Re: Burke Trivia
Date: May 27, 2011 01:18PM
My two farthings on Burke: My folks moved to the new, and not yet completed Lake Braddock Community in 1970. The lake was not built yet, and of course LBSS, wasn't finished until 1973, and was just a patch of woods. Braddock Road and Burke Lake Road simple two lane roads. Burke had a 7-11 located in an old house where the post office currently is, and the post office was in an old house where the firehouse is currently. The current shopping center with Giant,Spartans,Merchants ect. was just a field where some large drainage pipes were stored as you crossed the railroad tracks. The path to 7-11 and back to the emerging Lake Braddock community became well worn. Those days since the building of LB was only in it's infancy, the construction guys left their soda bottles strewn where the new houses were being built. Bottles still recyclable at that time, meant many trips the 7-11 to retrieve our nickle per bottle. I don't remember when Inga Hutchinson took over the Burke 7-11, before or after it moved to their current location?
As Burke developed, the traffic back-ups at the two RR crossing points, Burke Lake Road and Burke Road became ponderous, and eventually the overpass was built. I don't remember what was built or had been built where the Taco Bell currently resides,but with the overpass the whole nature and configuration of Burke Lake Road and Burke Road changed. Burke lake road used to continue from that point (Taco Bell) essentially up and over the hill at a completely different angle, ending as it does now in front of Burke Elem. School. Burke Road didn't loop up to hit Burke Lake Road before the overpass, but continued on straight and crossed the RR tracks,where it made a sharp left and continued into Burke. Essentially the road that leads into the hidden shopping center across from Giant on the other side of the overpass was the line of old Burke Road.
Yes, Spartans was the Pepperoni Stick, and the grocery store has always been a Giant, although I think every other retail location has changed hands over the years. The Pepperoni stick at some point divided and the right side of it became a narrow bar, you had to decide, restuarant or bar when you came in by the entrance way, that was pretty shortlived. The smaller shopping center which was built accross the street, to which the 7-11 moved after it was decided that it's former location was going to become a large post office, there was a dive with live music there called Spanky's Place for awhile, and off course My Brother's Place, which had cheap but good pizza and gyros, until, either one or both of the primary owners blew themselves up attempting to do a little redecorating. As I remember they were trying to remove the old carpet squares the type with black foam backing, the story was some local gel employee suggested to use gasoline as a solvent to get the foam off the substrate, the fumes and pilot lights to the oven didn't mix well,and the fucking place blew,killing one or both of the owners.
Some other memories: as you drive up Coffer Woods,making a right off of Burke Lake Road, back beyond the townhouses which are on the right as you head up the hill, was a pond. Either Bells or Belles pond. Up through the 1970s all kind of hippies and ragamuffins used to live and congregate there in their vans and vw microbuses, I guess the place got drained when they built the town homes. Until all the redevelopment and roads, up until about the early 1980s, you could still see all the old foundations for the buildings for the original Burke RR station, which was a nice place to catch a buzz or drink. I guess some of that stuff may still be there.
There is very good book on the history of Burke, with lots of photos etc. Which had some older info from way before my time, for example, I didn't know that in the 1920s, folks from DC woud jump on the train and come out to Burke for baseball games and horse racing in the summer, as it was considered a trip to the country. The current location of the Burke Garden center was where there was an oval racetrack for horses.
Yeah..one more thing, you would have to be a real old timer I reckon to remember this. There was a guy, a hermit, that would hang around the RR tracks and along the older homes in Burke, which is the area behind Giant shopping center. This guy was like a Jethro Tull Aqualung looking fellow, and as a kid, a pretty strange looking dude. The original Burke homeless guy, but I think he had a place. We didn't get too close, but since we would run around that whole area. We would see this oddball every once in awhile. I wonder if anyone out there remembers what the story was with that guy...I used to know, but I can't pull it now...