Chesterbrook VA 1950s - Photo #20

Harry Hill, Jimmie Walker, and me on Kirby Road. As you can see the north side of the road goes along a forest, which is long gone. The road itself had recently been paved (or maybe just graveled) and elevated. Previously it had been a dirt road at ground level. Preliminary work was done by prison labor — a chain gang — my Mom brought cold water out to them. Just behind where we are sitting there had been a huge ancient tree that was toppled by Hurricane Hazel. I know the road was paved at some point before 1956 (when we moved away) because I remember the tar bubbling up on hot days. Harry used to eat it. At the foot of the embankment was an open drainage ditch, I remember spending evenings watching tadpoles and mosquito larvae hatch in the stagnant water. The woods were full of snakes and box turtles and there were always buzzards circling overhead. Another event that took place right here was the night-time visitations of the Jewel Tea man... A shiny brown streamlined panel truck that was a store inside. He'd pull up and everybody would come running, it was all lit up inside and full of treasures.

Here are some photos of Kirby Road, probably about 1955:

Hill's Farm   Hill's Farm   Hill's Farm  

If you click each photo you'll see a somewhat larger version. The first photo is looking northeast (towards Old Dominion Drive). The cedars, or whatever they are, at right center are along the grand entrance to the Chittenden estate. The second photo (with Harry and Jimmie) is looking southwest towards the corner of what is now Franklin Avenue but was then a dirt road called "down the hill" (it was actually pretty good for sledding in the winter). On the far side of Franklin Avenue, on the left, is a corner of the Hill Farm. On the right is thick dense forest. The first two photos were taken by me with my Brownie Hawkeye. The last photo, also looking southwest, was taken by my Dad with a real camera using some kind of filter. The black car is the same as in the first picture. I have no clue about the date of this picture; it could be before Kirby Road was elevated because it looks even with the yards, but the hedges are much more bushy than the scraggly or nonexistent ones in the other pictures so who knows.