Originally a tavern stood at this crossroads, then known as Providence. The Virginia General Assembly moved the county seat here in 1798, when it became apparent that Alexandria would be incorporated into the District of Columbia. The town retained the name of Providence until 1875. It grew slowly until the twentieth century and did not become a city until 1961. Today it sprawls in all directions; indeed, the name Fairfax is synonymous with rampant development.
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