Colonial History And Childhood Memories in Burke Virginia

Silas Burke House in Burke VAResidents of Burke VA have a game they like to play.  It's called name everything with the word “Burke” in it.  Between streets, shopping centers and parks you could easily come up with a 100 locations with the name Burke.  Considering Silas Burke’s role in the development of the area it makes sense.

What may be surprising to many is that there were a number of families and are homes in the area that predate the landmark Silas Burke house built in 1824.  One of those homes is Kings Grant.

Kings Grant in Burke VAKings Grant was built on 21 acres of the original Ravensworth Estate.  Ravensworth Estates encompassed 24,000 acres purchased in 1685 by Col. William Fitzhugh.  During the early colonial days it was the largest tobacco plantation in Northern Virginia.   As was customary at the time parcels of big estates were divided among the heirs of of the owners.  Eventually 21 acres were given to his son a Commander in the Stafford Militia to build his home.

The home he built in 1780 still stands in Burke today.  If you didn’t know it was there you wouldn’t see it as it is tucked away inside another subdivision in the community.  For me this home was where I spent many weekends as a young girl when it was owned by the Ruffner family. 

Kings Grant Stables AKA Patty's Riding School
The Ruffner’s owned and ran Patty’s Riding School and Stables.  On weekends you would find me along with a number of other horse crazy girls either in the riding ring or on the trails.  We learned to muck stalls, clean hooves, proper care of our tack and much more.  At the end of our round of lessons we would have a Saturday night camp out on the grounds.  At the time none of us knew or cared that the house we tromped through or the grounds we were sleeping had any historic significance. 


The Ruffner's eventually sold the land for development but the original farm house from 1780, the stables and log cabin still remain. It's fun to know that a piece of history both of our area and of my childhood is still there tucked behind the trees for future generations to see.

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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.

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Comment balloon 14 commentsCindy Jones • January 19 2012 10:22PM


Great history to recall and share....my parents live in my childhood home, and although it was not history in our home...memories are there too. Thanks for sharing yours!

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

That's a pretty cool childhood memory.  I didn't know you had any association with horses.  And how cool that it was at such a historic place.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 7 years ago

I love when there are stories and history with homes

Thanks for the info Cindy

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 7 years ago

Ellen-I owned the house I grew up in for 4 years.  Plenty of memories but like yours not a historic home.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

That is a great game and one I will implement next road trip!

Posted by James Lyon, 916-521-1214 (LyonSF) over 7 years ago

Chris Ann-I started riding when I was aroudn 3.  Owned a couple of horses growing up.  Miss riding.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Hannah-most people around here only see the Silas Burke house and think that's the oldest one in the area.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

James-if you are in the area you'll learn how to spell Burke quickly.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Cindy - Love how you took a piece of history and wove it in with a memorable story from your childhood. 

Posted by Julie Dumaine-Russell (RE/MAX Alliance) over 7 years ago

Cindy, That is interesting!  I love learning the history of people and towns!  Great post!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 7 years ago

Donna-thank you for stopping by.  Of course as a child I had no idea the signficance of the house we hung around. 

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Tom-residents of NoVa are fortunate to have a lot of history all around us.  Sometimes you just have to look at little harder to find it.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Cindy, what a great memory and wonderful piece of history for you to share.  I love old homes.  Is this one still lived in?

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 7 years ago

Cindy I honestly cannot tell you how fabulous it is to come across your article!  I have gone back to those days and that property in my mind and heart for my entire life. I too am one of those horse crazy girls that enjoyed the Saturday night camp outs. I distinctively remember sleeping on the end of the stone steps opposite the front door nearest to parking, I used the last step as my pillow!  I know the last time I was there was just before selling to the developers because I remember my mom talking about it.  Outside of lessons, I remember you could rent hourly and one horse that comes to mind is Damascus. Within the lessons, do you remember the horse shows that we participated in to show off what we had learned?  I always got paired with Winston and we, more often than not, did not see eye to eye!

Thank you for taking me along with you down the most dearest memories. Would you happen to have any more information on Kings Grant because I have always remembered what my mother told me after her having frequent talks with the Ruffners.

If you can tell me anything more please email me.

God bless,


Posted by Amy Taylor over 6 years ago

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