A Guide to the Sherwood Farm Collection, 1839-1977 Sherwood Farm Collection MSS 05-64

A Guide to the Sherwood Farm Collection, 1839-1977

A Collection in The Fairfax County Public Library

Record Group Number MSS 05-64


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Fairfax County Public Library
City of Fairfax Regional Library
Virginia Room
10360 North Street
Fairfax, VA 22030-2514 USA
Virginia Room: 703-293-6227 x6
Fax: 703-293-2155
Email: va_room@fairfaxcounty.gov
URL: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/virginia-room

© 2018 Fairfax County Public Library. All rights reserved.

Repository
Fairfax County Public Library
Record Group Number
MSS 05-64
Title
The Sherwood Farm Collection, 1839-1977
Extent
4.5 linear feet
Creator
Ballinger, Gibbs, and Wilkinson Families
Language
English
Abstract
The Sherwood Farm Collection spans the years 1839-1977 and consists of account and record books, identification cards, a fire insurance policy, photocopied newspaper clippings, newspapers, a marriage certificate, program, photographs, and glass plate negatives that were assembled by the Ballinger, Gibbs, and Wilkinson families who lived at Sherwood Farm in the Woodlawn area of Fairfax County, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

None

Use Restrictions

Consult repository for information

Preferred Citation

Sherwood Farm Collection, MSS 05-64, Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

Acquisition Information

Donated by Susan Hellman, September-December 2017

Processing Information

Chris Barbuschak, February 2018
EAD generated by Ross Landis, 2018


Historical and Biographical Information

Sherwood, built approximately in 1859, sheltered five generations of the same family until August 31, 1999. In 1852, Edward Curtis Gibbs and Maria Louisa Gibbs purchased Hollin Hall Farm from George and Sally Mason. On October 27, 1859, Charles Ballinger married the Gibbs’ daughter, Elizabeth Troth Gibbs. The following year, Ballinger purchased 100 acres of land from his in-laws’ Hollin Hall Farm, and 100 additional acres in 1877 all of which became Sherwood Farm.

Ballinger’s daughter, Mary Alice Ballinger inherited Sherwood Farm after her father’s death in 1878. She and her step-mother, Rebecca Nicholson Gibbs, continued to live in Sherwood and operate the farm. In 1891, Ballinger married Francis H. Wilkinson, a Quaker, whose family owned the nearby Gray’s Hill Farm. Sherwood Farm stayed in the Wilkinson family until 1999, when Joyce Wilkinson Brown sold the property. Sherwood still stands at 7702 Midday Lane, although most of the surrounding farmland is now housing developments which include Kirkside, Hollinbrook and Hollin Hall Village.

Several clubs and organizations provided recreation for the Quaker farmers and families living in the surrounding Sherwood Farm area in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of those groups included the Woodlawn Horse Company (an anti-horse theft organization), Woodlawn Housekeeping Association, Woodlawn Literary Association, and the Woodlawn Debating Society.

Around 1901, the Wilkinson family donated a portion of their farmland for the construction of Sherwood Hall, a one-room community center to be used by the Mount Vernon Circle of the King’s Daughters. The building served as a meeting hall and hosted concerts, lectures, and suppers. The Gibbs family operated the Sherwood Hall Sunday School from 1901 until 1923. The Mount Vernon Grange later used Sherwood Hall and it was briefly used as an air raid shelter in 1943. In 1944, Douglas Holland bought and dismantled Sherwood Hall and the land reverted back to the Wilkinson family. Today the road that once ran by the structure is named Sherwood Hall Lane.

Scope and Content

The Sherwood Farm Collection spans the years 1839-1977 and consists of account and record books, identification cards, a fire insurance policy, photocopied newspaper clippings, newspapers, a marriage certificate, program, photographs, and glass plate negatives that were assembled by the Ballinger, Gibbs, and Wilkinson families who lived at Sherwood Farm in the Woodlawn area of Fairfax County, Virginia. Included are records for Sherwood Farm; Sherwood Hall Sunday School; Woodlawn Agricultural Society; Woodlawn Debating Society; Woodlawn Farmers Club; Woodlawn Horse Company; Woodlawn Housekeeping Association; and the Woodlawn Literary Society.

Series 1: Records, 1863-1977, Boxes 1-3 and 5

This series contains account and record books, newspapers, a marriage certificate, program, identification cards, and a fire insurance policy. Account and record books are included for Sherwood Farm; Sherwood Hall Sunday School; Woodlawn Agricultural Society; Woodlawn Debating Society; Woodlawn Farmers Club; Woodlawn Horse Company; Woodlawn Housekeeping Association; and the Woodlawn Literary Society. The newspapers and clippings in this series document the history of the Sherwood Farm area. Also included is an oversize marriage certificate for Samuel Martin Brosius (1851-1936) and Anna Mary Wilkinson (1853-1954) which includes the signatures of the wedding attendees, many of whom were area locals.

Series 2: Books, 1839-1922, Boxes 3 and 5

This series contains published books including four editions of Some Old Historic Landmarks of Virginia and Maryland by W.H. Snowden, one of which is autographed by Snowden to Rebecca Ballinger, Mary Alice Ballinger’s stepmother and aunt; A Treatise on Surveying, by John Gummere, which was owned by W. Gillingham, the author of “the Gillingham map” of 1859, delineating George Washington’s lands with their current owners; Queen Hortense: A Life Picture of the Napoleonic Era, by L. Muhlback, which includes a book plate listing the Rules of the Woodlawn Housekeepers’ Book Club and an inscription by Mary A. Gibbs, the sister to Rebecca Ballinger and sister to Maria Gibbs Ballinger, Mary Alice Ballinger’s mother.

Series 3: Photographs, 1887-1906, Box 4

This series contains photographs of Fairfax Courthouse, Grays Hill, Gum Springs, Gunston Hall, Occoquan, Mount Vernon, the Pierson Bridge near Huntley, Sherwood Farm, Sherwood Hall, and the Woodlawn Friends Meeting House as well as members of the Wilkinson family. Also included is an unidentified photograph of a house that resembles Engleside. A few glass plate negatives accompany some of these prints. Some photographs were taken by Samuel Martin Brosius (1851-1936), an amateur photographer. Brosius was Kirk Wilkinson’s uncle. Brosius married Kirk’s father Francis Hilary Wilkinson’s (1864-1935) sister, Anna Mary Wilkinson Brosius (1853-1954), at Sherwood.

Related Material

Sherwood Farm Papers, Accession #100, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.

Separated Material

None


Index Terms


Adjunct Descriptive Data

Container List

Series 1: Papers, 1863-1977
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Series 2: Books, 1839-1922
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Series 3: Photographs, 1887-1906
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Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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