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

By
Real Estate Broker with CJ Realty Group, Inc.

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 CJ Realty 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. 

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Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.
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  1. Anne Clark 08/23/2010 09:16 PM
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Comments 12 New Comment

Ambassador
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Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

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.

August 09, 2010 07:19 AM
Rainmaker
141,239
Andy Leung
Team Leung-Keller Williams

Thanks for the info!  Very interesting!

August 10, 2010 04:30 PM
Ambassador
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Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Andy-thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your evening.

August 10, 2010 09:37 PM
Rainer
8,107
Kate Jackson
Home Stager- DC Metro Area
from Alexandria

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...

August 11, 2010 08:53 AM
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Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

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!

August 11, 2010 12:06 PM
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Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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