Chesterbrook VA 1950s - Photo #13

View across Kirby Road from Chesterbrook School. Left, the Black church which is still there: First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook, built in 1866 (read the history), probably the oldest building in the area. Far right, the old abandoned original Chesterbrook market that closed some time between 1920 and 1940 (when I lived there you could look inside and still see the ancient merchandise among the dust and cobwebs). Down the hill, some houses and farms. Left of First Baptist Church (not visible in the photo), the house of an old guy who kept a cow tethered by the front porch (but apparently not when this picture was taken). The cow was a source of fascination to all the schoolkids because its horns were growing downwards, curving around towards its eyeballs, closer every year. When I moved away in 1956, the points of the horns were a quarter inch from the eyeballs. This still worries me.

The First Baptist Church website and the Pimmit Run site give similar accounts of the history of Chesterbrook:

"In present-day Chesterbrook, formerly Lincolnville, freed blacks gained title to lands by purchase from the Crocker family, who were Unionists. The area of black settlement was and is north of Kirby Road between Church and Potomac Hills." (Church)
I believe that refers to the area in the center of the picture, down Old Chesterbrook Road.
"In 1865 the desire to build a place of worship was borne in the heart of Rev. Cyrus Carter and the Freedmen of Lincolnville, Virginia. Freedmen arrived in Northern Virginia shortly after the Civil War and purchased land deemed undesirable by the union soldiers. The Freedmen cleared the uncultivated land with their own hands, built farmhouses and established livelihood for their families." (Pimmit Run)
In 1954 or 55 I wrote a brief history of Chesterbrook as a class assignment:
Chesterbrook got its name in 1897. Prior to that it was called Lincolnville. In 1897, a new post office was built and Martin Payton was appointed postmaster. A meeting was held to decide a name for the post office and the late Martha J. Stalcup suggested the name Chesterbrook. The name was soon given to the place.

I got this information by interviewing Helen Walker (Harry Hill's grandmother), and (I think) Billy Stalcup's mother. She and her late mother had adjacent houses just behind the school that can be seen in some of the other pictures. I have no idea where the post office could have been.

In 2015, several years after this page was created, a historical marker was erected in the area with the following inscription:

Lincolnville, a farming community that developed along Kirby Road after the Civil war, was renamed Chesterbrook ca. 1897. The first Colored Baptist Church of Fairfax County was founded ca.1866 by reverend Cyrus Carter. The one-room Chesterbrook School opened in 1906 on present-day Linway Terrace. The school moved to Kirby Road in 1926. Chesterbrook Methodist Episcopal Church South, formed in 1906, worshiped in the schoolhouse, then relocated to Kirby Road in 1921. Classes for the Chesterbrook Colored School were held in the Odd Fellows Lodge adjacent to the general store which the Stalcup family operated for many years.