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, built as part of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) act of 1933. 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 in Fairfax County and Prince William Forest Park are administered by the National Park Service.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia