My father-in-law bought the land, and then when he died it was divided among the seven children. My husband Earl Popkins had to borrow money from the bank to payoff the heirs, and we finally had to payoff the bank. The land was 365 acres all together. Not a thing, then, on that side of the hill. We could go from here to Alexandria 'cause when they were fixing #1, we used to go that way with our milk from the dairy, and we'd go through our land to Mr. Simpson's, and then on over to Fort Hunt Road, then into Alexandria, and there was just one house over there. This is Clifton Farm, and I understand that it was part of George Mason's place.
My husband was three years old when he came here and the house was already built then. We used to could see the Potomac River from our porch, but the trees have grown so much we can't see nothing, even out on the hill. Out on the lawn, I should say -- we always called it the hill. We used to could see a part of Mount Vernon, and of course, when the boat went down the river we could see that all lit up going to Marshall Hall. We can't see a scratch of the river now, cause of all the trees.
We had a pond down there for the cows to drink out of. That used to be where people used to ice skate. It's a wreck down there now. You hate to go out there, it's just terrible.
We used to fish in the pond, we had water lilies down there too. And we used to have ducks there, but they didn't stay. I don't know whether people had duck dinner or if they flew away. At that time we raised turkeys, ducks and pigs. But we're not allowed to raise pigs now, cause of all the buildings around here.
We ran the dairy until 1961, and then Mr. Popkins sold all of his cows. We board horses -- that's our living, boarding horses. I have 22 horses here. I feed them hay, grain and straw. The girls take care of them, curry 'em, ride 'em.
The other evenin' we had to call the fire department. Some kids -- I shouldn't say kids -- were using motorcycles, and you could hear them.