The village of Markham, Virginia is best known historically as the boyhood home of Chief Justice John Marshall, whose family moved to Markham in 1764. Markham was named after John Marshall's paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Markham.
John Marshall was the eldest of ten children who lived in a small cabin built by his father, Thomas Marshall, called "The Hollow." Thomas was a surveyor who surveyed the lands of Lord Fairfax with young George Washington. The Marshall family later moved to Oak Hill in nearby Marshall where four more children were born.
The Hollow is one of Fauquier County's earliest examples of frontier architecture and the earliest existing structure connected with John Marshall. It has been estimated that more than 10,000 Marshall descendants can trace their lineage back to the The Hollow. The Hollow is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Leeds Manor Road runs through Markham, which was part of the "Manor of Leeds," a 160,000 acre tract owned by Lord Fairfax and named after his family seat at Leeds Castle in Kent, England. John Marshall and his brothers acquired the Manor of Leeds from Lord Fairfax's heir following the American Revolution.
For many years, Markham was a vibrant center of apple production in Fauquier County, with large packing houses along the railroad from which apples were shipped to market. Today, the village has lapsed into a quiet existence, with no notable commercial activity other than the post office. The official population of Markham is 319 people as of 2009.
John Marshall Historical Marker
This historical marker is located on Leeds Manor Road off the Route 66 ramp and states:
"In 1765, John Marshall, then nine, moved with his family from his birthplace 30 miles southeast to a small, newly constructed frame house one-quarter mile east known as The Hollow. The house built by his father, Thomas Marshall, was his home until 1773, when the family moved five miles east to Oak Hill. After the American Revolution began, Thomas Marshall and his sons, John Marshall, James Markham Marshall, and Thomas Marshall Jr. fought in numerous Revolutionary War battles including Great Bridge and Yorktown. John Marshall later served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835."
From Thomas Ashby's The Valley Campaigns:
"The country around Markham is one of great natural beauty, of fertility, and healthfulness.The foothills of the Blue Ridge surround Markham on all sides, dividing the landscape into valleys and elevated plateaus, covered with forests, grazing fields, and rich farm lands. The old and distinguished Colonial families early moved up to this section and founded a community of rare intelligence, refinement, and good breeding. There were before the war few sections of Virginia which could show such a citizenship of culture and independence as was found around Markham."
Thomas A. Ashby, The Valley Campaigns (Neale Publishing, 1914) p. 35.