My favorite road sign in Northern Virginia used to sit on the American Legion Bridge between Virginia and Maryland. The message was one of the few road signs that made you laugh and told the truth all at the same time.
Now I may be the only Realtor® who hasn't succumbed to getting a little talk box in my car that is supposed to give directions from Point A to Point B. Call it ego (or stupidity) but as a native of the area I can usually find my way from one neighborhood to another without too many problems. Add to the fact that that I like the back streets more than the interstates and poor little GPS systems usually start screaming recalculating route as soon as I make my first turn.
One of the advantages of this little quirk in my personality is that while my clients and I are touring Northern Virginia we also get to see some local sites that we would miss if we followed GPS directions. Today we got to see a local BBQ joint with a chicken statue, which doesn't make any sense whatsoever but it was just tacky enough that we had to stop and take a picture. Then we made quick stops at a couple of more places with historical significance in Northern Virginia. The Quaker Meeting House built in 1852 and George Washington's Grist Mill built in 1771.
To be correct George Washington's Grist Mill was also a whiskey distillery. As a whiskey distillery it was the the largest in America in 1799 producing about 11,000 gallons of whiskey a year. The16-foot waterwheel that runs the giant gears and millstones is the only remaining operating Oliver Evans Automated Milling System in America. You can't sample whiskey at the mill but you can during the summer season buy fresh ground cornmeal. FYI as a little historical aside or perhaps a final Jeopardy question, do you know where the only whiskey distillery outside of Kentucky is? Yes that would be the Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg Virginia that produces Virginia Gentleman.
The second spot we took a quick look at was the Quaker Meeting House just across Route 1 from the Grist Mill. The current Quaker Meeting House was built in 1853 and during the civil war ended up in no-man's-land between Union lines south of Alexandria and Confederate troops stationed to the north. Then during the WWI the government began to acquire the farmland surrounding the area to build Camp AA Humphreys which would later become Fort Belvoir. Today you can stand on the front porch of the meeting house and look over new base housing.
So next time you have relocating clients coming to the area consider taking a little detour and showing them more than a few houses and shopping centers. Letting them know a few of the little quirks, history and back roads will give them a better sense of the area and who knows you might even discover something you hadn't seen before too. Now about that chicken statue?
If you are interested in taking a detour and learning more about Northern Virginia Relocation, local neighborhoods or things to do give me a call. As a native of the area I can give you a tour not only a new place to call home but other areas of interest for you and your family.
As an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Allegiance in Northern Virginia and native of the area I can assist you whether you are buying, selling or renting a home anywhere in Northern Virginia. For more information about the area or my services you can check VaRealEstateTalk or my Northern Virginia website.
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Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia