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Repairs begin after termites feast on historic Dranesville Tavern

Repairs to the tavern are expected to wrap up in November (via Fairfax County Park Authority)

A major fixture in Fairfax County’s historic wagon trade is undergoing major repairs.

The county has begun demolishing and repairing the Historic Dranesville Tavern (11919 Leesburg Pike), which was built in the 1830s to serve the wagon trade that supplied the Piedmont area of Virginia. Crews have started a $191,000 project to root out termite damage in the building’s structure.

“As it stands today, the tavern is the product of three distinct phases of construction, and it offers an interesting insight into the evolution of local construction styles,” the Fairfax County Park Authority said in its news release announcing the repairs.

The project is expected to wrap up in November of this year, according to project manager David Buchta.

“The problem was identified in the spring of 2021. The project was delayed by the pandemic and seeking a qualified contractor for the project,” Buchta said.

The park authority describes the tavern as a “significant vestige of the social and commercial history of the region”:

Its association with the turnpike trade is an interesting chapter in its history. The rapid growth of these roads in the general area of Dranesville was spurred by the rivalry between the cities of Georgetown and Alexandria for the valuable resources of the Shenandoah Valley. Dranesville Tavern was frequented by those who traveled between these eastern towns and Leesburg.

Currently, the building is being used as a historic rental for social events and programs for the park authority.

Crews will remove the building’s siding and find rot-resistant wood. Scaffolding will also be erected on the exterior gable end of the building’s chimney.

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