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Thread: Arlington Historical Bike Ride (No Drop Ride)

  1. #31
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    The whole Rosslyn thang: Marriott and Dark Star orbs

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    Last edited by Boomer2U; 07-22-2017 at 05:35 PM.

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  3. #32
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    Cherrydale; Jackson City (ruined by a bunch of guys from Joisey); #dangerpanda #toyairplanes; and our host with the most of the day, @Bobco!!!!

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  5. #33
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    Default History Notes - Part 1 of 4

    First off, thank you to everyone for coming on this hot, humid, and ultimately wet ride! I was told that the count was around 25 people, and I'm ecstatic that mostly everything went well. We had to call off the last few stops due to the incoming thunderstorm (having people go up onto a mountain ridge during a thunderstorm isn't a good idea), so I promised to give notes on the missing stops. I'll put just the notes from my notecards in a bite-size but hopefully readable fashion.


    • Stop #1 - Shirlington
      • Arlington
        • Arlington County named after Arlington House (old Custis-Lee estate in present-day Arlington National Cemetery)
        • Arlington House named after Arlington Plantation (Custis family homestead in VA Eastern Shore; you can see Custis family grave)
        • Arlington Plantation named for Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington in 17th Century CE England - never set foot in VA
      • Shirlington
        • Henry Garnett Shirley
          • Commissioner of VA Department of Highways
          • Promoted 1st limited-access highway between VA Route 1 and 14th St Bridge (now I-395)
          • Died before I-395 was built, but it was named after him
        • Shirlington developed after Shirley Highway was built, named after the highway
      • Campbell Avenue - named after the Campbells
        • Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell
          • Arlingtonian, 1st woman in VA to be elected to a school board
          • Mid-1950's became head of Greater Washington Educational Television Association
          • WETA came from this and is currently the 3rd largest public television station in the US
        • Edmund D Campbell
          • Lawyer who promoted civil rights
          • Lead attorney in 1958 case (James v. Almond) which overturned VA's "Massive Resistance" laws which had been used to closed all public schools that were going to integrate after the 1954 (Brown v. Board of Education) ruling

    • Stop #2 - Arlington Mill
      • Arlington Mill
        • Grist Mill built in 1836 by George Washington Parke Custis
        • Destroyed during the Civil War
      • Dr. John Woolverton Barcroft
        • Physician and inventor, rebuilt Arlington Mill
        • Arlington Mill had the largest mill wheel on the East Coast
        • Mill was destroyed in a fire in 1920
        • Present-day Jim's Automotive at the end of 10th St S was built on its foundations
        • Barcroft neighborhood named after him
        • Lake Barcroft named after him because he owned a house on the lake
        • Also owned a mill just downstream of Lake Barcroft on Holmes Run
        • Remnants of his mill on Holmes Run were washed out when Hurricane Agnes caused the Lake Barcroft dam to overflow by 3 feet
      • Old Columbia Turnpike
        • Columbia (Turn)Pike used to do a slight zig-zag and run down 10th St S to cross Four Mile Run using a bridge
        • The concrete foundations of the old bridge can be seen from the current Columbia Pike bridge (look downstream)

    • Stop #3 - George Washington Survey Marker
      • White oak tree at the confluence of Four Mile Run and Long Branch was used as a surveying marker
      • Deeds reference this as George Washington's forest property starting 300 yards south along Four Mile Run
      • Portion of the tree preserved in Glencarlyn Library
      • Daughters of the American Revolution responsible for current stone column to mark site

    • Stop #4 - Glencarlyn
      • Carlin Hall
        • Community Center built in 1892 originally named Custis Hall
        • Used for community meetings, social center, church, public library, one room school, and now a recreation center
      • John Ball & Moses Ball
        • Cousins of George Washington, were granted land in 1742 by Lord Fairfax
      • William Carlin
        • George Washington's tailor, bought the Balls' old estate when they died
      • Ball-Carlin Cemetery
        • Members of Ball and Carlin families buried here from 1766-1908
      • Glencarlyn Library - has the preserved white oak log used by George Washington as a survey marker
      • John Ball House
        • Built in 1742, oldest building in Arlington

    • Stop #5 - Carlin Springs
      • 1872 resort near confluence of Lubber Run and Four Mile Run
      • Location of springs, a dining room, pavilion, spring lawn, train station nearby can be found on an old map of the area
      • People would travel from DC via trains on the Alexandria, Loudoun, and Hampshire (Hampshire County, VA is present-day Mineral County, West Virginia) Railroad which later became the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad

    • Stop #6 - Mary Carlin House
      • Original log house built in 1800 by William Carlin
      • Lots of bird houses including one that is a model of the house

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  7. #34
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    Default History Notes - Part 2 of 4

    I forgot to mention, thank you to Steve O and Boomer for performing an impressive on-the-fly rear wheel truing for my bike while I spoke at the Arlington Mill stop!
    • Stop #7 - Bluemont Junction
      • Hub of the Washington & Old Dominion Railway
      • One line ran between Georgetown & Great Falls, the other ran between Alexandria & Bluemont (west of Purcellville)
      • Bluemont Junction connected the two lines by running along current Bluemont Junction Trail through Ball's Crossroads (Ballston) and along present-day I-66 across the Aqueduct Bridge into Georgetown

    • Stop #8 - Benjamin Banneker Park
      • Benjamin Banneker
        • Free African-American man born in Baltimore
        • Largely self-taught, he was an almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, & farmer
        • His knowledge of astronomy led to many commercially successful almanacs
        • Part of Andrew Ellicott's team that surveyed the borders of the original District of Columbia
      • SW9 Boundary Stone
        • 1 of 40 stones placed around DC's borders from 1791-1792

    • Stop #9 - Andrew Ellicott Park
      • Major Andrew Ellicott
        • American surveyor, part of group that surveyed the Mason-Dixon Line
        • Continued and completed L'Enfant's work on the plans for the District of Columbia
        • Mentor and teacher for Meriwether Lewis
        • Surveyed many lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River (this is before the Louisiana Purchase was made)
        • In 1791-1792, he was tasked by George Washington to perform a survey of the boundary of a new federal territory
        • This territory would include cities like Alexandria, Georgetown, Carrollsburg (Buzzard Point), Hamburg (Foggy Bottom), and more
        • His team was comprised of himself, his brothers Joseph and Benjamin, Isaac Roberdeau, George Fenwick, Isaac Briggs, and Benjamin Banneker
        • The federal territory became the District of Columbia in 1801
      • West Cornerstone
        • Westernmost part of Arlington
        • Daughters of the American Revolution responsible for the iron cages to help preserve the stones (the remaining ones, at least)

    • Stop #10 - Minor's Hill
      • Tallest point in Arlington at a "whopping" 459 feet (~140 m) above sea level
      • Minor family supported the Confederacy
      • Former Confederate outpost located here until overtaken by Union troops
      • Union troops built an observation tower and deployed hot-air balloons from it for surveillance

    • Stop #11 - Mount Olivet United Methodist Church
      • Mount Olivet United Methodist Church
        • Oldest church in continuous use in Arlington
        • 4 different main buildings used, 1st was built 1855-1860
      • Sue Landon Vaughan (Susan Adams before she married)
        • Buried in Mt. Olivet's cemetery, was a Confederate nurse, spy, and blockade runner
        • One of the founders of Decoration Day, a day used to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers in Mississippi
        • After World War II, Decoration Day became Memorial Day
        • On April 26, 1865, Susan Adams was walking with friends in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi, decorating the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers. She went and also decorated the graves of 4 Union dead, saying: "I will garland them with pink roses for the mothers and sisters who sobbed prayers as they marched away." This is recognized as the first celebration of Decoration Day

    • Stop #12 - The Glebe
      • A glebe is a farm provided to the rector of an Episcopalian parish as part of his salary
      • Glebe of Fairfax Parish was established in 1775 and included Christ Church in Alexandria and Falls Church
      • The Glebe burnt down in 1808 and was rebuilt as a hunting lodge in 1820
      • The teak eagle on the roof was added by Caleb Cushing (ambassador to Spain) in the 1870's as a gift from the people of Spain

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  9. #35
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    Default History Notes - Part 3 of 4

    Now, when I say that I put hours of research into this ride, I'm not kidding! Of course, parts of many of those hours were spent getting distracted by minor details that later turned into other cool bits of info.

    • Stop #13 - Stratford Junior High School
      • Built in 1950, named after Robert E. Lee's birthplace
      • 1st public school in VA to desegregate in February 1959
      • Remember, Brown v. Board of Education ruling was in May 1954
      • After the ruling, the VA legislature and Governor William Byrd instituted policies to ensure that schools would never integrate; called "Massive Resistance"
      • Edmund Campbell (remember from Campbell Ave) was lead attorney in 1958 case (James v. Almond) overturning "Massive Resistance" laws
      • On Monday morning, February 2, 1959 at 8:30 a.m., under the protection of 85 Arlington police officers, Ronald Deskins, Michael Jones, Lance Newman, and Gloria Thompson entered the school without incident.
      • 15 minutes later, 17 black students entered white schools in Norfolk

    • Stop #14 - Cherrydale Fire Department
      • Cherrydale
        • In 1893, a branch post office was formed at the intersection of Lee Hwy/Pollard St
        • Named after Dorsey Donaldson's large cherry orchard behind the current firehouse (south of post office)
        • Quincy St previously known as Cherry Valley Road (can we please change it back?)
        • Military Rd was formed by cutting through dense forest to connect Chain Bridge to the Arlington Line of forts/battlements
      • Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Company
        • Formed in 1898, first fire company in Arlington
        • Firehouse was built in 1921 with contributions from the community and President Woodrow Wilson

    • Stop #15 - Gateway Park
      • Aqueduct Bridge
        • Built 1833-1843 to connect the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal to the Alexandria Canal
        • 8 piers were used for a wooden canal bridge (later with wooden roadway bridge built on top)
        • Later became an iron truss bridge to carry roadway and electric trolley line
        • Demolished in 1933, but on the west (upriver) side of Key Bridge, you can still see the remnants of 1 of the piers (support closest to VA)
      • Alexandria Canal
        • Built 1833-1843 to connect Georgetown to Alexandria
        • Ran along parts of Eads St, Commonwealth Ave, and Washington St
        • Towpath was later used to build an electric railway
      • Consumer Brewing Company
        • Built in 1896 on site just west of Key Bridge Marriott
        • Red brick structure with turrets on ends, clock tower in center, large smokestack in back
        • Reorganized in 1904 as the Arlington Brewery but closed in 1920 due to Prohibition
        • John Fowler, an entrepreneur from Richmond, turned it into a Cherry Smash soda factory for over 30 years
      • Hot Shoppes
        • Chain restaurant that stood where the current Key Bridge Marriott stands
        • In 1927, J Williard & Alice S Marriott ran an A&W root beer franchise in DC
        • When they added hot food to the menu, it became Hot Shoppes
        • After expanding into catering (including airline catering), became a hotel business in 1957 when they opened the world's 1st motor hotel
      • Analostan Island
        • Named after the Necostin tribe living there
        • Later known as Mason's Island and eventually Theodore Roosevelt Island

    • Stop #16 - Dark Star Park
      • Created in 1984, Arlington's first major commissioned art project
      • Designed to resemble fallen, extinguished stars
      • Artist Nancy Holt consulted with astrophysicists
      • Shadows of some of the dark stars and pillars align with markings on the ground every August 1 at 9:32 a.m.
      • This commemorates August 1, 1860, when William & Carolyn Ross acquired the land that became Rosslyn

    • Stop #17 - Arlington National Cemetery
      • Arlington House
        • Formerly the Custis-Lee Mansion
        • Built by George Washington Parke Custis and was modeled after Mount Vernon
      • Arlington Springs
        • Picnic ground along the Potomac River that was run as a business by the Custis family
      • Robert Edward Lee
        • Married his 3rd cousin Mary Anna Randolph Custis
        • Is the step-great-grandson-in-law to George Washington
        • His father, Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, gave the eulogy at George Washington's funeral including the quote: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen"
        • General in the American Civil War, supported Reconstruction, opposed allowing black people to vote (his reason was that they were too uneducated at the time), but promoted education for black people
        • Never actually owned Arlington House, was its custodian
      • Arlington National Cemetery
        • After Virginia seceded and Robert E. Lee joined the Confederacy in April 1861, Mary Lee fled in May 1861, and Union troops seized and occupied Arlington House
        • Congress passed legislation imposing a property tax on any "insurrectionary" areas - an update to the law stated that the tax had to be paid in person
        • Mary Lee (had rheumatoid arthritis and was living in a Confederate area) could not pay it in person, and the property was auctioned off in January 1864 and purchased by the US government for $26,800 (~$400k today)
        • US Secretary of War Edwin Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864, thus creating Arlington National Cemetery

  10. #36
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    Default History Notes - Part 4 of 4

    The last of my notes including those for the stops we were unable to visit due to the incoming thunderstorm. With this, I'm chilling for the rest of the night!

    • Stop #18 - MVT under Long Bridge (this is the one I've been keeping a secret since everyone has passed by this spot a million times in their lives)
      • Nameroughquena
        • Inhabitants spoke an Algonquian dialect similar to those living near James Fort
        • Tribal name sounded to John Smith like Nacotchtank
        • Simplified by Englishmen to Necostin, then anglicized to Anacostia
        • Around 500 people lived on either side of the Potomac River
        • In the 17th Century, they temporarily moved to Analostan Island before fleeing up the Potomac River
        • Arlington was planning on setting a historical marker for this, but somehow it's been forgotten
      • Jackson City
        • In the 19th Century, a group of speculators from New York proposed a new industrial city around Long Bridge
        • On January 11, 1836, President Andrew Jackson, George Washington Parke Custis, and as many as 10,000 gathered and set the ceremonial cornerstone for Jackson City
        • Hosted Fort Jackson during the Civil War
        • After the Civil War, it wasn't doing too well, so a group of investors from New Jersey tried turning it into a gambling resort
        • They wanted it to become the Monte Carlo of America, and it had saloons, gambling houses, bordellos, vice dens, and a race track
        • Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Crandal Mackey and a group of vigilante citizens (you thought NIMBY's are bad nowadays) called the Good Citizens' League (Frank Lyon, founder of Lyon Village, was a member) raided and burnt down most of the city in 1904, and it stayed industrial until the 1960's
      • Fort Jackson & Fort Runyon
        • Both built at the start of the Civil War, deserted after the war ended, and no steps were taken for their preservation
        • Fort Jackson was built to guard the VA end of Long Bridge
        • Fort Runyon was pentagonally shaped was built to guard the intersection of the Columbia Turnpike and the Alexandria & Loudoun Railroad
        • Fort Runyon was on the SE side of the Pentagon under I-395 exit 9
      • Hoover Airport
        • 1925 private airfield located in current Pentagon and north parking lot
        • Closed in June 1941 to build the Pentagon
      • Twin Bridges Motor Hotel
        • Built in 1957 just before President Eisenhower's inauguration
        • World's first motor hotel (remember the Marriotts)
        • Written in Time magazine: "Guests can drive up... select accommodations from a look at 3-D Kodachrome prints, then drive straight to rooms guided by a bicycle-mounted bellhop without once stepping out of their cars."

    • Stop #19 - Abingdon Plantation
      • In 1695 John Alexander bought the land from Robert Howson
      • He had to pay for it twice due to an inheritance dispute from people in Maryland
      • Run in the 18th and 19th Centuries as a plantation
      • Owned by the Alexander, Custis, Stuart, and Hunter families over time
      • Alexandria is named after the Alexander family
      • Rumor: weeping willows grown at the plantation are the progenitors of all weeping willows in the US

    • We ended the ride here due to the incoming thunderstorms, so the remainder starts here
    • Stop #20 - Luna Park (Eads St and Four Mile Run Trail)
      • Luna Park
        • Amusement park running from 1906-1915
        • Part of a chain owned by Frederick Ingersoll
        • 34 acres which featured a figure 8 roller coaster, shoot-the-chutes ride, ballroom, circus arena, restaurants, and picnicking facilities for 3,000 people
        • Fire destroyed the roller coaster in April 1915
        • Nearest fire hydrant was in Alexandria (think Old Town Alexandria) over a mile away
        • Park closed down soon afterwards
        • Site is now occupied by the sewage treatment facility
        • Roller coaster was located approximately just north of Eads/31st St
      • Washington, Alexandria, & Mount Vernon Electric Railway
        • Started service in 1892, was nation's first successful electric trolley line
        • First ran from Alexandria to Mount Vernon before it was extended into DC (station was at 14th/B NW near present-day Federal Triangle Metro)
        • Ran on the Alexandria Canal towpath which included parts of present-day I-395, Eads St, Commonwealth Ave, & GW Parkway to Mount Vernon, later extended to Fort Belvoir
        • Eads St and Commonwealth Ave have medians because the trolley line had buildings between the tracks
        • Traffic circle in front of Mount Vernon was the trolley turnaround
        • Last trolleys of the line ran in 1932
        • The rail yard is now being used as a Metro bus yard

    • Stop #21 - Hume School
      • Hume School
        • Built in 1891, oldest school building in Arlington
        • Named for Frank Hume, a Confederate veteran and local civic leader, sold his property for $250 and donated additional land for a playground
        • Closed in 1958, became Arlington History Museum in 1960
      • Arlington Historical Society
        • Founded in 1956, moved into the Hume School in 1960 after a community campaign
        • Holds over 350,000 artifacts on rotating display

    • Stop #22 - The Little Tea House (corner of Arlington Ridge Rd/Lynn St)
      • Opened in 1920, ran until 1963
      • Famous people who ate there: Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Oliver Wendell Holmes
      • One of the first places in Arlington where racially mixed groups could meet
      • Owned and run by Gertrude Crocker who wanted to be independent and her own boss
      • Later sold to Gertrude Allison, called Allison's Little Tea House
      • Stone tower only remaining part of the building, now being used for pool maintenance

    • Stop #23 - Prospect Hill
      • Prospect Hill
        • Site of mansion built in 1841 by James Roach
        • Mansion was demolished in 1965
      • James Roach
        • Contractor who supplied most of the brick and stone for both the Aqueduct Bridge and the Alexandria Canal
        • His property extended to Roach's Run (named for him)
        • Neighbor to George Washington Parke Custis (Arlington House)
      • Fort Albany
        • Built in 1861 as part of the defenses of Washington

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  12. #37
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    You did an excellent job, Bobco. Thanks so much for organizing it. I took a few pics, but I'm a little tired to post them all individually. The album is here:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikece...57683980746973

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  14. #38
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    Thanks, Bob, for another fantastic ride and for the posted history notes. It's hard to pick my favorite stop so I won't try. But if I had to, the Glebe House, Gateway Park, Dark Star Park, MVT under Long Bridge, and Abington Plantation would be among the running. Oh, and just learning that Steve O is NOT a historical marker was absolute money. A wonderful ride, lots of fun riders, interesting history, a great ride leader, and the bonus shower on the way home made for a fantastic day!

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  16. #39
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    I passed everyone at Gravelly Point on my way to Tour de Fat, should've joined.

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  18. #40
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    Thanks for a great ride, Bob and for posting all the notes i couldn't take yesterday (though I tried!) Your enthusiasm for the history is the best!

    And thanks to everyone else, too, for a fun ride. I wish those tandem riders were on the forum because I thought they were awesome, but I didn't really talk to them -.the ride hadda be challenging enough for that dude captaining a tandem with a blind passenger for the first time without me distracting them....

    Also, thanks for taking care of me when I fell - and extra thanks to Reji for getting me ice and compression wrap at the first break. Look how much better that bump is today! For those who didn't see, that thing was the size of a half grapefruit right after I fell. Now it's barely the size of a fried egg!

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