UPPER POHICK COMMUNITY LEAGUE
The Sydenstricker School & Community League was the original "PTA" of the schoolhouse, and began meeting around 1900 after the construction of the original schoolhouse. After the schoolhouse closed in 1939 the League continued meeting to discuss community issues, and in the late 1940s they reorganized as the The Upper Pohick Community League (UPCL).
The first official meeting of the UPCL was held in September 1948. The League purchased the schoolhouse at public auction, and was formally incorporated on July 26, 1954. It was the first neighborhood association in the area, tying together families who lived in the rural Upper Pohick / South Hunt Valley area of Springfield, VA.
The schoolhouse was truly the hub of social activities in our community. Holiday parties, square dances, picnics and “box dinners” were frequent events at the schoolhouse, often in collaboration with the Sydenstricker Church. In the 1950s, the Upper Pohick Community League held popular fall “Turkey Shoots” where, for a small fee, the community could shoot at targets from the schoolhouse windows. According to a press release in October 1956, “[i]n a very successful shoot, several turkeys and hams, and side prizes of bacon, were awarded winners from among the sixty-odd ladies and gentlemen attending.”
The League was involved in other local matters, such as raising money for local schools, the location of the Springfield post office (1949), the site for the Fairfax Hospital (1956), the name of the new Springfield high school (1958), and location of a proposed branch of the University of Virginia (1958). League members also participated in the Mother’s March on Polio, a Heart Fund drive, and a Cancer drive to raise money for these worthy causes. The March 1955 UPCL monthly news bulletin proudly reported that the Upper Pohick community had the highest proportion of blood donors in all of Springfield.
In 1957, the League drove its “Litter Buggy” in the annual Springfield Fourth of July parade, and in 1958 it contributed money towards fireworks and sponsored a float in the parade. The Springfield Independent remarked that “Springfield’s Greatest Ever” Fourth of July celebration was a joint effort of the Springfield-Franconia Chamber of Commerce, the Upper Pohick Community League, the Springfield Estates Civic Association, and other area businessmen.
More recently the League has shifted its focus to the maintenance and preservation of the Schoolhouse. Our annual activities include a spring and fall bake sale (in conjunction with the Friends of Sydenstricker Schoolhouse Yard Sale), summer picnic, clean-up days, a holiday party, and quarterly meetings. We also perform community outreach activities, such as Teacher Appreciation events at our local schools.
In the past decade, members have researched, collected photos, talked with former students of the schoolhouse and reviewed League documents to compile a more complete history of the building. In March 2015 the UPCL was given permission by a local developer to rescue photos and documents from the abandoned former home of David B. Hall, an early President of the UPCL, prior to demolition. Among the items retrieved from the home were the earliest known interior photographs of the schoolhouse from the 1950s. The UPCL maintains an archive of documents and photographs that chronicle the early development of the Springfield area in the 20th century.
The Upper Pohick Community League has always had a strong commitment to serving our community. Recently, the schoolhouse has been used for a debate between state senate candidates and has hosted district council meetings. The League has also made the building available for non-profit groups for HOA meetings and as a rehearsal location for a local non-profit theater company. Membership dues help support these activities which benefit our entire community, as well as paying for utilities, insurance and basic maintenance of the schoolhouse.
The Upper Pohick Community League is the oldest continually operating community association in Springfield, Virginia, and among the oldest in Fairfax County. The UPCL is a 501(c)4 community organization. Our membership is open to all. Please join us!
Click here to join the UPCL, or to renew your membership: