Sunset Hills Station, shown below in the 1960s, stands as a reminder that today's Reston was not the first "new town" to be planned for this area. In 1886 Dr. Carl Wiehle bought a large parcel of land north and south of the railroad tracks. He intended to establish a utopian community, a popular concept in the 19th century. Lakes were dug, roads laid out, and buildings constructed - including a large mansion and the gazebo shown here. Wiehle died in 1901, his vision never fulfilled.
A lumber business opened, taking advantage of the railroad and nearby stand of trees. Much of the property was acquired by A. Smith Bowman in 1927. In 1934, with the repeal of Prohibition, Bowman built a distillery north of the railroad. The Wiehle family home became the part of the 7,200-acre Bowman estate, "Sunset Hills."