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March 13, 2018

Fauquier crossroads: Orlean “flat out beautiful”

It’s a real tight-knit community, and the people are really caring. Everybody looks after each other.
— Adrian McColl, restaurant/pub manager
Village of Orlean
• Where: Northwestern Fauquier County at Leeds Manor Road (Route 688) and John Barton Payne Road (Route 732).

• Established: Early 1800s.

• Travel time: 17 minutes from Marshall or Warrenton.

• Notable businesses: The Orlean Market and Restaurant, The Village Green.

• Village features: Post office, volunteer fire/rescue company, historic cemetery and community trail network.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
One in an occasional series of stories about Fauquier villages and neighborhoods

Mountain vistas pop up along winding Leeds Manor Road that leads to the small village in northwestern Fauquier.

About 17 minutes from Marshall or Warrenton stands Orlean.

The village surrounds the crossroads of Leeds Manor Road (Route 688) and John Barton Payne Road (Route 732). Farmland envelops Orlean, black Angus cattle moo in the distance.

Established in the early 1800s, the village historically formed a portion of the legendary “Free State” and Thomas Lord Fairfax’s Leeds Manor property.

It served as a farm-trading center and may have gotten its name from “Orlean Farm” near the village.

Orlean has 61 commercial and residential addresses, according to the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan. The Orlean Methodist Church and Providence Baptist Church date to the late 1800s.

“Orlean is also significant as the site of the earliest post office (1817) in the county,” according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Orlean Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in 2019 will complete construction of a new $6.9-million station in the village heart.

Two businesses remain in the village: The Orlean Market and The Village Green.

Combination country store, deli and pub/restaurant, The Orlean Market serves as the community’s central gathering place, in a building constructed around 1870.

The market offers breakfast and lunch seven days a week, with a variety of sandwiches and other menu items. The steak and cheese sub remains a popular choice.

The market also offers a variety of wine, beer, fresh eggs, baked goods, coffee and other staples, including a gas pump.

The market sells fresh herbs, vegetables and duck and chicken eggs from Aleta Towle’s farm about 2-1/2 miles away.

Ms. Towle, who has lived near Orlean about 40 years, calls it “a really friendly, fun place.”

She lives here because: “You cannot hear a major highway, and it’s flat out beautiful.”

The restaurant/pub, connected to the market, serves burgers, gourmet pizza and other entrees Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

Adrian McColl, 33, general manager and chef of the restaurant/pub, grew up in Orlean and returned about a year ago.

“Upper class country,” Mr. McColl says of the village. “It’s a real tight-knit community, and the people are really caring. Everybody looks after each other.”

Along with other weekly events, musicians play at the restaurant every Saturday night.

The Village Green offers a tasteful selection of gifts, furniture, antiques and, in warmer months, plants.

Originally built as a general store in 1928, The Village Green still has its original wrap-around wooden shelves and counter.

Sandra Gilliam started the business eight years ago.

Ms. Gilliam and her husband stumbled upon the small village more than two decades ago while taking a weekend drive.

A few years afterward they moved to the village from Clifton in Fairfax County. They also formerly owned the Orlean Market.

Ms. Gilliam loves the “beautiful scenery” that surrounds the village.

“It’s a wonderful community,” she said. “You know a lot of people and they take care of each other. It’s a special place.”

Fauquier County comp plan village plans by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Orlean Historical District by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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