April 21, 2013

Main Street, Fairfax City, VA

Hard to believe there was snow on the ground just a few weeks ago...

The Story of Ravensworth

A fantastic new resource for Fairfax County, Virginia history: The Story of Ravensworth http://ravensworthstory.org/ John Browne has spent the last few years researching the Fitzhugh Ravenworth land grant in Fairfax and has compiled an incredibly interesting website. Maps, oral histories, primary research and so much more... it's fabulous.


April 10, 2013

Telemonious Plenus' aka 'Van Sion' daffodils.

This year's blooming of my beautiful, historic Mason Neck 'Telemonious Plenus' aka 'Van Sion' daffodils.

April 1, 2013

Walney, Chantilly, VA

I definitely observed many depressions around the south and west of the main house:


Outbuilding foundation, likely the slave quarters:

View from quarters towards main house:

Ice House foundation:


View of main house from Dairy:

One of the things that Walney is known for, the carved keystone:

Machen time capsule items:

"This house was built by Coleman Brown about the year 1780. Modernized by L. H. Machen 1843 [reverse] Back building added by Jas. P. Machen 1875- Frame house burned Dec. 30 1874"

"James P. Machen Born May 19. 1831. His Wife Georgie Chichester born [reverse] Oct. 4. 1841. Children: Caroline born July 16. 1867 [.] Lewis Henry July 10 1871."

From the Tenants display in the Walney Visitor Center:

"There are few records left of who lived on the land during this time period. We do know who a few of the 20th century residents were. After Ellanor C. Lawrence bought Walney in 1935, she continued to rent the house or allow people to live in it up until 1948, when she began a major renovation. Two of the families that lived here during that time were an African American family named Harris (1938-40) and a caucasian family named Crane (ca. 1942-1946)."

"1940. This picture was taken in about 1940 of Bettie Jett and Roberta Burke on the front steps of Walney. They lived here with their (respectively) grandmother and adopted mother Mrs. Nina Brooks Harris who was born in this area. Her family, the Brooks, were former slaves who owned a house and land just east of Walney that they called the 'Homeplace'."

"2000. This photo of Bettie Jett Balley and Barbara [Roberta?] Burke Smith was taken when they returned to Walney in 2000 and sat on the front steps of Walney where the sat 60 years before as small girls."

Map is from FCPA brochure A Walk through Time in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park: