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Leewood History and Things

(This article was written by Bob Meyer for the April 1966 Newsletter. If there were updates to the information, they are in parantheses)

Leewood is now twenty years old. At the time we were looking for a townhouse, Leewood was not even advertised. Gosnell (ed. the builder of Leewood) had been building fine homes in Maryland and Virginia for some time. We discoovered Leewood by talking to a friend on the staff of the NVCC.

We came and looked. There were no real estate agents, just Gosnell's representatives, who showed us around and talked to us about the homes. I was surprised at how well built the houses were. Every aspect from foundations to interiors and finishing were above and beyond anything we had been looking at in Fairfax County - and we had been looking for two years! Our decision to buy here was one of the best we have ever made. And we are still pleased with Leewood this almost twenty years later.

There have been some changes. And there were some oddities.bradwood common area In the middle of what is now the park area between Bradwood Street and the elbow that is Bradwood Court, there stood a single family home. It was a rather large house of about one and one half stories. The contractor, Gosnell, had been using it for a construction office. When the construction was about finished, he said they were going to "dispose" of it. With a bulldozer he dug a big hole in the ground and shove the house, furniture, hangins, file cabinets, and all, into the hole. Aggie and I went down and salvaged some old bricks for decorating our lawn edges. The next day, the bulldozer trampled the house down into the hole and covered it up with dirt. It is located under the soil where the two large trees stand in the middle of the park today. The design of park area was by and large the work of Larry and Zaida Bergman when they were on the Grounds and Maintenance Committee years ago. (ed: Actually I understand they contributed the evergreen trees that are there as they were outgrowing their yard. Larry Bergman was President of the association for many years).

There was also an older frame house at the corner of Braddock and Backlick Road. It sat back from the corner in a dark wooded area. Braddock Mews is on the site today. It was nice that the contractor left some of the old large trees on the site as Gosnell did in Leewoods. This whole area was at one time a forest of very old white and red oak trees and sweet gum trees and many of them still stand, although some are dying off.

The open area across Backlick Road from us was the Boyer property. (ed: This area now houses the Aarondale retirement/nursing home, some of the Boyer family was at the dedication of that home and one of the girls married the farmer that lived on Larlyn street. He had a vegetable patch in his front lawn and for many years the people of Leewood would buy fresh tomatoes from the stand he set up on this property). It had once been a chicken farm and truck farm (at one time I kept my boats under the barn/chicken house). When Mrs. Boyer's son was at the Naval Academy, they raised beautiful chrysanthemums which are used for special events at the Academy in the fall of the year. The whole field on the right leading down to what is now Deerlick Park was once a field of prize chrysanthemums.

Deerlick Park was once a swamp. Thanks to the foresight of Fairfax County Park Authority for reserving the site and then, more recently, developing it into tennis courts and a very nice walking trail.

Both Braddock Road (named for the British General Braddock) and Backlick Road and the whole of the Springfield area have a long history. The history of the area, now known as the Braddock District is traced back to the pre-revolutionary year of 1695 when Colonel William Fitzhugh purchased more than 24,000 acres of land, originally named "Ravensworth."

[Ed: For more information on the area surrounding us see the History of Braddock which is taken from a document produced by the Braddock District]

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