The History of the Del Ray Neighborhoods
This will be a living document, expanding as time becomes available
The Del Ray area was originally given over to farming, most of it held by the two Lloyd brothers and Frank Hume. Pre-development: the 1870s and 1880s.
A growing population and open land created an almost irrestible impetus for development at the fringes of cities. The first such developments in Alexandria took place in 1890-1892 and suffered greatly from the lack of mass transit. The first developments.
It was the electric streetcar that made expansion of the Del Ray area suburbs possible. The story is here.
Only nominally a development, as it failed early, Oakville nonetheless transformed into one of the last bastions of blue-collar jobs in Alexandria. It is a fascinating place, and will be explored in more depth, but for right now I wanted to draw attention to the cool buildings at the back side of the development, facing the beautiful W&OD trail before they are demolished. They will be replaced, I am told, by a park, which is for the greater good I guess. But I will miss them both for the shield they provided against the noise and bustle to the east and as a reminder of a Del Ray long gone.
Mt Vernon Avenue during the rebuilding of 1915. The John Harding house (now Anne Welsh Salon) is on the left. This is a contemporary colorized lantern slide, so the colors are period-appropriate but arbitrary.