Orlean is located in western Fauquier County, within the boundaries of Thomas Lord Fairfax’s Leeds Manor, much of which came to be owned by Chief Justice John Marshall. The village developed in the first quarter of the 19th century as a farm trading center along Route 688 (the Old Leeds Manor Road), which was a major north-south connector in the western part of the county. The town may have derived its name from the “Orlean” farm located on its periphery.
The roots of the village are closely related to the Huntons, a prominent and well-known Fauquier County family. New Baltimore was also the site of a well-documented visit by the Marquis de LaFayette in 1825 who was revered by Americans for his assistance during the American Revolution.
Morrisville has the distinction of being the county’s first court when Fauquier was created from Prince William County in 1759.
In the area of what is today known as Midland, was the settlement of Germantown, Fauquier County’s first permanent settlement. The settlement was founded in the early 1700’s by German miners brought to the Rappahannock River Valley by Alexander Spotswood, the then Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
Originally known as Salem, the establishment of the village of Salem was granted in 1796. Surrounded by farms, the center of the village consisted of business owners such as wagon makers, saddlers, blacksmiths, and other mechanics who contributed to the local economy. In 1852 construction of the Manassas Gap Railroad reached Salem, turning the village into the commercial farming center for an expanded agricultural community.