“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Cherrydale & Maywood

Glimpses of History

Cherrydale & Maywood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, October 13, 2018
1. Cherrydale & Maywood Marker
Cherrydale Station

The first steam locomotive reached Cherrydale and Thrifton (now Maywood) in the spring of 1904. There were two rail lines in Alexandria (now Arlington) County that served the young community. There were many stations along these two rail lines for the residents' use. On the Main Branch of the Great Falls and Old Dominion Line, running up what is now Lee Highway and Old Dominion Drive, was the Dominion Heights Station. It stood at the northeast corner of present day Lee Highway and Monroe Street - practically where you are standing now.

This inexpensive, reliable transportation enabled people to commute to work in the city and live in the quiet country atmosphere this area provided. This railway played a vital role in the everyday life of this community for over 30 years. Not only did it provide transportation to and from work, it was also a route to fun and good times. Sometimes folks would ride to catch a breeze on a hot summer day.

Volunteer Fire Dept.

The Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) is Arlington County's oldest fire fighting
Cherrydale & Maywood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, October 13, 2018
2. Cherrydale & Maywood Marker
company and owns the oldest firehouse. It all began in April of 1898, when twelve men formed themselves into an impromptu bucket brigade.

As the CVFD grew they realized they needed a "Central Fire House". Ground was broken in 1918 and the cornerstone was placed on November 10, 1919. Actual construction of the large two-story brick edifice took a little less than two years, using all volunteer labor and all donated materials.

Through the years the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department has served their community in many ways from sponsoring parties, parades, dances, movies, and bingo games, to fighting fires and saving lives. From the twelve member informal bucket brigade of 1898, to the modern, efficient crew, the people of the CVFD have always been ready to "protect and serve". The CVFD has been an important and integral part of life here for years, working to make our community a better, safer place to live.

Cherrydale Public Library

"A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert."
—Andrew Carnegie

Cherrydale Branch Library at its present location, 2190 N. Military Rd., is the first purpose-built branch library in Northern Virginia and the oldest existing library building in Arlington County, opened on August
Mural depicting history discussed on marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, October 13, 2018
3. Mural depicting history discussed on marker
14, 1961. Founded in 1922, it is the country's longest surviving community-initiated public library. For more information, see

Depicted in the panel are Harvey Lampshire (1912-1993), president of the Cherrydale Citizens' Association, who successfully lobbied for the creation of a new building for the library during 1957-60; the yellow, red, and blue logo for Cherrydale Library, designed in 1998 by Michael Gessel, president of the Citizens for Cherrydale Library; and the large Chinese chestnut tree—an Arlington Notable Tree—that shades the front of Cherrydale Library and which predates the library's construction.

Civil War

On May 23, 1961 Union soldiers crossed the Potomac River into Alexandria County (now Arlington County), transforming farms and homes into camps and forts to become a part of the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Less than six blocks from this site the Union troops kept a wagontrain and mule camp.

This area was continually occupied by Federal troops for the four years of the American Civil War. Of the 22 forts built in the county, two — Fort Smith and Fort Strong — were within a half mile of this location, which at the time was one of quiet country fields, orchards and a small and scattered population.

The war radically changed
Mural depicting history discussed on marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, October 13, 2018
4. Mural depicting history discussed on marker
the landscape and the fortunes of the people who lived here. Most of the scars from the Civil War are gone, and it is difficult to imagine the presence of so many soldiers in these backyards...except when residents dig up artifacts while gardening...


"True belonging is born of relationships not only to one another but to a place of shared responsibilities and benefits. We love not so much what we have acquired as what we have made and with whom we have made it." —Robert Finch

Over the years Maywood and Cherrydale have each maintained their tight knit small community feel here in this busy, dense metro DC/Arlington area. Customs and traditions are important in maintaining these seamless relationships.

We use regular meetings, listservs and newsletters to stay close and provide strong involvement in Arlington decision making. We gather too for caroling, Forth of July, parades, Halloween in the park, block parties and other celebrations. For we know community, or neighborhood, is not merely a group of homes but instead it is nurtured by the people who live in those homes and share their porches and lives.

Historic District

Maywood and Cherrydale are both listed in the National Register of Historic Places while Maywood is also a locally designated Arlington
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Historic District. The area's houses reflect popular vernacular forms and styles of early-twentieth century architecture, including the bungalow, gable-front farmhouse, American foursquare, and various revival styles. Some are Sears, Roebuck homes. Many were constructed by local builders, two of whom built homes for themselves in Maywood: John Smithdeal and Lachlan MacPherson.

Maywood and Cherrydale owe their early development to the arrival of the railroad and electric streetcar in the early twentieth century. They derive their historical significance from the fact that they are among the earliest and most intact of Arlington County's trolley car suburbs. While changing with the times, the area has managed to retain its sense of identity, community, and architectural character throughout it's history.
Erected by Christopher Companies, The Cherrydale Citizens Association, The Maywood Community Association.
Location. 38° 53.76′ N, 77° 6.247′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is at the intersection of Lee Highway (U.S. 29) and North Monroe Street, in the median on Lee Highway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3520 Lee Highway, Arlington VA 22207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cherrydale Masonic Hall (about 800 feet away, measured
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in a direct line); Cherrydale Volunteer Firehouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cherrydale (approx. 0.3 miles away); Maywood (approx. half a mile away); Stratford Junior High School (approx. half a mile away); Old Ball Family Burial Ground (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fort C.F. Smith (approx. 0.8 miles away); American Legion Memorial of Arlington (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
Categories. ArchitectureCharity & Public WorkRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil

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Credits. This page was last revised on March 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 15, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 84 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 15, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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