Fairfax County police called it "the Clatterbuck Estates" in honor of the family of three men who since May have made their home in a tree house, makeshift tent and a hut made out of old automobile tires in a field off Richmond Highway.
Yesterday afternoon police closed down the "estates," saying that the family was trespassing with their squatters' home near Mount Vernon.
"I don't know how I'm going to make it back in civilization," groused Carl Clatterbuck, 22, as Fairfax County police directed him and his brother, Chuck, to vacate the field.
"We're squatters!" Carl Clatterbuck shouted. "Urban hillbillies!
"We kind of got used to it back there, with the foxes coming around at night and all," he said. "I'm a little bit sad to be leaving, you know."
Neither the residents of the area nor the owners of the field, who want it cleared for town houses, said they were saddened by the family's departure.
The Clatterbucks and their father, Charles Sr., are well known for their habit of doing jumping jack exercises in the middle of the street and their creative housing.
"There have been a lot of problems with them," said Sharon Kelson, executive director of United Community Agencies. The welfare agency, located across the street from the field, has tried for nearly a year to help the Clatterbucks, she said.
The two brothers said -- and police confirmed -- that they had been arrested numerous times for public drunkenness.
"We just got kicked out of too many hotels," said Chuck Clatterbuck, 23, with a grin. "Too much partying. So we just brought our stuff right over here."
"Now that I know they are living there, and now that I know the sort of conditions they've been living in, I don't want them there at all again ever," said Samuel J. Rosenstein, a partner in the company that owns the land.
Rosenstein said he was served earlier this week with notice from both the county health department and police that the Clatterbucks and their frequent visitors constituted both a health and safety hazard. The county, Rosenstein said, ordered the Clatterbucks removed.
"We ain't never been bothered by anyone before," said Carl Clatterbuck. He said police visited regularly. "They just used to come back and say, 'How you doin', you ol' Clatterbucks?' "
Moments before being evicted, the brothers gave a brief tour of their home -- three "rooms" connected by a beer can littered path, hacked out of a field on Fordson Road next to the Mount Vernon Plaza Shopping Center.
Pointing proudly to a tree house, Chuck Clatterbuck said: "We slept up there every night, three, four months."
And gesturing to the low hutch of automobile tires arranged around a grill, he said: "That's where we used to party and keep warm."
The Clatterbuck brothers, both of whom are unemployed, were rousted so quickly about 4 p.m. yesterday that they didn't have time to take their tent, their grill or their mattress. They said their father was working in Washington at the time and probably would rejoin them last night.
"Tonight, we'll probably just hit the woods again," said Carl Clatterbuck as he and his brother headed down the road with two coolers stuffed with blankets and clothes.
"But not here," he said, nodding at the field that had been home.