Not Paris  LbNA # 25235 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 4 2006
Location???, VA
Found By ???
Last Found Feb 24 2008
Hike Distance?


I planted this box in honor of the historic neighborhood where I live, and I decided to make it a bit of a mystery box since it would be almost too easy to find otherwise (it won’t be mystery to anyone familiar with the area). Once you’ve identified the neighborhood, this can be considered a drive-by.

Some history:

1916. The “war to end all wars” was being fought in Europe. In the U.S., the war effort was in full swing. Workers were moving around the country to fill jobs manufacturing trucks, planes, ships, and munitions. At one shipyard the increased production led to such an influx of workers that the surrounding communities simply could not provide housing for all the men who had come there to work. Rentals were so scarce that men were often sleeping 10 or 12 to a room, and the stress of the housing shortage was affecting production. The situation became so dire that the president of the shipyard went to Washington to ask for assistance and in response, the US Shipping Board provided emergency funding and authorization to create a comprehensive workers housing program. A tract of land was donated and one of the finest town planners of the time, Henry Hubbard, was contracted to plan the community. Hubbard, along with architect Francis Joannes, designed a complete community of over 400 English cottage-style homes surrounded by a village with churches, schools, a fire department, and community halls. The planners wanted the community to last beyond the immediate need and created state-of-the-art homes with indoor plumbing, electricity, and generous yards. After the war ended, the individual lots were sold, mostly to the shipyard families who were already living in them. The area was declared an historic district in the 1970s and still retains its distinctive style and neighborhood feel.

Geographically, the historic village is not large, about 5 blocks in each direction. You’ll want to find the main street and head southeast, away from the commercial area. The main street terminates at the community’s elementary school, in a T intersection with the river road. Turn right there. Just past the school entrance is a ravine which is euphemistically referred to as the community park. (there is no sidewalk on that side of the road, so watch for traffic)

Take the first path off the road the down into the park.
You’ll see something that you might (if you are generous) call an amphitheater and a wooden foot bridge.

Cross the foot bridge, bear to the right, and follow the path. There is a small stream that will be on your right all the way along. You’ll pass (but not cross) another bridge and go around a large tree in the path.

When it seems that the path is almost at its end, look to where the stream emanates from a culvert (depending on the time of year and accumulated rainfall you may even hear it)

Make your way down towards the culvert. There is a shelf of concrete helping to secure the bank. The box is under the eroded edge of the concrete, it should be a bit to the left of where your feet probably are. USE GLOVES! There’s no telling what else may have taken up residence under there.

Be discreet when stamping in, the path and hiding place are actually in view of the road. Please be sure to place the box out of sight when you are finished, if it’s visible to any passersby it will disappear for sure.

Some more historic clues, in case you haven’t figured it out.

1. The town where this is located is named, in part, after the captain of the expedition which founded the first permanent English speaking colony in North America.

2. At the entrance to the neighborhood, the main street intersects with a street named after Robert Rich, a 17th century English colonial administrator (to be specific, the street is named after Rich’s earldom)