Greenway Downs

A Community Since 1942

"MY Stream witHOUT A NamE" by Rebecca Dial


Frances Rebecca Dial (1894-1986), a daughter of Senator Nathaniel Barksdale Dial of South Carolina, bought a house in Greenway Downs in the late 1940's. Miss Dial was an author, playwright, thespian, and beginning in the 1950's a teacher at Graham Road Elementary School.  In 1976,  ten years before Rebecca died at the age of 92, she self- published a short autobiography called "My Stream Without a Name." Here is a review of her book that was published in a South Carolina newspaper.

It is a great read for those interested in our neighborhood and some of those little quirks that make us so unique.

Notes to help you follow her story:

Note 1:

Rebecca's lot number 59 can be seen on the 1930 Rixey Estate Plat. The adjoining lot numbers 61 & 62 were originally intended to build upon, but later deemed to be too wet and given up as Park Land. The Plat also shows the 30 foot alley way beside Rebecca's property, and the 20 foot alley at the back that stretched all the way up to Route 29.

Note 2: 

The Park plat detail shows you how Woodlawn Ave. stopped at the creek in 1973.  As shown, the 30 foot wide easement on the Plat continues up to City Park Homes Section 3 (Westcott Nursery on the Rixey Estate Plat) but Woodlawn Ave. was never extended.  According to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 2014, that narrow strip of land up the east side of the stairs in John Mastenbrook Park and along the path to Chestnut still belongs to VDOT.

Note 3:

When you have finished reading this book and absorbing plats and lot numbers, you will enjoy reading about the evolution of John Mastenbrook Park and the jurisdictional nightmares that came from all those quirks of history!

Due to the size of the files, I had to load them in small bits! Enjoy.

Chapter 1          "Will the Bargain Be Sealed?"

Chapter 2-5      "The Placid Stream"

                            "Solitaire Played With A Partner"

                            "Problems Begin"

                            "More Problems"

Chapter 6-8      "Visitors Welcome and Unwelcome"

                            "My Sister Lee"

                            "The Joneses for Neighbors"

Chapter 9-11     "Trouble About Signatures"

                            "Power Saws, Plumbing and A Baptist Preacher"

                             "A Deadline to Meet"

Chapter 12-15    "The Big Opening"

                              "Daily Needs on a Shoestring"

                              "Reading, Writing and Roomers"

                              "God is Right Here"

Chapter 16-18     "Alcoholics Too Numerous"

                               "Other Faults and Foibles"

                               "The Alley of UnEasement"

Chapter 19-23     "The Underworld and I"


                                "Like New"

                                "Wrongs to be Righted"

                                "Before and After California"

Chapter 24-end    "A Stretcher Please"

                                 " My Coming Out"