Our Historic Hall
A Vienna Landmark
People often ask what that old church is by the Vienna Post Office. Well it is an old church--from just after the Civil War. But, it's now the home to the Santa Maria Club (pictured) who rent it to the Knights of Columbus.
To understand its history, we must begin around the end of the Civil War with Major Orrin Hine. He was an Army officer for the Union who had amassed large real estate holdings (about 6500 acres) in the Vienna/ Oakton area according to Town of Vienna history. Major Hine would later become the first Mayor of Vienna in 1890 when it incorporated. At the end of the war Major Hine was sympathetic to the black soldiers under his command and attempted to help them establish their own church, by deeding to them 1/10th of an acre and giving them access to lumber-salvage used to build Army barracks no longer needed after the war. There were also large timbers salvaged from an abandoned train trestle which are visible as the roof rafters of our building.
The good Major deeded the property to the First Baptist congregation with the stipulation that the church would own the land until and if it disbanded or relocated, at which time the land would revert to the Major’s heirs. In 1957, the congregation relocated to their current site on Orchard Street, and the building and land were legally released from the original covenant.
During this time the Edward Douglas White Council in Arlington was the largest council in Northern Virginia. Several of the EDW-Vienna knights decided to separate from EDW and form a new council in Vienna and thus Council 4654, the Santa Maria Council, was established. The recorded date of this charter according to records in New Haven, Conn. is 11 September 1958.
These founding members of the Santa Maria Council purchased the land and building from the heirs of Major/Mayor Hine and established the Santa Maria Club. The Town of Vienna recognizes the Club as a historic site and presented a bronze plaque to permanently mark the site. Brother Al Boudreau, a Vienna Councilman, was instrumental in making this happen.
Our sincere thanks to Brother Vito Florimonte for researching and documenting this history. He conducted this research and write-up around the time of our council's 50th Anniversary, September 11, 2008.