Annandale – About & History
Annandale is located inside the Capital Beltway at the convergence of three major Fairfax County roads: Little River Turnpike, Columbia Pike and Backlick Road. It is an unincorporated community in Fairfax County, Virginia, made up of small businesses, retail establishments and residential housing ranging from garden apartments to high rise condominiums and single family homes.
In 1685, an Englishman named Col. William H. Fitzhugh purchased over 24,000 acres of land from John Matthews who had received the land a few years earlier from the colonial Virginia government at Jamestown. The Fitzhugh family eventually named the tract “Ravensworth.” Over time, Fitzhugh established one of the largest tobacco plantations in Northern Virginia on this land. Sometime around 1830, after the Fitzhugh family had sold off large sections of their plantation, the area became known as “Annandale.” Annandale was named after the Scottish village Annan located at the mouth of the Annan River near where the river flows into Solway Firth and then the Irish Sea.
Beginning in colonial times Virginia’s farmers produced primarily tobacco. To facilitate transporting goods to markets and shipping ports such as Alexandria, the earliest private turnpike charter in the state was granted by the Virginia General Assembly to the Company of the Fairfax and Loudoun Turnpike Road in 1796. By 1806 the 34-mile-long road connected Alexandria with Fairfax, and soon after with Aldie on the Little River in Loudoun County. The company placed wooden tollhouses along the road at five-mile intervals. One stood just two blocks away near the intersection where Ravensworth Road and Annandale Road meet. In 1954 it was torn down. This Annandale tollhouse was used as one of the voting locations in 1861 when Fairfax County residents cast ballots to secede from the Union. Annandale Tollhouse Park, at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Annandale Road, commemorates this historic location. The Little River Turnpike became a free road in 1896.
During the Civil War several minor skirmishes between Confederate and Union soldiers took place in Annandale. This included action by Confederate Col. Mosby’s troops on two occasions in 1863 and 1864.
Over the years Annandale remained a regional center for supplies. Blacksmithing, dairy farming and other agricultural trades operated in the area. In 1837 the Annandale Post Office was established.
Whereas in 1900 the population of Fairfax County was only 18,580, by 1970 it had grown to 454,275 residents, surpassing 1,111,620 in 2013. Annandale’s population stood at 73,699 in 2013.
Today the population in Fairfax County and Annandale continues to swell and the development of housing and businesses is strong. Elan Mews – Royal Court is ideally located in the midst of this growing economic environment.
The following websites contain detailed information about Annandale, is history and current events in the immediate area:
Another excellent source of information is Fairfax County’s new website My Neighborhood Report at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/myneighborhood/. The My Neighborhood Report is an application that lets users discover information about Fairfax County addresses and their surrounding neighborhood. The application also provides links to information about real estate assessment, surrounding land development, and nearby police events. An integrated interactive map allows users to see the location of addresses and nearby public facilities with street, imagery, and topographic base maps.
In the My Neighborhood Report, users will also find the following information about an address:
- Political jurisdictions
- Elected officials (local, state, and federal)
- Voting precinct and voting location
- Assigned elementary, middle, and high schools
- Nearest police and fire stations
- The two closest libraries, post offices, hospitals/urgent care, and Fairfax County parks