White Post Landmark Damaged but Stands Up to Reckless Driver

The historic landmark, after which the village of White Post is named, survived another encounter with a reckless driver late Sunday morning. 60 year old Dennis McDowell of Winchester struck the historic landmark with his 2005 Toyota 4runner at approximately 11:45 AM on August 1st. McDowell was traveling westbound on 628 when he attempted to make a left turn on to 658, but struck the post instead.   Rescue crews responded to the incident and treated McDowell for minor injuries. He was taken to Winchester Medical for treatment.

The pieces of the White Post puzzle- photo Pete Engle

Virginia State Trooper J. E. Smith responded to the incident and charged McDowell with reckless driving.

The post was damaged in the accident but remained standing. The wood cladding that surrounds the locust post structure was smashed and the compass directional signage at the top was knocked off the post. The locust post, which was harvested from Mt. Vernon, survived the impact.

Nearby resident Pete Engel said the driver hit the post head on. “He hit the post so hard it left an imprint from the Toyota emblem in the boards that were knocked off the post. The letters’YO'”

The historic landmark is maintained by Billy Thompson who is often referred to as the unofficial mayor White Post. Mr Thompson owns and operates White Post Restoration and has assumed the task of care and maintenance of the landmark and will oversee the repairs that will be required as a result of this incident.

According to The Historical Marker Database, the post was originally placed by George Washington under the direction of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord and Baron of Cameron, in 1750. The post was to serve as a guide to the Lord Fairfax estate, Greenway Court, approximately 1.2 miles south of the White Post.

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  1. It’a tragic shame that people are just in too much of a hurry.This landmark destroyed by a reckless driver. I’m sure his insurance company will not be pleased with the incident. Some innocent person could have been seriously injured or killed by this lack of responsible driving…

  2. That thing is knocked over all the time. Bad location

  3. Lonnie Bishop says:

    Would it be possible to put up concrete & steel posts, a la what are outside some other buildings? That way, anything that hits them is further away from the hallowed post. It’s not even the original post; same location, but different materials.

  4. John Lilly says:

    That intersection needs to be improved into a round about traffic circle with a concrete circle around the post. Where else can you drive and see a giant post right in the middle of an intersection? Are other historic monuments placed directly into the asphalt?

  5. Fact Checker says:

    Maybe Billy Thompson should make the replacement out of rubber.