THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
                 Copyright (c) 1994, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: SATURDAY, June 25, 1994                    TAG: 9406240429 
DATELINE: 940625                                 LENGTH: Long 


{LEAD} Oliver's Farm Market, a store on Haygood Road, is one of the last vestiges of the farm C. Gordon Oliver and his family owned on land that is now Haygood Point.

After decades of raising crops, the Olivers began raising homes on the property in the early 1970s. Today the neighborhood, along the wooded shores of Lake Smith, contains 249 houses. Most are brick Colonials, with a few ranches and other styles, developed through the '70s and '80s.

{REST} Besides Lake Smith, a smaller, 20- to 25-acre lake serves as a community focal point. Originally dug as a borrow pit, it averages 10 to 12 feet deep and is home to several types of fish and birds.

Aside from the store, owned by Oliver's son Stuart, Haygood Point maintains one other tie to its past: C. Gordon Oliver's widow, Hazel, lives in a 6,130-square-foot home at the end of a cul-de-sac, with the tranquil waters of Lake Smith just across her back yard.

Haygood Point's waterfront helped persuade Bob and Beverly Claffy to buy a three-quarter acre lot in the community for $40,000 in 1981. Lake Smith is behind the couple's house, and they can view the smaller lake from their front yard.

For three years after buying the lot, the Claffys watched the neighborhood take shape from the adjacent Lake Smith Terrace community, which shares a civic league with Haygood Point. In 1984, the couple built a three-bedroom custom home, now assessed at $236,096, they said.

Over the years, the Claffys have made several improvements to the property. These include adding a bulkhead, deck, swimming pool and underground sprinkler system.

``You can't beat this area,'' Beverly Claffy said.

The couple is fond of the area's abundant wildlife, including egrets, herons, raccoons and even pelicans. They enjoy the convenience of the nearby shopping centers and hospital, along with the neighborhood's peacefulness and privacy.

``We have the best of both worlds,'' Bob Claffy says.

Though many of the neighborhood's original owners remain, a growing number of young families have moved in. More may follow, the Claffys say: Their three sons, now grown, all hope to return to Haygood Point one day.

Haygood Point Road, the neighborhood's main street, was unpaved in 1976, when Karen and Harry Solomon Jr. bought one of the first homes on a side street for $83,000.

``We were really in the frontier,'' Karen Solomon says.

Back then, the couple had been looking for a bigger house in a neighborhood with playmates for their children. They found Haygood Point ``pleasant, quiet and safe,'' she says - and it still is.

Also, she says, ``the oak trees were one of the things that drew us here.''

Since moving in, the Solomons have made several additions to their property, including a deck, Florida room, 8-foot privacy fence and swimming pool - which their chocolate Labrador adores, they say. Today, the four-bedroom home is assessed at $162,730.

Aside from their house, the Solomons enjoy the recently renovated Haygood Point Park, which offers playground equipment along the small lake. Many homeowners, who once took their children to the park, now watch their grandchildren frolic on that same patch of green.

Stephen and Sara Gillis get a lot of laughs from their street's name: Pickle Barn Court. Their four-bedroom house was the second built on the road - named for a nearby pickle barn - and was a model home for the development during part of 1983.

Since then, the Gillises have added a front porch, deck and hot tub to their property. Also, because their yard had been a field, they ``were able to choose trees and put them where we wanted them,'' Sara Gillis said.

Location was a big drawing card for the Gillises.

``This area is centrally located to every place in Tidewater,'' Stephen Gillis says.

Another asset is the quality of the nearby schools for their daughters, Sara says.

``The neighborhood has no problems - we really enjoy it.''

As for Haygood Point's residents, many display a healthy sense of humor, says Peggy Economidis, an agent with William E. Wood & Associates Realtors. In 1983, she recalls, one of the home buyers on Pickle Barn Court promptly painted his shutters ``pickle green.''

Today, those shutters remain.

by CNB