Burke Centre History
The recorded history of Burke Centre dates back to the early 1700's. The influential Englishman Lord Fairfax granted part of the lands upon which Burke Centre is sited to several families including Henry Ward (who built the first house where the Woods Community Center now stands) and Frances Coffer. Later, the Coffer family acquired the Ward house and lands.
Hanna Coffer, great-great granddaughter of Francis Coffer, married Silas Burke, a prominent and wealthy local landowner. Hanna's brother, Joshua, fought in the Union Army during the Civil War and died in a Confederate prison. Joshua, his wife Hilda, and son, Joshua, are buried in marked graves a short distance from the Ward-Coffer home site.
This area became known as Burke's Station in the 1850's because Silas Burke was largely responsible for the train route passing through the Burke area. In the 1920's, Washington socialites flocked to the area for fashionable horse races.
The Burke Centre Conservancy was incorporated in June of 1976, and the first residents moved in during the spring of 1977. Burke Centre is a planned residential community developed in the 1980's and is managed by the Burke Centre Conservancy. Within this community, there are 5,862 residences, five neighborhoods that are organized into 65 clusters, and situated on a total of about 1700 acres.
The area is roughly bounded by Ox Road (Route 123) to the west, Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286, old Pohick Road) to the south, Burke Lake Road to the east and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) to the north. Structurally, there is little left to remind Burke Centre residents of the past. The Woods Community Center is considered a historical structure and his maintained by the Conservancy in its present location and condition.
--Excerpted from the Burke Centre Handbook on Open Space
Burke Historical Society