Seven Acres of Heaven
By: M. Callahan
The Annandale Swim and Tennis Club began life in 1954 as the Annandale Recreation Center, when the 7 acre property, on Little River Turnpike, was organized into a formal company. The former dilapidated house and decaying barns had been swept away; the Payne-Oliver Concrete Company had poured the concrete and built the pool; and, a sign was posted proclaiming that a Swimming Pool, a Community Hall, a Softball Field and Tennis Court, a Skating Rink and Playground would be built. Shares of stock were sold for $100 each, with funds channeled toward purchasing land and constructing facilities. Twenty five hundred shares were eventually sold until the 1990’s, when a different corporate structure was developed.
The first membership register reads like the Who’s Who of Annandale. Familiar names such as Ortolani, Ange, Carry, Travis, Carrico, Albright, Cirillo, Butz, and Adams jump off the page. At first, stock was hard to sell, but within a year, an ever increasing waiting list developed. A volunteer Board of Directors, led by Mrs. W.W. McNamara, arranged for the dedication of the largest community swimming pool in the entire Metropolitan Washington area on Saturday, September 24, 1955, as part of the Annandale Days Celebration.
At 10:00 AM, on the grounds of the Annandale Recreation Center, a Dog Show was held with 2 prizes of merchandise certificates, awarded by Judge Frank S. Deane, to each of the following classes: Sporting Dogs, Non-sporting Dogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Toy Dogs, Terriers and Best Dressed Dog (Child’s entry). Even then, Annandale loved her dogs. At 11:15 AM, the Club dedication commenced, with Mrs. McNamara reporting that, “The softball field has seen much activity, and the first wing of the Community Center Building, known as the TEENSPOT, is almost complete. This has been a miracle of faith and hard work.”
Today, the Annandale Swim and Tennis Club enjoys a diversified membership, with some member families into their fourth generation. The Club offers a very reasonable 1st year membership at $350. Thereafter, annual rates are based on family size, up to 5 people, ranging from $260 to $520 for the entire season. Currently, there is no waiting list for membership. Amenities include a large canopied BBQ area where many families are known to meet for dinner. An intriguing playground, reminiscent of a fairy tale castle, basketball courts, tennis courts, toddler, intermediary, and full size pools, snack bar, and bath house grace the property. An unexpected, but stunning aspect of the Annandale Swim and Tennis Club, are the extensive picnic and play grounds canopied under the most glorious and ancient trees. Shaded serenity and solitude are easily achieved, as are frivolity and team sports closer to the water’s edge. Since only half the acreage has been developed, the remaining acres serve as a superb privacy barrier. Located just three streets from the Beltway, and one hundred yards from Little River, the peaceful calm, the tranquility, are unimaginable.
The Club offers a number of services and wholesome activities for kids and families alike. Swimming lessons and a tennis program are available to members as well as non members. The Club sponsors the Annandale Red Tide swim team, currently the Division 14 champions with a 5-0 record and a dive team. Team members and parents prize sportsmanship and team spi it more than anything else, and enjoy hosting meets since their facility offers a stunning 270 degree view and stadium effect seating.
Tennis camps are conducted for eight weeks, five days per week, during June and July. Various skill levels are addressed from tots with their own size balls, racquets, and nets, to teenagers mastering a much more advanced state of play. Besides the necessary training lessons, contests and games are utilized to further improve skills, leading up to an end of season tournament.
Featured events include Ladies Night, Family Movie Night, and the very popular Wednesday Pot Luck Dinners. One of the most well attended and universally enjoyed traditions is the Club’s Year-End Pig Roast, held on Labor Day. A time-honored pit is dug for the 105 pound main course. Roasting commences at 5:00 AM and continues slowly for twelve hours. The tantalizing aroma of the succulent pig is enhanced by the BBQ chicken, while many side dishes are volunteered by member families.
“The future looks bright for the Annandale Swim and Tennis Club,” explains Steve Nary, a member of the Club’s Board of Directors. Since the Club struck a land lease on a portion of their property with Wendy’s, Nary explains, “Our financial future has been secured, we still have enormous expansion room, and we are seeing membership coming from the entire demographic spectrum in Annandale.” Mr. Nary and Club President, Matt McDonald, invite all interested residents to view the Club’s website, and contact them with any questions about membership. All are welcome.
Annandale Swim and Tennis Club
7530 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003
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(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)
Annandale Swim and Tennis Club: 2014
(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. Photos are from the ACC photo archive with all rights of use reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)