Monday, May 9, 2011

Book on McLean History, Including Civil War

Last month when speaking to the McLean Historical Society, I learned about the release of a new book on McLean's history.  As you can imagine, McLean doesn't get the same attention when it comes to history as some other towns around Northern Virginia, so I was particularly excited to hear this news.  The book, Images of America: McLean was written by Carole Herrick, a local historian and member of the Fairfax County History Commission.  When out running errands recently, I picked up a copy at a local bookstore. 

At close to 130 pages, Images of America: McLean contains a virtual treasure trove of pictures related to the history of McLean.  The book spans colonial times to the present.  The McLean area is rich in Civil War history, and the book has an entire chapter dedicated to the period.  Herrick has uncovered some really fascinating and hard-to-find images of Camp Griffin, Chain Bridge, Salona, Ft. Marcy, and other sites that I have blogged about over the past year.  And for those interested in other eras, the book does not disappoint.  A reader will find a wealth of material on McLean's connection to British settlement, the War of 1812, and the 20th century growth of the D.C. suburbs.  The only downside is the lack of maps or addresses to indicate the location of the historical sites. From my experience, other Images of America books suffer from this shortcoming.  However, with a copy of the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites, and a modern street map, a reader can locate most sites.  Overall, I would recommend Images of America: McLean to history enthusiasts who are looking for a little more on a community that played an interesting, but often little-known part in our nation's past.

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