek, Inc. is a software company that specializes in accounting and related software programs to be used by government contractors and similar businesses.-History:The company was founded as Deltek Systems, Inc...

 and K12.

Top employers

According to the Town's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
ITT Corporation
ITT Corporation is a global diversified manufacturing company based in the United States. ITT participates in global markets including water and fluids management, defense and security, and motion and flow control...

2 Town of Herndon 249-499
3 REI Systems 100-250
4 Clearwire
Clearwire Corporation is a wireless internet service provider serving markets in the United States, Belgium, and Spain...

5 DRS Technologies
DRS Technologies
DRS Technologies, Inc. is a US-based defense contractor. Previously traded on the NYSE, the company was purchased by the Italian firm Finmeccanica in October 2008.-History:...

6 Lafarge
Lafarge is a French industrial company specialising in four major products: cement, construction aggregates, concrete and gypsum wallboard. In 2010 the company was the world's second-largest cement manufacturer by mass shipped behind Holcim.-History:...

7 MTS Transportation 100-250
8 Guident 100-250


The town is organized as an incorporated town by the Commonwealth of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

and is governed by an elected Mayor and Town Council
who serve on a part-time basis. The current Mayor is Stephen J. DeBenedittis, first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and 2010. The Mayor chairs the Council and heads the executive branch of the town government. On May 4, 2010 Herndon elected its first ever female majority Council when Connie Hutchinson, Lisa Merkel, Sheila Olem and Grace Wolf were elected along with Jasbinder Singh and Bill Tirrell, to serve for the 2010 - 2012 term. The Mayor and Council are supported by a full-time professional staff headed by the Town Manager (Art Anselene as of 2007). The Police Department, independent of the county police department, is headed by Colonel Toussaint E. Summers, Jr. and consists of 70 sworn officers along with the assistance of the Herndon Police Citizen Support Team. The Herndon Police Department achieved national recognition on November 8, 1986 by becoming the 7th police agency in Virginia and the 42nd police agency in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., is a credentialing authority , based in the United States, whose primary mission is to accredited public safety agencies, namely law enforcement agencies, training academies, communications centers, and campus public safety...



Herndon boasts a wide variety of diversions and celebrations year round. Among the community events are:
April Taste of the Town (Herndon Council for the Arts)
May Friday Night Live! (free concerts May–August), Farmers' market (May–October), Towne Square Singers, Big Truck Days, Public Works Forest and Meadow Wildflower Walk
June Herndon Festival, held for four days
July Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks
September Labor Day Jazz Festival, Annual Motorcycle Poker Run (Fraternal Order of Police), Annual NatureFest Celebration

Herndon contains the Herndon Depot Museum, the site of "Mosby's Raid on Herndon Station", which was a Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 skirmish that took place on St. Patrick's Day, 1863. Also within the town is a golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

, community art gallery, community center with basketball and racquetball courts, and an aquatic center. Adjacent to the community center is Bready Park, with indoor tennis courts. Additionally, every residence within the town borders is within a mile or less of a public park.

Nearby attractions include the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 's annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States....

 of the National Air and Space Museum (which houses the Enola Gay
Enola Gay
Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of the pilot, then-Colonel Paul Tibbets. On August 6, 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war...

 B-29 Superfortress, a Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

 supersonic passenger airplane, an SR-71A Blackbird plane and the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

 Enterprise), Frying Pan Park
Frying Pan Park
Frying Pan Park is a park located in Fairfax County, Virginia. It has a variety of attractions of both a historic and recreational nature.The park contains the Frying Pan Spring Meeting House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dating from the 18th century, and the Old Floris...

, Sully Plantation, Reston Town Center
Reston Town Center
The Reston Town Center is a group of offices, stores, and restaurants in Reston, Virginia.-Layout:The Reston Town Center is designed with open avenues and with wide sidewalks. It is built around Fountain Square, a medium-sized open area between the surrounding shops. The main landmark in Fountain...

, Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon (plantation)
Mount Vernon, located near Alexandria, Virginia, was the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The mansion is built of wood in neoclassical Georgian architectural style, and the estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River.Mount Vernon was designated...

, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, known locally in the Washington, D.C. area as simply Wolf Trap, is a performing arts center located on 130 acres of national park land in Wolf Trap, Virginia...

, Colvin Run Mill
Colvin Run Mill
Colvin Run Mill is in Great Falls, Virginia. Built c. 1811, Colvin Run Mill is the solesurviving operational 19th-century water-powered mill in the Washington, D.C...

, Aldie Mill, Oatlands Plantation
Oatlands Plantation
Oatlands Plantation is an estate located in Leesburg, Virginia. Oatlands is operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark...

, Manassas National Battlefield Park
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas, in Prince William County, Virginia preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Bull Run which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862...

 and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail
Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park
The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park is a popular and unusually-shaped regional park in Northern Virginia. The park's primary feature is the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail , an asphalt-surfaced paved rail trail that runs through densely populated urban and suburban...

 (which runs through the town).

Primary and secondary schools

Herndon is within the Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Public Schools
The Fairfax County Public Schools system is a branch of the Fairfax County government which administers public schools in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax...


Public schools serving students within the Herndon town limits are::
  • Aldrin Elementary School
  • Clearview Elementary School
  • Coates Elementary School
  • Dranesville Elementary School
  • Herndon Elementary School
  • Hutchison Elementary School
  • McNair Elementary School
  • Herndon Middle School
  • Herndon High School
    Herndon High School
    Herndon High School is a fully accredited four year public high school in Herndon, Virginia, United States. Herndon serves grades 9-12 and is a part of the Fairfax County Public Schools system. Herndon High School serves the town of Herndon and the northern part of the unincorporated community...

Public libraries

Fairfax County Public Library
Fairfax County Public Library
The Fairfax County Public Library is a public library system headquartered in Suite 324 in the Fairfax County Government Center at 12000 Government Center Parkway in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States....

 operates the Herndon Fortnightly Library in Herndon.

Famous residents

  • Ferenc Nagy
    Ferenc Nagy
    Ferenc Nagy was a Hungarian politician of the Smallholders Party. He was a Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary from 29 November 1945 to 5 February 1946 and a member of the High National Council from 7 December 1945 to 2 February 1946.Later he served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 4...

    , former Prime Minister of Hungary
  • Scottie Reynolds
    Scottie Reynolds
    Scottie Reynolds is an American professional basketball player who will play for the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters of the Philippine Basketball Association. The Huntsville, Alabama native played for Villanova University in the Big East Conference of the NCAA...

    , former Villanova Wildcats basketball player
  • Wesley L. Fox
    Wesley L. Fox
    Wesley Lee Fox is a decorated United States Military veteran and retired Colonel in the Marine Corps. Fox earned the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War...

    , USMC Colonel Retired, Medal of Honor recipient, and former Deputy Commandant Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets

Sister cities

Its sister city is Runnymede, England, United Kingdom
Runnymede (borough)
Runnymede is a local government district with borough status in the English county of Surrey. It is a very prosperous part of the London commuter belt, with some of the most expensive housing in the United Kingdom outside of central London, such as the Wentworth Estate.Runnymede is entirely...


External links

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