History of Hickory Farms - Property Ownership
Who owned this land? Recall that what is now Hickory Farms was originally part of the Ravensworth estate, which came into the Lee family from a Lord Fairfax land grant. During the Civil War, the wife of the nephew of Robert E. Lee occupied Ravensworth. At this time, did she own all the way to the original boundary (which angled across Roberts Road through modern George Mason Forest and across Braddock through the NVTC grounds) or had the land already been subdivided?
What does a title search of the property show? I have only gone back to 29 March, 1972, when Christian Gunder Gilbertson and his wife Muriel L. Gilbertson sold 62.2227 acres, described as being bounded on the north by the Henry Hunt property, and Fair Oaks subdivision (on Burke Station Road), the Layman Rudolph property (where the Braddock Manor cluster is today, south of the Harvester Farm Lane cul-de-sac), and the Toole property (end of Glenmere Road, along Rabbit Run) and Ridge Manor subdivision (Glenmere Road). I recall that Rudolph Layman told me in the early 1980’s that his family owned the parcel of land from Burke Station Road down to the creek (this would comprise Harvester Farm Lane, Tumbleweed Court, and part of Cotton Farm Road, plus common ground along the creek. He also said (as I recall) that his family owned the land that became Fairfax Memorial Park in 1957. The Layman's lived in a brick house on Burke Station Road just south of Hickory Farms. This house was demolished when the seven-home cluster (Braddock Manor) was built in 1994. I also recall a little farm house off what is now Country Squire Lane, accessed by a lane which is now our "back path." Thus, I believe there were possibly three parcels combined to make Hickory Farms.
There were three phases to the construction of our neighborhood: Phase I (1975, with occupancy in late 1976) was Farm House Lane, Still Meadow Road and Cotton Farm Road west of the creek; Phase II was Cotton Farm Road east of the creek, Harvester Farm Lane and Tumbleweed Court; and finally, Phase III, started in 1981, which consisted of Country Squire Lane and Wheatfield Court (where the small farm house was). Also, the one property on Burke Station Road (where Phil and Jane Donnelly live) was apparently a fourth acquisition. Anecdotally, that was where the eastern entrance to Hickory Farms was supposed to be. Since the proposed entrance was too close to the curve, Fairfax County required a safer entrance -- hence Cotton Farm Road. However, a title search is needed to determine all this for certain; the Main Deed of Trust only cites the Gilbertson parcel (62 + acres). If any reader is skilled at doing title searches and would like to contribute to this history, your efforts would be greatly appreciated. Once we can put names with the ownership of the property at certain periods, it would be possible to research other records, including newspapers, to find out facts about the people who lived where we now live.
Last Update: January 02, 2020
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