A Wheatland Legacy

Since its settlement in the 18th century, Loudoun County has been acclaimed for its fertile soil.  The first farmers to put it to use were the Germans and Quakers who arrived from Pennsylvania, settling the area around Catoctin and Goose Creeks, west of Leesburg.  They began growing wheat, building stone houses and mills to grind their grain into flour.

Mills like the one remaining in Waterford used to dot the landscape around Lydia's Fields, including at Wheatland itself, just down the hill from the farm.
Mills like the one remaining in Waterford used to dot the landscape around Lydia’s Fields, including at Wheatland itself, just down the hill from the farm.

Indeed, by the 1850s and 1860s, Virginia was the fourth-largest wheat producing state, and Loudoun was one of the state’s top-producing counties, with 30 water-powered mills  processing a half-million bushels of wheat.  Within a 10-mile radius of our farm, there were several mills, including one at Waterford (aka Janney’s Mill), Goose Creek, and the “mill at Wheatland” just down the hill from Lydia’s Fields, not far from the intersection of today’s Route 9 and 287.  That mill stood until 1919.

No longer in use, the water wheel at the Waterford mill recalls the area's volume wheat production.
No longer in use, the water wheel at the Waterford mill recalls the area’s volume wheat production.
Just who first gave our corner of Loudon’s rich wheatfields its too-obvious name of Wheatland remains something of a mystery, at least insofar as our research to date has turned up.  One of the earliest official references to the name came in 1802, when the US Government established the Wheatland Post Office.

As wheat cultivation gradually moved out to the Midwest, Wheatland became synonymous with delicious, organically grown vegetables and fruits, at our predecessor Wheatland Vegetable Farm and neighboring farms like Moutoux Orchards and Potomac Vegetable Farms.