Residents 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 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.
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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