County buys property off of Quander Road

Quander Road map

Click to enlarge (Fairfax County image)

Fairfax County completed the purchase of 2.32 acres of land off of Quander Road last week. The property, along with an adjacent piece of land owned by the county, will eventually be turned into parkland. 

The county paid $650,00 for the Quander property, located at 6318 Quander Road. A single-family home built in 1920 currently sits on the front portion of the property, and it is surrounded by a large wooded area. 

The Quander property will eventually be turned over to the Fairfax County Park Authority, along with the 8-acre undeveloped Fairchild property that borders it. The newly acquired land allows access from Quander Road to the Fairchild property, which is located behind Walmart and the Penn Daw mobile homes development.

Both the Fairchild and Quander properties are currently undergoing stream restoration. Once the properties are turned over to the Park Authority, it will conduct a master planning process to determine the appropriate use for the land, according to FCPA Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen. 

“We do know that a large portion of the properties are in the Resource Protection Areas (RPA) and have natural resources that should be protected,” Pederson said. “Historical interpretation is one possibility. [But] any uses, facilities, or amenities would be determined through the Master Planning process.”

The Quander and Fairchild properties fall inside of the Penn Daw Urban Village, one of the proposed business centers along Richmond Highway as visualized by the Embark Richmond Highway initiative. The parcels would be part of a network of green spaces and parks inside the Penn Daw district, which is envisioned as being a mix of high-density residential and retail buildings with a walkable grid of streets and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station.

Map of Penn Daw Urban Village

A possible design for the Penn Daw Urban Village visualized in the Embark Richmond Highway initiative. (Fairfax County image)

The Quander property bears historic significance because it is one of many pieces of land in that area that once belonged to members of the Quander family. The Quanders are part of the what’s believed to be the oldest family of African descent in the United States. The family’s roots in Fairfax County run deep, with ties to Mount Vernon and Hayfield Plantation during slavery. A large farm owned by the family once stood where West Potomac High School is currently located, and Quanders still reside in the surrounding area. 

“This property has been in the ownership of the Quander Family for well over one hundred years and carries with it the legacy of the Quanders as a pre-eminent family in the history of Fairfax County,” Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck said at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “The Quander family is believed to be one of the oldest documented families of African ancestry in present day America, some of whom are descendants of slaves of George Washington.”

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