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About Us

Our community, George Mason Forest, Braddock Manor and Amanda Place, contains 200 single family homes. The development began in the early 1980s and was completed in 2003. There are two sections of our community each with their own entrance/exit: Red Spruce Road and Tapestry Drive. Our community is conveniently located near shopping, schools, religious center, entertainment, restaurants, and schools. Nearby major roads and Metro Bus Service provide easy access to the Washington Metro areas.

All homeowners within the community are automatically members of the homeowners association. An association governing board is elected from the community and is responsible for upkeep of the community and enforcement of the Covenant rules which are provided to each homeowner. Several committees of volunteers assist the board in its duties.

GMFHOA owns several areas of common ground within the community boundaries. The largest area is along the two branches of Rabbit Run which flows between the Red Spruce Road and Tapestry Road entrances. It contains a foot path and bridges over the stream with foot access from either Tapestry Drive or Gilbertson Road.

A Bit of Our History

The neighborhood of George Mason Forest is located on what once was a farm owned by John and Harriet Burtis. This couple was part of the great influx of people from the North migrating to the South in the mid 1800's. They were originally from New York state and settled in Fairfax County. The Burtises raised vegetables and sheep for their wool. They did not own slaves.

On May 25, 1861, Corporal John "Jack" Horace Barnes, a Fairfax County native, and a companion identified as Pettit rode east along Braddock Road. They were from Company D, 17th Virginia Infantry, C.S.A. which was authorized to patrol Fairfax County roads to seek our and arrest runaway slaves, agitators, and abolitionist "incendiaries." They were on a foraging mission to secure food for the rest of the unit which was camped at Fairfax Station. While foraging for food, Barnes and Pettit turned their horses onto the Burtis farm off of Braddock Road just east of the intersection of Roberts Road, on what is now the subdivision of George Mason Forest and a Fairfax County park called University Park.

According to the Washington Evening Star, May 30. 1861:

Last Saturday, Mr. John Burtis, a native of New York, was waited upon his farm by John Barnes and a man named Pettit, both members of a Fairfax Rifle Rangers unit then encamped at Fairfax Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Mr. Barnes inquired about any sheep or cattle for sale. Mr. Burtis replied that he had none. At this point, Barnes told Mr. Burtis that they were without provisions at the camp and that he must supply them with something. After some conversation, the men went into an adjoining field where Burtis shot several of his sheep. Barnes then told Mr. Burtis to use his team of horses to deliver the carcasses to the encampment. Mr. Burtis refused.

John "Jack" Barnes
Corporal John "Jack" Barnes
Company D, 17th Virginia Infantry

Source: Google Images

After threatening Mr. Burtis severely, they compelled a free negro to catch a horse and take the sheep over to the camp. On their way they declared, in the presence of the negro that they intended to get Mr. Burtis, with his team, over to the camp, and seize the latter, and probably put him under arrest. On Saturday night, Mr. Burtis attempted to come to Washington, but was prevented by secession pickets stationed near his house. On Monday morning, he started with his team in an opposite direction from Washington, and after a very circuitous route through the woods, he finally succeeded in reaching this city.

John and Harriet Burtis immediately fled to the safety of Washington, DC. John died shortly thereafter. Harriet stayed in Washington and remarried in 1871.

Courtesy: Paige Johnson II, South County Chronicle, September 30, 2006


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