historic neighborhoods: Occoquan (VA) A Step Back to Another Time - 08/28/09 09:28 AM
Most people zooming across the Occoquan River on Route 123 or driving south on interstate 95 aren't thinking about the history of our area. Hidden among all of the mega subdivisions and marinas on the Occoquan River in Prince William County is the historic Town of Occoquan. The town's history can be traced back to the indigenous Native American Dogue Indians who inhabited much of the Occoquan River area. The Town of Occoquan growth as a settlement began in the 18th century as a mill town. It was prospering by 1765 with a grist mill, tobacco warehouses and foundry. As one … (4 comments)

historic neighborhoods: The Bombs Bursting In Air-Indepence Day is Almost Here - 06/30/08 08:34 AM
Having had the good fortune to grow up up in the DC area I've had the opportunity to watch the Nation's Capital fireworks from a number of different perspectives.
As a child my father used to park the car on the side of the road just outside of town with a great view of the Washington Monument. In my late 20's and early 30's I joined the masses on the Mall to listen to the Beach Boys and enjoy a picnic. When my children were small we found a special perch at the inside the gates of Fort Meyers in Arlington. Last year … (5 comments)

historic neighborhoods: The Top Five-Things You Most do While Visiting the DC Area - 06/29/08 01:26 PM
Trying to pick the top five things to do in the DC area is like a Smothers Brothers comedy routine.  Mom always liked you best; no she always liked you best, how are you supposed to choose?  But choose I must.  As a native of the area I've had the good fortune to run up the stairs of the Washington Monument as a child with my out of town cousins and dip my feet in the Reflecting Pool on a hot summer day.  Since the stairs of the monument are now off limits and the Park Police frown on cooling your feet you will have to settle … (31 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Things to Do and See in Washington DC-For Free - 02/26/08 03:38 AM
Unlike a trip to Epcot Center in Florida which will can cost a family of four an arm and a leg for the day you can spend an entire day exploring DC and the surrounding area for free.
So where should you start?How about a visit to the White House?  Now you won't be joining anyone for a State Dinner but you can check out many of the famous public rooms and learn about the history behind them.  To secure a ticket to tour the White House all your member of Congress and request tickets.  Call at least a month before your … (25 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Saying Good Bye to "The Awakening" Sculpture in DC - 02/19/08 10:46 AM
For anyone who has ever encountered this strange sculpture at Hains Point in Washington DC it always takes a few minutes to take it all in.  If you weren't excepting to see a giant emerging from the earth it can be a real surprise.  Kids love it and tourists spend a lot of time photographing the sculpture.
Now "The Awakening" is leaving and moving across the Potomac River to a new home in Prince Georges County at the new mega National Harbor development.  Even though I write quite a bit about DC and Northern Virginia history I was surprised to learn that the statue has … (16 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Riding the Rails-From Union Station to Old Town Alexandria - 02/19/08 09:17 AM
If you're just joining the "Magical History Tour" you might want to take a few minutes and check out where we have already been in the DC and Northern Virginia area.
Magical History Tour of Northern VirginaMagical History Tour Takes to the Water-Washington DC
Today our tour is just a short train ride from Union Station to Old Town Alexandria.  We wanted to leave you plenty of time to take in the sights of our stops and enjoy a leisurely afternoon explore Old Town Alexandria.  So All Aboard and away we go.
If we are going to start in Union Station … (6 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford Lived Here and So Can You - 02/11/08 02:25 AM
In the early 1950's two future presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford called Parkfairfax home.  My parents lived just one door down from the Nixon's in what were at the time rental apartments located in Alexandria VA.  Originally built constructed in 1941 to fulfill a housing shortage need for government employees close to Washington DC the homes today still are popular with buyers of all ages.  The originally developer of the property was the same construction company that built the Empire State building. A total of 286 buildings were built containing 720 one bedroom units, 863 two bedroom units and 101 … (10 comments)

historic neighborhoods: The Magical History Tour Takes to the Water-Washington DC - 02/04/08 10:36 AM
So have you recovered from all of the walking on the last round of the Magical History Tour?  Did you remember to hold on to your ticket?  Today we are going to take a little different mode of transportation for our tour.  We are going to head out on the little Potomac River to get a different view of the area.
First we might not want to make the Potomac River angry by calling it little.  In reality it is 380 miles long, starting from a spring in West Virginia and flowing all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.  Along the … (23 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Welcome to the Magical History Tour of Northern Virginia - 02/03/08 12:35 AM
Hop on the bus and come along for the ride.  We make stops along the way at historic mansions, churches and towns throughout Northern Virginia.  You can get off and stay awhile at any location.  We will circle back around to pick you up when you are done.  Your ticket is good forever.  If you can't see them all today, don't worry, they will be here tomorrow and for centuries to come.
We will start today with the Northern Virginia Historic Churches Tour.  These churches are small gems found throughout Fairfax Station, and Lorton.  They aren't the large and lavish cathedrals that … (8 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Virginia Historic Churches-Wakefield Chapel in Annandale Virginia - 01/23/08 07:31 AM
Tucked away in the Fairfax County on Toll House Road in Annandale sits Wakefield Chapel built in 1899 by Oliver Besley, a local sawmill owner on land he donated to build a church.  The original deed for Wakefield Chapel drawn up by Oliver Besley stated that the church was only to be used for Methodist services two Sundays a month and the rest of the time it was to by any other denominations on other days.
The chapel is actually named for the first methodist minister who led services there Elhanan Wakefield.  Wakefield had a significant part of history in Fairfax … (6 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Prince William County-Another Small Piece of Local History - 01/18/08 05:32 AM
Sometimes you can drive past a landmark for years and not really notice it.  Then one day you happen to glance at it again and wonder a bit more about the story behind the little white building by the side of the road.  In this case it is another one of the small white frame churches you find that hasn’t been demolished to make way for “progress.” 
The Sacred Heart Parish first began in 1914 as a congregation made up primarily of Czech and Austrian families living in Manassas.  In 1929 part of the congregation left and built the Annunciation of … (14 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Historic Churches in Northern Virginia-Cranford Methodist Church - 01/14/08 03:47 AM
Cranford Methodist Church is another small Northern Virginia church that can trace its history back to the 18th century.   Where the current church stands there have been three churches and two schoolhouses.  The first church that occupied the site from 1730-1774 was called Pohick Episcopal Church.  Being a frame built church after 40 years it began to fall into disrepair and George Washington suggested moving the church and congregation to a better location.  So a new larger Pohick Episcopal Church was built closer to the “main” road.
The old frame church fell into disrepair and the site at the corner of … (3 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Glen Echo Park-An Art Deco Masterpiece - 12/27/07 11:44 AM
If you are a native of the DC area as I am then you may have memories of Glen Echo Park as an amusement park with a creaky wooden roller coaster, huge swimming pool, bumper cars and fantastic carousel.   The history of Glen Echo Park goes way beyond the days as a great amusement park.  In 1888 two brothers, Edwin and Edward Balztley purchased 516 acres and named it Glen Echo on the Potomac.   They compared the location to the Rhine River in Germany and began to build on the property.  For many years it was a gathering place for those … (9 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Historic Churches in Northern Virginia-Alexandria - 12/14/07 01:59 AM
Today’s church is not quite as old as the others in the previous articles in the series but it is a beautiful church with a long history in Old Town Alexandria. Not as famous as its neighbor Christ Church the Washington Street Church has its place in Alexandria history as well.
The cornerstone for the Washington Street Church was laid in September 1850. However, the history of the church actually began almost 40 years before when a split erupted in the Methodist Church over the issue of slavery occurred. The church split into two factions, just as the country did, a … (6 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Historic Churches in Northern Virginia-A Detour - 12/12/07 08:49 AM
Every story has a starting places and my series on historic churches in Northern Virginia has one as well. Since most of the churches in Colonial America were started by families coming to the America’s from England the history of our older churches starts there as well.
So this edition of the story detours to an upscale neighborhood in London known as Hampstead Heath. The church is known as Rosslyn Hill Chapel which has it’s origins in the late 17th century. This particular church was one of the first churches where “Dissenters” from the Church of England were allowed to register … (3 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Historic Churches in Northern Virginia-Fairfax Station - 12/09/07 01:23 AM
One of the nice things about living in Northern Virginia is all of the history that you can find throughout the area. There are the well known sites such as Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall and then some smaller sites that if you didn’t know the history of our area you might just pass them by. Today we are going to take a look at two historic churches in Fairfax Station just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Burke Center and downtown Fairfax.
The first church, St Mary of Sorrows was started in 1858 and dedicated in 1860 by the … (4 comments)

historic neighborhoods: A Fairfax County Neighborhood Built Into the Surroundings Not on Top of Them - 10/31/07 02:28 AM
Just minutes from the buzz of the interstate sits the mid-century Fairfax County neighborhood of Holmes Run Acres. Built on a 122 acre tract of land originally owned by a Washington investor by the name of Herman Schmidt the property was named Holmes Run Acres in 1945 and a set of restrictions were put in place for the development of the land. Since mid-century modern neighborhoods are rare in Fairfax County they have garnered a following of loyal homeowners over the years and Holmes Run Acres is no exception.
The development of the property began in 1950 with what would turn out … (11 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Thomas Jefferson’s Second Home-No Little Cabin in the Woods - 10/16/07 12:40 PM
Most everyone knows about Thomas Jefferson's primary residence Monticello in Charlottesville Virginia.  It is a beautiful home and shows how far ahead Jefferson was when it came to architecture, literature and agriculture.  By like so many other homeowners today Jefferson also had a second home that is rarely mentioned in the history books and in fact Jefferson for the most part kept the existence of the home to himself.
In 1773 his wife Martha inherited a 4000+ acres of land in central Virginia that included Natural Bridge.  When the British invaded Monticello in 1781 Jefferson retreated to Popular Forest the name … (3 comments)

historic neighborhoods: Fall Occoquan Arts and Crafts Fair - 09/26/07 10:47 AM
It is time for the fall Arts and Crafts Fair in historic Occoquan in Prince William County VA.  This event always draws huges crowds due to the quality of vendors and crafts offered.  Don't try to drive to town.  The narrow one way streets are blocked off starting at 7 am on Saturday-even the post office closes-and stay closed until the event ends on Sunday.  You can grab a shuttle bus from a number of different locations around the area including the old Hechingers Park and Ride Lot.  If you want to get out and enjoy the great weather we are … (3 comments)

historic neighborhoods: People Who Live in Glass Houses - 08/28/07 09:47 AM
Hidden among all of the three level colonials in Fairfax County you will find a few pockets of Mid Century Modern homes (MCM).  One of those neighborhoods is Hollin Hills in Alexandria.   Designed over 50 years ago by architect Charles Goodwin the neighborhood was considered avant-garde at the time as it broke the traditional bounds of building in the area.   With clean lines and walls of windows the homes were designed to obscure the lines between the inside and the outside.  Originally the area was popular with Washington urbanite and now the second generation of fans of MCM are buying the … (3 comments)

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Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Woodbridge, VA

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