Historic Scavenger Hunt

Historic Scavenger Hunt header

Falls Church Historic Scavenger Hunt!

In lieu of our normal July Fourth activities due to, well, everything, the City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department has organized a Historic Scavenger Hunt around parks and landmarks throughout The Little City.

Between June 19, 2020 and July 4, 2020, use the clues provided to identify each park or historic landmark. Once you've figure out the clues, then it's time to visit the parks and landmarks! At each stop, you'll find a kiosk or sign with a corresponding letter. Unscramble the letters from the nine clues and you'll crack the code word and win a Historic Scavenger Hunt t-shirt!

You can download this form to track the code word or if you don't have a printer you can make your own form at home. Send us your completed form - including the letters and unscrambled code word - along with your contact information and t-shirt sizes by email to events@fallschurchva.gov by Sunday, July 5, 2020 to be eligible to win a t-shirt. You can either send us a picture or scan of the form. If you don't have access to a smart phone or scanner, email us anyway and we'll figure something out.

​Historic Scavenger Hunt Clues

(you can also download these in PDF form here)

  1. CLUE ONE: The first letter can be found in the park that Thaddeus Lowe ascended his hot air balloon in marking the first ever aerial surveillance of enemy troops.
  2. CLUE TWO: In 1926, Madison Elementary School opened to grades 1-7, while Jefferson Institute (built in 1882) became a four-year high school.  The next letter can be found in a park named after the elementary school.  Although the school was on N. Washington St. this field was used as their playground and field space.  
  3. CLUE THREE: The name of our community was established after this church, which was founded in 1734.  It's been said that  the Declaration of Independence was read to residents from the south door steps of this church. This letter can be found in a kiosk across the street that faces these steps.
  4. CLUE FOUR: This large arch monument, dedicated by the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, honors the African-American community and our country's first rural chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) that was started in 1918 here in Falls Church. Find the next letter next to the monument.
  5. CLUE FIVE: You can find the next letter on a trail that runs along the temporary location of Mary Riley Styles Library. Mary Riley Styles grew up at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse and was the chairman of the Library Committee of Falls Church Women's Club.
  6. CLUE SIX: The 45 mile paved Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) gets its name from the railroad that ran through Virginia from 1859 until 1968. The railroad first carried coal and eventually passengers rode the rails. You can find this letter on Broad Street under the W&OD trail bike and pedestrian bridge. 
  7. CLUE SEVEN: Prior to printed maps and GPS, many people relied on compasses to provide directional guidance.  The next letter is in one of our newest parks, named after a well known former Recreation and Parks employee.  The large compass is at the Broad Street entrance of this park. 
  8. CLUE EIGHT: You can find this letter in a park named after a type of fruit tree that lined the avenue leading up to a large, Victorian house and barn that dates back to 1845. 
  9. CLUE NINE: The final letter can be found where we honor those from the Falls Church area who have died in the line of duty during the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, and Iraq Wars.