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Olander & Margaret Banks

Olander Banks, Sr., was born on June 30, 1922 in Danville, VA to the late Annetta Richardson and Algie H. Banks. As a young boy growing up in the city of Alexandria, Olander's entrepreneurial spirit was born, selling ice at 4:00 AM. This spirit grew with him into his adulthood: first, purchasing Alexandria homes and renting them, then, establishing the Zero Cab taxi service, and then, a trucking business . A short time later, Banks Auto Parts at 718 North Henry Street in Alexandria was established. This business would provide means for his family, careers for many brothers, cousins, and a large number of family members and friends. 

In 1941, Olander married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret L. Banks. Margaret was born January 22, 1924 to Ella and Abraham Lomax. She attended public school in the city of Alexandria. Margaret was best known for her quick wit, and candid sense of humor. She was always a no frills woman–"Magaree" as she was affectionately called by friends and loved ones, was content just staying home gardening, or, she would say, "pidlin" around the house. She was both a loving wife and mother, always thinking of others and doing the best she could. 

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The Banks Family Home

When Olander Banks, Sr. and Margaret Lomax Banks purchased the valley property in 1957–known today as the Olander and Marget Banks Park– it was nothing more than an open gravel lot. Then in 1961, Mrs. Banks suggested to her husband that they use the vacant land to build a home for their growing family. With much love, labor, and a few faithful friends, the couple built a 27-room house to enjoy with their nine children: six sons, Olander Jr. Cardell, Michael, Gregory R., Ronald, and Kenneth; and three daughters, Deborah, Bernadette, and Carolyn. 

 

For more than four decades, Mr. and Mrs. Banks transformed the grounds into a peaceful oasis in the heart of Fairfax County. The property held notable characteristics, distinguished by an outer white fence, accessible iron gates, a terraced hillside, and mature soft and hard wood trees. Still It was a place of communion for friends, family, and community members.

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At the turn of the century, Mr. Banks chose to remember and honor his wife Margaret by sharing the estate his family had created with the community. To this end, in August 2001, the Fairfax County Park Authority was given the land for recreation. The Olander & Margaret Banks Park symbolizes the hope and faith shared by the Banks family. Through the Banks' generosity and love of nature, you are free to enjoy the peace, quiet, and beauty of the park.

Olander & Margaret Banks Park

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