It doesn’t matter how famous you might be in US history if you can’t pay your bills the government is going to confiscate your land. And this is what happened to none other than Robert E. Lee and his wife during the civil war. General Lee was unable to keep up with the taxes on the Custis-Lee estate and abandoned the property while fighting in the civil war. The land was purchased at auction by the US Government and divided into 200 acres for Arlington National Cemetery and 256 acres for a site originally called Fort Whipple. After the war the name of the post was changed to Fort Myer to honor the first general of the US Signal Corps Albert J. Myer.
So if the information that the land that comprises the Fort Myer came to the US by tax confiscation isn’t enough history it is also the site of the first military aircraft flight by Orville Wright and the site of the first military aircraft fatality. On the second flight attempt Orville Wright was injured and Lt. Selfridge was killed. So much for the fame of Kitty Hawk!
Just as the Marine Corps Barracks-DC is home to the ceremonial units for the Marine Corps, Fort Myer is home to the US Army School of Music and The Old Guard the army’s ceremonial unit. When driving through Fort Myer you will find the stables for the horses and caisson used for both military and Presidential funerals. The most famous horse remembered from the Old Guard in Black Jack the riderless horse seen in the funerals of presidents John F. Kennedy, Herbert Hoover and Lyndon Johnson.
Many of the buildings and brick homes on Fort Myer are listed on the historic register and the 26 Victorian-style homes known as "Generals' Row" were built 75 years ago. if you drive to the back gate of Fort Myer you can take in incredible view over Arlington Cemetery and the Washington monument. For those in the know and with the right pass it is a fantastic place to take in Washington’s fireworks.
In 2005 some of Henderson Hall management functions moved to Fort Myer establishing Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. If you are stationed at either the Navy Annex or Henderson Hall you can get on to Fort Myer during the week through the back gates.
Many military personnel coming into Fort Meyer find Fairlington and Park Fairfax are great places to call home. With the proximity to Shirlington and Clarendon finding a place to take in a movie, grab a bite to eat or shop, Fort Meyerr is in a strategic location.
If you find yourself with PCS orders to Fort Myer, Military District of Washington, Fort Belvoir, Pentagon or any of the other military locations around Northern Virginia give me a call.
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©2008 Cindy Jones. All Rights Reserved
All original photos taken at Fort Myer in January 2008 by Cindy Jones
Fireworks photo from IStock.
As an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Allegiance in Northern Virginia and native of the area I can assist you whether you are buying, selling or renting a home anywhere in Northern Virginia. For more information about the area or my services you can check VaRealEstateTalk or my Northern Virginia website.
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