Burke is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2000 census, Burke had a total population of 57,737. Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the CDP was divided, with a portion of it becoming Burke Centre CDP; the population remaining in the Burke CDP was reported at 41,055 in the 2010 census. Burke Centre is a 1,700-acre (690 ha) planned community that was formerly part of the Burke CDP but is now a separate census-designated area. It is located west of Burke and is divided into five subcommunities: The Commons, The Landings, The Oaks, The Ponds and The Woods. Other notable communities in the Burke area include Rolling Valley West, Burke Village I & II, Lakepointe, Longwood Knolls, Burke Lake Meadows, Edgewater, Lake Braddock, Signal Hill, Crownleigh, and Cherry Run along with Burke Station Square.
The area of Fairfax County known as Burke is named for Silas Burke (1796–1854), a 19th-century farmer, merchant, and local politician who built a house on a hill overlooking the valley of Pohick Creek in approximately 1824. The house is still standing. When the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was constructed in the late 1840s, the railroad station at the base of that hill was named “Burke’s Station” after Burke, who owned the land in the area and donated a right-of-way to the railroad company. The community that grew up around the railroad station acquired a post office branch in 1852. Currently, railroad tracks on the same historical line are owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway and form part of the Manassas line of the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail system, of which two stations lie in the Burke area. The original Burke Station building can still be seen in the community, turned 90 degrees from its historical footprint.
The first large subdivision in the vicinity, Kings Park, was constructed beginning in 1960, and was followed by many others over the next two decades, converting Burke into a densely populated suburban community.
A historic marker in Burke denotes the Huldah Coffer House, owned by a prominent resident of the county for many years. Another, privately erected, notes the site of the former Lee Chapel Methodist church, which was purposely burned in 1951 after having been abandoned for some years, but whose cemetery remains on the site.
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