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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Georgia Satellites ()
Date: May 08, 2009 03:09PM

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Attachments:
carterrabbit.jpg

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 11, 2009 08:28AM

Here's what I found over the weekend:

On Friday (5/8/09)-I stopped by the end of Balmoral Forest Road on my way home from work. At the end of the dead end I pulled off on the edge of the clearing full of tall grass. I told myself, "That grass probably isn't quite high enough to have ticks in it." So I headed down into the clearing and found that once it got to the tree line that I would have been wandering aimlessly through the woods to the tracks and probably only gotten lost, so I headed back for my truck. Once I got back to the street my light colored pants revealed that I'd picked up some blood sucking, lyme disease ridden friends. 8 of them to be exact. Lesson learned.

On Sunday (5/10/09)-I decided on Saturday that the easiest, straightforward route was to just walk the tracks from Clifton to the second pond on the right about 3/4 of a mile down the tracks. So Sunday AM I parked at the Clifton Town Park and walked to the tracks. It took my about 20 minutes to get to the second pond, which was pretty easy to see from the tracks. I walked a little past it and climbed up the embankment to the road under the powerlines and found the horsetrail about about 50 feet away.
I followed the horsetrail all the way around the top of the ridge that goes around the pond till I could see the back of the house which is 7091 Balmoral Forest Road. As I stood on the horsetrail about 100 feet from that house, there was a clearing off to the left, and it was there that I saw an old column of rocks and mortar about 4 feet tall that was obviously pretty old. I walked into the clearing and found that this was the cemetary as there were a couple of depressions in the ground as well as some stones that looked very much like gravestones. It was pretty cool to have actually found it, but I'm not sure what the column once was (Jeff, any ideas?).
My next goal was to of course was to find the foundation of the old house. So I walked back torward the railroad tracks following the horsetrail. Before I got to the powerlines there was another trail off the horsetrail to the right. I walked down it looking for the wall that Jeff had mentioned. The bad news is that I'm pretty sure I passed it, but when I continued to walk down this other path (which I think was once the road for the house) I found something else. Off to the right of the road there are two old cars, probably from the 60's, FLIPPED OVER. One was some kind of 2 door coupe with the engine in the rear, and the other was a larger car with one of the doors torn off. Like I said, they looked like they were from the 60's and were pretty rusted up and someone had used them for target practice. There was some ruts that used to be a road nearby but I couldn't tell where it went.
Jeff, did you come across these cars back in the 90's? They were definately there back then.
All in all it was a cool way to spend a Sunday morning. I was dissappointed that I didn't find the foundation of the house, but the cars and the cemetary were worth the walk (the tracks are pretty scenic by the way, and definately the easiest way there).

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 11, 2009 03:16PM


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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 11, 2009 04:40PM

Sculler,
The white car is an early 1960s Corvair. If you are facing the RR tracks the house site and well are about 125 yards to the right of the car at about approximately the 2:00 position. It is on the hill ridge overlooking the RR. A much easier and legit way in is to park at the park entrance (by the stream between the two sections of Balmoral). Just follow the path/old Union Mill Road bed. There are also other foundation sites in the area. To the east of the Detwiller House site (a good distance away and in the woods)is the old Clifton Gold Mine.
The loony and hostile "care-taker" was definitely NOT Harry Crouch. The "care taker" lived somewhere very close to Ivakota and I am unsure whether he was appointed to watch over the property or if he was self-appointed. He terrorized those who visited Ivakota in the 70's and 80's. Rather than attempting to validate the tales of the Bunny Man (which I believe to be totally fictitious), people should investigate the alleged "nut case" of Ivakota who by many accounts did exist. There has to be an abundance of good stories.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Robert Greyberg ()
Date: May 11, 2009 07:31PM

I will try and do some research. I'm not trying to say he's the Bunny Man or anything though. I just believe he's the guy the based the story off of that overtime turned into the Bunny Man. What did he look like or where did he live, does anyone know?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Robert Greyberg ()
Date: May 11, 2009 07:47PM

I have tried satellite imaging these places and have got no result (its hard to pinpoint the locations without zooming in further than the website allows you). Someone should rele take some pictures of this places.

One thing I did notice was a railroad bridge close by. Something that is mentioned in the legend. Just wanted to point that out there.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 12, 2009 07:09AM

Old School,
I wasn't aware that the path at the fork in the road (where Balmoral Forest Road and Balmoral Greens Ave. split, right?) went all the way to the tracks. It would definately be a shorter hike if I parked at the bench there at the entrance to the path. Any history behind those cars that you know of? You seem to be familiar with them. I'm also intrigued about this old Gold Mine. How far away from the cars is it? Can I trouble you for a location? (seeing as I'm definately going back there now!) Thanks for the info.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 12, 2009 07:16AM

You sure about that Gold Mine? The historic Clifton website that reviews a book that was written on the town says it was a hoax. Have you seen it first hand?
From the site:
"Men and women of national importance called Clifton home, and it was a resort for residents of steaming eastern cities for many a summer.

Lumbering and logging activities, church revivals, a gold mine hoax, and efforts to market the medicinal waters of "Paradise Spring" are just a few of the topics which are developed.

The celebration of life as shown through the text and illuminated by the hundreds of photographs has an authenticity that has universal appeal."

Clifton Betterment Association Clifton, Virginia 1980

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 12, 2009 11:13AM

There was a mine and I have seen it first hand. Where the hoax/fraud came into play is the fact that the mine produced little or no gold. The "gold" processing plant still stands. It is the barn along the tracks across from the Hart and Hand. Apparently the mine and the processing facility were used as part of a scheme to attract and gain investor's money. When these folks (investors/potential investors) came to inspect the facilities the processing plant was "salted" to give the appearance of ample gold production and thereby increasing investment. Check out the first map in the Clifton book that you sourced.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 12, 2009 11:37AM

Sculler,
The path that you mention... I beleive goes to the old Melvin cemetary. It must be a new path that I have not seen yet, but it won't take you far. The path that I am talking about is next to the stream on Balmoral Greens. It is a very nice walk with less ticks. I assume that those cars were stolen and dumped there 30+ years ago.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 12, 2009 11:56AM

Thanks again for the info. I know that when I stopped by the General Store in Clifton they told me that they only had 2 out of the 3 books that they usually keep around in stock. The one that I was looking for had all the pictures of Ivakota from back in the day. The book that I found on-line that I pasted the 'hoax quote' from didn't look like eithor of the two books that they had there, but I plan on stopping by there after work today as well as another store in town that supposidly carries some of the books as well. That map from the book sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for as far as locations are concerned. I hope I can hunt in down.
If and when I do go looking for the mine, is it hard to miss or will I walk right by it like the house foundation?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: jay ()
Date: May 12, 2009 12:09PM

My friends and I have been trying to find the insane asylum since highschool. I can't tell you how many nights we spend driving around looking. Thanks you guys for doing all that research.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 12, 2009 12:35PM

I feel bad that you've been looking for so long. Depending on how long ago you started looking I hope it wasn't too devastating to find it's now a bunch of McEstates. I know it sucked for me when I found out, and I only heard about the place for the first time a couple of weeks ago!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 12, 2009 12:35PM

Sculler,
The woman that works at the Clifton Store knows a ton about the historical Clifton area (she has done some serious research). If you are in the store, I'm sure she would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I really can't answer how to find the gold mine. I beleive it is about 100 yards in the woods off of the tracks (east of the Detwiller house site).

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 12, 2009 01:42PM

I'll have to look for an older woman when I go in there. It's been teenagers at the counter the last couple times I've been in there. I'll let you know what she has to say.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 13, 2009 07:45AM

I was in a bit of rush yesterday, but I did stop by Cottage Art off Chapel Road since one of the teens at the General Store told me they had the book on Clifton with good pictures of Ivakota. When I went in the lady led me straight to it. It didn't have as many pictures as I was hoping for, but the ones that are in it are pretty good. The picture of the main house shows it to be alot bigger than I had thought it would have been. It was a decent sized two-story house for the time and they added pillars to it to make it look more respectable and hospitable. It really made me wish I was older and had had the chance to explore the house back in the late 80's/early 90's. I bet poking around that big old house and property was one hell of a thrill with nothing else around! I envy you older guys. They had a couple of pictures of Kate Barrett, and one of her with a bunch of girls with their backs to the camera as she apparently discouraged them from having their pictures taken while on the farm so they wouldn't be recognized later in life (which I thought was interesting). There were also a couple the Barrett Chapel that they built in Kate's honor that I'm kind of curious about researching because they had a picture of it in disrepair and abandoned, so I wonder if it's still around.

After that I stopped by the General Store real quick and I did find the other book with the hand-drawn map inside the cover showing where the Gold Mine was. From what I could tell it's basically directly across the tracks from Tiffany Court, along the 5th stream/creek down from Clifton. It'll be a big help now to have some more landmarks and the path (thanks again old school)

When I went back and started reading this thread from the start of it, I came acroos that post from CliftonResident mentioning Mrs. Wark who runs the Bed and Breakfast in Clifton. Since she wrote an entire book on the farm, and she's local, she might be worth talking to and seeing if she'll part with a copy of it.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: May 13, 2009 08:13AM

Sculler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was in a bit of rush yesterday, but I did stop
> by Cottage Art off Chapel Road since one of the
> teens at the General Store told me they had the
> book on Clifton with good pictures of Ivakota.
> When I went in the lady led me straight to it. It
> didn't have as many pictures as I was hoping for,
> but the ones that are in it are pretty good. The
> picture of the main house shows it to be alot
> bigger than I had thought it would have been. It
> was a decent sized two-story house for the time
> and they added pillars to it to make it look more
> respectable and hospitable. It really made me
> wish I was older and had had the chance to explore
> the house back in the late 80's/early 90's. I bet
> poking around that big old house and property was
> one hell of a thrill with nothing else around! I
> envy you older guys. They had a couple of
> pictures of Kate Barrett, and one of her with a
> bunch of girls with their backs to the camera as
> she apparently discouraged them from having their
> pictures taken while on the farm so they wouldn't
> be recognized later in life (which I thought was
> interesting). There were also a couple the
> Barrett Chapel that they built in Kate's honor
> that I'm kind of curious about researching because
> they had a picture of it in disrepair and
> abandoned, so I wonder if it's still around.
>
> After that I stopped by the General Store real
> quick and I did find the other book with the
> hand-drawn map inside the cover showing where the
> Gold Mine was. From what I could tell it's
> basically directly across the tracks from Tiffany
> Court, along the 5th stream/creek down from
> Clifton. It'll be a big help now to have some
> more landmarks and the path (thanks again old
> school)
>
> When I went back and started reading this thread
> from the start of it, I came acroos that post from
> CliftonResident mentioning Mrs. Wark who runs the
> Bed and Breakfast in Clifton. Since she wrote an
> entire book on the farm, and she's local, she
> might be worth talking to and seeing if she'll
> part with a copy of it.


Sculler ... If she took the time to write a book on the farm, I'm sure she would love to help you. I'd bet she has plenty of people in her life who tire of listening to her talk about it! She will surely appreciate someone who shares her passion.

Will you eventually post some of your pictures?


Again, good luck!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2009 09:55AM by oaktonmom.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 13, 2009 10:12AM

oaktonmom,
I can't apologize enough (because I know how pathetic this is gonna sound), but I don't have a digital camera or a cable to post pictures off my phone. I know how sad it is, and I'm really sorry because I'd love to post pictures of what I've seen. I try and make up for it with my long-winded posts and descriptions and directions to where I've been exploring.
I will try and work on it and continue to let you know what I find.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: May 13, 2009 10:25AM

I'll take it! I love reading about your adventures.

Thanks!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: fairfaxdude ()
Date: May 13, 2009 11:28AM

Sculler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> oaktonmom,
> I can't apologize enough (because I know how
> pathetic this is gonna sound), but I don't have a
> digital camera or a cable to post pictures off my
> phone. I know how sad it is, and I'm really sorry
> because I'd love to post pictures of what I've
> seen. I try and make up for it with my
> long-winded posts and descriptions and directions
> to where I've been exploring.
> I will try and work on it and continue to let
> you know what I find.

I think there's a way to email your phone pics to yourself, and then save them to post or email elsewhere. Depending on your carrier, of course.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: scottydfl422 ()
Date: May 13, 2009 09:07PM

Old School and Sculler,

Is the park entrance the one at the end of Union Mill Road south of Compton Road? Also,is the old Crouch School House (on the south east corner of Union Mill Road and Compton Road) associated with the farm?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Up2Late ()
Date: May 13, 2009 09:39PM

I'm just now stumbling across this forum topic, and I have to say I'm hooked.
I remember back in high school going to find the "Bunny Man Tunnel". My buddies and I found it (or at least what we were told was 'it'). Kind of spooky, but mostly just scaring ourselves as opposed to anything else. One time a group of us went up there and there were cops monitoring the other side of the tunnel (bridge really). They stopped us, hassled us and basically told us it was private property still owned by the railroad...and to get the hell out.

Anyway, that was about 10 or 12 years ago. I live a couple miles away from this area and can't wait to start exploring it. Thanks to everyone in this thred for the information. I'll try to get some pictures rolling and if I find anything of interest I can post some GPS coordinates (for those out there that like to geo-cache)

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 14, 2009 07:23AM

Driving down Balmoral Greens Ave. yesterday, I did manage to find the entrance to the path that's just East of the creek that hopefully leads South all the way to the tracks. There are no neighbors right on top of it, so parking shouldn't be a worry/hassle with the entrance to the path being pretty big. I only walked down to the edge of the trees (I plan on walking it and looking for the mine and ruins over the weekend), but there were fresh horse tracks so I assuming it's pretty well-travelled. I'm really hoping it goes all the way to the tracks as that's the only way I feel like I'll get the bearings I had last weekend when I followed the tracks in.

I stopped by the Bed and Breakfast off Main Street yesterday to see if the woman who wrote "A House of Another Chance" was there, but nobody answered the door. I'm thinking I might just call and/or hunt down a copy on my own. I would like to talk to her however to see if she's aware of any ruins that are officially related to the farm.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Jeff Sledjeski ()
Date: May 14, 2009 11:34AM

It looks like everybody has been busy since I was last here.

Sculler, that is the cemetery I remember. That column was probably a gate post for an entrance to the cemetery. It looked like it was walled in once upon a time. The cemetery you found on the website is a different one as shown on the attached tax map. You can see the fence around that one on Google Maps between 7054 and 7058 Balmoral Forest Road. That cemetery is the one I stumbled on which I was laying out a drainfield site. I remember digging a hole and noticing the way the rocks were curiously lined up. Then I noticed the depressions in the ground and freaked out when I realized what I was digging in. You have to realize that back then there was no Balmoral Forest Road; you had to walk in from Ivakota Road or take the driveway to the power lines and walk; either way you were really back in the woods!!

Following the horse trail would have led you away from the old house site. You need to stick to the ridgeline that runs parallel to the railroad tracks above that pond. The house would have been near where the ridgeline turns to the south towards the tracks.

Those old cars were probably there. There are old junk cars and trucks and farm equipment all over the place out there. Oh and lots of ticks too. They are always bad everywhere in Fairfax in the summertime. Just be glad there are no chiggers around there!

I don't remember any Gold mines. There are 1 or 2 places where you can find lots of broken pieces of quartz laying around but we always thought those were old Indian sites where they were working on projectile points. The only actual gold mines in Fairfax I know of were up in McLean and Great Falls near the Potomac River.

I am not sure who the "old caretaker" was. There was a guy who carried a handgun that used to patrol the place but he was always nice to me. Of course I was working for the owners; he may have been nasty to others.

I don't really think the Bunnyman has anything to do with Ivakota. The Bunnyman was a story we used to scare each other when we were kids in the 70s. The school actually existed. It did have a stigma attached to it since back then it was a bad bad thing to be a single mom.
Attachments:
Balmoral Cemetary.pdf

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 14, 2009 11:56AM

Jeff,

Thanks again for the help. If the trail from Balmoral Greens Ave. goes as far as I hope then I plan on getting another chance at finding the foundation of the house with the new directions you gave.
Even though the map inside the cover of the book at the General Store is hand-drawn, I'm hoping it's pretty accurate as it gave me a pretty good idea as to where to look for the Gold Mine once I reach the tracks and get my bearings. If and when I reach it I'll get back to you guys with the best directions/location I can.
I wasn't sure that the cemetary I found on the Fairfax Gov. site was the same or not since the two both seemed to have perriwinkle all over the place. But I may have to check out this other one since it's right off the road (thanks again for the new map).
I won't be wading through any more tall grass in the near future, that's for sure!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Clifton ()
Date: May 16, 2009 03:26PM

What trail off balmorale greens avenue are you talking about? The on that has a Fairfax county park authority wooden sign and that goes down a hill to a muddy area then into the woods?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: May 17, 2009 12:31AM

Clifton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What trail off balmorale greens avenue are you
> talking about? The on that has a Fairfax county
> park authority wooden sign and that goes down a
> hill to a muddy area then into the woods?


The sign isnt there anymore. There is a couch though

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 17, 2009 10:42AM

If you are heading west on Balmoral Greens the trail is on the left, almost immediately before crossing the stream. There is the stream (Johnny Moore Creek) on one side (of the trail head) and a huge McMansion on the other side.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Clifton ()
Date: May 17, 2009 11:30PM

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Clifton,+VA&sll=38.914697,-77.38986&sspn=0.143984,0.368729&ie=UTF8&ll=38.783875,-77.410719&spn=0.002885,0.006974&t=h&z=18&iwloc=A
This is the trail I'm talking about. The on with the red car parked in front of it. I'm pretty sure its the same one the two people above me were talking about. Is this the one your talking about because I walked over a lot of that area and took it all the way to the bull run occoquan trail and didnt see any foundation or anything.....

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Clifton ()
Date: May 17, 2009 11:31PM

I meant to quote Sculler in the above the post!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 18, 2009 07:54AM

Clifton,

The trail that you linked to is the one that we were talking about. It's also the one that I hiked this weekend. Although I did not manage to find the Gold Mine or make my way all the way back to where the foundation of that old house is, it was a good time.
After you pass that couch at the entrance to the trail, you figure out real quick that it's primarily a trail for horses and you need to walk on the edge if it's soggy as the horses turn the middle of the trail into sludge. But as I began hiking it I could see the remnants of an old road below that ran along the creek. When I saw this I got too excited and took a right turn off the main path when I saw a turnoff, and I really thought I was on to something when I saw a rusty old barbed wire fence in the woods. I followed it along the creek, and eventhough at the time I didn't realize that I should've stuck to the main trail I thought it might lead to the mine, but it didn't.
Looking at the Google Map, I wasn't aware of how much ground I covered while I was out there, cuz I eventually came out of the woods at the railroad bridge across from the golf course. I followed the tracks back torward Clifton to make my way to the cemetary to find the foundation of the house but started to run short on time.
I did see an old overturned truck by the tracks that seemed like it was from the 80's judging by the one wheel that was still on it. I guess he thought his truck could handle the road under the powerlines and found out otherwise.
When I walked back up into the woods I think I picked up the end of the main path that I should've stayed on to begin with, so I followed it in the direction of Clifton with the tracks on my right. As I followed it I could tell that at one time it had definately been a road that I'm sure played some part in Ivakota, and I was sure that the mine had to be somewhere off to my right but I had no idea where as there are a number of creeks leading torward the tracks.
In the interest of time (and some frustration) I had to turn around and head back to my truck.
Overall it was a really cool hike, eventhough I didn't find what I was looking for. The path is very clear cut thanks to the horses and pretty scenic as well. But I'm 99% sure that if I stick to the main path off of B. Greens Ave. that I might find it.
Old School, can you give me ANY kind of landmark for the mine? A path you took, or something? I plan on going back. I realize the mine has next to nothing to do with Ivakota, but how cool would it be to see an old mine dug into the woods of Fairfax?! I'm still meaning to contact that woman who runs the B&B.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Clifton ()
Date: May 18, 2009 09:31AM

I haven't been back there in months but when I was back there I do remember seeing a flat area next to the creek but never though about it being a road. I also found some old car parts back there. Im going to go back and try to find this mine also.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 18, 2009 10:45AM

Let me know if you have better luck than I did. And if you do find let me know how to get there!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 18, 2009 12:07PM

I'm also curious about the chapel that I saw pictures of in the book that the Cottage Art store had. It was the "American Towns" series book that was about Clifton, and it was the one with all the pictures of Kate Waller Barrett and the main farmhouse. In that book are also pictures of a chapel that the girls of the farm built in her honor. There was another picture of it from the 60's that showed it as abandoned and falling apart. I'm gonna stop by the store again today and see if I skipped over the location or if the lady in the store knows anything.

I'm all about exploring abandoned buildings when I can find them, as you know.

However, I'm not sure that this one is still standing, as I can't find any info. on it on the web and it didn't look so hot in the picture from the 60's. Any of this ring a bell for anyone else?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: May 18, 2009 06:14PM

Clifton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&g
> eocode=&q=Clifton,+VA&sll=38.914697,-77.38986&sspn
> =0.143984,0.368729&ie=UTF8&ll=38.783875,-77.410719
> &spn=0.002885,0.006974&t=h&z=18&iwloc=A
> This is the trail I'm talking about. The on with
> the red car parked in front of it. I'm pretty sure
> its the same one the two people above me were
> talking about. Is this the one your talking about
> because I walked over a lot of that area and took
> it all the way to the bull run occoquan trail and
> didnt see any foundation or anything.....


The railroad bridge you are discussing is one that is considered to be a possible bunnyman bridge

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 19, 2009 12:10AM

Sculler,

That picture is actually from the 1990's, not the 1960's, but the chapel (the most common hang-out of Ivakota) was torn down when Balmoral was built in about 1996. It was about 125 yards off of Compton Rd. close to where Balmoral Forest runs through.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 19, 2009 07:13AM

Yeah, I stopped by the Cottage Art store yesterday and took another good look at the book, and after reading the fine print I found that it did in fact get bull-dozed. When I first saw it in the picture I assumed that it was somewhere in Clifton or Alexandria because of it's size. But when I read that it was actually on the farm I was crushed YET AGAIN knowing that I'd missed out on even more cool stuff that's now been demolished!
Poking around on the internet yesterday I did find a couple of pretty indepth biographies on Kate Waller Barrett. None of them really mentioned Ivakota in detail, as they only said that she had set up a couple of different shelters throughout her life. Apparently she mostly lived out of her house in Alexandria on Duke Street (the book in Clifton showed a picture of the inside, but no address) and 2 out of her 6 kids mainly ran Ivakota.
Old School, I'm still wondering if you can remember some landmarks or locations for the Gold Mine. You're one of the few that's actually been there that we know of!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: scottydfl422 ()
Date: May 19, 2009 11:09AM

Is the old Crouch School House at Compton and Union Mill apart of Ivatoka?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 19, 2009 11:35AM

I know the little school house that you're talking about right there on the corner. When I was lookin through the books in Clifton they didn't say that it was related to the farm at all.
So I'm thinking it's not since the farm seemed very self-reliant and all the knowledge and education of nursing that Kate Waller Barrett had she passed on to all the girls there at Ivakota. All this I read in that "American Towns" book that was written about Clifton in the Cottage Art store. But everything I've learned lately seems to say that the girls rarely left the farm and were kept out of the public/camera eye so they wouldn't be recognized once they left. Apparently single mothers were REALLY looked down upon back then (the city of Atlanta, GA didn't want anything to do with Barrett's first shelter that she tried to start there because they thought it would tarnish the city's image).

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 19, 2009 01:14PM

When I driving past Balmoral on Compton the other day (headed West away from Clifton), the house that has the property on the corner of Compton at the bottom of the hill was cleaning off his property. As I was about to head down the hill I saw at least 2 flatbed wreckers hauling a whole bunch of rusty old cars off the property. They had an old box-truck and a bunch of old land-yachts from the 70's. When I've driven past there before I've always tried to see all the cars in the fields through the trees, so it caught my attention when I saw that they were pulling a bunch of them out.
It made me wonder why they were doing it and if they were going after Mr. Crouch's cars next. I hope not.

Anyway, it's not Ivakota, but it's across the street and I thought it was interesting.

(Once I scrolled up and saw the name Crouch, I finally made the connection between the old little school house and the name of the guy on the corner with the busses in his yard. So, Scottydflr422, I'm guessing that both Mr. Crouch and the little schoolhouse have both been around for a little while and most likely have something to do with one another!)

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: scottydfl422 ()
Date: May 20, 2009 11:15AM

Thanks for the info Sculler

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 20, 2009 01:28PM

You're welcome. I get a kick out of learning about this old stuff.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Da Bunnyman ()
Date: May 20, 2009 04:10PM

You are all DORKS. Okay, maybe I am too because I just read every post and I now want to explore too.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 21, 2009 02:28PM

old school, do you remember any more details about the location of that mine? Landmarks? Paths?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: old school ()
Date: May 21, 2009 05:26PM

Sculler,
No I don't. It has been a while since I have been there. It is about 3/4 a mile down the tracks from Clifton, on the right,and about a hundred yards back in the woods at the base of the hill. There is no trail leading to it and it is essentially a big dug out pit. Good luck finding it.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: May 22, 2009 07:13AM

Yeah, I guess I'll need the luck. I was hoping to find a tunnel dug into the side of the hill that you could crawl around in, but I guess not. I guess a big 'ol hole in the ground is still kind of interesting, so maybe I'll check it out. Thanks for the help.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: June 01, 2009 09:38AM

Sculler ... any updates? Were you able to make contact with the B&B owner?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Sculler ()
Date: June 01, 2009 10:57AM

Now that the weather's warmed up and my weekends have gotten a little busier I haven't been by there. I was pretty dissappointed to find out that the "Gold Mine" may very well be nothing more than a big crater in the ground. I was hoping for an old-school mine-shift that I could walk into, but apparently no such luck. So I canned the search for the mine.
After I went to the B&B and nobody answered the door I didn't go back and put it on the back burner. But seeing as she's put the most research into the farm out of anyone, I'm sure she's a good source:

The story would have been lost to history had it not been for the efforts of another Clifton woman, Lynne Garvey Wark. Mrs. Wark is the past chair of the Fairfax County History Commission and the founding chairperson of the Clifton History Commission. "My first passion is history," said Wark. "And, although the story was widely known in the early part of the 20th Century, much of it has been forgotten. This was a wonderful era of progressive social reform and the women involved in the story are truly heroic. I really believe this is one of those institutions that really gave women a second chance. It's a story that must be told."

After exhaustive research with Balmoral resident Andy Morse, Wark presented the Ivakota Farm story and request for a plaque to Fairfax County History Commission's Marker Committee, chaired by Jack Hiller. The request was approved and the plaque will be placed at the intersection of Balmoral Forest Drive and Compton Road near the cemetery. The marker will be paid for by the Balmoral Homeowners' Association and The Fairfax County History Commission.

Lynne Garvey Wark has also authored a history of Ivakota Farm, titled A House of Another Chance, which was submitted to the Jamestown 2007 History Book Project. Active in community affairs, Lynne and her husband Bill maintain The Canary Cottage in Clifton, Fairfax County's only Bed and Breakfast Inn.

"Ivakota Farm was a living success worthy of remembrance," said Wark. "For the thousands of women and children who were the characters in this story and who survived society's harshest treatments-abuse, sexual assault, venereal disease, abandonment by family, friend and church-Ivakota gave them back a life that would have otherwise been lost."

-I do plan on getting back on this and giving her a call and I'll let you know what I find out. This time I mean it.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: June 01, 2009 11:11AM

Thanks Sculler ... just checking in

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Reverend ()
Date: November 06, 2009 10:28PM

Hey all. Interesting stuff. I was at an abandoned "institution" in Clifton but my exp was in 96 or 97. Im writing a college paper on the building itself not the dumb ass Bunnyman. What Ive read so far still doesnt hit right as to the more exact details of the hell-on-earth me and a couple of freinds found back there. Whats really got me into it is that Ive asked 4 different county, state and one Army rep(Ft.Belvoir)about "old abandoned sanitariums in the woods" and all of them said that there has NEVER BEEN A SANITARIUM IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA!! I cannot remember exactly where in Clifton we started trekking from though it was 12 odd years ago. It was a HELL of a lot further back into the woods than a few hundered feet though. Im talking well over a mile from any paved road that I knew of.

None of us had been there b4 and Id never heard of the Bunnyman then. It took well over an hour just to get there on foot. We followed an extremely overgrown dirt road we thought might have been it and it was. Much more than any of us were prepared for is what we got. This place was old as f*ck. Im talking built during or right after the Civil War old. This place was the closest Ive ever seen to what I consider "hell on earth".

What Ive seen described so far is the old original Lorton Institute buildings which are morbid as hell in their own right. From what I know Lorton Jail started out as an asylum. That nightmare was left standing for way to long. Gone now and that land is now covered in veeery nice houses.

This place we found, 3 of us, was run by the military. No DC Buses instead there were old pre 1950 gvt. staff cars rusting away into the dirt. I believe one vehical was a WWII era Willys Jeep...still rusting into the ground. Military stencil abound but was unreadable. There was NO outside signage identifying this place. Had gotten dark by the time we got there so more exact details about the exterior I cant give you but good GOD! WTF did they do to ppl at this place? It was as it was frozen in time on the inside...as if it was running at full capacity and all the sudden everyone was gone.

About half the roof(remains of upper floor maybe?)had slowly caved in over time. Some fire damage to some of whatever it was that was falling in..

Sanitarium, asylum, institute...how about the 8th level of hell? Everywhere was gurneys,syringes,surgical cutting instruments eeeeeverywhere. Theres more, steel loops welded to the floor, the walls and other rusting restraining equipment that I still cant fathom its use without strangulation, dislocation or suffocation. At some spots this unidentifiable "medical" equipment was halfway to our knees. We stayed long enough to validate the idea that hiking out to this nightmare was "cool" which didnt take long. Got our breath back. Did as much exploring as just a couple so-so flashlights and scalpels all over the floors would allow.

Im actually wondering wether this is still in Fairfax County let alone Clifton proper at all its THAT far back. There was some spraypaint...although the last "tags" even then looked at least 20 years old so theres gotta be others out there who remember this place...the other 2 I went with think Im fcking nuts to want to go back. They cant remember specifics about where we started from either as the area has changed so much since. Im pretty confident that it is still there in some extremely dangerous way. Place seemed built with a fortune of marble,stone and brick.

I do think its still Ffx Co. but I gotta get that down at least. Still, being told that "it" is an urban legend and doesnt exist by multiple gvt reps is just well...mind blowing. I will continue this as I learn more but for now Im pretty confident this place, call it what you will, has more skeletons in its closets than even the original Lorton..which if youre local you KNOW the old Lorton complex was just a spawning ground for government torture techniques that turned countless legions into truly damned souls...

For now Im thinking this "place" was a turberculosis "hospital" run by most likely the Army but admit that being where it is it could be any branch of the military, this place was one that specialized in "different" approaches to treatment. The 50+ yo steel syringes everywhere filled with god knows what are about the most dangerous thing I can think of to have around you outside of landmines...Idk...then throw in the scalpels eeeeeverywhere and countless unidentifyable cutting objects. Terberculosis from what Ive been told by old ppl who lived it, was rampant as hell to about 1960. There were also strange rubber tubes all over the place as well as sitloads of glass jars,vials and huuge glass containers all with measurement marks up and down the side. From the little I know this type of stuff was used to treat TB. How Idk. The fact that nearly every glass object there was NOT broken, NONE of the cutting tools had rusted yet the syringes from hell had knarled rust on most of em but were still ready to...well whatever....

I do know that surgical steel is worth its weight in gold most likely a little more. There was a fortune in materials there for the taking. The terrain back there was beyond desolate. We thought about taking some of the surgical steel stuff but all that stuff had a still sharp as new edge and had been used to...looks like implement "experiments" of the Nazi variety. We wanted nothing to do with any of that crap. Not about to try to carry even a handful of scalpels back through a desolate badly drained swamp in the dark.

Oh yes...all the decades old dried blood stains in "wrong" locations...ie not on the floor not a dripped on surface but on walls and some cielings...some stains small some were huge, like on the walls which doesnt make sense to me but hey Im not a doc...

Gonna try to find again and prove its existence and try to learn its history.

That night we got so ....horrified ..by it all that we had to leave. The trees(I think)hitting the building was way to much like the sound of fists pounding on the walls and heavy footsteps..and other sounds of a dead asylum....once we found the overgrown dirt rd again we got the f outta there...we were exhausted from climbing through that place from one deathtrap to another....a couple hours later we found close to the spot we started and never spoke of it for years...

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: hmmmm ()
Date: February 04, 2010 08:41PM

bullshit?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: oooh ()
Date: February 04, 2010 08:46PM

oh and by the way....old man crouch has a house with a few school buses right on the big corner of compton road

View Larger Map

thats probably what you saw

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: DAYlight ()
Date: July 30, 2010 04:42AM

Hey i know this is kinda weird but can any of you guys searching for this asylum whatever you find of interest whether its foundations graveyards or whatever you think it may be hell the asylum itself get the gps location for it? Can help us all out a lot. Ive been lookin followin your guys directions but its hard to find it. Just help me out if you run into it find out the gps coordinates

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: fairfax resident ()
Date: July 30, 2010 05:12AM

Clifton really is haunted. I have been in friends houses in clifton where my friend and i would hear voices in the woods deep in the backyard. sometimes the furniture in the back patio got rearranged and sometimes the downstairs basement door just randomly became open. also i have been walking around hemlock at night and have witnessed a few odd behaviors

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: July 28, 2011 07:58AM

Jeff Sledjeski Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow. I had no idea this was going to be so many
> followup questions. I should have checked in
> sooner.
>
> I can't remember the firm that did the
> archeological survey. Dewberry & Davis (now
> Dewberry) did all the surveying work out there. I
> believe Greenvest owned Balmoral at the time
> construction was completed. The County got a copy
> but I can guarantee that has been lost. You can
> try contacting them.
>
> Again, I do know that the Health Department should
> have a good set of plats that should show most of
> the old houses and disturbed areas out there.
> They also show most if not all the grave sites.
> They are at the Kelley Square Bldg. in Fairfax
> City across from WJFK. They will make copies of
> any plats for $5 each. I will try to look for
> mine but they are buried in some boxes somewhere
> and are probably pretty beat up.
>
> The "crazy caretaker guy" is probably Mr. Crouch.
> That is his place on Compton Road that someone
> here referred to as the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
> House. If he is still alive he would be the
> person to talk to about the whole area. His
> family has lived there almost since the time of
> Lord Fairfax. Just because he has a gun does not
> make him crazy. He is just a strict believer in
> property rights. I doubt he would shoot if you
> knocked on his door and were polite.
>
>
> The Ivakota School and all its buildings and
> gardens are long gone. Most of the old stuff that
> is left is on the surrounding park land. I
> don’t think any of that is disturbed. Go to the
> end of Balmoral Forest Road and if the old horse
> path is still there you can follow it along the
> high ground near the Railroad tracks you might
> find an old cemetery that had a wall around part
> of it and, a little ways away, an old stone house
> foundation. But watch out near the house; there
> was an old hand dug well there that was not
> covered. We hung a bunch of flagging around it
> but I’m sure that is long gone.
>
> There is also lots of old Civil War earthworks
> around the lower areas and farther west near
> Section 5 of Balmoral. And an old asbestos mine
> that I believe is on or near the Golf Course.
> And I remember hearing about some old Indian sites
> being located but I don’t remember where. Ask
> Mr. Crouch.

Jeff,
I'm hoping you still log on to this website, cuz I know it's been a while since this thread had any activity.
I was on my way home last night on Compton Rd. and I passed Mr. Crouch's house and saw that there were a couple of crews with some flatbed trucks clearing his property of the old cars and excess brush. I've always been interested in how rural his proprerty looked in the middle of FFX, and every time I drive by it and look and remember what you said about him having been there for so long and knowing about Ivakota. From the looks of what was going on there yesterday, it looks like he either moved out or passed away. Didn't know if you (or anyone else) had heard anything. I'm sure that piece of property would be a gem for exploration (as long as no one lives there of course).
In a possibly unrelated note, it also looked like they were doing some kind of work to the old schoolhouse at the corner of Compton and Union Mill.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Krisp ()
Date: July 28, 2011 03:03PM

Wow, reading through this old thread has made me remember how much fun it used to be to wander the woods as a kid... I'd love to explore old places but I never know where to start or really know anyone who's into that kind of thing now that we're all grown. I'd be happy to accompany someone on one of these exploratory hikes!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Jeff ()
Date: July 28, 2011 03:29PM

Sculler,

I don't know what's up at Mr. Crouch's house. It is still in his name; maybe the family is cleaning up for him.

For the schoolhouse check out

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/group-aims-to-save-schoolhouse/2011/01/18/ABAcCPJ_story.html

or

http://fairfaxstation.patch.com/articles/saving-a-school

Jeff

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: July 29, 2011 07:14AM

Thanks Jeff. I'm gonna drive by Mr. Crouch's house on my way home today and see what the status is. I looked at the property on Bing the other day, and there's 35 cars on that lot throughout the woods, easy!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: bps7772000 ()
Date: October 13, 2011 07:21PM

For some reason this place(subject of this thread) popped into my head and my google search led me to this thread. I grew up in Springfield near Hooes Road and visited this place as a teenager in high school probably 4 to 5 times in 1993-1994. I know that was the year because it was just before and after I got my license and car (October 93). The brother of one of my good friends and his gang of friends were the ones who introduced us and took us out there the first time. We went there at night the first two times. I've read this thread but no one seemed to convey how scary and isolated it was to drive down that dirt road at nighttime.
Let me explain what I remember. Going there at night was extremely spooky and frightening to say the least. With 2 cars and about 6-7 of us we drove down Compton road westerly, after the sharp curve right, you went downwards a ways a few more blocks and the broken spooky gated fence entrance was on your left. That whole area was extremely dark and the overhanging trees and thick forest were something out of a horror movie. As you turned into the entranceway you went down a very very rough bouncy and narrow dirt road with trees lined on both sides of the road to where you coudn't see much. After perhaps 200-300 yards you reached the house on your right, what was told to us at the time as an old haunted abandoned girls school. Of course we parked and hung around the house for a while and explored. There was debris everywhere, coke/beer cans, trash, graffiti, paint ball splatters(I guess people played paintball there). It was hard to see anything but I do remember pillars on the house or structure that was mostly in bad shape. It was obviously a place where either teens or explorers/hikers/drunks? hung out. I don't rembember being able to go into the main level of the house and I remember it being in an almost demolished state. However I distinctly remember going around back and down a wooden sort of makeshift ramp into the lower part of the structure. Perhaps dreams have clouded my memory since this was so long ago but I seem to remember someone shining a flashlight on part of the inner structure which had a date founded or built on-date or something. My mind ain't so great and this was a LONG time ago.
In fact we brought an 80's VHS camera and filmed the drive up to the house one time. I may have the footage boxed up somewhere. We used to film lots of stuff as kids and family. It's possible that it was later lost or recorded over. I know I haven't viewed that tape since at least the late 90's but I also know that I have probably a couple dozen old VHS tapes boxed up in my mothers house of my growing up years that I haven't veiwed in a long time. I don't even have a VCR anymore.
Sometime between 94-96 I went with a best friend during the day. It was still a creepy place with debris/rusted cars/farm equipment and junk and yes--- also I distinctly remember more than 1 junked out old school bus but don't remember the writing on the bus. We even went in one the school buses. We explored the trail that went down to the pond. It was a neat thing to do as a kid and I will never forget it. Some day I'll go through my old VHS tapes.
I drove on Compton road by the area a year or two ago. It is NOTHING like it was back then. No more tiny 2 lane road with curves weaving through the dark woods.
There was something about that abandoned terrain in the middle of nowhere that sent chills up your spine even just driving by it let alone going in.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Thomas Adams ()
Date: October 18, 2011 08:52PM

Wow, I found this forum a couple of days ago and have been reading it since. This is a very interesting subject and I just wish that I could've been alive before the asylum/school/hospital/prison got torn down. I'm 13 now and it would be so much fun to have been able to explore that area with my friends. Would be real creepy of course, but fun. I thought of a kind of prank. Find a bunny suit to wear, then just stand out in the woods near a trail and chase after anyone who walked by. Though I advise not doing this for fear of getting hurt. Though if they called the police you would definitely earn a place on the local news. Anyways, I love the effort put into this, it was very interesting to read.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: snowdenscold ()
Date: October 18, 2011 11:05PM

Do you all think the advent of things like aerial photography on Bing maps (oblique view) has taken away some of the mysteriousness of certain parts of the County?

I mean, instead of driving through some winding back road and wandering through creepy woods, you can get a pretty good view of most structures from the comfort of your living room.

Just food for thought...

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: logicaldog ()
Date: October 19, 2011 07:25AM

there is a really cool old cemetary on the trail between fountainhead and bull run in Fairfax station too.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Scott ()
Date: October 30, 2011 12:03AM

Any updatesfrom Sculler, Old School or others?????

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Fairfax Ghoul ()
Date: October 30, 2011 10:41AM

CliftonResident Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The original link to this story doesn't seem to be
> working but here is the cached version from
> Google. I think this is what you are referring
> to.
>
> http://www.chroniclenewspapers.com/articles/2007/0
> 3/12/fairfax/news/news04.txt
>
>
>
> Growing Success at Ivakota Farm--Troubled Young
> Women get a Helping Hand to Gain a Leg Up
> By Sharon Cavileer
> Published: Monday, March 12, 2007 2:23 PM EDT
>
> The Ivakota story may have been lost to history
> had it not been for the efforts of Clifton
> resident, Lynne Garvey Wark shown here at the gate
> of the iron fence that surrounds the Ivakota
> cemetery.
> In the early 20th Century, Clifton's Ivakota Farm
> was noted for its progressive farming methods and
> successful dairy enterprise. More progressive was
> its mission. Ivakota Farm, which opened in the
> summer of l917, was established to transform the
> lives of young women in trouble.
>
> Located off Compton Road in what is now the
> stately Balmoral Forest neighborhood, Ivakota Farm
> was an idea brought to fruition by women for
> women. It is fitting that a historic marker will
> be placed on the site. One of the women who worked
> to have Ivakota Farm remembered, Lynne Garvey
> Wark, hopes to see the unveiling held on Mother's
> Day, 2007.
>
> The story began simply enough with a late-night
> knock on one door and a plea for help. Dr. Kate
> Waller Barrett, the wife of an Episcopal minister
> in Atlanta, was so moved by a late-night visit of
> an unwed mother that she dedicated her life to
> "wipe out some of the inequities that were meted
> out to my sisters who were so helpless to help
> themselves." Barrett enrolled in medical school
> and received both a medical degree and doctor of
> science. She then set to work to establish a home
> for unwed mothers. When her husband relocated to
> Alexandria, the seeds of Ivakota Farm had been
> planted. And Northern Virginia proved fertile
> ground.
>
> One of her earliest contacts was Charles
> Crittenton, a wealthy pharmacist and
> philanthropist. The death of his four-year-old
> daughter, Florence, nearly devastated the man.
> After great grief, Crittenton dedicated his
> energies to helping prostitutes and other wayward
> girls to a better life as a memorial to his
> daughter. When he received Dr. Barrett's letter,
> he agreed to fund her cause.
>
>
> At the same time, Clifton resident Ella Shaw, was
> reading articles in The Washington Times written
> by Dr. Barrett on the plight of prostitutes and
> unwed mothers. In a generous charitable gesture,
> Shaw deeded her 264-acre farm to the National
> Florence Crittenton Mission (NFCM) in 1915. The
> property, that Shaw had named Ivakota after her
> three states of residence-Iowa, North Dakota and
> Virginia-included a completely furnished home with
> a piano and 800 fruit jars. Later, she deeded
> another farm to the cause and Ivakota grew to a
> 400-acre sanctuary for women and children.
>
> Dr. Barrett assumed the directorship of the NFCM.
> In an ironic twist of fate, her husband died,
> leaving her a single mother with six children to
> rear alone. Undaunted, Dr. Kate Waller Barrett
> opened Ivakota Farm, giving troubled girls a
> "second chance." The courts sent criminals,
> prostitutes, girls with sexually transmitted
> diseases and young women who simply were "in
> trouble" to Ivakota. Other homeless girls and
> unwanted babies found their way to the secluded
> rural farm. One of the noted residents was Minnie
> Wilcox, a 19-year-old "bobbed-hair bandit" who had
> robbed a taxicab driver in DC.
>
> At Ivakota, all the girls learned domestic skills
> such as gardening and canning, received a formal
> education and enjoyed basketball, baseball, music
> and friendships. Local children attended classes
> at the farm and community interaction was
> encouraged.
>
> According to Katherine Aiken, author of the book
> Harnessing the Power of Motherhood, Dr. Kate
> Barrett's slogan was adopted by her girls. Barrett
> would tell her Ivakota residents: "I am an
> American girl and I am going to make the world
> know that I am worth something."
>
> In the 1920s Ivakota Farm was home to more than 60
> girls and 20 babies. With added construction, it
> expanded to care for as many as 150 girls. In 1926
> Ivakota graduated 15 women from its practical
> nursing school. Others left to lead successful and
> productive lives with 53 percent of its graduates
> marrying within six months of departure. Many of
> these young women had never had the opportunity to
> live in a safe environment. Ivakota became a place
> to learn, to heal and to grow.
>
> Ivakota Farm served "disadvantaged girls who were
> wards of the court" until 1957. All that remains
> of the farm are some stone foundations and a
> cemetery surrounded by an iron fence. It is the
> only sad legacy of Ivakota Farm. The cemetery
> holds the remains of many of the babies and girls
> who did not survive the experience.
>
> The story would have been lost to history had it
> not been for the efforts of another Clifton woman,
> Lynne Garvey Wark. Mrs. Wark is the past chair of
> the Fairfax County History Commission and the
> founding chairperson of the Clifton History
> Commission. "My first passion is history," said
> Wark. "And, although the story was widely known in
> the early part of the 20th Century, much of it has
> been forgotten. This was a wonderful era of
> progressive social reform and the women involved
> in the story are truly heroic. I really believe
> this is one of those institutions that really gave
> women a second chance. It's a story that must be
> told."
>
> After exhaustive research with Balmoral resident
> Andy Morse, Wark presented the Ivakota Farm story
> and request for a plaque to Fairfax County History
> Commission's Marker Committee, chaired by Jack
> Hiller. The request was approved and the plaque
> will be placed at the intersection of Balmoral
> Forest Drive and Compton Road near the cemetery.
> The marker will be paid for by the Balmoral
> Homeowners' Association and The Fairfax County
> History Commission.
>
> Lynne Garvey Wark has also authored a history of
> Ivakota Farm, titled A House of Another Chance,
> which was submitted to the Jamestown 2007 History
> Book Project. Active in community affairs, Lynne
> and her husband Bill maintain The Canary Cottage
> in Clifton, Fairfax County's only Bed and
> Breakfast Inn.
>
> "Ivakota Farm was a living success worthy of
> remembrance," said Wark. "For the thousands of
> women and children who were the characters in this
> story and who survived society's harshest
> treatments-abuse, sexual assault, venereal
> disease, abandonment by family, friend and
> church-Ivakota gave them back a life that would
> have otherwise been lost."

Thanks for this.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Derrick ()
Date: March 12, 2012 09:24PM

Well I would like to tell you that YES there is something there and there are not very good things that belong to that land. I use to live in Northeast VA for 12 years and I have been involved with the Paranormal for most of my life...No I'm not a weirdo....Myself and a few friends have been at the property back in 1994 and we have had things follow us home and try to drain the life out of us on a few visits.

I was with a few friends one night and we were in Manassas playing pool and when the pool hall closed we decided to take a cut throught on Clifton Rd and my friend that had been there before was driving...all of a sudden she stops the car right in the middle of the road. All she would do was look to her left and Stare at the entrance to the what all of us in the area new it as was the Sanaterium...well she was lock on the entrance where the metal gate was...we kept calling her name and shaking her but she was in a trance...since I have been a paranormal investigater for many year in my life and I have been told I am a Senseror I can feel spirits in places...well all of a sudden I started to feel drainedfrom the right side of my body...so I looked at the entrance because of the feeling all of a sudden I see a beautiful woman standing in the entrance bright white dress and long hair blowing around like standing in front of a fan and it was dead calm out not a hint of wind. This woman looked like she was clear as day but she was standing on a road that was dark as hell...it was pretty messed up.....So I started freaking out and started kicking my friends seat and then she finally came out of her trance and floored it.

Well after I got back to my home in Burke, VA not to far away from there I was starting to feel better. But I was still drained so I went to bed. The next morning my alarm goes off to get upt to go to work at Fairfax Auto Parts in the plaza accross the street from my house. I reach behind me to hit the snooze button on my alarm and I laid there for a sec and then I heard a womans voice in my ear say Derrick wake up...I shot up like I was sitting on a spring...I wasn't dreaming I was wide awake when I heard it. I jumped up and looked through the whole damn house there was noone there just me...I got dressed fast and bolted out the door and headed to work...I was freaked!!!!

So if there was any question if that place was there....YES it was...also there was very bad things tied to that place from things that happened there...There are other things that happened to me and friends from that place so if u want to know more email me I'll tell you...figured I wrote enough here for now but if you would like to know about there other stuff that happened email me at Floodlx76@yahoo.com thanks for reading and yes it was all true!!!!

Derrick

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Date: March 14, 2012 02:14PM

There's an interesting area beyond the Bunnyman Bridge. I assume that, at one time, Colchester Road ran all the way through from Fairfax Station Road to Chapel Road. Anyone know about that? Anyway, I've hiked back in that area and there are all sorts of remnants and remains from years ago.
Attachments:
Colchester Road Captioned.jpg

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: BMR ()
Date: March 15, 2012 02:07PM

Wow, I had NO idea that any of that was back there. I grew up in Clifton and I've been to "Bunnyman" bridge, and I've hiked all around those areas.

I've actually hiked on that trail off of Balmoral Greens many of times, but the last time I was back there was probably 12 years ago. I don't remember seeing anything that caught my eye, and I am always on the lookout for things like this. I'll definitely have to check this out.

To those of you who have posted useful information (Sculler, Jeff, and Robert), thank you for your efforts. They are appreciated.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Jeff ()
Date: March 15, 2012 02:48PM

I have attached a copy of the 1960 Tax Map for that area. You can see the old route of Colchester Road on it. The dashed lines means it was not maintained and was probably still dirt. I did not check to see when it disappeared from the maps.

Maybe the Bunnyman used it for his getaway!
Attachments:
1960 Tax Map 76.pdf

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: March 15, 2012 02:55PM

It's cool to see that this thread has been coming up lately. I think about when I'm driving home on Compton and pass Balmoral and see the grave yard.

The contribution I've always wanted to make to this thread was to somehow post a picture of the original house. I've seen the picture of it in the book on Clifton that's for sale in the store off of Chapel Road across from the VFD, but I wasn't about to buy the book just for one picture. As a lot of people have said before, it looked like a pretty cool old house with the pillars and everything out front.

As for the stretch of land that may or may not have once been Colchester Road, I used to live off of Glencove Drive years ago, and I was always curious about what it was like back there. Referencing the map above, the large mansion/farm below the yellow question mark in the field is supposedly pretty interesting. I know it's been there for a long time and it's said to have a sizable ballroom inside. I bet a hike back behind the property could turn up some interesting finds.

What I'm really itchin' to do is explore the old guy's house (the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre House"), I think someone said his name was Crowley, that's off Compton Road, just short of getting to Union Mill. It's the one with the school bus and all the cars and junk on the property. I'm REALLY curious to see what the inside of that place looks like, and it seems like it's been abandoned for at least a year now. Anyone have news on that place?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: March 15, 2012 02:58PM

Jeff Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have attached a copy of the 1960 Tax Map for
> that area. You can see the old route of
> Colchester Road on it. The dashed lines means it
> was not maintained and was probably still dirt. I
> did not check to see when it disappeared from the
> maps.
>
> Maybe the Bunnyman used it for his getaway!

Sorry, Jeff. I was writing while you were posting. That's cool to know that that was in fact Colchester at one time.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: DBM ()
Date: September 15, 2012 12:37AM

I have pics of the house from the early 90's. We used to go back there to drink as teenagers. It was definitely a spooky place and yes, there was an old man that would chase people off with a shot gun and I know someone who he shot over his head!

I'll find the pics and scan them and then post. What a fun thread to find!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: September 15, 2012 09:50AM

Please do! That would really cool. The only picture I could find of the house was in a book in that store in Clifton, and it was just one pic from like the 30's or something. To see some more recent photos would be nice.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: DBM ()
Date: September 15, 2012 04:25PM

These were taken back in 1993 before someone set fire to the upper level. Even in the daytime it was a spooky place!

These pics are of the house, Barn, some type of shed, the dirt road and I think the fence that was broken led to the cemetary but I cant remember for sure.

Sorry about the quality but they are stuck in an old albumn and I can't remove them from the pages without them ripping.
Attachments:
Compton Haunted House 1.jpg
Compton Haunted House 2.jpg
Compton Haunted House 3.jpg
Compton Haunted House 4.jpg

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: joe schmoe ()
Date: September 15, 2012 06:09PM

So what exactly is left there now? Just want to know if it's still worth checkign out.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: dro's keeper ()
Date: September 15, 2012 07:57PM

When there a few times back in the day, creepy as hell at night...nothing left demolished and nothing but loose garbage left...not worth a trip there

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: September 16, 2012 03:13PM

90DBM,
Thanks a lot for posting those pictures! I've always wondered what the place was like before they tore it down. I remember when I was looking at the book in the Clifton store that they showed only the one picture of the house and it had some pretty sizable pillars on the front. Were those there back in the early 90's before they tore the place down?
Also, what's left of that dirt road may still be there (as I pointed out in one of my posts for a while ago) because those trees look a lot like the ones at the end of the driveway for one of the new homes. Also, I believe the ruts from the dirt road are still visible as well.
But thanks again for putting those pictures up. They make me want to swing by that store in Clifton and take a look at that book again.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: The Sculler ()
Date: December 21, 2012 12:24PM

Just an update, if anyone's interested. I drove by Mr. Crouch's place today and they're in the process of tearing it down with a back hoe. Shame, I always did want to poke around in there and see what it was like.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Laura ()
Date: July 08, 2013 02:59AM

I remember this abandoned spot a large main house with a large main door there were two spiral stair cases taking you to the second story but no walls....all the walls were gone. I wonder what has become of that place there was something not right there the whole time I was there like someone watching you and looking at you..

This place of course took awhile to get too cause you had do walk down a quarter of a mile road before reaching the house...This house was off of pope's head road or a small road off of it....it was not the site of the Bunny Man bridge or supposedly where I was told and also does not look like the sight that was called Ivakota Farm or school.

though I was told this place was an abandoned sanitarium. I loved going to abandoned buildings around Burke and surrounding areas to take cool photos. there were old abandoned Buses around this property too an an old car??? or something...there was not much left but the main structure and I think there was a stair way down the main house in a small end of the building that look like it was a kitchen or something, but I could never go down the stairs. I took pictures around that whole property during the day one day...I was taking photography at Lake Braddock.....I came back to the lab and developed my film myself ..the whole negatives and all.....I went to the light box to look at my photos of the abandoned place. When I looked at all the ones I took inside the house...they were PITCH BLACK...I mean GONE....there were other negatives that were not black....and there was no reason...not even dark shade that not one photo of inside the house...I remember taking a specific shot of the stair cases from outside the entrance since there is no door...and boom....NADA...The bus later and surrounding grounds were on film..but nor the main or top room was in it....

One night when going there to show a friend we came upon the place with all lights on or some kind of generator...i saw shaddows of cloaked figures and heard loud temple like drums in the back ground..we thought SATAINISTs ....so WE BOOKED all up the long road to our car....I remember going so fast around the POPE's Head road thing and watching my friend hit that tree there......so scary...I told the cops that there was some fishy business going on there..they didn't even seem to care. this was in the mid 90s

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Laura ()
Date: July 08, 2013 03:11AM

Where is that place off compton????????

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Fraidy Cop ()
Date: July 08, 2013 04:46AM

Creepy!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: dudeoramma ()
Date: July 08, 2013 04:42PM

I went there back in high school. I was pretty damn creepy. Balmoral estates were built on the land. McMansions galore!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: bps7772000 ()
Date: July 08, 2013 08:06PM

Yep. Thanks for those pictures. It was every bit as creepy as those pictures indicate and then some.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: jamar ()
Date: December 03, 2013 12:30PM

If the insane asylum was actually a woman's reform camp to begin with than why are there cells under the front stairs to the main building that has chains and shackles coming out of the walls?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: joe podiddy ()
Date: December 05, 2013 10:40AM

Is there anything left standing? Any of the school buses left?anything at all?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Knower Of Things ()
Date: December 05, 2013 12:39PM

joe podiddy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is there anything left standing? Any of the
> school buses left?anything at all?

Not a thing. The developers demo'd everything. Just another upscale housing development now.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: ho bag ()
Date: December 05, 2013 02:02PM

Knower Of Things Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joe podiddy Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Is there anything left standing? Any of the
> > school buses left?anything at all?
>
> Not a thing. The developers demo'd everything.
> Just another upscale housing development now.

Fuck people.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Enrico Palazzo ()
Date: December 05, 2013 04:18PM

ho bag Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fuck people.


Yes. Same thing with the crypts except that was for religious douchebaggery and envy on the part of the Poorhick church.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: ho bag ()
Date: December 05, 2013 09:39PM

is there any cool abandoned shit in the woods left in Fairfax county?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: berndaddy ()
Date: December 05, 2013 11:00PM

is the windy dirt road from the picture still there?

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: tala99 ()
Date: April 12, 2014 12:08PM

Just happened upon this. The neighborhood you are talking about is my fathers neighborhood!

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: idkidk ()
Date: April 12, 2014 03:56PM

berndaddy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> is the windy dirt road from the picture still
> there?


idk

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­
Posted by: chuckhoffmann ()
Date: April 12, 2014 07:34PM

­



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2014 03:54AM by chuckhoffmann.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: 324t5r324t ()
Date: April 12, 2014 09:07PM

> berndaddy Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > is the windy dirt road from the picture still
> > there?


No. None of it is there now. It has all been demolished and turned into a FFX county cookie cutter mcmansion suburb.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: know where it is ()
Date: April 13, 2014 01:18PM

I KNOW WHERE IT IS . If anyone ever been to the bunny man's bridge if you keep driving in past the house next the the bridge you get to a dirty mud trail but can still drive and youll get to the second mansion and keep going youll find the road is blocked off by gates and chains... Past that if you Dare would be the insane asylum. But its illegal to trwspass but I've been their. It's sorta scary at night ..

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Enrico 2 lazy 2 sign in ()
Date: April 14, 2014 12:33PM

know where it is Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I KNOW WHERE IT IS . If anyone ever been to the
> bunny man's bridge if you keep driving in past the
> house next the the bridge you get to a dirty mud
> trail but can still drive and youll get to the
> second mansion and keep going youll find the road
> is blocked off by gates and chains... Past that if
> you Dare would be the insane asylum. But its
> illegal to trwspass but I've been their. It's
> sorta scary at night ..


All bullshit. FFX County has NEVER had an insane asylum. At least try to be funny if you are gonna sling this crap.

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: JCvTk ()
Date: April 14, 2014 06:22PM

perfect fixer-up property

only 30 years late in hearing about it

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: archived35555 ()
Date: May 09, 2014 02:39AM

chuckhoffmann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jamar Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > If the insane asylum was actually a woman's
> reform
> > camp to begin with than why are there cells
> under
> > the front stairs to the main building that has
> > chains and shackles coming out of the walls?
>
> Probably because not everyone who was at Ivakota
> was there willingly. There's newspaper reports of
> girls being "sentenced" by judges to Ivakota,
> which I take to mean it wound up functioning more
> like a juvenile reform center for the poor, stupid
> and inconveniently and embarrassingly pregnant.


archived3666

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Cap'n Chaos ()
Date: October 14, 2014 07:48PM

Pretty fascinating piece of Clifton history. Just thought I'd share. These images are all from the book, "Images of America: Clifton"
Attachments:
Main House.jpg
Auditorium.jpg
chapel.jpg
Girls.jpg
Schoolhouse.jpg
Donations.jpg
Heart in Hand.jpg
Rose Garden.jpg
Ivakota.jpg

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Cman ()
Date: July 22, 2015 08:46PM

i have a potential lead on the insane asylum
Attachments:
txu-pclmaps-topo-va-fairfax-1912.jpg

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Re: old clifton insane asylum
Posted by: Cman ()
Date: July 22, 2015 08:48PM

sorry about the size but that is an original map of farifax county in 1912 and shows colchester road all the way through. this may help

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