“Sometimes, people move to a neighborhood where the lots are big because they don’t want to have anything to do with their neighbors,” said Dan Sullivan, 47, a stay-at-home dad who has lived in Potomac Falls for three years. “It’s true that it’s private, physically speaking. But at the same time, there is a real palpable desire for social interaction, and a real cohesive, close knit-community, which we would not have anticipated before moving in.”
Sullivan is one of many Potomac Falls residents to tout the neighborhood’s many social events, which include get-togethers at nearby Old Angler’s Inn; informal potluck meals or coffee klatches at residents’ homes, and annual events sponsored by the Potomac Falls Homeowners Association such as the annual Fourth of July picnic, which is often attended by more than 200 people.
“When someone new moves in, it doesn’t take long for them to get to know their neighbors,” said Katie Clark Glasgow, 56, a senior financial adviser for Merrill Lynch who moved to the neighborhood with her husband, Glenn, in 1986. “There’s usually a knock on the door with brownies and an invitation to some of the social events we have going on.”
Glenn Glasgow, 55, first moved to the neighborhood at age 14, when his family bought one of the first houses built by W.C. & A.N. Miller. He said the sense of community in the 262-home neighborhood off Falls Road in Potomac has been present since the beginning, even if many of the houses are changing.
“I recently talked to an older gentleman who lived near Potomac Falls when the first model home was built, and he says he told his wife, ‘We have to go over there and see what a $100,000 house looks like,’ ” said Glenn Glasgow, who owns a handyman business. “It’s funny to see people today building bigger, more magnificent homes to replace what I as a teenager viewed as the most magnificent homes I’d ever seen.”
Though some residents have torn down the neighborhood’s original houses — mostly brick Colonials or traditional farmhouse-style homes — some residents moved to Potomac Falls specifically because the houses were low-key and not ostentatious.
“We are very much against the McMansion-type look, and when we moved here from New Jersey 10 years ago, we found many of the neighborhoods in Virginia to be overbuilt,” said Ruth Suttle, 52, president of the Potomac Falls Homeowners Association. “Some friends suggested this neighborhood, and we felt a tremendous sense of relief to drive in and see the kind of simple, understated homes we were looking for.”