Just past the William & Mary dorms along Jamestown Road in Williamsburg I turned into my childhood neighborhood of Indian Springs on the way to sign the listing agreement for 300 Indian Springs Road, an exceptional brick traditional home. I was excited that the owners had called on Hornsby Real Estate Co. to market the property not only because it’s such a great home, but because it brings back fond memories of growing up in Indian Springs.
Indian Springs is a classic neighborhood in the City of Williamsburg created by Carrie and Monier Williams during the 1940’s when they developed their farm into lots. They were ahead of their time in the design of the streets and building lots because they created two circles, loop roads that joined together with lots on both sides of the street. In this design the lots in the centers of the circles back on circular common areas shared by the property owners in Indian Springs. Over the years the residents built recreational facilities in these common areas. My dad, Robert Hornsby, built a basketball court and tennis backboard that is still used by the neighborhood kids. Other neighbors have installed swing sets and fun stuff in the circles, and this continues to foster a true spirit of camaraderie in the neighborhood of Indian Springs.
Local lore indicates that Indian Springs got its name from a group of natural springs where the English colonists discovered local Indians gathering fresh water near the early settlement of Middle Plantation, which would later become Williamsburg.
Another reason I was excited to visit 300 Indian Springs Road is that the backyard used to have a grassy area adjoining a slope that led down into the woods next door where the Indian Springs had been located. I was curious to see if there was any remaining evidence of this ancient water feature.
I had not been to the springs since I was a boy, when my friends and I would run back through those woods and wade across a little stream to a small island to reach the Indian Springs. The high bank behind the springs was clay that had been worn away to form what seemed to us to be shallow caves. The springs bubbled up out of the ground and we would crawl around in the “caves” and play “indian camp” and do all sorts of exploring. We would also take wood and mud and dam up the stream and then come home covered with muddy clay from the Indian Springs.
As I walked back through the yard at 300 Indian Springs Road I was happily amazed to discover that the Indian Springs are still there!
In the 50 years since my last visit the surrounding properties display more mature landscaping and there are now small bridges across the stream leading to the island. Neighbors have outlined paths to reach the bridges and the clay bank “caves” are no longer evident since they are now stabilized with periwinkle and Virginia creeper. The site of the Indian Springs is now a peaceful forest glade where the freshwater springs still bubble out of the ground like they have for centuries.
The home I have listed at 300 Indian Springs Road is beautiful, and has been exquisitely maintained by a couple that collects antiques. They are consolidating their collection and we are currently selling this home in Indian Springs with an asking price of $699,000, a strong bargain and $116,000 less than the last sale price in 2006. Let me know if you would like to come to Williamsburg and create your own memories in this historic location across from the College of William & Mary just 5 blocks from Merchant’s Square and Colonial Williamsburg.