One day during the month of August, we decided to go for a ride. We had errands to run, there are always errands of course. However today, as the sun was shining and the temperature had cooled down somewhat, we felt like walking around a garden.
I am not really sure why this particular garden popped into my head, it isn't exactly a new place. We were at Green Spring Gardens 10 years ago. We didn't remember it very well. The only thing I remembered was this beautiful old house.
It was built in 1784 by John Moss, who owned the 540 acres of farmland the house was built on. He grew corn, wheat, oats and rye, and also had cattle and pigs until 1843, when Moss' grandson Alfred sold the farm.
The next owner was a man called Fountain Beattie, who raised 12 children and also kept dairy cattle, grew fruit and vegetables. The farm's accessibility to the Little River Turnpike, one of the best rural roads in Virginia, gave him access to major area markets.
Fountain Beattie rode with his friend, Colonel Mosby during the Civil War. I could not find much information about Fountain Beattie (I would have loved to learn how his parents chose his first name) but if you click on the second link, it will tell you all about John Mosby, who in his civilian life was a lawyer. It is truly fascinating.
Gregg, who is a history buff, and we have had this particular discussion before, when he told me that after the Civil War John Mosby could not find work. He was a southernor, known as the Grey Ghost of Mosby's Rangers fame.
Another interesting piece of history is that he became friends with the Patton family in Virginia (more facts from Gregg). Mosby used to recount his Civil War exploits to their little boy, George. George grew up to be General George Patton, well known in WWII. Interesting what you learn. The connections are endless throughout history.
In 1942 the house was bought by Michael and Belinda Straight, who not only purchased the house but the 33 acres surrounding it. Although not farmers they raised cattle. Michael Straight was actually an editor and publisher who often entertained interesting guests such as Aldous Huxley, the English author who wrote Brave New World. Another guest was Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota, Senator and then the 38th Vice President, when Lyndon B. Johnson was President.
After 30 years of living on what had been an island of undeveloped land, the Straights deeded their house and 16 acres to the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority also purchased 11 additional acres to create Green Spring Gardens Park.
And that's the story of how Green Spring Gardens came to be. I obtained much of this information from the Green Spring Gardens link above, with help from a little research online and also hubby Gregg who is a wonderful source of information. I have often told him he would make a great history teacher.
There are a lot more photos I want to share from Green Spring. I will in another post eventually. In the meantime here are a few flowers and plants taken that day. I had difficulty identifying flowers as there were no markers and I had no success on line.