Alexandria is a beautiful city in Virginia, close to Washington D.C. This city has its historical aspects, but also reflects the larger economic growth of the country itself. One such example in Alexandria is the Eisenhower Valley. This neighborhood was once known as the Cameron Valley and runs through the area known as Cameron Run.
In the 1790s, this was the site of the Cameron Mills, which produced flour, feed and meal. The mills were open for business until 1919. During the mid-19th century, one of the mills was converted into a pumping station for use by the Alexandria Water Company. This pumping station remained active well into the 20th century. The other mill was destroyed in a fire. The area’s potential for development was tapped by Hubert Hoffman. He bought up land, anticipating the building of the Capital Beltway. Today, Eisenhower Valley is covered by the Hoffman Town Center development.
Hoffman was so fundamental to the growth in the area that he was interred in a mausoleum that was built behind the Holiday Inn he added to the neighborhood in 1966. Yet, by the 1980s, it was clear that the region had shifted away from farming and was heavily industrial. Several landowners banded together to lobby for a new interchange off the Beltway. This allowed the neighborhood to increase both its commercial and residential aspects throughout the 1990s.
Today, the Eisenhower Valley, along with its companion neighborhoods, has become a commercial corridor. However, it still maintains its industrial roots, including being home to a rail yard, sanitation facility, energy plant and even a scrap yard.
One of the neighborhood’s boundaries is the Alexandria National Cemetery, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is one of the original national cemeteries that was established by the United States in 1862. Today, it is maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This cemetery was almost completely full by 1864, which led to the development of the famous Arlington Cemetery.
Additionally, residents can enjoy the Cameron Run Regional Park, with its adjacent Lake Cook. The park features a full 18-hole miniature golf course, batting cages and even a waterpark. As part of the water park, there is a toddler pool, water slides and even a wave pool. The park itself is maintained by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Finally, the valley itself was named for former U.S. President Dwight E. Eisenhower. The main road of the area is Eisenhower Avenue, which is marked by a statue of the former president in his army uniform at the center of a local traffic circle. The statue also represents the official starting point of the highway system that was championed by Eisenhower and is still in use by Americans today.
The neighborhood itself reflects a mix of cultures and economics, due to both the industrial and commercial aspects, as well as its close proximity to Washington D.C. Residents here truly enjoy a life with plenty of opportunities to explore in this beautiful valley.