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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Old Arlington Hall

By David Shultz
The Connection newspaper

A PIECE of weaponry dating back to the Civil War was discovered underneath a local Arlington building.

The weaponry consisted of an unexploded shell from the mid-1800’s. It was discovered on the evening of Jan. 31 underneath Arlington Hall which is located on Route 50 between Glebe Road and George Mason Drive.

Benjamin Barksdale, the Chief Fire Marshall for Arlington County, said that “They were doing some construction work and one of the construction people found it and called 911… You could clearly see it was a shell. It was one foot long, five inches in diameter. It looked like a large bullet.”

He said that County fire officials were unsure if the shell was live but, as a precautionary measure, the workers who were in the building above the shell were temporarily moved to another part of the building.

Because the shell was found on federal property, Barksdale said that bomb experts from Fort Belvoir were brought in to handle the shell.

The Arlington County Fire Department has handled buried munitions before, Barksdale said, but “Not like that… We’ve come across more modern day stuff. Every once in a while we’ll get a call that someone has got something from [the] Vietnam [era].”