Since the early 1970s not much happened in the northern Loudoun village of Taylorstown without Anne Larson knowing about it or, more likely, leading it.
On Saturday, the neighbors planned something in secret.
During the Taylorstown Community Association’s Stream Day celebration, Larson was honored for her many contributions to the village.
In 1974, she was among the group of villagers, the Catoctin Valley Defense Alliance, who successfully fought plans by the Fairfax Water Authority and the federal government to build a dam and flood the valley to create a 3,200-acre reservoir. They later won a State Scenic River designation for Catoctin Creek. Larson served for many years on the scenic river advisory board.
Beyond her civic activism, she was touted by those attending Saturday’s event as a mother figure to the various village children, breakfast chef extraordinaire, party planner, mentor and even the community’s unofficial mayor.
Today, she has a new title.
Larson was presented with a framed caricature proclaiming her to be the Empress of Taylorstown. The work, by artist Mike Caplanis, highlighted her qualities of strength, generosity, resilience and warmth.
“Well, this sure was a surprise,” Larson said to laughter and a Champaign toast by the crowd gathered at the village’s Frame Shop.