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Friday, June 1, 2018

Truro celebrates 50th anniversary

Truro features mid-century modern homes in a wooded setting. 
This weekend, the Truro community, consisting of the 377 mid-century modern homes and 36 acres of parkland on the western edge of Annandale will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The festivities include a party Friday evening; a stream restoration tour, picnic lunch, and gala anniversary dinner on Saturday; and a house tour and reception on Sunday.
Many Truro homes are beautifully landscaped.
When Fairfax County approved homebuilders Miller & Smith’s plan for the community, it endorsed an innovative approach in which houses of varied design would be positioned to preserve the natural terrain and as many of the oak, tulip poplar, and other trees as possible, says Truro resident Jan Curtis.

The community features a swimming pool with an enclosed clubhouse available for meetings and parties, four tennis courts, a basketball court, and more than one and a-half miles of trails, enabling residents to enjoy wildlife and children to walk to Wakefield Forest Elementary School.

The Truro pool and clubhouse.
“The mid-century modern architecture was adventuresome for Virginia in 1968, but floor-to-ceiling windows and natural wood exteriors provided unity with the natural setting that had been so conscientiously preserved,” states a news release about the 50th anniversary. “Truro was recognized regionally for its representation of this architectural standard, and the ‘pod’ houses by renowned architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen remain a benchmark in architectural design.”

There are no mcMansions here. The Truro Homes Association has managed to preserve the look and feel of the original homes through an architectural control committee that enforces design guidelines.

“The real test of Truro’s design, however, is in how it has fostered active community involvement over the years with hundreds of volunteers,” says Truro Homeowners Association President Dave Watts. “We love where we live and want to make it work.”

It must be a great place to live: 26 homes are still occupied by original owners.

Here are some tidbits from a 20-page booklet produced by the community for the 50th anniversary:
  • The community was built on what was once the Truro Parish, which was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1732.
  • Truro Parish was named by Robert “King” Carter, a colonial official, landholder, and businessman. He had discovered what he thought were rich deposits of copper in nearby Frying Pan Creek and named the area after a prosperous mining district in Cornwall, England. His discovery, however, turned out to be the characteristic green sandstone of Northern Virginia. 
  • Many of the streets of Truro derive from American colonial and revolutionary era history, such as Anne Fitzhugh Drive, Charles Hawkins Way, Ossian Hall Way, Mary Lee Lane, Aunt Lilly Lane, and Footstep Court. Those names were associated with Oak Hill in Annandale, the one surviving manor house of the huge Ravensworth Tract. 
  • In 1990, the community successfully fought efforts to shift Wakefield Forest Elementary School from the Woodson High School pyramid to the Annandale pyramid. 
  • In the 2000s, a pre-Civil War cemetery and 33 remains were discovered when VDOT was working on improvements at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Guinea Road. Descendants were eventually located by the county, and the remains were moved to Pleasant Valley Cemetery on Little River Turnpike. 

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