Midgetville - Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia

The "Midgetville" in Vienna, Virginia, visible from the W&OD Trail, was a collection of six small cottages that were torn down in 2008. In 1882 the site was a small summertime resort that people visited when they wanted to escape the stressful lifestyle of Washington, D.C. In 1892 the area was purchased by Alexander Wedderburn. In 1901 the hotel burned to the ground, but a normal-sized two-story building was built around the same time at the corner of the property. In 1930, one of Alexander Wedderburn's sons, George, built six small Spanish-style cottages. A courtyard in the middle of the property was sometimes used as a fairground or a farmers' market. The Wedderburns briefly established the Wedderburn Music School on the site. The cottages were rented out but the place eventually became overgrown with ivy and trees. In 2002 the family signed a deal with contractors to tear the place down and develop the property. Though the proposal created some controversy, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the project. The cottages were all destroyed and the trees were removed in early 2008 to make way for "Wedderburn Estates."
The local legend is bolstered by two coincidences. Nearby Bailey's Crossroads, named for the Bailey family of Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was used as a place to winter circus animals in the mid-1800s. Also, nearby Tysons Corner is the home of one of the Barnum & Bailey Circus headquarters. Those two facts are often used to substantiate the legend that Midgetville was a retirement village for circus midgets. The legend is sometimes told with the midgets being xenophobic and throwing rocks at curious visitors to chase them away.

Read more about this topic:  Midgetville

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