Through the 1950s, Tysons (known then as Tyson’s Corner) was a rural farming community centered around a general store located at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123. Subsequent decades brought about a rapid urbanization process, giving birth to Tysons as we know today — a burgeoning metropolis poised to double in size by 2050.
While Tysons’ history is limited to just several decades, the land on which it stands dates back to the Colonial Period, and the early exploration of the Potomac River. In the early 1850s, the area was a thriving peach grove, leading to the opening of Peach Grove Post Office in 1851.
1600 – 1699
- Captain John Smith, of England, explored and mapped the lands bordering the Potomac River. The major tribe living in what is now Fairfax was the Dogue. For more information, click here.
- The Virginia House of Burgesses began dividing the colony into shires, one of which would eventually become Fairfax County.
- The future English king, Charles II, granted all of the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, to seven of his loyal supporters as a proprietary. By 1690, this land was under the control of the Fairfax family.
1700 – 1799
- Thomas, Sixth Lord of Fairfax, granted 1,429 acres to William Colville.
- The first Fairfax Court House was built on the northeast corner of the present-day Route 123 and Old Court House Road (Route 677).
1800 – 1899
- The Colville parcel was subdivided and tracts sold to various owners.
- The Alexandria and Leesburg Turnpike Company was created by an Act of Congress to construct a toll road from Alexandria to Leesburg, “with the power to collect tolls from all persons using same: for every head of sheep, five cents; for every head of hogs, five cents; for every horse or mule and driver, three cents; for every stage or wagon and two horses, 10 cents.”
- Turnpike Road was renamed Alexandria Leesburg Pike, Route 7. It intersected Vienna-Lewinsville Road, Route 123.
- Lawrence Foster paid $3,835.34 to acquire 714 acres located around this intersection. Foster’s peach farm and the surrounding area were informally known as “Peach Grove.” The intersection of Route 7 and Route 123 was known as “Peach Grove Crossroads.”
- “Peach Grove Post Office” opened.
- William Tysons purchased the Foster property, and served as postmaster from 1854 to 1866. The intersection of Route 7 and Route 123 was referred to as “Tysons Corner.”
- Tysons Corner was traversed by northern and southern troops. Thirty acres were cleared for the construction of a Union signal tower and a stockade.
1900 – 1999
- Tysons was now a farming community centered around a general store at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123.
- The area shed its rural identity forever with the construction of the Capital Beltway, Dulles Airport and a major shopping mall.
- The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1962 approved the Tysons Corner Shopping Center (now Tysons Corner Center).
- Tysons Corner Shopping Center officially opens
1970s – 1980s
- A shift in traditional business functions from downtown to the suburbs occurred, transforming Tysons into a major employment/retail center and offering over 100,000 jobs.
- Tysons was now a thriving corporate center, encompassing approximately 2,100 acres and viewed as a place of business, not a place of residence.
2000 – Present
- Construction of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project begins along Route 123 near International Drive where a future tunnel will carry the rail line from Route 123 to Route 7.
- Fairfax County created the Tysons Comprehensive Plan. The plan has a specific focus: transforming Tysons into a place where people can live, work and play. The targeted completion year is 2050
- Construction of the Metro Silver Line transit system completed.