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Clover-College Park, first known as “Stump Hill,” Is a residential Alexandria neighborhood located west of Old Town and West Taylor Run, east of Quaker Lane, north of Duke Street and south of Janney’s Lane. Once small, separate subdivisions, the neighborhood eventually merged into a hyphenate.
The neighborhood began as a 300-acre tract which was subdivided into 49 lots and sold at auction in the late 1790’s. Alexis duPont Smith, a grocer, purchased 33 acres on the north side of Janney’s and added another 24 acres, including a sycamore forest, directly across the street, on the south side of Janney’s years later. Smith’s parcel would eventually become College Park. A merchant, Hugh Smith, purchased 48 acres, to which he added over time until his parcel met Janney’s Lane and Smith’s parcel. This would evolve into the Clover neighborhood.
College Park was the first to be built. In 1936, Colonial Properties Corporation mapped the nearly 24 acres of Alexis Smith’s parcel that spanned both sides of Janney’s. Smith called his farm “Wollaston,” his mother’s maiden name. Later owners changed the spelling to “Walleston.” The reasoning behind CPC’s decision to name their subdivision “College Park” is unknown. The first stone houses built by Colonial were on Yale Drive and Janney’s Lane, during the 1930’s. Next came the homes on the west side of Cambridge. In 1950, CPC sold the remainder of undeveloped lots to Anco Builders and some of the early homes were designed and built by independent contractors. One notable example is 402 Cambridge Road, designed in 1941 by Milton Grigg, a noted restoration architect for Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello. The community was fully built out at 80 residences. Many of its streets are named for colleges and universities.
Clover was developed over two decades, beginning in the late 1940’s. Over time, “Stump Hill” became “Summer Hill,” “Woodley,” then “Woodleigh.” In 1946, Maryland builder Rozier J. Beech purchased the majority of the tract, which included fields of clover and wild daffodils, the inspiration for its name. The first homes built were on the east side of Cambridge Road in 1948. Cloverway, developed from 1948 to 1950 was next, then Skyhill (1950-53), and Crown View Drive, starting in 1955, with number 403 reportedly the first house on the street. Crown View, Dartmouth, Clovercrest and Vassar were completed in the 1960’s. Many of the later homes were designed in the Colonial style, with a sprinkling of ramblers and split-levels. Beech allowed some customization of the 160 homes he built, so many have varied design features.
Today’s Clover-College Park neighborhood retains its mid-century feel. Its modern-day claim to fame is that the Gerald R Ford family lived at 514 Crown View Drive before Ford became the 40th Vice President and 38th President of the United States. Amenities are borrowed from nearby Old Town.