Named in 1858 for the heroic sea captain of the S.S. Central America, William Lewis Herndon, the town grew as a center for dairy farming and as a summer retreat for Washingtonians who traveled the 23-mile distance via the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad.
Today, the W&OD Railroad is a 45-mile long hike and bike trail. The train station is a museum and visitors center. These examples are typical of the Town’s commitment to preserving the past and using it to enhance the recreational and cultural quality of life of today’s families and businesses.
Today, Herndon is rich in character and tradition. More than 100 years of attentive local planning has fostered an environment that allowed for extraordinary growth without sacrificing a strong sense of community. Today’s healthy balance of commercial, residential, and recreational components has made Herndon one of the largest mixed-use developments in Northern Virginia.
Herndon is part of the Dulles Technology Corridor, which Fortune magazine named the “Netplex” because of the presense of the headquarters of such companies as AOL, UUNET (which was purchased by Worldcom, now MCI), and Network Solutions which began as the INTERNIC – the registry where every domain name was once administered.
The town is governed by Mayor Michael L. O’Reilly, Vice Mayor Darryl C. Smith and an active town council. The Police Department is staffed by Colonel Toussaint E. Summers, Jr. and 70 sworn officers along with the assistance of the Herndon Police Citizen Support Team. The Herndon Police Department achieved national recognition on November 8, 1986 by becoming the 7th police agency in Virginia and the 42nd police agency in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
On January 14, 2004, the Town of Herndon commemorated its 125th anniversary.
Herndon is located at 38°58’17″ North, 77°23’19″ West (38.971478, -77.388675).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.9 km2 (4.2 mi2). 10.9 km2 (4.2 mi2) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 21,655 people, 6,962 households, and 4,970 families residing in the town. The population density is 1,981.3/km2(5,129.9/mi2). There are 7,190 housing units at an average density of 657.8/km2 (1,703.3/mi2).
The median income for a household in the town is $72,912, and the median income for a family is $79,140. The per capita income for the town is $26,941. 8.1% of the population and 4.7% of families are below the poverty line.
Herndon contains the Herndon Depot Museum, the site of “Mosby’s Raid on Herndon Station”. The raid was a Civil War skirmish that took place on St. Patrick’s Day in 1863. Also within the town is a golf course, community center with basketball and racquetball courts, and an aquatic center. Adjacent to the community center is Bready Park, with indoor tennis courts. Additionally, every residence within the town borders is within a mile or less of a public park.
Nearby attractions include the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (which houses the Enola Gay B-29 Superfortress, a Concorde supersonic passenger airplane, an SR-71A Blackbird stealth plane and the Space Shuttle Enterprise), Frying Pan Park, Sully Plantation, Mount Vernon, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Colvin Run Mill, Aldie Mill, Oatlands Plantation, Bull Run National Battlefield and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (which runs through the town).