A Walking Field Trip
What was life like in Ashburn, Virginia 200, 100 or even 50 years ago? Hillside students wanted to learn more about the land and lives of the families that lived around Hillside Elementary School (circa 1998) and the surrounding community of Broadlands (circa 1994). Several old photographs where given to the school that showed a stone farmhouse, known as the "LeFevre" (sometimes spelled "LaFever") farmhouse (circa 1874) and several out buildings. A walking field trip in the spring of 1999 to the LeFevre House and the family graveyard helped the children to learn about a very interesting time in Loudoun County history.
<<<The man on the bench with a beard is John Alexander Caylor (1851-1921) He was born in Indiana and is believed to be the primary designer/builder of the historic "LeFevre" stone house. After the Civil War, Mr. Caylor did a lot of wood-carving and learned carpentry as a bridge-builder on the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad. This is a picture of some of the local men who worked on the W&OD railroad with John Caylor.
Many old records have been lost and much of what is known about the "Hillside Farm" comes from county tax records. John LeFevre (1829-1903) and his brother Samuel (1828-1904) were considered "prosperous" in 1870. Their real estate and personal property was valued at $4,000. John Caylor, who married Priscilla LeFevre, was of "modest" capital when the house was built in 1874. He was worth about $38! The house remained in the LeFevre family until 1916, when it was sold to John Smith, who turned it into a modern dairy farm (photo, circa 1926)>>>
<<These fourth graders were asked to study and draw the house. Old county tax records were used to help the children understand how different life was in the 1800's. In 1873, the LeFevre brothers owned 6 horses valued at $450, 15 cattle valued at $150, 30 sheep valued at $90 and 18 hogs valued at $30.
In 1916, John Smith's son modernized the farm by installing electricity and indoor plumbing. He was the FIRST to have these modern conveniences and his house had the only radio for miles around!>>>
<<It's important for our students to make a connection to the rich history of the Broadlands community. By understanding this history, they will bring a greater appreciation of of the community they live in!
TIME LINE of Important Events:
- 1728: Land Granted (935 acres) to William Sturman and inherited by his son Foxhall Sturman.
- 1749-1752: Broad Run Chapel or "The New Chappell", first church built (with graveyard) by the Anglican Parish known as Cameron.
- 1766: Broad Run Church Road (present Waxpool Road) first noted, from then on referred to as Church Road.
- 1776-1792: Due to the turmoil related to the Revolutionary War, the status of the Anglican Church and its properties is unclear.
- 1803: Amos Thompson, a noted Presbyterian minister, buys 372 acres "commonly called the Broad Run old Church Tract."
- 1811: 362 acres purchased by Peter Oatyer to settle the estate of Reverend Thompson.
- 1829: Peter Oatyer wills five acres, "from the Black Oak tree to the gate to the church lot" to his daughter, Elizabeth Moffett.
- 1853: Yardley Taylor's "1853 Map of Loudoun County" shows a wood building about where the old church stood, and names its occupants "S. & J. LeFever." It is possible that this house might have been the church converted into a dwelling, which later probably burned down.
- 1874: John and Samuel LeFevre were living in their new stone home. The family named the farm "Hillside." This building is an important remnant of the early history of the Waxpool area. It is a good example of Pennsylvania/German construction techniques brought to Virginia in the late 1700's. This log beam and stone building is virtually square, level and plumb and it is without question the work of an experienced craftsman.
- 1916: The house and surrounding lands remained in the LeFevre family until 1916, when it was sold to John Smith for his son Earl. Major improvements were made, such as electricity, indoor plumbing and a new front porch. The Smiths lived in the house for 8 years. Thereafter, the farm was operated by tenant farmers.
- 1959: The house and 504 acres were deeded to Brewster Cornwell.
- 1960: Deeded to Goose Creek Acres, Inc.
- 1986: Deeded to Van Metre at Goose Creek .
1994: Deeded to Broadlands Associate
1998: Hillside Elementary Opens!
2013: Hillside celebrates 15 years of quality education and service to the Broadlands community!
Resources: Used for this web page...
- Historic American Buildings Survey: LeFevre House, Loudoun County Deed Books & Tax/Land Books provided by the developers of the Broadlands community.
- An Archaelogical Reconnaissance and Historic-Site Survey Of the Broad Run Church, Graveyard, and Environs At Broadlands, Near Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia, by Eugene M. Scheel.
- Old Photos provided by Besty Carter (descendant) and developers of the Broadlands Associates.
- Digital images taken by Mrs. Adams, TRT.
Created: Spring of 1999: Updated 06/10, 10/11