Washington DC – Day Trip 1 – Virginia Hunt Country Sights – H

When you come to Virginia, within sight, as you land at Dulles International Airport, you could see colonial plantations and estates. In fact, there are many that survive, some like George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, are even closer to the City.

But, finding a remaining middle-class land-holding, intact, is another story. If they weren’t gobbled-up by the wealthy estates around them, then usually only the land remains, not the buildings. They were less expensively built and less likely to endure. But, there still are 2 chances to see an real Early American farm, near Washington.

This one is the further away one, but still is only about a 60 minute drive from the Beltway road which circles Washington, DC. Learn about the closer one at Claude Moore Early American Farm

Scientists have decided that this is America’s oldest surviving small farm which still has its original farmhouse and farm buildings in operating condition. It’s known as the Weston Farm.

The property goes back to Robert “King” Carter’s royal land grant.

Weston was originally the residence of the Fitzhugh family who began building the rambling house as a log cottage for Thomas Fitzhugh around 1810.

The property was purchased from the Fitzhughs by Charles Joseph Nourse in l859, and it was Nourse, who had been reared in Georgetown, D.C., who named the farm in commemoration of his ancestral home Weston Hall in England.

Nourse built changes and additions in 1860, 1870 and 1893 resulting in an L-shaped structure with Carpenter’s Gothic detailing. In 1906, his widow, Annie, operated a school and summer camp at Weston.

Even during World War II, the farm was active for the Nourse daughters maintained Weston as a hospitality center for servicemen. There, they served 11,000 meals by the end of the war.

Weston’s main house and its important collection of 9 rare, original outbuildings is now a farm museum owned by the Warrenton Antiquarian Society. There, you can see its log kitchen, smokehouse, overseer ‘s cabin, dairy, corn crib, blacksmith shop, tool shed / workroom, two barns and a stable.

Today, Weston stands on only 10 of its original 440 acres. The old house and its outbuildings are still surrounded by giant oaks, sweeping lawns, woodlands and cornfields.

And the Casanova Hunt foxhounds, the state’s oldest hunt club is housed there. The club celebrated its centennial in 2009. Casanova Hunt, which was once dubbed “quietly Virginian”, has survived and flourished even in today’s more-complex hunting environment. The club has strong leadership from traditional Virginian families and a loyal following, which has become an extended-family.

The Casanova Hunt calls the rolling Piedmont region of Virginia its home, and this is an area 50 miles wide and 100 miles long!

In 1927, Charlotte St. George Nourse was appointed Mistress of the Hunt, and Harry Lee Edmonds became Master of the drag pack. Ms. Nourse had a tremendous and enduring impact on Casanova Hunt.

She had been born at historic Weston Farm in 1894;the kennels are located at Weston today. Charlotte was a descendant of Samuel Morris, who followed hounds with George Washington and founded Rose Tree Foxhunting Club in 1859; it was the first organized hunt club in Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Weston hosted the 145th anniversary gathering to help this generation learn of JEB Stuart’s nearby Battle of Coffee Hill, during the Civil War.

Try to visit.

Weston Farm – one of America’s oldest homes.
4447 Weston Road, Casanova VA 20139
(540) 788-9220
Open for tours by appointment.
Adults: $5.00
Children: $2.00

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©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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