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Seven Corners Built on Land Owned by Former Slave

The land on which Seven Corners sits used to be owned by Frederick Foote, a former slave. He purchased the plot for $500 and left it to his children.
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This is a fascinating article that we dug up in The Washington Post from February 26th, 1953. We were doing a little research on the history of Seven Corners and came across this piece about the land selling and being prepared to house, what was back then, a giant shopping mall.

A 33-acre tract at Seven Corners, bought by a former slave for $500 after the Civil War and left to his children, has been sold conditionally for $750,000.

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Sale of the property to the Lynne Investment Corp., of Washington, has been approved by Fairfax Circuit Court.

The land was bought by Frederick Foote, Sr., 88 years ago. The tract is located, generally, at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Lee blvd. at busy Seven Corners, now called Fort Buffalo.

Foote left the land to his five children and stipulated in a will dated 1880 it could never be sold or leased. One child disappeared in 1912 and has been declared legally dead.

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A son, Forrest D. Foote, conveyed his interest in the land to a sister, Mrs. Margarette Foote Jackson, 65, a Census Bureau employe who lives at 615 44th st. ne. The other two children, Frank C. Foote, 76, and Mrs. Virginia Foote Jackson, 83, live on the property.

Mounting taxes on the unproductive land forced the three heirs involved to seek court relief last December.

Prior to 1951 taxes amounted to $358, but a reassessment boosted the annual to over $3000. Judge Paul E. Brown broke the will and appointed commissioners to receive offers for the land.

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The Lynne Investment Corp. headed by Garfield I. Kass and Irving D. Berger of Washington, contracted to buy the land on the condition all of it be zoned for commercial usage. About seven acres now is zoned commercial, the rest as suburban residential.

There you have it. Some really good Falls Church trivia for you.

READ:  Smithsonian Castle in 1856

Below are some lovely old images of the site through the years.

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Aerial image of Seven Corners
Photo of Woodward & Lothrup at Seven Corners
Christmas at Seven Corners
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Seven Corners entrance
Headline from The Evening Star
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