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There is a Mystery Afoot in This Fairfax County Neighborhood

Fairfax County Relocation-Welcome to Fairfax County Virginia

 

Greentree VillageGreentree Village is what you might expect to see in a community in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Located in West Springfield, the neighborhood seems typical of many in the area. Brick front townhouses backing to trees and grassy islands slow traffic down for the kids to be able to play safely.  Across the street from the neighborhood is one of the 380 parks maintained by the Fairfax County Park Authority.  A Fairfax County Connector bus stop is at the entrance to the neighborhood, within 15 minutes is the Springfield Metro, close by shopping and great schools put the neighborhood in a central location.  However the neighborhood also contains a little mystery as well.

Greentree Village Cemetary

Tucked behind the basketball court protected by a wrought iron fence are three gravestones from the 1800's.  One has the name Addison Keen and another one with the name Clarintine V.  Close by you can also see a broken headstone for W. Keen.  Unlike other historic graveyards in the area there are no markers to explain how these final resting places ended up in this location.

For those of us who grew up in the area the name Keen/Keene is easily recognized.  The main road running through Springfield is Keene Mill Road and directly behind Greentree Village runs Keene Road.  So what part of the history of the area did the Keen family bring to this particular area?  First of all there was a mill on the Pohick Stream that runs through the area and records show it was owned by William Keen.  An 1850 census of the area shows that William Keen was 35 years old, married and his occupation was miller.

This is where history takes a mystery turn.  In 1855 William Keene was convicted of murdering another local man by the name of Hall.  Now local history disagrees as to whether William Keen was legally convicted of the murder but he was sentenced to death by hang.  Over the following years additional information came forward that perhaps there had been jury tampering which led to his conviction.  In 1858 his death sentence was commuted to 10 years in prison by the governor of Virginia.  However it is unknown what actually happened to him.  Prison records were lost when parts of Richmond was burned during the Civil War.  It is not known whether William Keen died in prison, was released or walked out along with all of the other prisoners in 1867.

Whatever the story it makes living in one of the 124 townhouses in Greentree Village just a bit more intriguing.  So as you are wandering through your neighborhood in Fairfax County take a closer look around.  There is an amazing amount of history tucked in very unusual places. 

More posts on Faifax County Historic Places.

©2008. All Rights Reserved. Cindy Jones
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Cindy Jones

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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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Comment balloon 6 commentsCindy Jones • January 27 2008 10:39AM

Comments

CINDY - We had a very old cemetary with a handful of gravestones about a quarter mile from where I grew up.  It was fascinating to see the old dates on the stones.
Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) almost 11 years ago
Okay how in the world did you discover this little tidbit?  You always seem to find the most interesting pieces about a community.
Posted by Pat Fenn (Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker ) almost 11 years ago
Adam-we are fortunate to have a number of older cemetaries in our area and you never know where you might find one!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Pat-I have to give credit to my kids on this find.  We rented a townhouse in Greentree Village in 1990-91 and one day they came back from playing all excited about finding the cemetary.  Of course I thought they were kidding but nope there it was.   Fairfax County is full of these little hidden gems.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

Do you know of any other mysteries in this county, because I'm looking for a case. Thank you very much for your help.

Posted by nancy drew over 10 years ago
Nancy Drew- Very clever.  If you are thinking of another book or perhaps the movie rights just let me know :-)
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

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