John Wayland, Max Tufts honored for helping others
We couldn’t have done this without the support of the community . . . . We think this is the greatest (senior) living facility in the Town of Warrenton.
— John Wayland
“I stuck my neck out” more than five decades ago, he admitted.
The owner of Wayland Ford Tractor in Warrenton risked losing business in the 1960s, when he joined Fauquier Community Action that focused on helping the poor, many of them African-Americans, in segregated Fauquier County.
But, John Wayland developed a strong social conscious as a child in rural Hume.
He watched black children walk to their school along the same route a bus took him to a better building right across the road.
“That didn’t seem right,” Mr. Wayland, 86, recalled Thursday at a gathering to honor his community contributions.
The Foothills Housing Corp. rededicated The Oaks I, a 96-unit apartment building in Warrenton for low- and moderate-income senior citizens, to Mr. Wayland and the late Maximillian A. Tufts Sr.
They and the late Roland Tapscott in 1970 launched the effort to address substandard housing in the community. It started as part Fauquier Community Action and soon grew into the independent Fauquier Housing Corp.
When Mr. Tapscott got appointed to the county planning commission, Bill Barr succeeded him as a Fauquier Housing board member.
In the ensuing decades, the Warrenton-based organization expanded to nine other counties and changed its name to Foothills.
With a strong track record of single-family home construction and plumbing improvements, it also began to look at housing needs on a larger scale. In the 1990s, the organization planned an apartment complex. The Oaks opened along Oak Springs Drive, behind the Warrenton Village shopping center, in 1998.
Within walking distance of everyday necessities, the complex immediately rented. A few years later, the group built The Oaks II, an adjacent structure with 15, two-bedroom apartments.
Almost three years ago, Foothills named that building for Mr. Barr, who died in April 2015.
At noon Thursday, Foothills similarly honored two others who built the foundation of a diverse and growing organization dedicated to improving life for a range of clients.
Foothills Executive Director John Reid unveiled a plaque at “The Wayland-Tufts Building,” also known as The Oaks I.
“The late William Barr, to whom The Oaks II building was dedicated to in 2014, John Wayland and Max Tufts Sr. are the men whose vision created this wonderful, affordable senior living home,” Mr. Reid said. “Mr. Wayland continues to serve on the Foothills Housing Corporation Board of Directors.
And, Max Tufts Jr. shares his late father’s dedication and support through his service on the board as secretary.”
He called the building “a benchmark for affordable, senior living . . . truly well-respected in our community.”
Mr. Wayland recalled working with Mr. Tufts and Mr. Tapscott to win an $80,000 federal grant to Fauquier Community Action, providing the seed money for the housing effort. As clients paid their mortgages and rebuilt the fund, the group took on new projects.
Over the years, it has helped more than 1,000 families.
“I really miss Max Senior, because we stood right here” for the groundbreaking, Mr. Wayland said. “He really did a grand job . . . .
“And, we couldn’t have done this without the support of the community . . . . We think this is the greatest (senior) living facility in the Town of Warrenton.”
His wife Linda held a large, framed photo of Mr. Wayland, Mr. Barr and Mr. Tufts that will hang in the building’s lobby.
“I look at that picture and think, ‘I’m the last one left’,” Mr. Wayland said. “I’ll serve as long as I can.”