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Regional History



Area of Study

Historical Communities


Pleasant Valley

Map of Pleasant Valley's approximate location superimposed on Dulles Airport's current borders.

Pleasant Valley was officially established in 1818 when Elijah Hutchison opened its post office and general store along the Little River Turnpike near Cub Run stream. Situated to the west of Chantilly, the village's land, which spanned both Loudoun and Fairfax counties, originated from a 1,119-acre tract granted to Andrew Hutchison in 1726 and a 2,248-acre tract granted to John Hough in 1765. Two plantation estates were built on Hutchison land in the mid-1700s south of where the village would be established a century later.[1][2]

The Pleasant Valley area was witness to much military activity, including skirmishes involving Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby and his rangers. Jim Sinclair, a veteran of Mosby's rangers, settled in Pleasant Valley following the war, where he would open a blacksmith shop in the 1890s.[3]

The village experienced much growth in the progressive era. In 1891, Pleasant Valley's first school was opened. Four years later, a Methodist congregation constructed a small frame church. Farther west, in Loudoun County, Jim Buck Poland opened a store and Ashby Smith opened a steam mill.[4]

The original Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church building today.

Rural Free Delivery carriers took over postal duties from the post office in 1916. In 1918, a larger school was built, which served the community until 1939, when students were bussed to schools in nearby Arcola and Floris. By the Great Depression, commercial establishments had declined, leaving the Methodist church as a place of communion. Residential developments increased in the 1950s, when a number of single-family homes were built along Little River Turnpike (which had gained the name "Route 50" in the 20th century) and the Pleasant Valley subdivision was constructed along Vance Rd in Loudoun County.[5]

In 1958, a number of northern Pleasant Valley properties were condemned and acquired by the CAA for the construction of Dulles Airport, including over half of the single-family homes that made up the recently-built Pleasant Valley subdivision along Vance Rd. Many of these homes were relocated elsewhere, while edifices on most of the farms acquired were simply demolished.

Today, all that remains of Pleasant Valley are a number of early-20th century homes along both sides of Route 50, the homes remaining of the Pleasant Valley subdivision, and the renovated and expanded Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church. Much of the rapidly-growing planned suburban community of South Riding has been constructed on lands formerly of Pleasant Valley farms.


  1. Original Land Grants & Current Roads. Map. Leesburg, VA: Loudoun County Office of Mapping & Geographic Information, 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/omagi/3726236799/in/set-72157619283256388/. (accessed 01-20-2011).
  2. Eugene Scheel, Loudoun Discovered, Communities, Corners & Crossroads: Volume 1, Eastern Loudoun: "Goin' Down the Country" (Leesburg, VA: The Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, 2002), 89-92.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.