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Cameron Parish

A cache by zygote2k (adopted by FirstDue) Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/09/2008
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

PLEASE NOTE: The "tomb" that you seek is an obviously man made alteration to a natural object. If you want or need, I will send you a picture of the object as a hint. It is along the path that runs through this patch of woods. Best parking may be off of East Beech Rd side. I know the area has changed over the years but if you find the "tomb" you are within 15 feet of the cache.


To find this cache, you will need to read the history below and find the tomb of the unknown. From [orig: "At"] the tomb, you will see a large leaning tree [orig: "fallen tree"] that looks like a typical cache hide. It's in there. Please replace cache as you found it. There is absolutely no need to cross any private property to access this cache. If you see a "No Trespassing" sign then you are in the wrong place.

I found this location while searching for ruins on Wikimapia. I figured it was interesting enough to place a cache here.

In March 1979 the ruins of the old Cameron Parish Anglican Church and graveyard were rediscovered on a tract of land lying on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

History of Cameron Parish

Prior to 1748 the religious needs of the whole of Northern Virginia --in what is now Fairfax and Loudoun Counties -- was served by the clergy in Truro Parish, based in eastern Fairfax. By 1748,the increased population in the western portion of Northern Virginia had grown too large and too far away for the clergy to serve. A new parish was deemed necessary, and Truro Parish was divided. The new parish was named after a minor title of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron. In 1748 Cameron Parish was sited as a tract of land lying on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

By 1749, the population of Truro Parish was estimated at 3,844 and that of Cameron Parish at 2,191. At this time the Fairfax Courthouse was located at ..."the place called Springfield near what is known as Tysons Corner. Two years later the courthouse was moved to Alexandria. Because of the greater distances involved residents of upper (western) Fairfax County petitioned in October 1754 to become a separate county." Thus, on 8 June 1757 Loudoun County was formed from the western lands of Fairfax. This new county included most of Cameron Parish. The people of the area were of diverse backgrounds including Scotch-Irish, German, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers from Pennsylvania; however, the official "state" religion was Anglician and all taxpayers were expected to pay taxes to support the church. Unfortunately, Cameron Parish had a population of less affluent people than in Fairfax, and in 1766 the vestry of Truro was directed to sell its glebe and church plat, and to divide the proceeds between Truro and Cameron Parishes in an attempt to offset Cameron's lack of funds.

In June of 1770, again due to increased pressure of a growing population, a new parish, Shelburne Parish, was formed out of of the western portion of Cameron. Cameron Parish had now shrunk to comprising just the area bounded by four waterways: the Potomac on the north, Bull Run on the south, Goose Creek to the west, and Difficult Run in the east. Because the Cameron Glebe was not conveniently located the vestry was authorized to sell it and use the proceeds to purchase "a more convenient glebe... and erect buildings thereon for the use and benefit of the Minister of said Parish of Cameron."

Sadly, the Cameron Parish record books from the colonial era were either lost or destroyed long before the 20th century. Facts about the Parish were subsequently gleaned from records of surrounding areas. Those other records reveal that Spence Grayson was a minister of the Parish. He was from a prominent family, the son of Benjamin and Susan (Monroe) Grayson, and lived at Belle Air in Prince William County. Spence Grayson married Mary Elizabeth Wagener, sister of Col. Peter Wagener, Fairfax County Clerk and Revolutionary War soldier. Spence Grayson's nephew was Col. William Grayson who also achieved fame in the Revolution.

After the Revolution the Parish declined, but its location as a geographical area was firmly established as shown in the census records of Virginia for 1830 and 1850, in which it is recorded as Cameron of Loudoun County.

Today, what remains of this once large parish lies on the western border of Fairfax County.

The cemetery was located west of the tennis courts in the Crestbrook subdivision reached via a right-of-way on the east side of 1450 Powell's Tavern Place. The Vestry of the Cameron Parish built a brick church (called Sugarland Chapel) measuring 53'x 40' on a 3 acre plot in 1773. The chapel fell into disuse and eventually ruin after the disestablishment of the Anglican Church following the American Revolution. The W.P.A. Historical Inventory for the "A.M. McDaniel Home" (2/26/1936 By H.C. McMullin) recorded only one headstone, since lost. Numerous depressions were still visible, but no formal markers. The cemetery and ruins were heavily overgown.




Slight text adjustments 4/16/21 by frumiousb/pickypicky to clarify location of GZ relative to "tomb"

Additional Hints (No hints available.)



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