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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Name selected for Annandale tributary of Accotink Creek

The stream runs under the beltway.
Local residents were invited to suggest a name for an unnamed tributary of Accotink Creek running through Annandale, and the name selected is “Wakefield Run.”

Members of the advocacy group, Friends of Accotink Creek, chose that name July 16 from 27 names submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. The proposed names reflect the area’s history, geography, or nature or the submittor’s imagination.

The small stream, currently known as “Unnamed Tributary to Accotink Creek,” starts on the grounds of Braddock Elementary School; extends along Sutter Lane, Ethan Allen Drive, and Patriot Drive; goes under Americana Drive and the Beltway; and ends up in Wakefield Park where it joins Accotink Creek at the Cross County Trail.

The person who suggested the name “Wakefield Run” says it “captures and builds on the place-name identity already established for this area.” He says it would encourage people who enjoy Wakefield Park’s tennis courts, skateboard park, swimming pool, and other amenities to “also care about the park’s natural amenities.” He recalls exploring that area when it was all woods before Wakefield was built and catching crayfish in the stream. “It was a magical place and can still be,” he says.

The name, “Braddock Branch,” got the second most votes. That name was suggested to honor Braddock Elementary School. “Scout Run,” proposed to recognize the Boy Scout, Girl Scout, and Cub Scout troops who work on cleaning up the stream, came in third.

Another suggested name “Foo Creek” was proposed to honor former Annandale residents Dave Grohl and Jimmy Swanson of the Foo Fighters band.

The person who proposed naming the stream “Dickins Creek” included lengthy historical documentation.  Francis Asbury Dickins, the planter at Ossian Hall, owned the land where the stream is. He was also a lawyer and served as the agent for the U.S. War and Treasury departments.

Other proposed names:
  • “Deer Creek” or “Butterfly Ridge” (submitted by someone who enjoys walking along the stream)
  • “Friends Run” (in recognition of the collaborative efforts to improve the quality of the stream)
  • “Fitzhugh Run” (because the land was part of the large tract owned by the Fitzhugh family, and history is important)
  • “Annandale Run” or “Annandale Creek”
  • “Erie Creek” (because it runs along Erie Street
  • “Adahne Creek” (the Cherokee word for river)
    “Sally Creek” (for George Mason’s daughter Sally Eilbeck Mason)
  •  “Little Tink Creek” (to capture the sound of the water and the stream’s size in relation to Accotink Creek)
  • “Little River Run”
  • “Plank Creek” (because some of the old planks from the bleachers at Wakefield Park were used as foot bridges)
  • “Ryan’s Stream” (to honor the nominator’s boyfriend, an avid mountain biker who loves Wakefield Park)
  • “Kintocca” (Accotink spelled backwards sounds like an old Indian word)
  • “Bent Creek” (submitted by a 6-year-old whose father explained the trees are bent because of soil erosion)
  • “Serenity” (the atmosphere during early morning walks on the Cross County Trail)
  • “Eagle Branch” (for the Braddock Elementary School mascot)
  • “Heritage Branch (Heritage Road is nearby)
  • “Mountain Bike Fork” (a fork is a bicycle component as well as a place where a stream divides)
  • “Weetink Creek” (it’s small, it’s near an elementary school serving small children, and feeds into Accotink).
And then, there was a man who had gotten married just a few weeks ago and suggested his wife’s maiden name for the creek, because she had taken his last name and is an only child so the name will die out. Also, he says, they both enjoy riding bikes through Wakefield Park.


  1. Crayfish in Accotink Creek once again!

  2. I am sure the crayfish are there. I did not see any crayfish last week on the Cross County Trail, but I saw two huge snapping turtles from a couple of the bridges.

  3. In 1972 while playing with my friends I found a spearpoint stone projectile, which I later found out is over 5,000 years old. I took it to Michael Johnson, the FX Co. archaeologist, who verified its age. Now, over 40 years later, I would like to have it catalogued with any other Native American finds from FX County. Is there a website where I can share photos of this? Perhaps I could even present it in 3-D animation, with a metric scale next to it.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of online resource for sharing this kind of stuff.