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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

076-0299 Prince William Forest Park Historic District

Prince William Forest Park Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

NRHP Listing Date 04/03/2012

NPS property number 12000179

Prince William Forest Park Historic District, consisting of over 10,000 acres in Prince William County, was designated in 1935—during the Great Depression and the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt—as the Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA). The first Civilian Conservation Corps company constructed and set up camp in the park. As a national model for Roosevelt’s “New Deal” RDA program, Chopawamsic was also the first RDA to create camps specifically for African Americans during the era of segregation. Today the park has the largest collection of CCC-built structures in the National Park system. Prince William Forest Park is also nationally significant as the site where the Office of Strategic Service, the precursor to the CIA, began training and developing in 1942 the first U.S. intelligence agency. Prior to its history with the federal government, the park district was the location of the Prince William County Poorhouse, established in 1794, and the Cabin Branch Pyrite mine, which began operation in 1889. Today’s park district also contains important prehistoric archaeological resources dating back to circa 3800 BC, including large Native American camp sites and quarries, and historic colonial-era archaeological resources as well. Both Great Falls Park and Prince William Forest Park are administered by the National Park Service.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018