Elk Run is one of the oldest settlements in Fauquier. The Elk Run Church appears on the 1755 Fry-Jefferson Map, one of the earliest maps of the region.
Elk Run was established by colonials who began moving into the area in the early 1700s, moving out the native Manahoac Indians. By the 1750s, Elk Run boasted a tavern, an ordinary, a blacksmith’s shop, and a brick Anglican Church that replaced a wooden chapel that was built in 1730. The Elk Run settlement and Church were an early center of government and an origination point for further expansion of what is now Fauquier County. Another church built in Warrenton in the 1750s overshadowed the Elk Run Anglican church, which fell into ruin by the mid-19th century.
The first permanent minister, the Rev. James Keith, was the grandfather of Chief Justice John Marshall. Today, there is little evidence of early Elk Run above ground, save a single country store from a later period.
In 2000, St. Stephens’s Episcopal Church, located in the Village of St. Stephen’s, collaborated with St. James Church in Warrenton to conduct a professional archaeological dig with volunteers to document the Elk Run Anglican Church site. The findings corroborated early written histories about Elk Run Church’s approximate size and cruciform shape. The professionally managed archaeological dig also uncovered 3,000 year-old arrowheads and a range of other artifacts that shed light on pre- and post- European settlement history in Fauquier County.