Leesburg is the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia. It was built in 1740, and it is occupied by some of Virginia’s most famous families, being named for Thomas Lee, ancestor of Robert E. Lee. In the War of 1812, it became the temporary seat of the United States government, and in the Civil War, it changed hands several times.
Early in the American Civil War Leesburg was the site of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, a small but significant Confederate victory. The battlefield is marked by one of America's smallest national cemeteries. The town frequently changed hands over the course of the war as both armies traversed the area during the Maryland and Gettysburg campaigns. The Battle of Mile Hill was fought just north of the town prior to its occupation by Robert E. Lee in September 1862. Leesburg also served as a base of operations for Col. John S. Mosby and his partisan Raiders, for whom the Loudoun County High School mascot is named (the Raiders). Some people consider the local courthouse among the few courthouses in Virginia not burned during the Civil War (1861–1865); though it was not built until 1894.
In the 20th century, Leesburg was the home of World War II General George C. Marshall, architect of the famous Marshall Plan that helped re-build Europe after the war, and radio personality Arthur Godfrey, who donated land for the town's first airport.
Today Leesburg continues to serve as the center of government and commerce for Loudoun County. The town's Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and cited as one of the best preserved and most picturesque downtowns in Virginia. Downtown merchants have recently labeled themselves "Loudoun's (or, Loudoun County's, depending on the audience) Original Town Center," largely in response to the growing number of mixed-use shopping in proximity. Leesburg has served as the Loudoun county seat continuously since the county's formation in 1757.
About the Neighborhood
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Data last updated: May 19, 2022 10:07:am.