Carrie Johnson

We moved into Fairfax County in March of 1937. I had just one child. Then in 1942 my second child was born. He went to Groveton Elementary. I was president of the Groveton P. T.A. the year of '45-'46, '46-'47, and we had many difficulties. In 1948 they asked me to be chairman of the band committee. We had no band in our community, or in this part of the county. The next year I went down to Mt. Vernon high school and met with Mr. Steinbeck, the band director, and with a few parents. We asked him what he wanted the most for the band, and he asked for uniforms. When he told us that the uniforms would cost $2200, I raised $2500 by doing many things. I sold newspaper ads for the Alexandria Gazette, we had donkey ball games and dances, and had a tag day. The next year I raised $2600 for the band and we bought band instruments. I didn't do it by myself, the parents helped me.

In 1950 we decided the airport had to go. We banded together the Citizen's Association --I was chairman of the Membership committee. That first year we had 1000 members. The airport, during World War II, was used, you know, to teach navy people, in and out. It was terrible.

My home is at the end of a runway. Now then, an airplane set down and went through a house next to Groveton School. A year or two later a plane set down in my back yard. It was hot. It was on, I think, the 5th of September. I was pickin' lima beans in the garden and Gary was sitting near the chicken house. He had two chickens that somebody had given him at Easter time, and they were grown and he was sitting there holding them. I came up out of the garden and told him to come in, it was too hot to be outdoors. The only way I could get him in was tell him I would read to him. We came in, and we hadn't been in 5 minutes before that airplane' set down. If it hadn't been for the swing that we had built out of telephone poles --the plane hit those things and stopped and the dog house that the chickens stayed in was knocked clear up against the house, and I was just petrified. Well, there was a thousand people there in our yard, including the firemen and police. It just ruined everything we had.

Well, we, the Citizen Association, banded together and we were determine to get rid of the airport. We bad a meeting before the board of supervisors and was there all night long tlll 5 o'clock in the morning. They decided they shouldn't get rid of it. We raised money and our lawyers went to Richmond, and two years later they overturned that. They said the airport had to go. The airport was run by the Reid family.

This area was in terrible condition. There was no hard surface on this road out here. My husband every weekend bad to get out and fill up all the mud holes in the winter time to get out on the highway.

It was difficult time really and truly because we had to go to Alexandria to get a loaf of bread, there were no stores in this area. The people really and truly knew each other. We worked together and I enjoyed every minute of working with people in these parts. I think the parents of today are missing a lot by not having activities in school so they can get acquainted with each other.

This street was named after Franklin Reid. I mean, the Reids owned all this property with the Picketts. Mrs. Reid was a Pickett and their home is the old house in front of Miss Smith's house. After the Picketts died Mr. Reid used that for his tenants, they tended the farm. Then, I guess in '19 or '20, he sold it to the Barnetts. This subdivision was started in 1925. Franklin Reid was just a young child at that time, a young fella, and (Franklin Street) was named Franklin after him, and Pickett after the Pickett family.

I understand when Dr. C. L. Fifer moved out of Mount Eagle he leased the ground to those apartment people. I don't think he ever sold it, and of course, Gary being an antique collector, he was just heartbroken when they went in and burned it down. You see the house bad been vandalized. Dr. Fifer told me when he was getting ready to move that it was to be used as a club house and golf course. It had been a club at one time. Before World WarII, when gas rationing came along, the club broke up. So Dr. Fifer bought it. And that must have been 1941-42. Then, you know, George Mason's father lived --down there where the K-Mart is, in that great big house. It's a shame that it wasn't a landmark and left in this area instead of being torn down.

When we came out here in 1935 to look at property the real estate man told us that Mount Comfort was for sale. It had a house on it and they had cattle over there. There was 165 acres, and they offered it to us for $16,000. And of course, we were young people and my husband was a World War I veteran. He had just gotten his veteran's pay. We only had so much money-and he is not a farmer, and didn't want that much land.

Volume One, Table of Contents
Snake Hill to Spring Bank Homepage

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