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    Commercial properties and endeavors

    AL'S MOTORS BUILDING/GOLD'S GYM Map

    Site to see

    3910 Wilson Boulevard

    This property is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    ARLINGTON RADIO TOWERS Map

    Sign only

    South Courthouse Road at the entrance of the Naval Communications Station

    Three radio towers similar to the Eiffel Tower in construction were erected here in 1913. One stood 600 feet and the other two 450 feet above the 200-foot elevation of the site. The word “radio” was first used, instead of “wireless”, in the name of this Naval communications facility. The first trans-Atlantic voice communication was made between this station and the Eiffel Tower in 1915. The nation set its clocks by the Arlington Radio time signal and listened for its broadcast weather reports. The towers were dismantled in 1941, as a menace to aircraft approaching the new Washington National Airport.

    ARLINGTON MILL Map

    Sign only

    Columbia Pike at South Four Mile Run Drive

    The land along Four Mile Run in this area belonged to George Washington and was known as Washington Forest. Later it became part of the Arlington estate. The Columbia Turnpike was built through here in 1808 to link the Long Bridge at Washington with the Little River Turnpike. In 1836 G.W.P. Custis built a grist mill here where the turnpike crossed Four Mile Run. It was destroyed during the Civil War (as the supposed property of R. E. Lee), but was rebuilt in 1880, continued in operation until 1906, and was destroyed by fire in 1920.

    CARLIN SPRINGS Map

    Sign only

    In Glencarlyn Park (approach from 2nd Street South and South Jefferson Street entrance)

    In 1872 John F. Carlin developed here a popular resort which could be reached by train from Washington and Alexandria. His establishment included two springs, an ice cream parlor, a restaurant, a dance pavilion, and a swimming hole at the confluence of Four Mile Run and Lubber Run. It remained popular until about 1887, when the property was sold to the developers of Glencarlyn. They demolished the resort buildings, but preserved the natural park, which was acquired by Arlington County in 1943.

    CHAIN BRIDGE Map

    Site to see

    Chain Bridge (Virginia end)

    In 1797, the merchants of Georgetown built here the first bridge over the Potomac River in order to compete with the Virginia port of Alexandria. The falls Bridge allowed trade from the “upper country” of Virginia to move directly to Georgetown over the Georgetown-Leesburg road. After the first two bridges were destroyed by floods, a chain suspension bridge, considered a marvel of engineering with a span of 128 feet between stone towers, was built in 1808. Although this bridge has been replaced by other forms of construction, the popular name Chain Bridge continues to be used. The present bridge was built following the flood of 1936.

    DAN KAIN BUILDING (1945) Map

    Site to see

    3100 Washington Boulevard

    Dan Kain building

    LITTLE FALLS ROAD Map

    Little Falls Road at George Mason Drive

    Little Falls Road was originally a trail from the Indian villages at the head of Four Mile Run to the Potomac River fisheries just below the Little Falls. Later it was developed as a wagon road from the settlement at the Falls Church to Thomas Lee’s landing and warehouse at the mouth of Pimmit Run.

    MOUTH OF PIMMIT RUN Map

    Site to see

    North Glebe Road before the Chain Bridge

    Thomas Lee patented land in this area in 1719. Here at the head of navigation of the Potomac River, he established an official tobacco inspection warehouse in 1742, the beginning of Arlington’s first industrial complex. After 1794, Philip Richard Fendall and Lewis Hipkins, then owners of 200 acres in the Pimmit Run region, built a grist mill, brewery, distillery, cooper and blacksmith shops, and other structures. After 1815 a cloth mill, woolen factory, and paper mill were established along the Run, later to be abandoned. In the 1890’s the Columbia Light and Power Company used Pimmit Run to generate electricity. Stone from nearby quarries was loaded on scows moored to the iron rings that can still be seen embedded in the rocks below.

    WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT TERMINAL AND SOUTH HANGAR LINE

    Site to see

    Thomas Avenue

    This property is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Arlington Historical Society
    P.O. Box 100402, Arlington, Virginia 22210-3402

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