How did Centreville, VA get its name?


That’s the fundamental difference. In Virginia, the political ramifications are important, because of the method of tax revenue allocation.

Cities are legally allowed to annex areas adjacent to their borders if such areas are “unincorporated” and contiguous with the current area of the city. This process takes place in the state legislature, and can be carried out over the objections of the county population.

Fairfax County is a densely populated area, and a very wealthy one, as well. It has a long history of poor relationships with the state government on matters it feels are better left to local consideration. In the post war period of the last century a lot of hot political battles were fought as Alexandria began annexing areas of Fairfax county that became very lucrative tax sources during the growth of the federal government.

The counties of Chesapeake, and Newport News in southern Virginia were annexed entirely by the towns of those names, and became incorporated cities, to prevent the same sort of infighting. Several attempts have been made in Fairfax County to have the town of Clifton annex the entire county, but those have been blocked in the General assembly because of the very powerful political entity that action would create. (Having Fairfax City do the annexation is not palatable to county government, because that city has a fairly large, and very politically adept sitting government which would be far more difficult to absorb than the three member government of the town of Clifton.)

Centreville doesn’t seem to be much in the center of anything, nowadays, but it has been there for a long time, and most of what it served as a center for was farm land. The roads intersecting in Centreville are among the oldest in the United States. Although Braddock Road is now cut into pieces by Interstate 95, and 66 it used to run from the docks in Alexandria, all the way across the Blue ridge. Lee Highway, which name was applied to an existing roadway when it was upgraded, was also a colonial period road. Chantilly road, and Manassas Road also enter the same area, near that intersection, also coming from very old communities, and also providing road links to previously important rail stations in Manassas, Herndon, and Fairfax Station. The Town of Fairfax itself was pretty much of a backwater, until the twentieth century, other than the presence of the Courthouse, and Jail. The original courthouse in fact was not in Fairfax, but was in what is now Vienna, not far from Tyson’s Corner. (The intersection, not the Shopping Center.)

Many of the intersections in this part of Virginia were previously referred to as if they were towns. In addition to Tyson’s Corner, we had Butt’s Corner, Money’s Corner, Gilbert’s Corner, Pender, and several others. Most of them have simply disappeared, although Pender has a Veterinary Clinic named after it.

Tris ( A Fairfax County native. )

“You could park a car in the shadow of his ass.” ~ Geena Davis, in Thelma and Louise ~