History of Herndon Patch

Herndon Patch new

The Town of Herndon was named in honor of Commander William Lewis Herndon.   He gave his place in the lifeboat to others, and gallantly stayed with his ship, the Central America.  The ship a U.S. mail carrier sank off the coast of Cape Hatteras during a hurricane on September 12, 1856.  The Commander was returning the mail steamer to its New York port from Panama.  This was the principal route for the 49’ers in their travels to and from California in search of gold.

A town meeting was held in 1858 to select a name for this growing village which boasted a railroad station.  Several names were presented but were unacceptable.  A survivor of the disaster was present, and he related to this group of Virginians the heroism of Commander Herndon.  They were stirred by his actions and voted to give the village the name of Herndon.

Commander Herndon’s daughter, Ellen Lewis Herndon, later because the wife of Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president of the United States of America.

The Girl Scouts would like to thank Tony DeBenedittis of the Historical Society of Herndon for his enthusiastic support in this project.  This patch was designed with the artistic contributions of Girl Scouts in Service Unit 51-9, Herndon, Virginia.

Herndon Historical Patch

Earn the Herndon Historical Patch.  This patch should increase the girls’ awareness of their hometown history.

Complete any 3 of the 5 requirements for this patch.


  1. Visit the Herndon Depot.
  2. Discover who Commander Herndon was.  How did our town get its name?
  3. Participate in the Herndon Homecoming Parade?
  4. Work on the Girl Scout Float (when applicable)
  5. Do one hour of community service.



Posted on May 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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