History


The Broadview farmhouse,in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, remains one of the best remaining examples
of residential Queen Anne-styled architecture from the late-nineteenth century in Arlington County.

A Short History of the Waycroft-Woodlawn Civic Association

For sixty years after Captain John Smith sailed up the Potomac in 1608...,

... becoming the first European to set foot in Arlington, the Arlington area remained Indian Territory with only occasional white hunters and trappers visiting the area. By the latter part of the seventeenth century, grants began to be issued for land in the area that is now Arlington.

Waycroft-Woodlawn...

... was included in a 1,246-acre grant to John Colville in 1739.

Following the Revolutionary War...,

... Arlington remained sparsely settled and in 1800 had a population of only 978, including 297 slaves. Like the County, the area that was to become Waycroft-Woodlawn consisted of farms, scattered houses, and woods. In the 1850s, two Waycroft-Woodlawn residents, William Marcey and John Brown, had a dispute over a parcel of land at the intersection of Glebe and Brown's Bend roads. To resolve the matter, they both gave up their claims and the land was donated for a church site. Subsequently, Mt. Olivet Methodist Church was built there in the years 1855-1860. (The present church structure, built in 1948, is the fourth building on the same site).

The Civil War saw Union troops marching up and down Glebe Road...

...to and from several of the twenty-two forts of the Arlington Line, part of the defenses built around Washington. Mt. Olivet Church served as a hospital for wounded Union soldiers, and later the Church was a military commissary and stable.

Following the Civil War...,

...a Union officer, Major R. S. Lacey of Ohio bought a farm in the southern part of the Waycroft-Woodlawn area and built a house, Broadview. Broadview remains a private home at 14th and Evergreen Streets. In the last years of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth, the construction of first trolley lines and then railroads brought growth to Arlington. The Lacey Station (near the present intersection of Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive) was the closest stop to Waycroft-Woodlawn.

The Brumback firm built Woodlawn Village...

... in the years 1934-1939. In the area named Waycroft, lots were sold and individual houses built rather than the entire development being built by one builder as was the case in Woodlawn Village. Streets and sidewalks were laid out; sewer, telephone, and power lines installed; the Waycroft-Woodlawn Civic Association (WWCA) was formed in the fall of 1937; and the Woodlawn Elementary School was built and opened in 1940. Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington was built during World War II with the first patients admitted on March 15, 1944.

In the years following World War II...,

... the remaining vacant lots in Waycroft-Woodlawn were built up with individual dwellings. In the late 1950s, I-66 was planned through Arlington and its path cut through the southeast corner of Waycroft-Woodlawn. Long-delayed and controversial, the construction was completed in 1982.

A new consolidated elementary school...,

... the Glebe Elementary School, was built in 1970-1971 to replace several neighborhood schools, and the Woodlawn Elementary School closed. The old Woodlawn building housed the County's alternative high school in from 1971 to 1978 and then was transformed into the Hospice of Northern Virginia (now known as Capital Hospice). By 1970, a new generation of homeowners had moved into the area, and the Waycroft-Woodlawn Civic Association (WWCA), which had become moribund during the 1950s, reemerged as a potent force in the area.

As younger families continue to move to the neighborhood...

...they bring with them the next generation of children who will grow up here. The convenient location, forested and flowered landscape, Woodlawn Park, and the friendly, relaxed, neighborly atmosphere of Waycroft-Woodlawn attract these families. The civic pride and spirit that typified the beginning of the WWCA neighborhood over seventy years remains alive and active today.