Lorton VA-Where Inmates and Nike Missles Co-Existed Peacefully

By
Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

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.

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                                   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

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Anne Clark 08/23/2010 09:16 PM
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Rainmaker
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Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

I suppose the plan worked. Although I can see why the public at large would be wary of housing inmates so close to missiles.

Aug 07, 2010 04:09 PM #1
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Cindy, You know how to write a post that appeals to an ex-military, history fan!  The best of both worlds!

Aug 07, 2010 06:23 PM #2
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Malcolm-I'm sure those who knew what was going on were a bit nervous.  It did change the landscape around the prison.

Aug 08, 2010 07:43 AM #3
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Liz and Bill-if you want military and history then my blog is the place to come :-)  No seriously we obviously have a lot of history & of course huge military tie in with the significant presence of all brances of the service installations in the area.

Here is one for you:  Fort Myer Home of the First Military Flight Casualty

Aug 08, 2010 07:44 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Anne Clark
Metro Referrals - Gainesville, VA

I would never have known this about Lorton Prison.  How in the world do you find this stuff out?  Are you a reporter in your free time?

Aug 08, 2010 06:57 PM #5
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Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Cindy, I'm amazed at how you find out about the trivia in your area. But then again, DC and the surrounding areas have a ton of history.

Aug 09, 2010 06:52 AM #6
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Anne-just a snoop who grew up in Northern Virginia :-)

Aug 09, 2010 07:17 AM #7
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Jackie-I grew up in the area so that helps my trivia knowledge.  I'm also involved in a couple of community organizations who have history buffs in them.  We often exchange stories about the area helping fill in the gaps.

Aug 09, 2010 07:19 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Andy Leung
Team Leung-Keller Williams - Greensboro, NC
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Thanks for the info!  Very interesting!

Aug 10, 2010 04:30 PM #9
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Andy-thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your evening.

Aug 10, 2010 09:37 PM #10
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Kate Jackson
from Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Home Stager- DC Metro Area

Hello Cindy,

This whole tri-state area is full of interesting info that just stays hidden except when people like you enlighten us. You make me think of my mother, who used to give verbal drive by tours in DC to my family anytime we took a trip into town.  It's good to get infom anyway you can.

Keep it coming...

Aug 11, 2010 08:53 AM #11
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Kate-my mom used to do the same thing.  I then I was delegated to take the cousins up the steps of the Washington Monument.  I for one was glad when they said no more walking to the top!

Aug 11, 2010 12:06 PM #12
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Cindy Jones

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