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Greenway Downs

A Community Since 1942

Oak Mount and its occupants

 

OVERVIEW

In the past, on the present day property at 2819 Greenway Blvd. was a brick mansion  called "Oak Mount." The house was surrounded by at least 300 acres of farmland  was owned  by the Dulany family. One of the principle owners was Jonathan P. Dulany of Welbourne, Loudoun County, Virginia.

During the War of 1812 Oak Mount enjoyed a brief moment in history when the adjoining barn was the recipient of the gunpowder hustled out of the Naval Yard in Washington D.C. in August, 1812 barely one step ahead of the British invasion. 

Oak Mount was home to Daniel F. Dulany Sr. brother of  Mr. Jonathan P. Dulany of Welbourne and after Daniel Senior's death was home to his son, Daniel F. Dulany II.

The explosive regional political tensions of the Civil War era divided the loyalties of the Dulany family and was to have catastrophic consequences for Oak Mount and the surounding farmland.  In short,  Daniel Dulany II chose the Union, but his own son Daniel III and his uncle John chose the Confederacy.

After the Civil War Daniel II and his Uncle John were fighting a Chancery suit over the ownership of Oak Mount and the farm. There was considerable damage done to the property and house by the war and by 1869 money was short and John was forced to sell.  Shortly after it changed hands again,  it was all bought up by Silas Tripp, of Duchess County, New York.

Silas Tripp ran the farm, apparently rebuilt the house, and opened up a quarry , aka Tripp's Quarry.   In 1911 the Tripp's only child  Percy inherited the house and the farm, which was down to only 109 acres. Percy was a well-educated man and much of his life was spent traveling and working as a missionary in China. For this reason, he left the day-to-day running of the farm and quarry to an administrator who leased both to various tenants.

Percy was not only an absentee landlord, but he had also married a Chinese national and given the chilly reception for mix-marriages in the early 1900's, decided not to return  to live in his boyhood home here in Falls Church.  Percy  heavily mortgaged his property to support his family and missionary work in China and this arrangement eventually led  to the insolvency of the farm and quarry. In 1925 the bank auctioned off the 109 acres at the Fairfax County Courthouse, cash only.   Lee Highway had been built right past his property and the acreage was snatched up by land development company.

In 1927 real estate developer Ruby Lee  Minar bought the 109 acre farm and immediately began subdividing  section one  and selling the lots to eager customers searching for affordable homes outside D.C.  Ruby remodeled Oak Mount, now standing on the newly fashioned Greenway Blvd and the carriage house across the street both of which were featured in her promotion of her newly minted suburban Greenway Downs. Ruby quickly started selling lots in  section two, but was crushed by the crash in 1929.

 

(still under construction)

 

Pre-Civil War and the Dulany Family

Post Civil War and the Tripp Family

Ruby Lee Minar and Suburbia

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