About Charles Preston Poland Sr. and Jr.

The life of C. Preston Poland spanned most of the twentieth century. He was born in 1912, when America and Loudoun County, Virginia were still rural and the horse was still the primary form of travel and power for farming. During his eighty six years the family farm and the traditional community of more tranquil living would virtually disappear replaced by suburban sprawl and bedroom communities.

At the age of nine his father was killed, leaving his young wife with five children to raise. Despite the demanding task of running a farm she insisted Preston graduate from high school after which he had a number of poultry jobs during the Great Depression. During World War II he started his own hatchery and in 1950’s the construction of custom homes in Northern Virginia. At the same time he was active in civic affairs and a leader in his church. For three decades he was the head of the rural electrical cooperative serving part of Northern Virginia while serving more than two decades on the Loudoun County Planning Commission. His life spanned most of the twentieth century and is a testimony to the shift of America from a nation of farmers to city dwellers.

His son Charles Preston Poland Jr. was born during the Great Depression. Charles was raised and worked with his Dad on the poultry farm and construction of homes. After college Charles taught high schools while obtaining graduate degrees. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, and a former chairman of the Social Science Division on the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. He is currently professor of History and teaches courses on Virginia and the American Civil War. Charles has written five books. He is the founder and director of the Northern Virginia Community College Civil War Museum and has conducted numerous field trips to Civil War battle sites. He witnessed much of his father life and the demise of Northern Virginia farms which has enabled him to expand his Dad’s autobiography of a forgotten way of life.