Leesburg has been the county seat since 1757 and was once named "George Town" honoring King George II. Leesburg was established in 1758 from land originally held by Lord Fairfax, then renamed for the influential Lee family of Virginia. George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan and former Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, lived in Leesburg until his death in 1959. Nearby, the area's only Civil War engagement can be explored at Balls Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, which includes interpretive markers, wooded trails, and guided history tours on seasonal weekends.
Two historic estates are located nearby. Oatlands Plantation is a 330-acre property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and offers tours of the mansion in addition to tours of the formal 4-acre garden. Historic Morven Park is the former home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis and also features the Winmill Carriage Collection.