Week 3: Walking, walking, walking…

Mar 28, 2021

Hello everybody!

One of the main sources I use for my project is a section of the Morning Star Newspaper called “The Rambler”. He was a reporter that walked all around the McLean, Vienna, and Great Falls area to talk to the local neighbors. He collected stories and anecdotes from each of them which he included in his section.

This week I did the same as I walked from my house to my school, the historical marker, and all throughout Alfred Odrick’s land. You can see the plat map below as you follow along with me.

The small box where it says Odrick is his land. The intersection next to it is where Spring Hill Elementary School, the Spring Hill Recreation Center, and Alfred Odrick’s historical marker is located. As I walked down Odrick’s land, my dad told me of the old cluster of houses lived in by the descendants of the original families of the community. There now in its place, is the Larmax Homes for senior citizens. As I was searching for the second historical marker, I asked one of the workers who I talked to because she frequently walked with her patients along that road. We actually ended up talking and she told me a story of why her name tag said her name was “Snoopy” (it was because she often snooped through her mother’s things when she was younger HEHE).

I then walked down a little more and found the historical marker she mentioned reading as she walked with her patients. The marker and the remnants of Alfred Odrick’s house:

The houses behind the remains of the house was my previous neighborhood! Looking at the marker and the remains however made me realize just how much more important this project is. Many of the achievements Alfred Odrick contributed to our community are under appreciated and undervalued. I hope with this project I fix that!

That’s all for this week and see you all next week :))

8 Replies to “Week 3: Walking, walking, walking…”

  1. Eric M. says:

    I hope that it was also a peaceful walk! Seems like one of those nature trails that force you to learn about the environment as you go through it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course.

  2. Sean P. says:

    It’s fascinating how much history land carries with it. While I can’t imagine my community any other way, your walk makes me ponder the history and the people behind the land I reside on. I also enjoy how your research goes beyond the typical notion of research (i.e. pipettes, lab work, chemicals). Research can really come in all forms, and you’ve just proven that! This is great work Annie! I look forward to seeing progress on your research in the coming weeks.

    1. Annie W. says:

      So fascinated with yours as well Sean!

  3. E Vander Wall says:


    I’m absoutely loving the way that your research is so varied. The way you’re working with archives and historical documents mixed with anecdotes and maps and physical experience of that mapped space is so fantastic. Your project already has so much depth. What are you going to discover next?!

    1. Annie W. says:

      Stay tuned!

  4. EPittman says:

    Hi Annie! I love that you are following “The Rambler’s” methodology. I am so fascinated by the practices of telling history through embodied methods. I’ll send you an email with some citations for articles that might enhance your research. There is an “Underground Railroad Exeperience Trail” in Montgomery County that might interest you. I’ll send the link in my email.

    I love that you are sharing photographs to document your discoveries. Your account brought to mind several questions: How might walking through your neighborhood bring the past and present into alignment? How do they meet through the questions you are posing? What can we do now to honor or attest to the ways some histories are erased as new inhabitants build their homes and communities? What would a memorial to Odrick’s life include? Could there be space for education (like the plaque), some kind of practice, or something else that hasn’t quite been imagined yet? Other than the foundation stones, are there other artefacts that could be located by an archaeologist? If so, how might these be restored to Odrick’s descendants?

    I know you are probably thinking of some of these questions, too. Make sure you write down your observations and reflections in a notebook or notes doc. 🙂

    1. Annie W. says:

      Oh my, I will look up that trail right now. I have also written down all these questions 🙂

  5. Jacob J. says:

    Wow, it’s amazing how much history can be found so close to home! I can’t wait to hear all about Alfred Odrick in your final presentation.

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