Located in Fairfax County, VA, Lorton is named for the little town in the Lake District Park, Cumbria in Old England, the hometown of Joseph Plaskett who settled in the area running a general store and opened the Lorton Valley, Virginia Post Office on November 11, 1875.
Historic landmarks include Gunston Hall, George Mason's Home, Pohick Church with George Washington's box, Belvoir which was George Fairfax's home, and now Fort Belvoir Army Corps of Engineer base and Cranford Church. Woodlawn Plantation and Mt. Vernon, George Washington's Home on the Potomac River lie just to the North.
Considerable development has taken place in Lorton during the last few years. Gunston Plaza Shopping Center is the largest shopping center in the vicinity. The plaza includes a medical clinic, space for several business offices, grocery, restaurants, gymnasium, a senior citizen's center, and a number of shops and the post office. Library services in the area have expanded from bookmobile service to a store front library and now to a 10,000 square foot building.