The Washington and Ohio (later Washington and Old Dominion) Railroad crossed this property, originally a farm, in 1871, and in the late 1880s a group of Loudoun County investors acquired the land and set out to create a spa and associated real estate development around the natural springs. To give the community some cachet they gave their development the euphemistic name of Paeonian (derived from the Greek for “healer of the gods”) and hired a surveyor from the nearby town of Hamilton to lay out an impressive plat. The plan for the community attempted to fuse the radial streets of Washington, D.C., with the curving lines of a park by Frederick Law Olmsted. Lots were sold, and a hotel, bottling plant, dance hall, and boardinghouses were constructed. The community, however, never reached the scale envisioned in the plan. Today many of the lots are vacant and the features of the plan are obscured to a large degree by vegetation.
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