In 1897 Henry Copperthite, a Georgetown businessman, purchased Silas Burke's farm. In 1907 he constructed, according to a newspaper account, the "very best" harness racing facility "of its kind in the country." The grandstand, which opened on 4 July 1908, held 2,000 people. Horse, motorcycle and car races were also featured. Special trains from the Washington, D.C. area brought visitors to Burke, where they could stay at the new hotel. Families enjoyed fairs, Fort Myer cavalry drills, balloon ascensions, baseball games, athletic contests and dances the pavilion. For nearly a decade, thousands were entertained at the Copperthite racetrack and fairground.