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Greenway Downs

A Community Since 1942

Welcome

The Greenway Downs Citizens Association (GDCA) is a non-profit, non-partisan association of residents that represents approximately 450 households in one of oldest subdivisions in Fairfax County.

Greenway Downs was carved out of a 100 acre farm in 1927 but the GDCA as we know it today was not created until 1942,  when  a group of concerned citizens decided to use their collective bargaining to get Fairfax County to do something about the  sewage bubbling up in their back yards and draining into a little stream their kids played in.

Today, the GDCA is proud to be both one of the oldest and most active civic associations in Northern Virginia.

We are a long-standing member of the Fairfax County Federation of Civic Associations.

 

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Fall 2020 Newsletter (coming soon)

September 2020 Board Mtg Minutes

 

 

 

GDCA Paper Trail

Annual Community Meetings 

Board Meetings

Social Committee Meeting 

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History of the GDCA

Brief History of Greenway Downs

The history of what we now call home in Greenway Downs can be divided into 4 rather distinct phases. 

In the pre-civil war days our 109 acres was just an insignificant part of a much, much larger tract of farmland owned by the John Dulany of Loudoun County. However, the economic realities of  the post civil war era  forced John Dulany to divide his vast tracts of  land into smaller tracts and sell them off to various buyers.

Our second phase began in 1868, when Silas Tripp, of Dutchess County, New York bought 300 acres of the Dulany property, which included our present day 109 acres . Over the next 40 years Silas Tripp worked the acreage as a dairy  farm and built Tripp's quarry as a side business. In 1911, the farm and the quarry were inherited by Silas's only son Percy, but by then Percy was a missionary serving in China and rather than come home and farm,  turned the farm and quarry over to a property manager. By  1924 the farm was headed for bankruptcy and was a forced cash sale at auction. Percy tried to keep the quarry as a cash cow for his missionary life, but was eventually forced to sell that as well.

The third phase was launched by the completion of the Key Bridge in 1923 and the subsequent building of the 16-mile stretch of Lee Highway from Washington to the City of Fairfax.  It was too late for Percy Tripp to capitalize on this boon as land speculators and developers gobbled up acres of farmland along this new Route 29 highway corridor for housing and business opportunities. This bubble happened so fast that by 1925 a plot of land near Falls Church had  risen in value nearly 1,000 percent.

Ruby Lee Minar was a very successful and well-known business woman and developer in this era,  and she bought the 109 acres  and sent the bulldozers in the old Tripp Farm to carve out affordable home sites to feed the Washington, D.C. demand for new housing in Virginia.

Mrs. Minar's land development business came to a screeching halt with the crash of 1929. She did sell enough lots to create our fledgling neighborhood and give us our name, Greenway Downs , but it was not until after World War II and the subsequent building boom that we entered our last and most recognizable phase of development.

Today, Greenway Downs is a compilation of Mrs. Minar's original purchase of 2 sections that she named Greenway Downs, and a further extension of our boundaries into the Rixey estate west of Woodlawn Ave., and Mason Terrace, east of Summerfield Rd in the 1940's.

Each phase has its own fascinating story to tell, so enjoy some history!

Overview

Pre-Civil War

Post Civil War

Suburbia

Today