Introduction to Annandale, Virginia
Annandale CDP (census-designated place) is located in Fairfax County. The Capital Beltway and Virginia State Route 236 are the primary roads in Annandale. The Accotink Creek runs through the city. A dam was constructed on the creek with the objective of creating Lake Accotink. The lake is a popular recreation area. The Fairfax Cross County Trail is situated along Accotink Creek and is a popular destination for hiking, jogging, bicycle riding as well as cross-country skiing. The trail travels through parks and forest areas. Accotink Creek also provides opportunities for fishing.
Col. William Fitzhugh purchased more than 24,000 acres in the area in 1685. Family members gave the acreage the name "Ravensworth." Col. Fitzhugh created one of the major Northern Virginia tobacco plantations on his land. Ravensworth was recognized as the largest piece of land granted in Northern Virginia.
A large number of French Huguenots left Europe due to religious persecution and some of them arrived in Ravensworth and made a deal with Fitzhugh to lease some of his property. However, the Huguenots discovered that life was very primitive in the area and a significant number of them moved out of Ravensworth. At a slow pace, future generations of Fitzhugh's family sold sections of the property.
In 1806 construction of the portion of the Little River Turnpike that ran through Annandale was finished. Annandale was now connected to Fairfax and Alexandria. In 1830 the plantation was no longer called Ravensworth. The area was now called Annandale named after the Scottish town situated along the Annan River. Most of the land in Annandale was utilized for farming by the new landowners. Farmhouses could be seen all over the countryside
Annandale is home to Northern Virginia Community College. The noteworthy Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art theater. The college is significantly involved with placing their graduates in four-year colleges by utilizing a preferred transfers system.
There are numerous historic sites in the Annandale area including:
- Barcroft Community House
- Cherry Hill
- Calvert Manor
- Calendon School
- Birch House
- Oakton Trolley Station