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Wessynton: Another World


Just eight miles south of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and about a half hour from downtown DC lies the singular community of Wessynton. While it's physically close to the the hustle and bustle of DC, residents extol the virtues of being in "another world altogether" in this park-like setting nestled in southeastern Fairfax County. Carved out from land that was once part of George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Wessynton is a neighborhood of 156 homes. 23 of these homes are on Little Huntington Creek, which backs up to the Potomac River, providing all residents with easy access to fishing, boating and waterskiing activities. The Wessynton Forest runs through the community providing shade and seclusion. While the Doeg Indians once hunted the grounds along the Potomac in the 1600s, the community draws its name from Wessynton family who owned the land before it was farmed as part of the 500-acre Mount Vernon estate.

Homes Blend into Natural Surroundings

Built in the late 60s and 70s, the homes were specifically designed to blend in with the curve of the land, including the winding, wooded roads, for the ultimate in privacy. Homes are built at different angles and on different elevations to take advantage of the existing water views and mature trees.The development's architect, Nicholas Pappas, went so far as to mandate a palette of earth-tone colors for the exteriors -- sand, brown, beige, and an occasional muted salmon or rust -- colors that the community continues to maintain today. Even the roofs and mailboxes are a uniform brown color with the mailboxes specially manufactured by a home owner in the community. The five housing designs -- aptly named "Meadow, River, Forest, Garden, and Manor" -- all feature open layouts, oversize windows and slate floors. While the homes may appear deceptively small from the street, they are unusually spacious inside, ranging from 3,125 to 4,440 sf with four or five bedrooms. The Homeowners Association is quick to alert any prospective buyer that the homes are required to remain "harmonious with the original vision" and provide a disclosure package so it's clear what the rules and regulations are upfront.

Amazing Amenities

Despite these constraints, residents rave about a number of surprising amenities. A private community pool and clubhouse, two tennis courts, children's playground and a basketball court provide ample recreation opportunities. For water sports enthusiasts, the private boat ramp providing access to the Potomac River via Little Huntington Creek is a major plus. Social activities are also plentiful with seven or eight social events a year, including holiday parties for children, adult dinners at Mount Vernon and an annual community open house. A number of spontaneous get-togethers center around the pool and clubhouse in warmer weather.

Serene Natural Setting

And, then of course, there's the idyllic natural setting. A canopy of hickories, poplars and oaks line the Wessynton streets. Roses, boxwood, and natural Shadbush at the community entrance welcome visitors and residents. Wessynton homeowners also share their community with all sorts of wildlife, including woodpeckers, egrets, blue herons, and even bald eagles. Wild turkey, owls, and the occasional fox share the network of scenic trails with walkers, hikers and the ever-present dog. The Home Association notes that specialists were brought in a few years ago to evaluate the landscape and provide recommendations for effectively manning the community and waterfront for the next 40 to 50 years. Well-positioned for future growth, Wessynton continues to be a rare jewel of a community attracting a special type of resident.

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