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About Steve Knoblock

I am an Arlington, Virginia web developer and programmer, who has founded and built websites since 1995. I've lived in Arlington most of my life, and Brandymore Castle is a local feature.

  • Steve Knoblock is developer and co-founder of, a social network connecting people to farm and garden.
  • I am a member of the Folkstreams advisory board and main developer for Folkstreams (, a non-profit archive of American documentary films.

You can contact me through my contact form.

I founded my first website in August of 1995, City Gallery on the first commercial web hosting provider, Webcom. Eventually, the site moved to pairNetworks, where it has been hosted for ten years. I've not had time to work on the site in recent years, but maybe sometime I will get the time.

Since the early 2000's I've been a member of the advisory board and main developer for Folkstreams (, a non-profit, grant supported archive, streaming service and online community for documentary films about American vernacular culture (folk life). It is both a respectable place to work and a labor of love. I developed the platform and community features of the site. In 2008, I am continuing to add new features. I work with a team of great people who digitize the films, create the streams, maintain the streaming server and a million other things that make the site work.

I am responsible for all technical matters at Folkstreams except for the HTML and video (I've started to do a little video work recently). I administrate the database and make the programs that retrieve data from the database to generate web pages using predefined templates on demand. I hope to have the opportunity to improve the design and markup sometime.

I founded in 2007 along with Tom Davenport, a farmer and internationally recognized filmmaker, founder and project director of the project, who operates a multi-generational family farm (Hollin Farms) in Delaplane, Virginia. My connection to agriculture comes through my grandfather, who was a photographer for the Department of Agriculture in the 1920s.

What and Where is Brandymore Castle?

Wondering where Brandymore Castle is? Read on!

Brandymore Castle is a limestone outcrop on top of a small hill just below Four Mile Run known to surveyors in colonial times. Originally the outcrop was larger than it is now and due to extensive farming most trees would have been cleared for miles around. The limestone would have been brilliant in the sunlight and visible for a long distance in the surrounding area. The outcrop was known to surveyors and used by them as a landmark. Today the limestone has deteriorated due to weathering (there are many broken boulders in stages of tumbling down the hillside) and vandalism (evidence of fires, bashed rocks, etc. from teenage parties). Brandymore is wedged in between I-66 and the houses of a small mid-century subdivision and covered by foliage. The Arlington Historical Society has a page on the North Roosevelt Street at Four Mile Run location.

I am standing at the Brandymore Castle historic marker in Arlington County, VA, winter 2000. On the left is the Interstate 66 sound wall and on the right you can just make out the dirt path leading uphill to the Brandymore Castle site. The bike trail runs past the opening and you would not know anything is there in passing by. The actual "castle" is limestone outcrop atop a hill. The hill contains a small sub-division of homes around a cul-de-sac in back of the site. The outcrop has greatly deteriorated from its glory days in the 1700s from weathering and abuse. (Photo by Charles B. Knoblock, Olympus D340R)

This landmark was first described in 1724 by surveyor Charles Broadwater as "The Rock Stones called Brandymore Castle." Research (chronicled in "The Rediscovery of Brandymore Castle") in 1972 established that the natural formation matched the boundary descriptions on the 18th century land grants from Lord Fairfax to William Gunnel, James Going and Simon Pearson, George Harrison, John Caryle and John Dalton, and Caption Charles Broadwater. The origin of the name "Brandymore" is unknown, but this rocky outcrop resembles the collapsed battlements of an old castle with Four Mile Run serving as a moat.---info mostly from Historic Arlington, 1976 the historic marker and other sources. The site is located at the corner of North Nelson Street and Four Mile Run. The grants can be seen on my land grant website whiteoak.

The Castle exists on land once owned by the Gunnell Family of Fairfax, VA. I am a descendant of the Fairfax Gunnells. Although not part of my ancestral line, the Brandymore tract was divided between two Gunnell sisters. Although it represents an important connection to my family history, that is not why this site was named after it. I named my personal website after the landmark because it represents imagination, an important quality of being human. There is no Brandymore Castle, other than in the imagination of eighteenth century surveyors who looked at a limestone outcrop and saw a castle.