The History of Sugarland Run
Have you ever wondered how Sugarland Run got its name? In 1692, Governor Sir Francis Nicholson commissioned David Strahan, along with his Rangers of Potomac, to scout the area for possible Indian activity. During one of these scouting expeditions, Strahan and his Rangers noticed a juice on the maple trees. The Rangers found this strange substance to have a sticky, molasses-like, texture. Over the days they watched the juice turn into a hard candy. Curiosity led the Rangers to taste this crystallized juice. They found this substance to be very sweet — like sugar. So, the explorers began to refer to this area as the Sugarlands. David Strahan and his Rangers are believed to be the first explorers to enter Loudoun County.
The original Sugarlands encompassed a broader area than today’s 541 acre Sugarland Run. The Sugarlands had quite a few owners. Captain Daniel McCarty of Westmoreland received the first land grant in Loudoun County which included the Sugarlands. The McCartys owned most of the land through the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, Charles Eskridge, Clerk of Loudoun Court, obtained ownership. The land next became the property of John Austin in 1857. Mr. Austin paid $8,120 for 427 acres of what is most of today’s Sugarland Run community. In 1868, the land was willed to John’s wife Jane. Jane gave the Sugarland Run tract to her daughter Georgia Carper. During this period of time the Sugarlands were known as Carper. The familiar Route 637 leading to Carper was known as Scott’s Road or Scott’s Landing. Scott was the caretaker of the warehouses on Carper. During the Civil War, Route 637 was also known as Rowzie’s Ford Road. The Sugarlands stayed in the Carper family until 1919.
In 1919, Page Wrenn bought Carper (475 acres) for $14,000. Wrenn also – farmed the land with corn, wheat, oats, rye, and sortie livestock. Wrenn was forced to sell Carper in 1929 due to the stock market crash. Mr. Wrenn took a loss on the land, selling it for only $13,250.
During the Depression, Carper had several owners. One of the more lively owners was an Oklahoman. The Okie enjoyed showgirls and airplanes, and is believed to have been one of the first to own an airplane in Loudoun. He was known to have frequent crashes, always walking away from them. The neighbors didn’t have much sympathy when the plane wrecked because he would land it almost anywhere.
In 1937, Carper was bought by a more stable owner, John T. Hepner. Mr. Hepner was able to purchase Carper for $7,500 from the bank. John Hepner was a cavalry man in charge of the remount station at Fort Royal. Oliver Hepner, John’s brother, farmed Carper. Oliver converted the warehouses into barns and started a dairy farm. Thirty years later, in 1967, the last stock of cows were sold. The Hepners gained a profit of over one million dollars selling to Louis Zuckerman and Gerard Luria, owners of Shadyside, a Maryland developing company.
In April of 1969, Shadyside sold out to Boise Cascade Building Corporation. Boise Cascade executives dreamed of a planned community and the logical name of the community was Sugarland Run. Loudoun County Planning Commissioners worked with Boise Cascade, and together developed a ‘planned community with the added assistance of some California firms. By January of 1971, the first homes were ready for occupancy. Sheila and Leslie Clark, along with their three children and pets were the first Sugarland Run residents at 30 Thrush Road.
Today, Sugarland Run has a total of 1,027 single family homes, and 1,035 townhomes.
Source: Loudoun Times-Mirror, April 2, 1981 edition.