School History - The Crestwood Area

The following history of the Crestwood area was written by Eleanor Williams for Crestwood Elementary School’s 50th Anniversary.

In 1950, the Springfield area consisted of nothing but woods and a few farms and houses. Edward Carr bought a lot of the land and in 1950 started to build the first planned community in Northern Virginia. He gave some land to the community for the school and the first community pool was built here because of the land he donated.

In October 1952 the first families started to move into Springfield. There were no phones, no street lights, no mail delivery and no street signs. There were also no stores. All shopping was done in Annandale. We had to cross the railroad tracks to get to Annandale and back to Springfield. Sometimes there would be a 10-15-minute wait for the trains to go by. There were a lot of trains in those days!

We had to go to the train station to pick up the mail. The station was near to where the train station on Hechinger Drive is today. The mail was picked up at the train station for two years. Finally, the post office opened. There were post office boxes. Three years later, mail was delivered to the homes.

We had a telephone booth on each street for our phone service. Six months later, there was a four-party line put in. (Four families shared the phone line.) About a year later, it was a two-party line. After about two more years, everyone had their own phone line.

The milkman delivered milk to the door and a bakery truck came to every street on Wednesday. Everyone bought goodies from it.

Little League was started in 1955. There were no schools here until 1956. All of the school children had to go out of the area.

It was very dark at night in Springfield as we did not have any street lights, so trying to find someone's house after sunset could be pretty hard. The county was not providing any street lights or street signs so the community decided to do something about it. Each household contributed $20. Of that amount, $10 went for lights and $10 went for road signs. Soon it was much easier to find your way around Springfield.

Little by little, stores started to come into the area. Bonn Food was the first store to move in. Soon, A & P, then Safeway and, finally, Giant. Banks, service stations, restaurants, Fischer's Hardware and many more businesses followed. The place was really growing! For the Fourth of July, the merchants of Springfield would put on a fireworks display and a circus would come to town.

More and more families were moving in all the time. Now, more than 50 years later, Springfield has gone from being a quiet, country area to a thriving suburb. Who knows what the next 50 years holds in store?