Located in Fairfax County, the town of Herndon is part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is the largest of the three towns located in that county, with a population of around 24,000. The town itself was named after the explorer William Lewis Herndon, who wrote the famous Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. It was christened in 1858, and settled by a large population of Northern soldiers in the 1870s. Later, it developed into a dairy farming community and vacation spot. Today, it is home to many historic sites and buildings.