2501 N. Underwood St.
Date: Built 1892
Current Use of Property: Residential
The George Crossman House is one of the oldest surviving homes in the East Falls Church neighborhood and was associated with one of Arlington’s most successful early-20th century dairy farms. It was constructed in 1892. By 1901, George Crossman’s dairy farm was well established and he often earned distinction for having top-producing cows within his herd. In May 1928, Crossman’s award-winning herd produced 1,348 pounds of milk and 66.1 pounds of butterfat. The farm’s dairy products were purchased by neighbors and sold to the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Association. The house remained in the Crossman family for three generations until 1954.
The original property was situated on 60 acres and included two barns, a garage, a hog pen and a windmill. Today, the property consists of only one-third of an acre. Until 1935, North Underwood Street was known as Crossman Street. The Crossman property was subdivided as Tuckahoe Gardens in April 1954. Tuckahoe Elementary School, Tuckahoe Park, and Bishop D.J. O’Connell High School were subsequently built on land to the east that originally was part of the Crossman dairy farm. A large portion of the original farm has since been consumed by Interstate 66.
The Crossman House is a well-preserved example of a Late Victorian vernacular farmhouse with two stories, T-shaped plan and cross-gable roof. It clearly exhibits characteristics of both the Queen Anne and folk Victorian styles. Such traits include the asymmetrical plan, dominant front-facing gable, and use of patterned wood shingles, weatherboards, and projecting bays to give texture to the exterior walls and decorate the gable ends. The Crossman House also boasts simple wooden door and window surrounds and period stained-glass windows.
The Crossman House resembles the type of house that was available through mail-order catalogs in the late-19th century. Throughout the nation in the 1870s and 1880s, the Queen Anne style was advertised in pattern books and architectural magazines. The house is in excellent condition and has been little altered since it was constructed in 1892.
George Grant Crossman
George Grant Crossman built the house and operated a dairy farm on the property. The home was completed by the time he married Nellie Dodge on April 7, 1892. During his residency at the property, George Crossman was a successful and reputable dairy farmer. Like his father, he also served as a trustee of the Oakwood Cemetery Association. The Crossmans deeded ownership of the farmhouse to their son, William C. Crossman, Sr., on April 18, 1941.
Isaac Crossman purchased the original 126-acre parcel of land in 1864 when he moved to Virginia from Pennsylvania. He was a prominent figure in the development of the neighboring Town of Falls Church and served as an alderman for the first Falls Church City Council when the city was incorporated in 1875. The Crossman United Methodist Church, to which the family belonged and served, was built on land donated by Crossman. Active in business and commerce, Isaac Crossman was a director on the board of the Fairfax and Georgetown Turnpike Railway and was an incorporator in the Falls Church and Potomac Railway Company. Isaac also served as a trustee of Oakwood Cemetery in Falls Church and played an integral role in transferring the cemetery from Methodist to public ownership. By 1890, he was considered one of the principal farmers of the Falls Church area. In that year, he deeded 60 acres to his son, George.
William Crossman lived in the home from his birth in 1895 until 1954, a period of nearly 60 years. In his youth, he helped his father operate the dairy farm, eventually becoming the owner, operator and manager. When he retired in 1949, the Crossman Farm was one of the last working dairy farms in Arlington County. William continued the family’s association with Oakwood Cemetery by serving as superintendent from approximately 1949 to 1975. He sold the property in 1954.