The thing I first noticed upon making an actual visit to this place was: It actually has a babbling brook. If you walk along the path toward the western end of Georgetown Park, I found that the level of water complemented the scattered rocks strewn in its bed so as to maintain a constant ‘chatter.’ Pretty cool, I thought. The usually humble Town Branch pretty much parallels the W and OD Trail in this section of the community; maybe the ‘running water’ encourages the small army of joggers, bikers and walkers out here to keep moving along.
The Park seemed larger to me than just its official half-acre, maybe due to its elongated configuration – stretching east and west, with those lines of liquid, grass, brick and blacktop emphasizing its length. Now, I’m not sure if there really is a traffic-free time of day along this part of King Street, so you need to look both ways if you decide to cross over to the other side of the bridge; I was drawn to the more ‘non-vehicular’ sections of the location, with some mature trees, landscaped flower beds, walking trails and benches. The natural amenities here offer a bit more of a sense of seclusion the further you get from the ‘main drag’ out near the little bridge. If I had to get any serious reading done out here, I’d opt for one of the benches along South Street, rather than the more exposed specimens: Even Herman Melville wouldn’t stand much of a chance against all the distracting movement out on the road. But, on the other hand, if one wanted to select a prime viewing point for one of the local events which pass this way every several months – the annual Halloween, Fourth of July and Christmas Parades – well, then – give me one of those vantage points as close as possible to King Street – to be able to look the participants in the eye and cheer them on in their progress. Having participated in many of these marches – on foot and by motor – I always found it a refreshing bit of the journey to pass over the Town Branch at this spot. Even the daily motorists throughout the rest of the year may find it just a wee bit of a respite in their commute – sliding past this slip of a Park in a brief moment – then returning to the rigors of other traffic along the way.
And, in another variety of passing by, imagine the march of time over the past several centuries – as seen from this same bridge along King Street. How it must have looked – back in 1757 – for instance – when the original founders divvied up the first 60 acres – 70 lots – which they – on first inspiration – dubbed ‘George Town?’ Officially renamed Leesburg the following year – imagine the tumult in the community – and let’s just say this present-day Georgetown Park spot in particular – during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 (when Leesburg – for a flickering moment in our nation’s history – served as an impromptu site for the National Archives of the then-young United States), the lengthy years of the Civil War (when this same County Seat of Loudoun reportedly exchanged hands – between the North and South – some hundred and fifty times), then across the days of what we now call ‘modern warfare’ of World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the Post 9/11 days of today. Then – consider the restorative times of peaceful healing for humankind – as seen from this one small spot in the Historic District of a place we once knew as George Town: the days of the Declaration of Independence, the Inaugurations of our greatest Presidents, the Emancipation Proclamation and continued struggle for rights, privileges and dignity for all peoples, the inspiration for and implementation of the Marshall Plan – drawn up by one of the more prominent of our Town’s residents (with Dodona Manor just several stones’ throws away from this same Georgetown Park site), or the Monroe Doctrine (penned a few miles down the Old Carolina Road) – and, very humbly I lastly submit this recent narrative – knocked out on my home keyboard barely a half-mile from our beloved Georgetown Park – and the entire cycle completed by your gracious reading of same.
Now – who’s to describe this local feature as a mere half-acre of land – barely 20 yards wide – when it’s participated thusly in our lives? I give you Georgetown Park, Leesburg Virginia.