The town of Herndon, Virginia, was established in 1858 along a railroad line that passed through Northern Virginia. (This line later became the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad which is now a bike trail). Named after naval sea captain William Lewis Herndon of the SS Central America that sank in the Atlantic Ocean, the town became a hub for dairy farmers who brought their crops and dairy products to the Herndon Depot where their products were shipped by train to Alexandria and Washington D.C. It was also a town where people came by train to take a vacation from the city. The railroad was the lifeline to the town until it was taken out of service in 1968, but the town continued to thrive.
Today, the train station where people came to catch the train is now the place where you can learn the history of the town of Herndon. Open every Sunday for 1:00pm to 4:00pm, you can see how the railroad shaped the town, and you can see numerous artifacts including those from the Civil War and from the U.S.S Herndon, and you can see how the town had changed from the days as a railroad hub to being one of the largest and most significant towns in Northern Virginia.
The Herndon Depot Museum, also known as the Herndon Historical Society Museum, is located at 717 Lynn Street new to the Town Hall. As you visit the Museum, you can also visit the caboose that was brought to the town in the early 1990’s to commemorate the town’s railroad heritage.