Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Dublin Core


Ellanor C. Lawrence Park


1742 - present


Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, owned and managed by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), the park includes buildings and archaeological remains of a number of historic sites dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The park includes the farms of Thomas and Coleman Brown later owned by the related Machen family and named Walney; Mary Brown Lewis’ home Milford; Brown-Lewis cemetery; the Brooks family farm, The Homeplace; Cabell’s Mill and Middlegate, the miller’s house.
Enslaved labor was used by the Browns, Lewis, and Machen families. The Brooks family were African Americans who established their farm Homeplace after emancipation.
Various Park programs include the African American history of the site, see their website for details. Park staff conduct ongoing historical research.
The Fairfax County Park Authority Collections include Machen records detailing the use of laborers on the farm, including hired enslaved laborers.


Tithables, Loudoun County, Virginia. Ruth and Sam Sparacio. 1991.Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Will of Thomas Brown. Loudoun County Will Book D, p. 344. Loudoun County, Virginia, Deed Books, Will Books, and Order Books. Microfilm. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Negro Daniel. Advertised for sale by Coleman Brown. Alexandria Gazette, July 26, 1810, p.1. Accessed via GenealogyBank website

Run Away. Advertisement for return of Tom by Coleman Lewis. Alexandria Expositor, May 19, 1804, p. 2. Accessed via GenealogyBank website

Runaway. Advertisement for return of William Warner by Charles T. Lewis. Genuis of Liberty, September 5, 1840. Friends of Thomas Balch Library Genuis of Liberty Runaway Slave Advertisements website

Notice. A good house servant and two children offered for sale by Mary Brown Lewis. Alexandria Gazette, September 24, 1847, p. 3. Accessed via GenealogyBank website

Jinny, A Glimpse at Her American Story. Kiersten Fiore, 2021. Fairfax County Park Authority, Our Stories and Perspectives website

John D. Cross to Charles W. Brooks, Sr. Fairfax County Deed Book N4, p. 248. Fairfax County, Virginia Records. Microfilm. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Charles W. Brooks, Centreville, Virginia in 1870, 1880, and 1910 U.S. Census. Accessed via Ancestry website
Available in the Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Hester Brooks Horton, Virginia US Selected Marriages, 1785-1940. Accessed via Ancestry website
Available in the Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Flexibility and Profit in the Slave Hiring System in Fairfax County, Virginia, 1830-1860. Elizabeth Brown Pryor, 1984. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Walney: Two Centuries of a Northern Virginia Plantation. Elizabeth Brown Pryor, 1984. Fairfax County Public Library

The Letters of Arthur W. Machen with a Biographical Sketch. Compiled by Arthur W. Machen, Jr., 1917. Accessed via Google Books website

Account books of Lewis H. Machen and Lewis P. Machen of "Walney" Centreville, Va. Microfilm., 1977. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Finding Aid for Lewis H. Machen Family Papers, 1802-1938. Library of Congress. Library of Congress website

Cascardi, Jean Marie (2017). Reinterpreting a Nineteenth Century Dairy Agricultural Landscape. [Unpublished Master’s Thesis]. Adams State University

Site Location Item Type Metadata


5040 Walney Road, Chantilly VA 20151



Additional Notes

From 1757 to 1793 the western edge of Fairfax County was part of Loudon County.
Coleman Brown was “an exemplary member” of the Baptist Frying Pan Meeting House as was his mother, Elizabeth
Additional names of the enslaved laborers hired by the Machens are detailed in letters and farm ledgers



“Ellanor C. Lawrence Park,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed May 19, 2024, https://fairfaxaahi.centerformasonslegacies.com/items/show/184.