Fort Willard Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fort Willard Park is one of four extant Civil War defenses out of the 63 that were constructed to protect our nation’s capital in the 1860s. The Fort was named after Colonel George Lamb Willard who served in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. He was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg at the age of 35. In 1888, a small monument was erected in Colonel Willard’s honor at the site of his death on the Gettysburg battlefield.

In 1978 Fort Willard became property of Fairfax County Park Authority when Gene Olmi (a local resident and then owner of the property) gave the land to the County.  For nearly three decades, the site was quietly enjoyed by local community members.  In September 2006, the Park Authority decided to install a few benches, two historical markers, and one commemorative plaque.

For sake of comparison:

Fort Willard: 1.62 acres; Bull Run Regional Park: 1,500 acres; Manassas National Battlefield Park: 5,000 acres; and Gettysburg National Military Park: 6,000 acres.

The park is located 0.7 miles from the Mount Vernon Trail.

If you like pizza

Try out Del Ray Pizza – Belle Haven, with it’s very own outdoor garden that you can check out while eating a pizza on the patio.  DRP – Belle Haven is the site of the former Pat’s Market, a favorite, local grocery store that sold everything from bait and tackle to the “best Salvadorian foods you can think of.”


  1. Bianca Beary

    This is fabulous. I have not seen a site like this before. Great job! I look forward to follow the new posts.

  2. John Beary

    Thanks for teaching us interesting aspects of the DC metro area history.
    I like your writing style.

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