Excerpted from, The Way It Was: A History of the Greenbriar Community published by the Greenbriar Civic Association. Copyright 2006
Our Greenbriar subdivision was developed and constructed by Levitt and Sons, Inc., beginning in 1967. A large dairy farm, on the site at that time, was turned in to an 1800 home subdivision in three short years.
US Route 50 was a narrow two lane road and I-66 was not completed. Most people lived close to or inside the “beltway” and worked in the District of Columbia. Greenbriar, over twenty miles west of the beltway, was considered to be in the “booniees.” In fact, Greenbriar was so far west of other county developments that two elementary schools had to be bult on site. A new shopping center ws developed to provide convenient products/services. Greenbriar initially had its own sewer systems, put in place by the developer, which later became three additional athletic fields at Greenbriar Park to support recreational activities. In addition, a swimming pool was built to satisfy the demand for nearby family activity. At the time the community was being developed, none of these amenities was within easy driving distance of Greenbriar.
As homes were completed and the basic support facilities put in place, people began moving in and there soon followed resident organization and leadership. The Greenbriar Civic Associtaion (GCA) as established and incorpated in 1968 to represent the fast exploding community. Within three years it became the largest civic association in Virginia, representing over 1800 homes.
Events and things began to happen fast and furious in our Greenbriar history! Over the years the community has seen much change and numerous special events take place.
The first residents of Greenbriar, whose deeds were recorded in 1967, have become known as Greenbriar’s pioneers. Originally, there were 260 families in the select group. In 1987, when the pioneers had a 20th anniversary celebration there were 65 families. Today, 39 years later, there are 25 Pioneer still living in Greenbriar
When these pioneers moved into Greenbriar, there were barns where the shopping center is today. Shortly thereafter there was a “Save the Barns” campaign, but to no avail. It was realized then and there that our community wasn’t going to be rural for long but, instead, was part of a fast-growing suburb.
It’s hard to imagine, but in 1967, US Route 50 was a 2 lane road with no traffic lights between here and Kamp Washington to the east. The only entrance to the community was from the unpaved Stringfellow road. In the community there was no grass, no trees, and no leaves. Streets and driveways were not paved, although the sidewalks were installed. Muddy red clay was a big topic of conversation. Everyone was glad for a laundry room, where could shed your shoes before entering the newly carpeted house. Homeowners were very busy in the following spring watering their seeded lawns and the many foundation plants that Levitt and Sons Inc. the builder, included with the price of the house. Every home came with the gaslight out front. Each model had its own distinctive floor tiling, fixtures, colors, and wallpaper, selected by the builder. There were no choices!
The Greenbriar Civic Association was begun by the pioneers. The meetings were held in people’s homes.
The children had to travel to Herndon and London Towne for school in the first few months, but then Brookfield elementary school opened, and the elementary school children were bussed there.
The Greenbriar pioneers played a significant role in the development of the community. The loving care that exhibited of their homes and properties was contagious. As new people moved in, they followed the lead, and Greenbriar eventually grew into the bustling, attractive community it is today.