BCA General Membership Meeting - 05/26, 7:30 PM
Projects newsletter events contact links

RENEW/JOIN! If you haven't paid your 2010 dues or wish to join BCA click here!

Bluemont's Past

A Bluemont neighbor writes about growing up in central Arlington in the 50's and 60's: Kids were much more free to roam then, so I have hundreds of little stories about day to day life and about how Arlington looked then. I'll tell you one:


There used to be a large empty field, half the size of a football field, where the Emerson Street cul de sac is at 10th St. The field extended out into the area that is now Rt.66. The wild grass would get to be about a eighteen inches high. There was a long windy path that went from Fairfax Dr. to 10th Street diagonally across the field. It was called the snake path. You could always encounter rabbits, birds and other wild critters, but you also could occasionally see a snake. There were lots of them but they hid from humans going across the snake path. So finding a snake was really exciting.

Once a year there was a very important event that took place in that field. There were a lot of kids in this neighborhood then. All the kids from blocks around would come to watch. The owners of that field would set the field on fire!! This was an easy alternative to mowing, and it was controlled and carefully watched. But the best part for us kids was that dozens and dozens of snakes would come slithering out from all sides of the field........ out into the hands of young snake collectors rather than stay and get fried.

We always returned them once the novelty of having an unlimited collection of snakes wore off and after the field cooled down. There was lots of local wild life, many more creeks with water creatures, an old farm with big animals where the Fairfax Dr.ramp to 66 is. I still see an occasional rat snake here and there around the neighborhood, but you have to kind of know how to spot them.


There was a haunted house where the fire station is now. Fields Park and that section of George Mason Dr behind the school was an orchard and a small woods. A slow train came through there twice a day. One of the guys in the engine would get out and stop traffic on Wilson so the train could creep on down to Bluemont.

Send us Your Stories!

We are beginning a collection of stories about life in Arlington as it was. If you have stories or pictures to add, send them to bluemontcivic@verizon.net. If you need help digitizing photos, let us know; we'll be glad to help.

Back to Our Neighborhood

Life in Bluemont

Read stories of Bluemont's Past


Design by Sam Ferro | Webmaster Dave Leichtman