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Historical Society to Present ‘A Photographic Tour of Old Great Falls’

1879 Map of Great Falls Post Offices: This 1879 map shows the location of the several post offices that have served what is now the Great Falls area. Only the Dranesville Post Office, Springvale Post Office, and the Great Falls Post Office for Forestville were in existence when this map was drawn. The Matildaville Post Office in the Great Falls Park area (blue rectangle at the far right) had only been in service from 1828 to 1830. The Leigh Post Office, Deanwood Post Office, and Colvin Run Post Office were yet to come. The post office serving the crossroads community known as Forestville had been given the name Great Falls to avoid being confused with another Virginia post office already named Forestville.

1879 Map of Great Falls Post Offices: This 1879 map shows the location of the several post offices that have served what is now the Great Falls area. Only the Dranesville Post Office, Springvale Post Office, and the Great Falls Post Office for Forestville were in existence when this map was drawn. The Matildaville Post Office in the Great Falls Park area (blue rectangle at the far right) had only been in service from 1828 to 1830. The Leigh Post Office, Deanwood Post Office, and Colvin Run Post Office were yet to come. The post office serving the crossroads community known as Forestville had been given the name Great Falls to avoid being confused with another Virginia post office already named Forestville. Map courtesy of the Great Falls Historical Society

The Great Falls Historical Society will present "A Photographic Tour of Old Great Falls" as narrated by Kathleen Murphy, GFHS President, on Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Library Meeting Room, 9830 Georgetown Pike.

This "Photographic Tour" of Great Falls will be a display of the Naomi Whetzel Collection, recently digitized through the efforts of Doris Carpenter and Suzie Traut, who labored more than one year to complete the task. The digitization project was funded through donations and the annual members’ dues.

Whetzel has been the Society's Photography Archivist since first joining GFHS in 1972. She once spent four months photographing "every old place and thing" which she could find throughout the Great Falls community with the assistance of Milburn Sanders, noted local historian.

Whetzel expanded this documentary project into a life long pursuit of early photographs of our region. She actively contacted the descendants of our area's earlier families. Since some people were unwilling to part with their family photos, even on a short term basis, Whetzel took her equipment to their homes. There she re-photographed each picture, and then interviewed the family in order to accurately identify subjects in their photographs.

It is photographs from this collection that will be shown.

Great Falls residents are invited to consider becoming a member of the Great Falls Historical Society in support of their continuing history gathering efforts.