News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flashback Monday: Brother Against Brother, Imperial Blue Against Beechwood Gray

Not a "before" shot of a stream restoration project, this exciting daguerrotype photo is of honest-to-goodness Civil War-era earthworks right in the heart of Reston. That's right, behind what is now known as Buckthorn Lane brother took arms against brother to ensure the future of the Union, or maybe just the right of governments and homeowners associations everywhere to enforce rules about the correct placement of gas lamps in people's yards. We're fuzzy on the details.

Lay it on us, old-timey "news-paper:"
A few years ago, Reston resident Jim Lewis was wandering around his backyard, and he found himself wondering what the deep trenches were. His neighbor, Bob Eldridge found himself wondering the same thing, and the two of them began to research. They found out that their backyards were the site of Civil War trenches, rifle pits and artillery locations.

Soon the two began speaking at local churches and community centers, often bringing with them Civil War relics they found along Hunter Mill Road.

"Soon people started asking us to take them out to locations where things happened along the road," Lewis said. "Eventually we published a self-guided tour book so people could scout the locations themselves."

On April 2, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Eldridge and Lewis will give a tour of the area behind their houses and along a portion of the W and OD Trail. They will give history buffs a firsthand look at the earthworks on their property, as well as stories about the activities along the trail.

"The trail was used frequently, even after the tracks were torn up," Lewis said. "It was one of the main supply lines from the Fairfax Courthouse, which was a big supply depot during the war. We want to show the earthworks, tell the story behind why they were built the way they were."
Saturday's waking tour will begin at noon at the Reston Museum. For more details, call the museum at 703-709-7700.

1 comment:

  1. How very cool and how nice of them to let people onto their property. Very neighborly -- kinda helps you hope we've gotten past that brother against brother thing. Except for white rocks and red mulch.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).