Barcroft Geography: Present and Past

Barcroft neighborhood is in Arlington, Virginia, USA. We are a suburb just across the Potomac river to the south of Washington, DC. Our neighborhood is bounded by Arlington Boulevard, George Mason Drive, Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run park.

Barcroft's Geography through the years

Barcroft has changed over time.

Barcroft in 1903

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Barcroft in 1915

North is to the left.

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Columbia Pike had a curve that has since been taken out. It crossed Four Mile Run in those days from what is now 10th Street South, behind the 7-11. (Jim and Danny's Auto now occupy the building built on the foundations of the old Barcroft Mill).

The apparent curve on the map actually represents Palmer's Hill, marked for sledding in winter.

The map shows the dam and mill race for the Barcroft Mill, still operating in those days.

It shows Dr. Barcroft's house, on the other side of Four Mile Run from present day Barcroft, obliterated by apartments.

The railroad station is shown between the rails and the street now known as Four Mile Run Drive. There were three houses down in the present park between the W&OD Railroad and Four Mile Run.

The Barcroft Community House is labeled "school."

Behind the 1908 house of Mildred's father Walter Handy (1908) is shown the Dolly Madison Spring, the reason your basement may be wet if you live in the dip on 9th Street! It led to "Duck Pond and Swimming" and there is a label for swimming and skating at the mill dam.

Down across Columbia Pike is a "pasture rented by W.K.Handy" where Walter Handy kept the family cow, and a Blacksmith Shop where the current Goodwill store is.

The house on the NE corner of 6th and Taylor is labeled "Possibly res. of Frank F. Corbett, 1878. Farmhouse of S.P.Wright (Abby Fox)(Childrens Home)." Frank Corbett was the first subdivider of our area, calling his subdivision Corbett and selling only a few lots. Abby Fox was the next owner of the land and subdivided it as Barcroft in 1903, and Stephen P. Wright was her son-in-law and principal marketer of the lots.

The Marye house at 9th and Buchanan (Fairfax Street and Arlington Ave) is still standing, and Adalyne Marye Robertson, who was born in that house in 1903, still lives nearby.

Old Street Names:

  • Buchanan Street was Arlington Avenue
  • Wakefield was Spring Street
  • Taylor was High Terrace
  • George Mason was Magnolia Drive (but not cut through)
  • 9th Street was Fairfax Street
  • 8th Road was Glenn Ave
  • 8th Street was Brook Ave
  • 7th Street was Maple Street
  • Columbia Pike was named that when it was built in 1804.

Barcroft in 1951

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Even by 1951, several streets had not yet been built, including:

  • George Mason Drive
  • 9th Street from Buchanan to Wakefield
  • 8th Street from Taylor to George Mason
  • 1st St, Utah, and 1st Road
  • 6th Street from Abingdon
  • Woodstock cul-de-sac