Jan 30, 2018
Know a Neighborhood: Warrenton, Virginia
Around this time last spring, CroppMetcalfe acquired TLC Services, a home services company that had been based in Warrenton, Virginia. We were able to keep the TLC Service staff on board and continue the great legacy that Tom Noland and his team started in Fauquier County back in 2000.
Read more: CroppMetcalfe Acquires TLC Services in Warrenton, VA
Warrenton, we’ve learned, is an interesting place. There’s an amazing small-town feel and a lot of kind, friendly people. Northern Virginia can be a busy, hectic place, and every time we make the turn off Alexandria Pike onto Main Street, we feel a little calmer. If you’ve never been to Warrenton, you should check it out.
Let’s learn a little more about what makes this town great.
The history of Warrenton
Warrenton — named after General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero — was officially incorporated in 1810.
Throughout the Civil War, Warrenton was often occupied by Federal troops, and many of the town’s churches and schools were used as hospitals during battles. After the war, Colonel John S. Mosby, known as the "Gray Ghost," made Warrenton his home. A monument to Mosby stands beside the Old Courthouse to this day.
Beside the Old Courthouse is the Old Jail, built in 1808, which now serves as the Fauquier History Museum. It is one of only a few preserved jails in Virginia.
Warrenton was also a popular vacation destination throughout the 19th century. Prominent guests from Washington, D.C. and Richmond would visit the Warren Green Hotel and the Fauquier White Sulphur Springs a few miles west of town.
Fans of the Netflix Series The Crown may be shocked to know that Wallis Simpson — the mistress, then wife, of Britain’s infamous King Edward VIII — spent a significant amount of time living in the Warren Green Hotel during her “divorce year” in the 1920s. She was no stranger to rumors and innuendo in those days, either.
Less scandalous is the legacy of America’s fourth Supreme Court Justice, who also has roots in Warrenton. In 1959, a statue of John Marshall was erected during Fauquier County's Bicentennial Celebration. Justice Marshall began his law practice in Warrenton, as did many other prominent lawyers of the time.
What Warrenton is like today
Today, Warrenton and surrounding neighborhoods like New Baltimore have become a fairly popular area of Northern Virginia. The population of Warrenton has nearly doubled since 1990. Why? Authenticity seems to play a role — as Will Farley, a local real estate agent, told The Washington Post in 2016, Warrenton is “...a real community with a real downtown; not just the crossroads of two streets where they put a shopping center.”
“I’ve been here all my life, within these three blocks,” says Teresa Bowles, the owner of Designs by Teresa, a flower shop on the corner of Main Street. “I just feel like I’m home. I was born right across the street and I’ve worked in Warrenton all of my life since I was 18. My aunt had two flower shops and I traveled back and forth between the two of them for 16 years. When she passed, I opened my own. I was over on Culpeper Street for 11 years before I bought this building. I put in addition so I actually live upstairs, right here on Main Street — the commute isn’t bad. [Working here] is very nice; you feel like you’re home.”
As a family-owned and operated business ourselves, we were so grateful to get the opportunity to learn more about the Warrenton business community from Teresa.
“All the merchants are friends, even competitors are all friends. We have a good life here. I’d like to see more small businesses come to town. We were just talking the other day that when I was younger we used to have two drug stores here on Main Street, and two hardware stores and everything else, so we kind of miss those things.”
While not immune to the rapid expansion of strip malls and big-box stores that have disrupted small-town life in many rural areas, Warrenton still maintains its charm and remains dedicated to historical preservation. For many residents, this quiet and calm is what makes the town feel like home.
“I used to live in Loudon County for 26 years. I did a lot there — I went from busy, busy, crazy to quiet. But I enjoy it a lot,” says Mary Randolph, a volunteer at the Fauquier History Museum. “I started out volunteering here first, and then the school up the street, Warrenton Middle School, decided to hire a crossing guard. I like it there a lot, it’s very different. Every day, it’s ‘Good morning!’ and ‘How are you today?’ and ‘Thank you for crossing me.’ It’s like a different world here.”
“It’s definitely got a country vibe, Fauquier County in general. You do feel you’re not in a city,” adds Fauquier County resident Sally Poe. “When you’re on 66 and driving out — for me every time I’m driving towards home, the closer I get to home and away from the city it’s like ‘ahhhh’ I can breathe again. It’s really more rural here. There’s a lot of people born and raised here and they stay here, they feel connected.”
As the retail and business center of Fauquier County, Warrenton attracts a lot of attention from tourists, particularly in the spring and summer months when the wineries are open for the season. Virginia.org notes that “...the quaintness, tradition and charm of bygone eras are apparent along Old Town Warrenton streets lined with historic houses and brick sidewalks. Townsfolk gather on the steps of the post office or at a coffee shop to pass the time of day, perhaps pausing to listen as the old courthouse clock strikes the hour,” and “Old Town Warrenton was recently named one of the Prettiest Painted Places in America by the Paint Quality Institute.” Definitely worth a relaxing stroll after a long work week.
CroppMetcalfe has got you covered, Warrenton
Whether you live in Warrenton, New Baltimore, or any Northern Virginia community, you're going to need home services like plumbing, electrical, pest control or HVAC repair. Make sure you connect with CroppMetcalfe — our five-star technicians are trained experts who can solve any of your home-related issues. For the best in Warrenton home services, call us at 1-877-740-6657 or contact us online today.