Meade Battaile's Sales & the Changing Oak Hill Neighborhood 1880-1900

A small, diverse community arose on Braddock Rd. from Meade Battaile’s sale of two dozen lots in the division of Parcel 1.1.4.3.6. Orange denotes African American landowners; violet denotes Caucasian landowners; orange/violet denotes interracial landowners.

Meade Battaile’s sales of his inherited Oak Hill land (Parcel 1.1.4.3.6) created a diverse community that continued at least into the 1920s. African American buyers included three former Oak Hill slaves.

Caucasian buyers included immigrants from several countries in addition to Virginia residents. One buyer was a married interracial couple.

Today’s view (in Google Maps)

Click the icons in the map below to view buyers’ names and lot numbers.

“Proposal For A Colored School”. The last known official record of the community is a 1922 petition to the Fairfax County School Board to establish “A School for the Children at and near Ravensworth.” Nine African American families with 37 children aged 14 and younger signed the petition. Linwood Newman, whose father John H. Newman bought lot 9 in 1886, signed for himself and his wife. The petition stated that the petitioners’ homes were “at least 5 1/2 mile from any Colored School.” The School Board did not approve the petition, which may have contributed to the decline of the small community.

The following image shows the how the land was being used in 1937.1

1937 aerial photo

Detail from 1937 USDA aerial photo with overlay outline of lots created in the division of Parcel 1.1.4.3.6. Braddock Rd. is at the bottom, Wakefield Chapel Rd. on the left, and Accotink Creek on the right forms the eastern boundaries of several lots. Source: Aerial image, Fairfax County, VA.

 


 

  1. Before and After Emancipation: African Americans in the Oak Hill Community, unpublished document presented at Oak Hill History Day, October 16, 2010, by Maddy McCoy, developer and curator of Fairfax County Slavery Inventory database, and John Browne. African American history and biographical information by Maddy McCoy; maps and landownership analysis by John Browne.