Burke is an unincorporated section of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States traditionally defined as the area served by the Burke post office (Zip Code 22015). Burke includes two census-designated places: The Burke CDP, population 41,055 in 2010 and the Burke Centre CDP, population 17,326.
Burke is named after Silas Burke (1796–1854), a 19th-century farmer, merchant, and local politician who built a house on a hill overlooking the valley of Pohick Creek in approximately 1824. The house still stands. When the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was constructed in the late 1840s, the railroad station at the base of that hill was named "Burke's Station" after Burke, who owned the land in the area and donated a right-of-way to the railroad company. The community that grew up around the railroad station acquired a post office branch in 1852. The railroad tracks located on the same historical line are owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway and form part of the Manassas line of the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail system, which has two stations (Rolling Road and Burke Centre) in the Burke area. The original Burke Station building can still be seen in the community, turned 90 degrees from its historical footprint.
During the Civil War, the railway station was garrisoned by Union troops. The Bog Wallow Ambush occurred nearby in 1861. On December 28, 1862, Confederate cavalry under General J.E.B. Stuart raided the station.