The land on which Reston sits was initially owned by Lord Fairfax during the 18th century. C.A. Wiehle (for whom Wiehle Avenue is named) bought the land later in the 1880s. He died after construction of several buildings. His sons did not share his vision, and sold the land to A. Smith Bowman, who built a bourbon distillery on the site while maintaining a farm on most of the area, a 7,300-acre tract. An office retail development and a road are named for him. In 1961, Robert E. Simon bought most of the land, except for 60 acres on which the Bowman distillery continued to operate until 1987.
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