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History of the Park
History of the Park

Claude Moore Park is named in honor of Dr. Claude Moore (1891-1992), the last private owner and resident of Lanesville.  Dr. Moore, a 1916 graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical School, was a medical officer in the U.S. Army, serving in France during the First World War.  Following the war, Dr. Moore practiced medicine at the Mayo Clinic and Georgetown University Hospital. His work in radiology helped to develop the initial process of making x-rays.

Dr. Moore purchased the property now included in Claude Moore Park, and in the Park View High School campus, in 1941 from Irene Bridges. Irene, granddaughter of Keturah Lane Keene Bridges, was the last of four generations of the Lane family, who built Lanesville in 1779, to live in the house.  The Lane family owned the property for 162 years. Dr. Moore possessed the property until 1975, when he donated it to the National Wildlife Federation for environmental education outreach.  He retained life-estate and continued to reside in Lanesville until his passing in 1992. It is rare that a property with such history was home to only two families during the 213 years it was occupied.

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 The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) sold the property to developers in 1986. Dr. Moore fought an unsuccessful multi-year fight in the courts to block the sale of the property. After the case was decided, Loudoun County purchased the property from the developers. Loudoun voters approved a bond referendum for the purchase, supporting Dr. Moore’s vision that this historic and natural property be kept as open space for active and passive recreation.

The county opened Claude Moore Park in 1990, with the help of many volunteers. In the early years, The Friends of Claude Moore Park staffed the old Visitor Center and opened the park on weekends. Girl Scouts, Boys Scouts, and civic and church groups opened the trails; built bridges, benches and picnic tables; mapped the park; monitored the ponds; established a Bluebird Trail; set up Frogshackle Nature Center; and constructed the first fishing dock. Volunteers were also responsible for the restoration of Lanesville, the listing of the site on the National Register of Historic Places, and the addition of the Guilford Signal Station within the Park on the Virginia Civil War Trail.


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