City of Falls Church, Virginia
Falls Church is an independent city in the state of Virginia and is part of the Washington Metropolitan area, six miles from the nation’s capital. It is named after The Falls Church, an 18th-century Anglican church established in 1734. Similar to many other Virginia colonies, it started out as a “neighborhood” of large land holdings that were sub-divided into smaller farms, many of which relied on slave labor.
Falls Church’s history dates back to the late 1600s, when it was an early colonial settlement shared with Native Americans who spoke the Algonquian language. After Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, English colonials from the Tidewater region of Virginia began to migrate to the area, and by the start of the Civil War, it saw a huge influx of Northerners searching for a better climate. Today, Falls Church has an array of historic sites, including the Cherry Hill Farmhouse and Barn, an 1845 farmhouse, owned and managed by the City and open to the public on certain days in the Summer.
Falls Church was incorporated as a town in 1875 and became an independent city in 1948 that had county-level governing status, with the goal of establishing a highly-regarded school system. The city operates by a Council-Manager form of government, expressed within the provisions of the City Charter adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1950. Initially, Falls Church’s school system was racially segregated, but desegregation was achieved by 1961, when three black students were admitted into city schools.
Falls Church has a total area of 2.0 square miles, all of which are land, making it the smallest independent city in Virginia. The center of the city is the intersection of Virginia State Route 7 and U.S. Route 29. With a population of only 12,332, Falls Church is famous for having a thriving urban village community and nationally-ranked school system.
In 2011, Falls Church was the richest county in the United States with median annual household income of $113, 313. It has the lowest poverty levels of any county in the United States.
Falls Church does not have a Fair Employment Practices Agency for handling employment-based issues. In addition, Falls Church does not have a circuit court, but its residents can assess the nearby circuit in Arlington County. It has a general district court located at 300 Park Avenue, Room 107E.
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