Here a trolley car from the Washington, Arlington, and Fall's Church Railway line approaches the Lacey Station in Ballston. Trolley lines helped further growth of Arlington's late-eighteenth century communities, like Ballston, as well as the nearly two dozen new nineteenth century communities. They helped to spur the development of Arlington as a suburban enclave of Washington, D.C. by providing easier access for commuters.

Collection: Neighborhoods
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The Lacey Station was one of the stops used for the Ballston community on the Fairfax Line of the Washington, Arlington, and Fall's Church Railway. In the nineteenth and early-twentieth century trolley and railway development expanded commuter travel, encouraging and reacting to a rising commuter community in Arlington County.

Here, Carl Porter and his family are pictured at the station in 1906.

Collection: Neighborhoods
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At Hunter Station the Fort Myer Branch of the Washington, Alexandria, and Falls Church commuter rail line met with trolley car lines. Hunter Station was located within the African American Butler-Holmes community, today called Penrose. With connections to Rosslyn, Georgetown, and downtown Washington, these lines helped to expand Butler-Holmes throughout the early twentieth century. The community was also served by the Columbia Station near present-day Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, but the station's exact location is not known. Today Hunter Station is a private residence.

Collection: Neighborhoods

Rosslyn was a main commuter core for each of Arlington's trolley lines. The station connected lines from Virginia and the District in addition to serving as a hub for foot and bus traffic. These images show the inside (postcard) and outside (photograph) of the Rosslyn Terminal Station. The station was built by the Washington and Old Dominion railroad in 1923 when the line discontinued its service into Washington after eleven years. It remained in use until 1939, when the government acquired the land as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Park site.


This image shows East Falls Church Station on May 31, 1951, the last day of passenger service. This stop was originally opened as a part of the Washington, Arlington & Falls Church line in 1901 and became a part of the Washington-Virginia Railroad in 1913. The line had been in financial trouble since the 1920s as commuters increasingly turned to automobiles for travel. After a brief resurgence in use and support during World War Two, the line finally ended its passenger service in 1951.

Collection: Neighborhoods

This map shows each of the electric railways lines and stops within Arlington County from 1892 through 1941. It helps to show the increased connectivity of county residents to Washington and within the county. Trolley growth helped to encourage continued suburbanization and community development throughout Arlington in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

By 1924 Arlington's electric railway lines provided 64 stops within the County, 28 stops to destinations further north, 7 southern stops which connected to Alexandria.

Collection: Maps
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The Washington-Virginia line was formed by a merger of the Washington, Alexandria, and Mt Vernon and the Washington Alexandria and Mt Vernon railroads.

This advertisement for the Washington-Virginia Railway highlights the lines' many connections to the neighborhoods of Arlington and downtown Washington, D.C. The advertisement boasts how the new line is "within a few minutes walk to all Theatres, Government Buildings, Department Stores," and more. This list of attractions highlights the social, cultural, and employment amenities available to Arlington residents with the expansion and opening of the trolley lines during the early twentieth century. With this increased connection to D.C. and the desire to live within suburban, single family homes the "Fort Myer, Clarendon, Ballston, and Falls Church" communities and more all continued to grow.

Collection: Neighborhoods
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This pamphlet from the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) railroad company features a map and station list for their services. Trolley service in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries helped to expand and encourage suburban development in Arlington. The company advertises its Bluemont and Great Falls divisions, which service such Arlington neighborhoods as Rosslyn, Glencarlyn, Barcroft, and Alexandria Junciton.

Collection: Maps
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This 1920 map shows magisterial districts, communities, subdivisions, and rail and trolley lines in the booming county. In 1920 Arlington officially changed its not from Alexandria County to Arlington County. This separation from any association with the City of Alexandria recognized the county's formation of its own identity due to how quickly the county was growing.

Collection: Maps
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Johnson's Hill, today known as Arlington View, is an African American community located along Columbia Pike which first began ca. 1880. Here a tollgate was created at the intersection of Columbia Pike and the Georgetown-Alexandria Pike (today South Arlington Ridge Road). A small village center with houses, two stores, a post office, and a blacksmith shop formed around this tollgate, helping to expand and strengthen this African American community.

Collection: Neighborhoods