Annandale Residents, Local Officials Celebrate Oak Hill History Day

The annual event featured reenactments, music and more to help celebrate a piece of Fairfax County history.

David and Amanda Scheetz (left) with Braddock District Supervisor John Cook (center) and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. Photo Credit: Sherell Williams
David and Amanda Scheetz (left) with Braddock District Supervisor John Cook (center) and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. Photo Credit: Sherell Williams
Annandale residents joined Braddock District Supervisor John Cook and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova in celebrating a piece of Annandale's history on Saturday for Oak Hill History Day.

The annual event allows residents an opportunity to tour the Oak Hill mansion, an 18th century Georgian-style home located at 716 Wakefield Chapel Rd. that was once owned by the Fitzhugh family. Oak Hill is the oldest (and only surviving) of three homes built by the Fitzhugh family on land that was once known as the Ravensworth Tract.

"Having a sense of history is important because you need a sense of where you came from, where the community was, so you can look at where you are now and have a basis of where you want to get in the future," said Cook during his remarks about the significance of Oak Hill History Day to Fairfax County and its residents.

Visitors were allowed to take a brief tour of the first floor of the home and visit the grounds, where there were reenactments from local residents posing as David Fitzhugh, Anna Maria Fitzhugh, Francis Ashbury Dickens of Ossian Hall and others. Additionally, local groups such as the Burke Historical Society and the Annandale Chamber of Commerce had booths promoting their organizations.

Guests also enjoyed refreshments provided by the Annandale High School Culinary program and music from the Oak Hill Trio during the event.

Watch: Oak Hill Trio Perform at Oak Hill History Day

Oak Hill was purchased in 2008 by David and Amanda Scheetz, just four years after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Seville Homes, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board and Northern Virginia Conservation Trust negotiated an historic easement agreement in to preserve the property.

Because of the terms of the easement agreement, the home and its grounds aren't allowed to be altered very much, so visitors were able to tour much of the original landscape of the home, including 200-year-old boxwood trees that line the private driveway. The easement terms also require the Scheetzes to open the home to the public four times a year.

"The easement ensures that [Oak Hill] will remain standing and cared for, but will also be accessible to county residents. It takes a special kind of family to make that happen and enjoy it," said Bulova of the Scheetzes during her remarks.

Oak Hill History Day was sponsored by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and staff, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook and staff, Lake Accotink Park and Frying Pan Farm Park staff and the A Look Back at Braddock Committee.

To learn more about Oak Hill, visit the Annandale history page. 
Kth September 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM
9-29-2013 Oh how this makes me cry deeply, and will for my sisters. I never saw anything advertised regarding this annual event, and we've been looking for this and so deeply hoping to come. We were born and raised in this area, and I was the last remaining person literally born on the grounds of Ossian Hall, to our knowledge, in 1953. We were one of three families living on the grounds of Ossian Hall, Dad renting the house, via Jack Webb. And then another family we lost contact with, and the Williams family who were caretakers of the Bristow tract of land. I do not remember the Hall, but would love so much to see Oak Hill, if we could even find how to get in to it, knowing that in the 1930s Oak Hill was restored to resemble Ossian Hall. How this makes me cry. Looking soon at the events shared here, and will share with family - but not the same as being there, and possibly being able to reconnect with some former neighbors other family may remember, too.


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