Links to other historical sites
This site is researched and written by Dian McNaught.
The Manassas Museum
The Manassas Museum System's mission is embodied in it's motto, Serving the Public by Preserving the Past. This philosophy of community service governs our exhibits, educational programs, and historic preservation efforts. Explore the rich history of the Northern Virginia Piedmont region by visiting The Manassas Museum System! Founded in 1974 the Museum System is operated by the City of Manassas.
It was 1804 when George Carter, great grandson of colonial Virginia's renowned Robert "King" Carter, began building his Oatlands estate: the mansion, greenhouse, dairy, smoke house, bank barn and gardens. In the 1820s, he remodeled his federal mansion to its current Greek Revival style. Carter died in 1846, and his widow, Elizabeth Grayson Carter, remained at Oatlands with their two sons and managed the property through the Civil War years. In the War's aftermath, beset with debt and the loss of their slave labor, the Carters operated Oatlands as a summer boarding house. They sold the property in 1897 to Stilson Hutchins, a confounder of the Washington Post. Hutchins, however, did not reside at Oatlands, and the mansion sat empty for six years.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
On a hot July day in 1861 two great armies from north and south came together for the first time on the fields overlooking a stream called Bull Run. The naive unprepared troops would soon have their hopes of a short war dashed, as they came face to face with the horrors and carnage of war. By the day's end nearly 900 men lay dead and dying on what the day before had been the peaceful farms of Northern Virginia. Thirteen months later the same armies, now much larger and battle hardened, would again clash over the same ground. This time, the destruction would be far greater, over 23,000 killed, missing or wounded.
Originally built 1742 by Jonathan and Nathaniel Chapman, a father/son partnership from an enterprising, well-connected colonial family. First known as Chapman's Mill, it was eventually purchased by the Beverley family. During the 1800s was known as Thoroughfare Mill or the Mill at Thoroughfare Gap. Due to the mill's location between the Valley and the city of Alexandria, corn and wheat could be transported efficiently by wagon to the mill, ground into cornmeal and wheat, and then shipped from Alexandria to ever-expanding markets in Europe and South America. In 1759 Fauquier County was created from old Prince William County, and the related documents noted that the boundary between the two counties passed through the mill, as it does today.
Montpelier, the home of President James Madison
Ambrose Madison, grandfather of the president first settled Montpelier in 1723. James Madison spent the first nine years of his life at Mount Pleasant, Montpelier's original name. Around 1760 James Madison's father built the original section of the current house. The Montpelier home has seen many changes and residents over its 240 years. James Madison made two major additions to his father's home and made structural changes to the interior. When James Madison died in 1836 his wife Dolley moved back to Washington D.C. Finally in 1844 the property was sold to a friend of Dolley's in Richmond. The property then passed through five additional owners until the duPont family purchased the estate in 1901. The duPonts made additional changes to the house, that doubled its size. Today the National Trust for Historic Preservation owns Montpelier and operates it as a Monument to the Father of the US Constitution and fourth president.
Monticello Home of President Thomas Jefferson
Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years. Jefferson described the house as his "essay in architecture," but today it is recognized as an international treasure. Monticello is the only house in America on the United Nations' prestigious World Heritage List of sites that must be protected at all costs.
Mount Vernon, Home of President George Washington
George Washington's Mount Vernon estate extended over eight thousand acres and was divided into five farms, each a complete unit with its own overseers, work force of slaves, livestock, equipment, and buildings. Washington carefully developed the Mansion House farm, 500 acres surrounding his home, to create a fitting setting as a gentleman's country seat. He designed the grounds to include a deep border of woods, rolling meadows, serpentine walkways, and groves of trees. Between the Mansion and the shores of the Potomac River was an extensive park; the grounds also included a pleasure garden as well as a more utilitarian kitchen garden.
18th Century River Trade
The James River Batteau is a flat bottomed boat which was used to transport tobacco from areas of Central Virgina to Richmond during the late 1700's. The boats were generally from 6-8 feet wide, 40-50 feet long and were constructed of white oak. For the past 16 years the James River Batteau Festival has been held in June to celebrate these boats and the important role they played in Virginia history. The public is invited to come and see the boats at any one of our 8 festival sites.
Claude Moore Farm at Turkey Run McLean Va.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run is a living history museum which portrays family life on a small, low-income farm just prior to the Revolutionary War. The Environmental Living Program (ELP) at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm offers visitors the opportunity to explore the world of rural Colonial Virginia. Groups and individuals will enter a recreated 18th century community provided with authentic reproduction clothing, tools, shelter, and equipment.