Ethel Wilkinson


Ethel Wilkinson would like to refer readers to a history of Sherwood Farm written by her husband, Charles Kirk Wilkinson in the Journal of the Historical Society of Fairfax County, 1964-65.

The Dairy started before I ever came here, it was called Sherwood Farm Dairy. They retailed milk in Alexandria. They even took milk to the hospital until the city passed the regulation that it had to be pasteurized.

After World War II came, and the help was scarce, they gave up the retail milk business. They took it in l0-gallon cans to the Alexandria Dairy.

When my husband's grandmother and grandfather built this house in 1859 they named it Sherwood. All the Sherwood names have come from that. I always said they must have been reading Robin Hood. My husband's grandmother was the daughter of the man that lived in Hollin Hall. They bought this acreage from the original Hollin Hall that George Mason had. Thompson Mason, the son of George Mason, lived in Spring Bank.

In the beginning, Sherwood Hall Lane was just a gravel road called Accotink Turnpike. It was said that Washington went to Alexandria on it.

One interesting thing about this house is, there was not but one child in each generation -- and nobody ever moved out. Everybody stayed in the same house, and kept the farm.

In those days, when an animal died, there were woods off to the west and sometimes they'd just drag them off to the woods. I often wonder who found cow bones in their basement.

When we started to build on the hill at one time George Mason's property, they started to dig down to make a basement and they found bones of people. They even found one with every bone in it. Somebody called the Smithsonian, and they sent a woman down. They took the whole skeleton back to the Smithsonian from off top of that hill.

As long as it was a farm they had wheat, rye, and oats. They thrashed the wheat with a big old thrashing machine. The land had very good soil because they had cows, and they enriched the land.

We had three tenant houses on this farm for the families that worked there.

There was a Sherwood Hall. My husband's mother, Mrs. Frank Wilkinson, was a member of the King's Daughters, and that hall was built on the property. The Wilkinson's gave the land to the King's Daughters for as long as it remained a King's Daughters hall. When it ceased to be a King's Daughters Hall, the land would revert to the farm. That was in 1946.

Volume One, Table of Contents
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