Nike Missles and Inmates An Unlikely Combination in Lorton VA

DC Reformatory At Lorton Guard TowerMy friends accuse me of making some of these little facts about Northern Virginia up. Nope the stories are all real....well okay the one about the Bunny Man Bridge in Clifton...not so much.

However the story of the DC Reformatory located in Lorton VA being the site of the Army's premier showcase for the nationwide Nike program unveiled in 1954 is true. One of the big issues that the government faced when it was trying to build defenses against the threat of a nuclear attack from the USSR was acquiring the land necessary to develop missile defense sites.

Since the Army was tasked with finding sites that we already government owned the DC Reformatory site in Lorton located on 3200 acres just 25 miles south of DC was a logical choice. The Army carved out a 30 acre parcel on the prison grounds and began fortifying the site to protect it from intruders. Up until this time the reformatory had been considered an "open campus" reformatory and the addition of Nike Missiles caused officials to lock down the inmates in a more secure environment.

The Army added new guard towers to the prison, began patrols of the grounds with guard dogs and added intrusion alarms to the perimeter fences. As the 1950's drew to a close and the threat of a nuclear war diminished the Army began to dismantle some of the other local sites. The National Guard took control of the missile site at Lorton and kept it as a training site until 1973 when the Secretary of the Army James Schlesinger ordered the site closed and destroyed.

Today the only way you would know that the site existed is by the one historical marker that you find on Furnace Road. As part of the master plan for the revitalization of reformatory land an area has been set aside for a future National Cold War Museum.

So there you have it. Who would make this stuff up? Inmates and Nike Missiles in Lorton VA. My how times have changed. 

Lorton VA Homes For Sale

If you are looking for a new home in the Lorton VA area give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call at 703-346-2213.  Let me show you the terrific neighborhoods, both old and new, that Lorton has to offer.  With it's close proximity to Fort Belvoir, the new NGA facilty and multiple commuting options to DC, Lorton is a great place to call home.

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional

Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.

Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia



Comment balloon 8 commentsCindy Jones • December 23 2010 10:29AM


Hi Cindy....I just stopped by to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 8 years ago

Great history lesson, there is so much interesting information all across this county. Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) over 8 years ago

Neat tidbit. Hey, we had a bunny man in Reston, too! You think every community has that Urban Legend?!

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi cindy, you're right, you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. :)

Posted by Gail C. Harris, Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868 (Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director) over 8 years ago

Barbara-I hope you had a terrific holiday with your family.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

Gerry-hope you are staying warm this holiday season.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

Holly-I remember another one about the guy with the hook too :-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

Gail-I don't think so.  We are fortunate to have so much history in our area.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments