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Lorton was settled by Joseph Plaskett, who ran the general store and in 1875 became the first postmaster in the area. It is named in honor of a village in Cumbria, England. The Lorton Reformatory, a correctional facility for Washington, D.C., was the place which housed 168 suffragettes in the second half of 1917. It is a census-designated place in Fairfax County.

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