Beacon Field: Edward Stoops


I've lived in this area since 1939. My occupation was shop foreman at the District of Columbia Correction Department in Lorton, Virginia.

Beacon Field was an airport, which was owned by Colonel Reid. Where the Safeway store used to be, and now Memco, that's where he had his home.  His son ran the airport and during World War II they used to train navy pilots on the field.  We had the watch service up on top of Collard Street.  We had the tower where we watched for planes. We had our men going up the streets for blackouts.

Mr. Crocket got a store across the highway, down at Lee Street, which was the only store around in this section, where you could buy meats or any kind of can goods.  They also had a bar there and a restaurant. He had lodging for the night and little cabins outside. That was called the "White Owl Inn," and that was known from Florida to Maine. Penn Daw Motel was also a Motel where people used to come out from Alexandria to eat. They had a restaurant and cabins for the accommodations of tourists.

Fairhaven was built back in, I say around '38, '39, or '40. There's one part where gypsies have moved in there, and a palm reader I believe. There is different nationalities that are living around here now, that wasn't around here in the earlier days. That comes with the population growth.

Here at Groveton on the top of this hill is the highest point on Number 1 Highway from Maine to Florida. The early maps used to show elevation, in sea level. Years ago, when the Graf Zeppelin visited the United States, it flew through Washington, D.C. and the vicinity looking for a field to land. They were told in Hybla Valley there was a small airport. The Graf Zeppelin came over from Washington, flew around this vicinity, and finally made a landing in Hybla Valley. The captain of that ship, predicted that was one of the finest spots that he had seen for landing lighter than air crafts. Some people were very enthused about it. They wanted to put a small air field for dirigibles and blimps.

They used to have quite a few blimps fly around Washington and this area. When one of these big dirigibles flew around the county side they were immense, ranging from 500 to 600 feet long and flying so low you could really get a good view of what the ship looked like. It was a great thrill for the kids to see it flying though the skies.

Volume Two, Table of Contents
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