Herndon, Virginia

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Herndon, Virginia
Town of Herndon
Central Herndon
Central Herndon
Official seal of Herndon, Virginia
Location within Fairfax county
Location within Fairfax county
Herndon, Virginia is located in Northern Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia is located in Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia is located in the United States
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861Coordinates: 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
 • TypeTown
 • MayorSheila A. Olem
 • Total4.29 sq mi (11.12 km2)
 • Land4.29 sq mi (11.10 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total23,292
 • Estimate 
 • Density5,738.51/sq mi (2,215.78/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)703, 571
FIPS code51-36648[3]
GNIS feature ID1495675[4]

Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States. The population was 23,292 at the 2010 census.[5] In 2020, the population was estimated to be 24,532, which makes it the largest of three incorporated towns in the county.[6]

The actual dimensions of the town of Herndon are fairly small. However, the United States Post Office treats nearby unincorporated communities in northwestern Fairfax County as part of a Greater Herndon region,[discuss] including Dranesville, Floris, Franklin Farm, McNair, and Oak Hill.[a]


The early settlement was named Herndon in 1858, after Commander William Lewis Herndon, an American naval explorer and author of Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. Commander Herndon captained the ill-fated steamer SS Central America, going down with his ship while helping to save over 150 of its passengers and crew. In the 1870s, many Northern soldiers and their families came to settle in the area, taking advantage of moderate climate and low land prices.[7]

Originally part of the rural surroundings of the Washington, D.C. area, the town of Herndon developed into a hub of dairy farming and vacationing for area residents, aided by its presence along the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad (later to become the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad).[7] When the railroad was converted into a hike-and-bike trail, Herndon capitalized on history and small-town feel (in a major metropolitan region) by converting its train station into a museum and visitors center and by relocating a Norfolk Southern Railway caboose to a nearby site and repainting it in W&OD livery.[8]

The caboose was originally acquired in 1989 by Herndon Historical Society member, George Moore, to whose memory the caboose was dedicated after his death in 2003.[9][8] Although the caboose itself never traveled through Herndon, it remains an iconic part of the downtown area that both locals and tourists visit daily.[8] The caboose and station offer a glimpse of the original downtown's historic charm, which residents are passionate about preserving.[8]

On January 14, 2004, the Town of Herndon commemorated its 125th anniversary.[10]

The town of Herndon was part of a nationally reported controversy involving illegal immigration beginning in 2005.[11] The controversy revolved around a day labor center called the Herndon Official Worker Center (HOW Center), operated by Reston Interfaith's Project Hope and Harmony under a grant from surrounding Fairfax County.[12] The HOW Center was created on March 23, 2006 in response to daily gatherings of Hispanic workers at a local 7-Eleven store.[11][13] The 2006 election for Mayor and Town Council revolved mainly around the issue, and resulted in unseating the pro-center Mayor and two councilmembers.[14] The center closed after less than two years of operation, in September 2007.

The Herndon Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Herndon is located at 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861 (38.971478, −77.388675).[15]

Boundaries of Herndon as of 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km2), all of it land. Just over two acres of land in the town are technically in Loudoun County.[16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 (est.)24,532[2]5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 23,292 people, 7,472 households, and 5,357 families residing in the town. The population density was 5,129.9 people per square mile (1,981.3/km2). There were 7,190 housing units at an average density of 1,703.3 per square mile (657.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50.7% White, 9.5% Black, 0.7% Native American, 17.9% Asian (8.5% Indian, 1.6% Vietnamese, 1.5% Chinese, 1.2% Filipino, 0.7% Korean, 0.1% Japanese, 4.2% Other Asian), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 16.0% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.6% of the population.

There were 6,962 households, of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 38.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $72,912, and the median income for a family was $79,140 (these figures had risen to $92,947 and $108,446 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[17]). Males had a median income of $44,197 versus $35,548 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,941. About 4.7% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


The Center for Innovative Technology[18] building, between Herndon and Dulles airport

Herndon is part of the Dulles Technology Corridor, which Fortune magazine named the "Netplex" because of the presence of the headquarters of such companies as AOL, XO Communications, Stride, Inc., Verizon Business (formerly MCI, formerly WorldCom, originally UUNET), and Network Solutions, which began as the InterNIC – the registry where every domain name was once administered.

Some of those companies are within Herndon. Others have Herndon mailing addresses, but are located in unincorporated Fairfax or Loudoun counties; for example, south of the Dulles Toll Road. These include Deltek and Stride.

Top employers[edit]

According to the Town's 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the principal employers in the Town are:[19]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fannie Mae 1,250-1,499
2 Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. 1,000-1,249
3 Amazon Web Services 750-999
4 Northwest Federal Credit Union 250-499
5 Peraton 250-499
6 Serco 250-499
7 Boeing Corporation 250-499
8 Karsun Solutions 250-499
9 Town of Herndon 100-249
10 Physician Transport Service 100-249

Prior year's CAFRS are also available.[20]


The town is organized as an incorporated town by the Commonwealth of Virginia,[21][22] and is governed by an elected Mayor and Town Council[23] who serve on a part-time basis. Update on Town of Herndon, Virginia

The current Mayor is Sheila A. Olem, who was first elected to Council in 2010 and served as Vice Mayor in 2018 until her election as Mayor in 2020. The Mayor chairs the Council and heads the executive branch of the town government. The Police Department, independent of the county police department, is headed by Chief Maggie DeBoard, and consists of 56 sworn officers along with the assistance of the Herndon Police Citizen Support Team. The Herndon Police Department achieved national recognition on November 8, 1986 by becoming the seventh police agency in Virginia and the 42nd police agency in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.


Herndon boasts a wide variety of diversions and celebrations year round. Among the community events are:

May Friday Night Live! (free concerts May–August), Farmers' Market (May–October), Towne Square Singers, Big Truck Days, Public Works Forest and Meadow Wildflower Walk
June Herndon Festival, held for four days
July Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks
September Labor Day Jazz Festival, Annual Motorcycle Poker Run (Fraternal Order of Police), Annual NatureFest Celebration, HerndonHalf Marathon, 12k, and 5k

Herndon contains the Herndon Depot Museum, the site of "Mosby's Raid on Herndon Station", which was a Civil War skirmish that took place on St. Patrick's Day, 1863. Also within the town is The Herndon Centennial Golf Course, the Herndon ArtSpace (a community art gallery), community center with basketball and racquetball courts and multiple baseball fields, and an aquatic center. Adjacent to the community center is Bready Park, with indoor tennis courts. Additionally, every residence within the town borders is within a mile or less of a public park. Herndon is home to a professional live theatre, NextStop Theatre, which produces a variety of plays, musicals, concerts, and educational theatre programming each season.[24]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Herndon is within the Fairfax County Public Schools district.

Public schools serving students within the Herndon town limits are:[25][26][27]

Private school options include: Temple Baptist, St Joseph's Elementary and several Montessori schools.

Private schools south of Herndon, in nearby Floris:[28]

Public libraries[edit]

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Herndon Fortnightly Library in Herndon.[31]


SR 228 Truck in Herndon

The primary highway serving Herndon is Virginia State Route 228 and its truck route. SR 228 heads directly through the center of town via Elden Street, Monroe Street, Park Avenue and Dranesville Road. SR 228 Truck diverges from Elden Street southwest of downtown on Herndon Parkway, following that road northwestward, northward and northeastward around central Herndon, finally reaching Dranesville Road north of downtown. At the south end of town, SR 228 meets Virginia State Route 267, a high speed, high-capacity toll road which provides access to Washington, D.C. (via Interstate 66) and Washington Dulles International Airport. In 2022, the Silver Line’s extension opened, providing service at Herndon station.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Herndon has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[32]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Its sister city is Runnymede, Surrey, England, United Kingdom.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The information below pertains generally only to the town of Herndon itself. See the associated articles for locations outside the town limits.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Virginia by Place – GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010". US Census Bureau. April 1, 2010. Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "Herndon, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Herndon History". Town of Herndon, Virginia. January 18, 2006. Archived from the original on September 26, 2006. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
  8. ^ a b c d Munro, Charles V. (October 19, 2005). "A history of Herndon through the Washington & Old Dominion Trail". Herndon Connection. Alexandria, Virginia: Connectionnewspapers.com. Retrieved December 27, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "The Herndon Historical Society". Herndon Historical Society. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  10. ^ "HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 327". Virginia Legislative Assembly. January 29, 2004.
  11. ^ a b Brush, Silla (October 24, 2005). "Local Labor Pains: America's immigration debate lands on Main Street". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 10, 2008.
  12. ^ Project Hope and Harmony (archived 2006-09-07; 2006-12-29; 2007-04-15; 2007-06-11) Archived January 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Gilbert, Daniel (15 December 2005). "Day laborer center opens in Herndon". Potomac News. Media General.
  14. ^ "'Minutemen' Open New Front in Fight Against Illegal Immigration: Citizen Group Targets Illegal Laborers Where They Work". ABC News. November 2, 2005. Retrieved February 10, 2008.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  16. ^ "'Sliver' of Herndon Now in Loudoun County". Herndon Patch. September 2, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  17. ^ "Herndon town, Virginia – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Archived from the original on 2020-02-11. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  18. ^ "About the CIT Complex | Center for Innovative Technology". Archived from the original on 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  19. ^ "Town of Herndon ACFR". Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  20. ^ "Finance | Town of Herndon, VA".
  21. ^ "Code of Ordinances – Town of Herndon, Virginia; Charter, Chapter 2, Powers". Town of Herndon. Retrieved October 7, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Code of Virginia, Title 15.2 – Counties, Cities and Towns, Chapter 11 – Powers of Cities and Towns". Commonwealth of Virginia. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
  23. ^ "Code of Ordinances – Town of Herndon, Virginia; Charter, Chapter 3, Mayor and Council". Town of Herndon. Retrieved October 7, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Home". nextstoptheatre.org.
  25. ^ "Schools and Centers Directory". Fairfax County Public Schools. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  26. ^ "About Herndon >> Herndon Public Schools". Town of Herndon. January 18, 2006. Archived from the original on September 26, 2006. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  27. ^ "Coates Elementary School". Fairfax County Public Schools. June 22, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  28. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Floris CDP, VA" (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 25, 2016.
  29. ^ Overview." King Abdullah Academy. Retrieved on July 25, 2016. "2949 Education Drive, Off: 13818 McLearen Road, Herndon, VA 20171"
  30. ^ "Contact Us." Nysmith School. Retrieved on July 25, 2016. "13625 EDS Drive Herndon, VA 20171"
  31. ^ "Library Branches." Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  32. ^ Climate Summary for Herndon, Virginia
  33. ^ "Hugh R. "Rod" Beaton Jr". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. July 24, 2011. p. 32.icon of an open green padlock
  34. ^ "SMITH, Christopher Henry - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  35. ^ "Runnymede's Town Twinning Association". Runnymede Borough Council. Archived from the original on February 12, 2006. Retrieved October 4, 2006.

External links[edit]