Claude Moore farm area History

Early History

The Claude Moore farm area at Turkey Run Park is located in the historically rich area of Fairfax County. American Indians had inhabited the area for thousands of years before English settlers appeared in the early 17th century. Captain John Smith explored and mapped the area in 1608. By 1742, with hundreds of Anglo and African American people living in the area, Fairfax County was officially established by the colony of Virginia. The county played a significant role in the founding of the United States of America and was the home of important figures including George Washington and George Mason. During the American Civil War, Fairfax County was situated between the Union defenses of Washington, DC, and Confederate territory.

Fairfax County remained a mostly rural area outside of the nation’s capital until after World War II, when growth of the federal government made the county increasingly suburban. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chose an area near Turkey Run Park for their headquarters in the 1950s, which spurred an extension of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Spout Run to Turkey Run Park in the 1960s.

Educational program at the Claude Moore farm area of Turkey Run Park

Creating the Park

On August 16, 1971, the Federal Highway Administration transferred 330 acres of Federal land near Turkey Run in Langley, Virginia, to the National Park Service (NPS) and the CIA. The NPS took over management of approximately 230 of these acres.

The original Turkey Run Farm was designed and built as an educational opportunity to simulate how poor, 18th-century farmers lived and worked. However, it was a representation only, and there is no historical evidence that this area was a Colonial farm.

The NPS operated the farm until 1981, until budget considerations caused the NPS to plan to close it. Supporters rallied and formed the Friends of Turkey Run, which raised money and offered programs under a 25-year cooperative agreement. Later renamed the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in honor of a local benefactor, the Friends of The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run, Inc. operated a living history farm on the site through 2018.


Last updated: September 17, 2019

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McLean, VA 22101


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