Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Historical Home Wednesday ~ Eight

For this Historical Home Wednesday I've chosen, Oatlands Plantation. Oatlands Plantation is located in Loudoun, Virginia. It was built by George Carter in 1798. What makes this house unique is that it's considered to be America's second oldest house. This American beauty was built on 3,400 acres of farmland. It started as a wheat farm, but soon after expanded to grains, sheep, vineyard, and a full scale saw mill.

George Carter was the first in his family to be born in the new United States, rather than under British colony of Virginia. He studied law at the University of Pennyslvania. He was a very wealthy farmer and enjoyed the fine arts. He was involved in politics, a Federalist, believing in the strong centralization of power in the federal government.

In 1897, the Carter family sold Oatlands Plantation to Stilson Hutchins. Stilson Hutchins was the founder of the Washington Post newspaper. However, although Mr. Hutchins purchased the home he never took residence there.

Hutchins sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. William Corcoran Eustis.

W.C. Eustis came from a wealthy and influential southern family. His family originally came from Massachusetts, however, they moved to New Orleans in early 19th century. William's grandfather became the first chief justice of the first Supreme Court of Louisiana. His mother was the only child of the wealthy financier and philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran of Washington, D.C.. William Eustis also studied law but never pursued a career. He spent his life chasing his true passions, horses and hunting. Oatlands gave him a base in Virginia to breed horses and host fox hunts.

Mrs. Edith Morton Eustis also came from a wealthy family. She was one of five daughters born to a self-made financier and politician Levi P. Morton. She belonged to high society, had good looks, intelligence, and was very educated. When she was only 28, she wrote a novel, Marion Manning. It was published in 1902.

Mrs. Eustis restored the gardens. Mrs. Eustis added boxwood-lined parterres to the terraces, statues, and beautiful rose garden. She even added a gorgeous reflecting pool. Today her hard work and green thumb can be enjoyed by all who visit the grounds.

After her death in 1964, her family donated the estate to the National Trust under the National Trust Community Investment Corporation. Oatlands was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1972.

Thanks y'all for taking my Historic Home Wednesday Tour. Have a wonderful week.


Southern Lady said...

Thank you so much for your kind words about my Southern Lagniappe blog. Yours is absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed reading about and seeing Oatsland Plantation. I love the elegant picture of Mrs. Eustis and her baby, and admire her talent as a landscape artist who brought her visions for the gardens at Oatsland to life.

I'm so glad you will be moving back to Mississippi soon. Texas is nice, but it's just not the same as living in the real South. Best wishes for a smooth and happy move.

GamecockQueen said...

OK now I just want to go watch Gone With The Wind. This also reminds me a bit of Mount Vernon...at least I think that's what I mean to say...in Virginia? And a former president lived there? I'll have to go google it. I remember a field trip there in the 8th grade.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Oh, and Helen, GA was great. Very cute. I recommend going if you are ever in that part of GA. For a little less hokey more authentic experience I'd recommend Rabun Gap GA...but I think I'll make a post about all that here soon anyways. I went to school for Tourism and don't have any other way to use it than writing on my blog LOL.