Rose Hill was beautiful, with red roses along the entry road and horses grazing along the fence, as greeters. We were lucky to be there, living with all nice people who gradually filled up the empty houses as they were completed. They became our friends, our world. During snow storms the men gathered food and distributed it as needed, and in summer impromptu parties broke out with BYOB and communal odd bits of food and dips to munch on. Cottonwood became known as the Party Street!!!
We moved up the road to Maple Grove in 1958 as our family outgrew the rambler, but kept up our friendships for many years.
Many neighbors became lifelong friends in person and memory, such as the Thompson’s, Stemple’s, Jim and Billie Morgan, Bill and Marguerite Malatesta, and Walt and Lucy Shupe. Lucy was my best friend , until her death in February, 2016, just two months after the death of my Bud in December, 2015. We went through both good and bad times together!
One day a truck rolled in and out came guards with long guns and prisoners in stripes, to clean the streets! We mothers rushed our playing children into the house or back yard under careful eyes until they moved on. That was Fairfax county then as complaints went to Joe Alexander. It only happened once!
In 1964 we outgrew our rambler and moved up Franconia Road to Maple Grove to our big house! It was across the street from the Methodist Church and Franconia Elementary School, both convenient to walking, as we only had one car. We spent twenty eight happy years there as our four children grew up and out on their own, leaving us with too much house. Our next move was to a new condo at Kingstowne for eight years, then moved to Gainesville to Heritage Hunt, a new “over 55” golf and country club. , thinking that would be our forever home. However thirteen years later, my husband became ill and could not drive, nor could I, so we moved to Springfield, to Greenspriing Retirement Campus. That was almost five years ago now! It is a wonderful place to call home with most services provided, including a chapel right on the grounds! I find myself at ninety, with many new friends and more than enough things to do of interest and comfort, and almost back in the same vicinity as when we began with our first Rose Hill home. I call it a wonderful life! — Joyce Mack
My name is Eddie Ervin. I was born on November 4, 1954. My parents (Reese and Dorthy Ervin) picked out the house (and the lot) they wanted and watched it being built. I think we moved in around December 1954. The original address was 2406 Rose Hill Drive, but I think the address number had changed to 6415 right before we moved away when I was 11.
I stumbled onto the 'MyRosehill.com' website and the pictures in the photo gallery brought back a flood of memories and feelings. My older sister was friends of the Beaty's daughter (Bonnie), and Pat Shankle (Miss Rose Hill Shopping center) was another friend of my sister's. I used to play inside the original Rose Hill home - we kids thought it was haunted. There was an underground tunnel behind the house we use to dig in.
I have nothing to offer in the way of old photos - sorry, I'd gladly contribute if I could.
Would there be any other photos before 1965 that I could view? What a wonderful thing it would be able to view a treasure-trove of old Rose Hill photos. — Eddie Ervin
My family lived on Rock-A-Bye Road before Bee Street was a thru Street. There were the Kings (that's me), the Harris', the Saranos, and the Pulzones. That acreage was bought by my grandmother Minnie Agnes Lovett, and two acres were give to each of her children. I was told that our house was moved from across Rose Hill Drive to what was then 6400 Rock-A-By Road. I lived there with my family until I got married after my graduation from Thomas Edison in 1972. My parents sold their acreage in 1977 and moved to Hebron Maryland. I consider my family one of the first as new homes were being built around us in 1953. I remember my dad taking me to what is know Lee District to look for arrowheads and we used to find quite a few. We also found a lot where the golf course was or now is, you see I haven't been back for many years. My childhood consisted of building forts in the woods, and walking to the shopping center to get an ice cream on hot summer days. I never regretted a minute growing up in Rose Hill and loved the fresh air and the peacefulness. — Carol A Johnson
In 1954, my husband and I lived in Barcroft Apartments in Arlington with our (then) 3 daughters. We were interested in buying a house and a friend who had looked at the homes here in Rose Hill told us how nice they were.
When we came out to see the houses we decided to buy one. We bought the one on the west comer of Rose Hill and Apple Tree. The lady who sold it to us said they had not sold any with the power lines overhead on this side of the road. My husband worked on overhead electrification on the Railroad so it was not an issue for us. When we came back a month or so later to take pictures, the lady who sold us our home said they were able to convince people to buy where the power lines were because a man who worked on that had bought one. Our house was not completed until January 1955 and we moved in on January 17, 1955.
Rose Hill Drive from Telegraph Road dead-ended at our lot. When they started building the next section of homes on Apple Tree past Cottonwood and on Round Hill, that is when they built the rest of Rose Hill Drive to Franconia Road.
The Rose Hill Elementary School was not built until 1958 and I can only remember that because my oldest daughter started school September of 1955 and had to attend to Virginia Hills school for 1st grade then Bush Hill for 2nd grade, and finally 3rd grade and on at Rose Hill. — Twila Noble
My family has lived at the top of Climbhill Road as an original owner since around 1957. Other original owners who have since moved on who were wonderful neighborhood residents of Rose Hill for many years were the Camps, the Duvalls, the Herrings, the Kozaks, the Ketchums, the Parks, the Coles, the Phillips, and the Eppilittos. Some of you old-timers may remember those families. Other original and long-time residents of Rose Hill include families named Crouch, Huntington, Brill, Brown, Proctor, Kaldenbach, Houck, Brogan, Dent, Harris, Ludwig, Daniels, Shifflett, King, and of course, Noble.
Back in the late 1950s and well into the 1970s, Rose Hill was a very "small town" and almost everyone knew everyone on most of the streets throughout the community. Summer days were spent either at Highland Park pool or the other rival neighborhood pool known as Meadowview swim club. You were either a Highland Park family or a Meadowview family and there was a friendly rivalry between the two. Both clubs had huge weekend swim meets, and Friday and Saturday night "Splash Parties" where there would usually be a local band, lots of fun, and dancing by neighborhood teens.
Our little street had a custom whereby all the adults would gather together with lawn chairs in somebody's backyard on hot summer nights and the neighborhood kids would put on a "talent show" loosely based on the format of "The Ed Sullivan Show." It was a great family atmosphere and a wonderful place to grow up.
I attended Rose Hill Elementary from 1960-1966. The first principal of the school was named Miss March and she was a young and beautiful blonde lady whom we all loved. She left in the early 60s (if memory serves me, she and her son Brad moved home to Dallas, TX) and the new principal was Mr. Hucks, who was a jolly sort. The original Librarian at Rose Hill was our beloved Miss Wright. She was an "old-maid" type who devoted her life to sharing her love of books with the children of Rose Hill. I am sure many a child can remember an afternoon spent in the Rose Hill School library mesmerized by her book readings. She had a special gift for making stories come alive as she would read them to us. The original janitor for many years at the school was a gentleman named Mr. Gorham. He quietly roamed the halls of the school with his broom, mop, and bucket and always had a smile for the children. Rose Hill School was always a wonderful family atmosphere and a safe and secure place to play and learn. Almost all of the students walked to and from school in those days. There were a few busses but they were seen mostly when there was a field trip scheduled. It was a big deal when you have to ride the bus into Washington to visit the zoo on a field trip! I imagine that is still the case!
It was the custom back in the 60s at the school to have an afternoon recess when the school bell would ring and all classes would go out to the back and play in organized games on the playground field. Popular games were Dodge Ball, hopscotch, and boys chasing girls. On one such afternoon in November 1963, we were playing at recess when the bell rang early and we were all told to go back to our classrooms. All the teachers and office staff was unusually somber and businesslike as they led all the students back to their desks. Once we had settled back into our assigned seats, we were told that President Kennedy had been shot and we were all to go home and talk to our parents. When I got home, I found my Mother sitting in front of the television watching the news coverage. Somehow all of life seemed a bit less carefree after that day. —Donna (Youmans) Haber