Settlers began to arrive in Elk Run during the early 1700s, and when Hamilton Parish was established in 1730, there were several hundred persons living in this frontier village.
A wooden Chapel existed at this site by 1740, when Prince William County Minute Books made note of road repairs in front of Elk Run Chapel. A large Brick Church in the shape of a Greek cross, whose foundation outline can be seen here, replaced the Chapel in the 1750s.
The Church served respectively as a governing and administrative body under British colonial rule, and the bustling village of the 1750s boasted a tavern, a blacksmith shop, an ordinary and was a stopover point for travelers going north or west in the constant expansion into what later became Fauquier County.
Colonial militia fighting in the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763) and military forces during the Revolutionary War (1775-1781) stopped at Elk Run for rest and supplies.
As the village grew and agriculture flourished, a post office was established in 1803. The Church, however, once the very landmark of the community, fell into disuse after the Revolutionary War and the separation of church and state. After 1811, the Church began to disappear as local villagers used its brick, wood and stone in building their houses.
Two copper mines were operating in Elk Run by the outbreak of the Civil War. Union patrols protecting the nearby north-south railroad line camped at Elk Run and skirmished with local Confederate cavalry units.
By the early 1900s, Elk Run was a considerably smaller place but still had three general stores, a tavern and a post office. The post office closed in 1907 and moved to the Midland community further north. A one-room school was still in use at Elk Run circa 1925.
In the year 2000, only a small general store remained at the Elk Run crossroads.
(caption under center picture) This 1924 Map Extract from Landmarks of Old Prince William is provided with permission of The Prince William County Historical Commission.