The rusty remains of about 100 junked autos were removed last week from the so-called Brawner Farm on the edge of Manassas National Battlefield Park, after Prince William County officials acted on complaints from nearby residents.
Edward P. Davis, a member of the Davis family that has owned the 343-acre farm since 1890, said the junked autos were removed at the county's request.
"We've had old cars sitting on the place since 1927," Davis said. But he noted that a large number of the abandoned vehicles had accumulated on the farm in the last three years. Davis said the family had been collecting the cars and selling the parts to help pay taxes on the farm until the federal government buys it as part of the battlefield park.
"The county asked us to clean up the cars and we did. We've never had a problem with the county," said Davis, 60, who lives about five miles from the farm with his family and a 93-year-old uncle, Walker M. Davis, the farm's principal owner.
The 19th-century farmhouse is at the site where Stonewall Jackson in 1862 began the bloody Second Battle of Manassas by attacking a column of Union troops. More than 19,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in the three-day battle.
The farmhouse has not been lived in for about five years and has been repeatedly vandalized, Davis said last week.
Congress authorized purchase of the farm in 1980 as part of a 1,400-acre park expansion. The Carter administration appropriated funds to buy it, but the Reagan administration froze the funds when it imposed a nationwide ban on park purchases, although Congress has continued to authorize purchase of some park land.