Much of Arlington typified the "sleepy Southern town,” decades into the twentieth century. It was initially part of, then (merely) the closest neighbor to the District of Columbia. Often, Arlington was a place passed through on the way to somewhere else. With better transportation at the beginning of the twentieth century, it became a destination instead. Towns sprang up along the rail lines. An overflow of home-seeking government workers joined the earlier settlers, ultimately developing the suburban community of today. The federal government joined in, placed facilities in the county, and developed the Custis-Lee estate into the national Arlington Cemetery.
With a selection of fine historic images from his best-selling book Historic Photos of Arlington County, Matthew Gilmore provides a valuable and revealing historical retrospective on the growth and development of Arlington. Remembering Arlington brings together many different images and perspectives on Arlington, from the nonrecognizable rural nineteenth century to quite recognizable images from the 1970s. It captures the manifold aspects of the county in vivid black-and-white photographs. Images of local businesses, countywide parades, and shaded streets mingle with those of visits to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.