Greenway Downs

A Community Since 1942

Post Civil War and the Tripp Family


Silas Tripp operated a dairy farm and Tripp's Quarry. The quarry ceased to operate as a quarry after 1915, but on the present day site stands  the Quarry Inn Motel and Sisler's Stone. The creek that flows from Lee highway south to Route 50, through both Greenway Downs and Jefferson Village,  is still called Tripp's Run.

What we know about Greenway Downs as a working farm comes from Silas & Sarah Shardlow Tripp's obituaries,  Sarah's will, and their only surviving son Percy Tripp's letters back to his business administrator after the death of his parents.

Silas Tripp (1834-1915) and Sarah Shardlow (1846-1911) were born and raised in the state of New York. They married In Manhattan, New York July 7, 1870, shortly before the death of Sarah's father, Samuel Shardlow.  Before his marriage Silas was involved in land deals in Fairfax County and it is unclear at what point the family moved here because both sons born to Silas  and Sarah  were born in New York.  


The first son, Edward Shardlow Tripp was born in 1871 but died at the age of 16 in was buried  in the family plot in Greenwood cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

The second son,  Percy B. Tripp, was born in New York December 5, 1881 but was raised in Falls Church. He graduated from Columbia University in 1906, was ordained, and moved to Tientsin, China to pursue missionary work. Percy was in China when his mother died in 1911 and his father in 1915. Percy married a Chinese citizen, Su Hsien Ho, April 5, 1915 in Tientsin and did not return to the United States until September, 1918, accompanied by wife and son, Jonathan. Percy's inheritance of Oakmont, the farm and the quarry were handled by his business manager and Percy's return in 1918 was directly related to the politics of World War I, rather than the desire to live here and run the farm, or the quarry.

Percy's life and work in China, his travels, family, and financial woes are beautifully woven into a narrative you can read in a series of letters from 1918 to 1929 between Percy and his business managers back in Falls Church. The first manager was George Mankin, and after his death Merton E. Church. Sadly, we follow Percy's increasing inability to manage his finances and we witness the loss of Oakmount, the farm and the quarry when the Falls Church Bank  auctioned it all off in 1925.