Thursday, July 20, 2017  



Historic Garden Week: Lancaster Legacies


The Garden Club of Virginia and the Garden Club of the Northern Neck will host the annual tour in historic Lancaster County on April 25. Entitled, “Lancaster Legacies,” the tour will take place in Upper Lancaster County. All homes on the tour this year will be open for the first time ever.
The house and garden tour takes the visitor through lush, rolling farmland along the Rappahannock River, and into the creeks of the Rappahannock and Corrotoman Rivers. In 1608, Captain John Smith referred to this land as “a place heaven and earth never agreed better to frame man’s habitation.” The southernmost of the four counties that make up the area known as
the Northern Neck, Lancaster County has especially maintained the serene and quiet beauty that attracted our early settlers. Properties on the tour include Mitchell’s Manor, an elegant Georgian home overlooking the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River; the Monoskan Post Office and General Store, where the steamboat once stopped to take on canned tomatoes and oysters; Summerfield, a property that has been in the family for seven generations; Deep Creek Farm on scenic Deep Creek; and The Oaks, which includes a post-Civil War farm house.

525 COLINBROOK WAY, Lancaster

This elegant and gracious Georgian home overlooking the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River, is built on a tract of land owned by the family since 1721. Mitchell’s Manor, completed in 2006, includes details typical of a prosperous landowner’s home of the 18th Century and is named for the original property owner, William Mitchell. The red brick exterior, English basement, boxwood landscaping, gazebo and formal garden are reminiscent of life in an earlier century. Antiques, both inherited and acquired, and collections and accessories ranging from English to Southeast Asian, reflect the travels and expatriate lives of the owners. All these furnishings blend to create a refined atmosphere throughout the interior. The loft
of a 2-story sun room provides panoramic views of the river.
A fireplace in the spacious kitchen contains an operating crane and period accessories. The English basement perfectly accommodates the authentic pub re-assembled there. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Norman E. Tadlock.

Complimentary refreshments will be served from 11 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Purchased in 1920 by Raymond E. Dobyns, Sr., this property was originally referred to as “Monaskon Wharf and Bluffield.” The steamboat stopped here to take on canned tomatoes and oysters processed at the tomato factory and oyster house built by Mr. Dobyns. In 1937, the store was completed in the style typical of these establishments along the Rappahannock River, featuring gray siding, a tin roof and front porch. Stores like this flourished from the early 1900s until the early 1960s. The Monaskon P.O. operated here from 1937 until 1959, when there ceased to be a P.O. for the village. Post office and general store memorabilia help to re-create the atmosphere of community and commerce embodied in the small villages along the Rappahannock. The store’s interior of beaded wainscot walls and ceilings are original, as well as most of the shelving and several of the counters. The post office section remains as Postmistress Jennie Mae Towles Dobyns left it 50 years ago. Upon her death the store passed to her children, Lorena Dobyns Conner and Raymond E. Dobyns, Jr. Owners: Raymond E. Dobyns, Jr. and Anita Conner Tadlock, granddaughter of Postmistress Jennie Mae Towles Dobyns.


This country-French inspired home is situated on property that has been in the owner’s family for seven generations. County records document the purchase of this property, which was then known as “Maidly,” by Henry Stoneham in 1774. Construction of the current house was completed in 2003 to the owner’s design. The spacious, open kitchen and great room take full advantage of the spectacular view, and an expansive deck extends the interior space, which is especially inviting for watching sunsets across the Rappahannock. The combination of family antiques and fine custom cherry cabinetry create an inviting space perfect for entertaining, and a handsome coffered ceiling provides a more intimate atmosphere in the dining room. Original fashion illustrations, drawn by the owner’s mother, as well as a number of other interesting pieces collected specifically for this “dream” home, personalize the décor. With the environment in mind, green technology in the form of geothermal heat and tank-less water heaters has been incorporated into the home’s plan. Visitors are also welcome to wander through the cozy guesthouse referred to as “The Cottage,” and “Summerfield Stables,” home to Tiny and Ringo, the equine residents. Kendall Stoneham, owner.

Just off the Rappahannock River on scenic Deep Creek, this property was a thriving plantation throughout most of the 18th and 19th centuries with several prominent Northern Neck families in residence. A house has been sited on this property since 1650-52, when Thomas Cooper received a patent for the original 200 acres at Deep Creek. The present home is a classic Virginia one-room deep, wood frame house with Colonial, Federal and Victorian farmhouse features. The center section of the home (two rooms over two rooms) dates to 1750. A two-story octagon wing, with a parlor below and bedroom above, was added around 1900, by John Weaver, the son of a former slave who had lived and worked on the property. Deep Creek Farm was purchased by the current owners in 2001, and major renovation work was completed in 2009. The home features lovely English and American furnishings of mahogany and burled walnut from the mid 18th and 19th centuries. A Hepplewhite sideboard in the dining room is an exact replica of George Washington’s sideboards in his dining room at Mount Vernon. A large, architecturally-interesting post and beam barn with spacious upstairs living area, and inviting child’s playhouse are also
on view. Lyle Beckwith and Maureen Flanagan, owners.

1362 MORATTICO RD. Nuttsville

A post Civil War farmhouse with high ceilings, tall windows, screened porch and original painted wood floors, the current farm was carved from Epping Forest, land owned by Joseph Ball, father of Mary Ball Washington and grandfather of George Washington. In 1703, Ball gave part of his land, named Oakley, to his daughter Esther and husband Raleigh Chinn. The Peirce family acquired this acreage in 1831. The existing house was built by Robert Tunstall Peirce, a leading farmer, businessman and Civil War veteran. The name “The Oaks” was inspired by a grove of 13 oak trees circling the house, the last of which was taken down in 2010. Robert Peirce and his wife Mary Alice Tapscott Peirce offered the home to their youngest son and doctor, Chichester Tapscott Peirce, if he would return home and practice medicine in upper Lancaster County. Dr. Peirce was a much loved and respected physician for 64 years. His wife, Bessie Combs Peirce, was a noted civic leader and historian. Their grandson and family continue to own the property and use it as a favorite gathering place as it has been for five generations. The Oaks
is furnished in farmhouse-style décor with Virginia antiques featuring an exceptional corner cupboard made in Stafford
County and late 19th century pieces
from the Green Steam Furniture Company in Alexandria. R. Page Henley, Jr.
and family, owners.


Tickets for the one-day event held rain or shine can be purchased in advance for $25 until April 11. Please send check for $25 made payable to the Garden Club of the Northern Neck. Include a stamped, self-addressed, letter-sized envelope to: Carol Hughes, P.O. Box 775, Irvington, VA 22480.
Tickets may be purchased on the day of the event for $30, $15 for single-site admission at any of the houses open
for the tour and at the Information Center. For internet tickets, please access www.VAGardenweek.org. Children younger than age 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets may be purchased locally at The Dandelion in Irvington, The Pedestal in Kilmarnock, the Mary Ball Museum and Library in Lancaster.


The Information Center will be located
at St. Mary’s Whitechapel, 5940 White Chapel Rd., Lancaster. Box lunches will be available there, but must be reserved in advance. Please make checks ($15) payable to St. Mary’s Whitechapel. Send payment by Monday, April 16th to:
St. Mary’s Whitechapel, 5940 White
Chapel Road, Lancaster, VA 22503.
Please call the Parish Secretary, Janie Smith (804-462-5908), or email
her at smwclora@aol.com for more