Morven Park: a landscape legacy

Acknowledgments

Many people played invaluable roles in the research and development of this report, and for their generosity of time, insights and incredible patience, I thank you. -The Garden Club of Virginia Restoration and Fellowship Committees, for this unique opportunity and the important work you do throughout the Commonwealth. -Will Rieley and Roxanne Brouse, for taking a chance on me. -The past and current staff of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, particularly Tracy Gillespie, William O’Keefe, Jana Shafagoj, Doug Smith, Allen Stoudt, and Aimee Summers, for your gracious hospitality and commitment to the future of Morven Park. -Mr. and Mrs. Charles Otey, for a wonderful afternoon at your home and the memories you shared. -The staff at Balch Library, the Virginia and Maryland Historical Societies, the University of Virginia and University of Maryland Special Collections, and the Virginia Capitol Square Preservation Council, for your help in navigating the wealth of available information. -And especially to Marguerite Davis, for preserving Morven Park’s legacy.

Images

Unless otherwise noted, all images contained herein, including the cover photograph and adjacent watercolor, are by author. In an attempt to distinguish historic from current photographs, the former, with a few exceptions, are in black and white with the latter in color. Photo credits are shown in paratheses. The Morven Park Archives (MPA) is the most common source.

Reproduction

Copyright © 2009 by The Garden Club of Virginia. All Rights Reserved. All material contained herein is the intellectual property of The Garden Club of Virginia except where noted. Permission for reproduction, except for personal use, must be obtained from: The Fellowship Committee Chair The Garden Club of Virginia The Kent-Valentine House 12 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 www.gcvirginia.org

Morven Park:
a landscape legacy
Leesburg, Virginia
Prepared for The Garden Club of Virginia Prepared by Karen Kennedy, 2009 William D. Rieley Fellow

Contents
1 Introduction: Welcome to Morven Park 1

2 Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia: The History of Place

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3 The Swann Century: Building a Legacy

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4 The Davis Era: The Making of a Showplace

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5 The French-Indian & Civil Wars: Morven Park in Wartime

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6 Agriculture at Morven: Prized Pursuits

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7 The Ornamental Landscape: Bricks and Boxwood

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8 The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation: Restoring the Core

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9 Morven Park Today: Honoring the Legacy

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References & Appendices

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1 Introduction: Welcome to Morven Park
“Landscape is loud with dialogues,with story lines that connect a place and its dwellers... Landscape is scene of life, cultivated construction, carrier of meaning. It is language. ” Anne Spirn, The Language of Landscape

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estled within the wooded foothills of the Catoctin Mountains, Morven Park is a nineteenth-century icon of the picturesque landscape. The 1,200-acre Morven Park estate, located in Loudoun County just outside of Leesburg’s historic downtown, has a rich and storied 260-year history. Home to two war-time governors, one from Maryland, the other from Virginia, Morven Park has had three primary eras of ownership- the Swanns, the Davises, and the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation.

he man whose family would own Morven Park for all but two years of the nineteenth century purchased the first 262-acres of what would become Morven Park in 1800 from his father-in-law. Over the next thirty-two years, Thomas Swann Sr. would increase his country estate to over 1500 acres. The once simple fieldstone and brick dwellings evolved throughout the Swanns’ ownership, expanding twelve times its original size into the 16,800 square foot, Greek Revival-style mansion we see today.1 Fortunately, the majority of the changes were superimposed over each other so that significant pieces of each unique alteration remain.2 Morven Park was a working plantation during the Swann era, with at least sixty slaves providing the labor. Beyond an 1840 inventory conducted after Swann Sr.’s death, however, very little is known about their history at the property. Upon his father’s death, Thomas Swann Jr. took claim to Morven Park. He had owned approximately half of the land for a handful of years, having purchased it from his father who needed the funds to satisfy outstanding debts. His siblings had inherited the remainder of the property, and Swann Jr. soon bought out their interests and continued the mansion’s transformation. By the time of the Civil War, four grand Italianate towers overpowered the roof line, as seen in the 1861 Lind & Murdoch watercolor, inspiring several soldiers to call it “Swan’s Castle.”3 For some time, it was believed that the towers were never actually built, but a recent restoration of the mansion revealed traces of all four. During the war, soldiers from both the Union and Confederacy crossed the site, and the 17th Mississippi and 8th Virginia regiments camped in the woods north of the mansion in the winter of 1861-62. As Swann Jr. served as the mayor of Baltimore in the years leading up to the

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war, and as Governor of Maryland near the war’s end, he was at Morven Park very little during this time. Despite its location in a key border county, Morven Park escaped relatively unscathed from the war, and remained in Swann Jr.’s hands until his death in 1883. His youngest daughter, Mary Mercer Swann, and her husband bought out her siblings’ and nephews’ interests and remodeled it once more, removing her father’s towers and adding rooms as well as Queen Anne-style flourishes throughout the house. ittle is known about the origin of the Swann-era landscape. While there is no landscape designer on record, circumstantial evidence suggests that Howard Daniels, a contemporary of Frederick Law Olmsted and disciple of Andrew Jackson Downing, may have influenced the picturesque landscape. The seemingly natural placement of trees and shrubs on the large sweep of lawn created an informal yet orderly scene, and the long sinuous drive approached the mansion from the side, forcing beautiful views of both the house and its natural setting. Two pairs of statuary framed the front entrance and a cast iron swan fountain was artfully located at the base of the lawn. Morven Park has remarkably retained much of it unique nineteenth-century picturesque character despite the significant suburban growth of surrounding Leesburg and Loudoun County. With the exception of Maymont, a large historic property in Richmond turned public park, the character and vintage of the Swann-era Morven Park landscape is no longer well represented in Virginia.

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Fig. 1-1: Lind & Murdoch watercolor, c. 1861. (Morven Park Archives, MPA)

fter nearly a century of ownership by the Swann family, Morven Park passed into new hands in 1898, when Swann Jr.’s daughter and son-in-law sold the property to the Howells. Over the next five years, the estate would change hands three times before Westmoreland Davis (1859-1942), a prominent New York City lawyer, and his wife, Marguerite Inman Davis, purchased Morven Park in 1903. Avid equestrians, the Davises quickly became known for their elaborate foxhunts and parties, some of which were attended by more than 600 guests. Davis wasted no time in transforming the land and outbuildings into an agricultural showplace which featured pure-bred livestock that Davis, himself, selected abroad. He led the progressive farming movement in Virginia, a role that propelled him into state politics and eventually the 1918 Governorship.

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Upon returning from their time in Richmond to their beloved Loudoun County estate, the Davises turned their attention to the ornamental landscape, creating an extensive American boxwood garden, almost three acres in size. Eyeing established boxwood plants at nearby properties and along train routes, Davis paid significant sums to have them transplanted to his Loudoun County property. The garden included a reflecting pool as well as small garden “rooms”, bordered by a four-foot high brick wall with elaborate wrought-iron gates. Tending to this first known formal garden at Morven Park was an undertaking Davis enjoyed until his sudden death in 1942. He is buried in the mausoleum Marguerite had built for him in their beloved garden. She remained at Morven Park for only a short period after his death, eventually turning the property over to the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation which she established in 1955 in her husband’s honor. Mrs. Davis died on July 13, 1963 and is buried along side her husband.

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n the mid-1960s under the care of landscape architect and then property manager Charles Otey, the mansion and several of the outbuildings were restored and the landscape was prepared for Morven Park’s grand opening to the public. A second single-lane entrance road was constructed as was a large rest area for visitors, and a significant number of new plantings were added to the grounds. Morven Park was designated as a Virginia Historic Landmark in 1974 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Two hundred acres were donated by the Foundation to Virginia Tech in the early 1980s for the establishment of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, a premier full-service equine hospital that offers advanced specialty care for all ages and breeds of horses; it is one of three campuses of the VirginiaMaryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.4 oday, the Foundation remains true to its mission of protecting, preserving and promoting the historic and cultural resources of Morven Park.5 An extensive, multi-year restoration of the mansion was recently completed and focus has since been turned to some of the almost fifty other buildings on the property. In

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Fig. 1-2: The Davises in front of their mansion. Fig. 1-3: Davis-era boxwood garden. (MPA)

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addition to the house, the Foundation operates two other museums onsite, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, and the Winmill Carriage Collection; all are open for public tours 362 days a year. The rolling green lawns and golden hay fields set the tone for the broader, open landscape, which hosts community events throughout the year, including civil war reenactments, concerts, beer festivals, classic car shows, and those held at Morven Park’s International Equestrian Center. orven Park is a unique Garden Club of Virginia Fellowship site, not only for its large size, but also its distinct agricultural and picturesque character. For these reasons, it was approached with a broader lens than is usually applied; the focus looks beyond Morven Park’s Fig. 1-4: Morven Park, 1993. (MPA) formal gardens to include the site’s agricultural and equestrian roots as well as its architectural, war and restoration histories. This report synthesizes documentary and photographic evidence found at the archives at Morven Park as well as other repositories including the University of Virginia, the Maryland and Virginia Historical Societies, the Virginia State Capitol, Leesburg’s Thomas Balch Library, and interviews with several principal Morven Park staff members from over the years. The goal of this document is to examine the rich legacy of Morven Park’s evolution within its cultural, economic, and social contexts.

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Roberts, Linda. (2005). “The Governor’s legacy.” Loudoun Magazine: Summer, 58. Raley, Robert L. (n-d). “Morven Park, a Southern rural retreat: An architectural survey report.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 1. Valentine, Clifton (ed.) (1998). To See My Country Free, The pocket diaries of Ezekiel Armstrong, Ezekiel P. Miller and Joseph A Miller. “Magnolia Guards”, Co. K 17th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States of America. Pittsboro, MS: Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., 66. Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. (2011). “History of the EMC.” Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/emc/welcome/history.asp Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.) “Board of Trustees.“ Retrieved May 31, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.com/board.php

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Maintenance Yard

Hay Fields

Hay Fields

Fig.1-5: Existing Conditions

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Maintenance Yard International Equestrian Center

Existing Conditions

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1-8 Fig. 1-6: Barn. Fig. 1-7: Dairyman’s House. Fig. 1-8: Maintenance T-Building.

1-10 1-9 Fig. 1-9: Warmup Arena. Fig.10: Private Paddock.

Belgrove

Hay Fields

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1-12 Fig. 1-11: East of the Mansion. Fig. 12: West of the Entrance Drive.

1-15 Fig. 1-13: Stable. Fig.14: Bankbarn Foundation. Fig. 1-15: House with Original Stone Cottage.

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Administration Offices
Administrative O ces

Winmill Carriage Collection

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Mansion Site of old fountain & pond Historic Operations O ces Maintenance Shed & Greenhouse

Utility Buildings

1-19 1-18 Fig. 1-17: Corn Crib. Fig. 1-18: Coach House. Fig. 1-19: Barn.

Winmill Carriage Museum

Historic Operations Offices

Brick Walk

Wrought Iron Garden Gates

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Boxwood Allee
Water Tank

Davis Mausoleum

Sundial Garden & Reflecting Pool
Rest Area Rest Area

1-20 Fig. 1-20: Entrance.

1-21 Fig. 1-21: Corbell House.

Brick Garden Wall

Utility Buildings

Dog Kennels

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Fig. 1-16: Existing Conditions, Focal Area

1-23 Fig. 1-22: Spring House & Dairy/Laundry. Fig. 1-23: Root Cellar.

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Grounds & Gardens

1-30 1-31 Fig. 1-30: Sundial Garden. Fig. 1-31: Reflecting Pool. (MPA) 1-25 1-24 Fig. 1-24: Brick Walk. Fig. 1-25:Wrought Iron Garden Gates.

Fig. 1-26: Boxwood Alley. Fig. 1-27: Maintenance Shed & Greenhouse.

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1-32 Fig. 1-32: Davis Mausoleum.

1-29 Fig. 1-28: Dog Kennels. Fig. 1-29: Public Parking & Rest Area.

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Fig. 1-33, 1-34: Brick Garden Wall.

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2 Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia: The History of Place

orven Park is located in Loudoun County, Virginia, just outside of the city of Leesburg. Though it borders both Maryland and West Virginia, Loudoun is considered part of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. At 521 square miles, it is home to, among other attractions, a major international airport, nearly three dozen wineries, prime agricultural land, a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and numerous significant historic towns and homes.1 The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains extend into Loudoun, carving into the land “a hundred hills and valleys”.2 While the interstate system bypasses Loudoun, major circulation routes include U.S. Highways 15 and 50 as well as Virginia Routes 7, 9, and 28. The Dulles Greenway, a private toll road that runs from Leesburg to Dulles International Airport, opened in 1995. Loudoun County was formed in 1757 when the Virginia House of Burgesses divided the then fifteen-year old Fairfax County into two.3 The eastern side retained the Fairfax name, whereas the western portion became Loudoun, after John Campbell, a Scottish aristocrat and army officer who was titled Lord Loudoun. Despite a disastrous military career in Great Britain, Loudoun was sent to North America in 1756 following the defeat of General Braddock in the French and Indian War. He served not only as the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces, but also as the Governor of Virginia, though he never set foot in the Commonwealth. Loudoun’s military leadership proved no more successful in North America, and he was recalled to Great Britain two years later.4 Settlement of the area began by northern family farmers in the 1720s while it was still part of Prince William County.5 They were quickly followed by wealthy Piedmont planters in search of fertile ground for their tobacco plantations. As land was more plentiful than labor, planters of the time spent little energy conserving the fertility of their soil; when yields became unprofitable, the fields were often abandoned for new land.6 It was this pattern that led many west to Loudoun County, and by the 1770s, it had become the most populous county in Virginia.7 Over the next several decades, prominent country estates, including Morven Park, Selma, Oatlands, Oak Hill, and Rock Rest, were established, and became well known for their owners’ lavish lifestyles and elaborate social events.8

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Fig. 2-1: Loudoun County, Virginia. (Wikipedia Commons)

Loudoun gained federal significance as well when, during the War of 1812, key documents were evacuated from Washington to Leesburg for safe keeping.9 Decades later, it served as a key border county during the Civil War. Although bounded on the north and east by the Potomac River and on the west by a low mountain range, these natural barriers offered little protection against invasion.10 While the majority of clashes were classified as skirmishes, one major battle did take place on Loudoun soil. On October 21, 1861, nearly one thousand Union soldiers and two hundred Confederates fell in the Battle of Balls Bluff, fought just outside Leesburg along the Potomac River.11 The county, however, suffered beyond the battles. Most of the Loudoun Valley between the Bull Run-Catoctin Range and the Blue Ridge was burned, and the continuous raids by both Union and Confederate troops destroyed the once rich and fertile land.12 Recovery from the Civil War took many years. Road improvements and new railroad connections increased commerce in the area, encouraging new families to settle in the county. Farmers worked hard to reestablish the Valley’s prime agricultural land.13 Slowly, the residents of Loudoun found themselves settling back into their quiet country lifestyles. Forty years after the Civil War, Country Life in America, wrote that Loudoun: “exemplifies country life in about the purest and pleasantest form that I have yet found… No sham, no artificiality… no evidence of exotic forcing are to be found… Loudoun is not a millionaire community, but it is eminently well-to-do... and derives its sustenance from the soil within its borders. Its aristocracy are farmers, and proud of it... they are gentlemen and ladies of the old school- the “quality” of the Old Dominion... There are other communities in Virginia and elsewhere that are worthy of eulogy, but I know of none that surpasses Loudoun in the dignity, sincerity, naturalness, completeness and genuine success of its country life. 14 ”

Fig. 2-2: Morven Park in Loudoun County. (www.loudounhistory.org)

This way of life continued for Loudoun County, whose population hovered around 20,000 until the metropolitan area of Washington D.C. began to grow rapidly in the early 1960s.15 Major road improvements as well as the new Dulles International Airport, located in the southeastern part of the county, attracted new businesses and made commuting more manageable; in the last three decades alone, the population of Loudoun County has nearly quadrupled.16 For the time period 2000 to 2008, it was the fourth fastest-growing county in the nation with a population nearing 300,000; in 2007, it was also the country’s wealthiest county.17 Despite its rapid growth, however, Loudoun has remarkably retained much of its unique “visual integrity and…historical agricultural character.”18

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ocated in northeastern Loudoun County is the Catoctin Rural Historic District, an area of approximately 25,000 acres. Defined by the Potomac River to the north and east, Catoctin Mountain to the west, and Morven Park to the south, the area is characterized by pastoral farmland, natural springs and limestone outcroppings.19 Other properties in the district include Chestnut Hill, Rockland, Raspberry Plain, and Ball’s Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery, as well as a number of small farms featuring late eighteenth- to early twentieth-century buildings. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, the district’s period of significance is registered as the late eighteenth-century to the 1930s. “From its earliest settlement by Tidewater planters in the mid-eighteenth century through the establishment of large-scale dairy and livestock grazing farms in the early twentieth century, the fertile Catoctin area was important to Loudoun County’s agricultural economy…[as] a leading producer of wheat and other grains in Virginia.”20

Fig. 2-3: Catoctin Mountain Iron Mining. (Eugene Scheel, www.loudounhistory.org/history/iron-mining.html)

Large-scale iron mining, begun in the 1790s on the north and east slopes of Catoctin Mountain, also supported the district. The 120-mile long mineral belt to which the deposits belonged began just west of Baltimore and extended to Frostburg, MD.21 Operated under different owners as Catoctin Furnace, Potomac Furnace, and the Potomac Iron Company, the mining site was abandoned circa 1860 as the depression of 1857 significantly reduced the demand for iron; by that time, however, the furnace had become Virginia’s second largest iron producer.22 No known buildings or structures survive.23

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eesburg, originally known as George Town, was likely formally created by the Virginia General Assembly circa October 1758.24 The land was originally part of a 4,054 acre grant from the sixth Lord Fairfax to the wealthy and well-connected gentleman, Francis Awbrey, in February of 1730.25 In 1741, 326 acres of this land was acquired by Awbrey’s son, John, whose widow then sold it four years later to John Carlyle, a merchant from Alexandria; Nicholas Minor, Jr., Carlyle’s cousin-in-law, purchased it from Carlyle in May of 1757.26 It was Minor who laid out part of this land in the gridiron plan of one-half acre lots and petitioned to the Loudoun County Court to extend roads from both Alexandria and Noland’s Ferry into town; Minor sold his first lot in February 1758.27 Within the next year, the town was renamed Leesburg, although it is not known for certain for which Lee it was named, and became Loudoun’s first county seat.28 Despite Minor’s success in bringing new roads to the burgeoning town, the primary thoroughfare remained the Carolina Road. The ten foot wide, dirt road ran north to Frederick, Maryland and south to the Virginia-Carolina border to an Indian trading post on Occaneechie Island in the Roanoke River.29 Once a well-defined Iroquois trail and the western limit of European settlement set by a treaty in 1684, it was the most important route in all of Colonial Loudoun County, offering its travelers numerous springs and relatively safe river crossings.30 “The goods sent from Frederick were boots and shoes, saddles and harness, woolen goods, linen and woolen and flax seed threads. They were carried on pack horses and were exchanged [in Virginia and North Carolina] for cotton, indigo, and money.”31 Leesburg, no doubt, profited from its advantageous location as the only major town along the route, and its surrounding farm country’s tobacco and cereals were traded both north and south. With the rise of Washington in the late eighteenthcentury, the Carolina Road began to lose importance as routes shifted east to the new federal city, but its course remains prominent in Leesburg, coinciding with VA Route 662, and U.S. Route 15, the Fig. 2-5: Original Land Grants of Leesburg. Monroe-Madison Memorial Highway.32 (Debbie Robison, www.novahistory.org LB-leesburg.htm) 12

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Fig. 2-4: Carolina Road Map. (Eugene Scheel, www.loudounhistory. org/history/carolina-road.htm)

In the early 1900s, Leesburg was still a rural area, described as “an old, but clean and prosperous little town of some 1600 inhabitants”.33 By 1950, its population had grown only to 1700, but by 1960, it had began to boom and never looked back.34 Today, Leesburg supports 43,000 residents with a median age of thirty-three and median household income of $91,367.35 Despite its growth, Leesburg has retained its small town feel, in part due to the 1963 establishment of the Board of Architectural Review and designation of the Old and Historic Leesburg District. The town’s commitment to historic preservation, however, was apparent fourteen years earlier when the non-profit group Colonial Leesburg, Inc. was formed to raise public awareness of Leesburg’s historic buildings. t is this context of equal parts bucolic farmland, booming growth, and preserved historic properties that Morven Park calls home. The property is nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the southern region of the Catoctin Rural Historic District with the city limits of Leesburg just to its south and the Potomac River to its east. Morven Park is partially bounded by two designated greenspaces, the Beacon Hill Golf Course and the Leesburg city park, Ida Lee, from which it is separated by the Marion duPont Scott Equine Hospital, the land of which was donated by the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation in 1983. These buffers have helped Morven Park retain much of its mid nineteenth- to early twentieth-century character despite the mounting pressures of growth and development.

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MORVEN PARK

Fig. 2-6: Morven Park in context. (Google Maps modified by author)

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Over two hundred years ago, the original 262-acre parcel of what would become Morven Park was purchased by Thomas Swann Sr. With the wealth and resources of the Swann family, the country estate would grow in size and the mansion transform in style throughout the nineteenth century. During the Westmoreland and Marguerite Davises’ tenure, it would become a showplace for progressive agriculture, mature boxwood gardens, foxhunting, and other equestrian pursuits. Today, Morven Park is a cherished historic property, preserved for perpetuity by a dedicated non-profit foundation which honors the property’s rich heritage and celebrates its future as an iconic landscape.
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Fig. 2-7: Morven Park nestled among its fertile fields.

Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association. (2005-2010). “Experience Loudoun.” Loudoun-Take it in. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://www.visitloudoun.org Dyer, Walter A. (1908) “Country Life in Loudoun County: A Virginia community where certain ideal conditions obtain, and the lessons that may be drawn from it- horse breeding and dairying estates that pay a profit.” Country Life in America: 13(4), 384. 3 Templeman, Eleanor Lee & Nan Netheron. (1966). Northern Virginia Heritage. Privately published by Eleanor Lee Templeman, 112. 4 Williams, Dave. “How Loudoun Got Its Name” and “Lauding Lord Loudoun”. George Mason University. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://mason.gmu.edu/~drwillia/loudoun.html 5 Templeman et al, 112. 6 Williams, Harrison. (1938). Legends of Loudoun: An account of the history and homes of a border county of Virginia’s Northern Neck. Garrett and Massie Inc: Richmond, VA, 159. 7 Templeman et al, 112. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid. 10 Divine, John. (1961). Loudoun County and the Civil War: A history and guide. Fitzhugh Turner (ed.). Loudoun County, VA: Civil War Centennial Commission. Accession #F232.L8.A54 1961, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library: Charlottesville, VA. 11 Templeman et al, 112. 12 Divine, 13. 13 Templeman et al, 113. 14 Dyer, 383. 15 Loudoun County. (2007). “History of Loudoun County”. Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=1123 16 Ibid. 17 United States Census Bureau. (2010). “Loudoun County, Virginia QuickLinks.” U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51107lk.html 18 United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. (1988). “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Catoctin Rural Historic District.” Prepared by David Edwards and John Salmon, (8)2. 19 Ibid, 2. 20 Ibid, (7)2. 21 Scheel, Eugene. (n.d.-c). “Iron Mining in Loudoun County.” The history of Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved September 25, 2009 from http://www.loudounhistory.org/history/iron-mining.html 22 Ibid. 23 Edwards et al, (7)13 & (8)6. 24 Phillips, John T., II. (1996). The Historian’s Guide to Loudoun County, Vol. 1, Colonial Laws of Virginia and County Court Orders 1757-1766. Goose Creek Productions: Leesburg & Middleburg, VA, 337. 25 Robison, Debbie. (2007). “Formation of the town of Leesburg, Virginia in 1758.” Northern Virginia history notes. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.novahistory.org/LB-leesburg.htm#_ednref3 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid. 28 Ibid. 29 Scheel, Eugene. (n.d.-a). “The Carolina Road”. The history of Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.loudounhistory.org/history/carolina-road.htm 30 Templeman et al, 112. Scheel, (n.d.-a). 31 Scharf, Thomas (1882), in Scheel, (n.d.-a) 32 Scheel, (n.d.-a) 33 Dyer, 383. 34 Town of Leesburg. (2009). “Community Profile.” Town of Leesburg, VA. Retrieved May 10, 2011 from http://www.leesburgva.org/index.aspx?page=599 35 Ibid.

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3 The Swann Century: Building a Legacy
“In the days before a conquering Julius Caesar persecuted the Druids into oblivion, the bards of that ancient religion sang of a mythical kingdom, a wooded sanctuary called Morven. Today, in Northern Virginia, there is a wooded sanctuary called Morven Park, a place with oaks so fine that the Druids would have been proud to dance and sing among them. 1 ” Dale Leatherman
he man whose family would own Morven Park for the best part of the nineteenth century was born in 1765 to Edward and Nancy Swann of Prince George’s County, Maryland, the third of seven children.2 Thomas Swann Sr. studied law in the Alexandria office of Col. Sims before practicing in Leesburg with his good friend and future Attorney-General, William Wirt.3 He soon became a “lawyer of considerable prominence” in the District of Columbia, where he was appointed U.S. District Attorney by President Adams in 1801 and again in 1821 by President Monroe.4 He held the position until 1833, with the exception of the four years (1824-28) during which he served as President of the Washington branch of the Bank of the United States.5 Ferdinand C. Latrobe, Swann Sr.’s future grandson-in-law, wrote that Swann Sr. was “distinguished alike for ability in his profession and for his high social position in the City of Washington.”6 In 1794, Swann Sr. married Jane Byrd Page, the daughter of Mann and Mary Mason Page, and descendant of the famous William Byrd.7 Mary was the sole heir of her mother’s 4500-acre Loudoun County estate which was made up, at least partly, of Francis Awbrey’s original land grants; upon being widowed, she brought part, if not all, of it to her second marriage to Dr. Wilson Cary Selden.8 Jane was only a teenager when her mother died in 1787, and her step-father, who had retained the land, remarried twice more. Upon his marriage to Jane, Thomas was given claim to land in Loudoun, although the specifics are unknown; at the time, he already held property in both Alexandria and Georgia.9 It was not until the turn of the century that Swann purchased from Selden the first 262 acres of the estate he would eventually name Morven Park; he paid 1170 pounds.10 homas Sr. and Jane Byrd Page had eleven children in sixteen years; Thomas Jr., who would take ownership of Morven Park after his father’s death, was ninth. Born in Alexandria, Virginia, most likely in 1809, he was the second Thomas as the first died at a young age.11 Only five siblings survived to adulthood; older were Edward, Mary, and Wilson, respectively; William and Robert were younger.12 Despite the loss of their mother in 1812, the youth of the Swann children was “passed among such surroundings as would inculcate into a receptive mind all the polish and refinement of manners that characterized the official circles at the national capital.”13 While the children did spend the majority of their time in the city, they visited their father’s country retreat often enough to establish long-lasting bonds with the property.

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At the time of Swann Sr.’s purchase of the original 262 acres in 1800, at least one house stood on the property; located on what is now the northwest corner of the mansion, it was a simple structure built of local field stone.14 Eight years later, he acquired an additional 438 acres from his wife’s stepfather, this time paying $7672.50.15 Around this time, Swann Sr. also added a new dwelling, built in the popular Georgian style.16 The two-story, hand-made brick “Middle House”, measuring approximately twenty-four by thirty-four feet, was constructed just south of the original stone building.17 It is possible that the brick wing in what is now the northeast corner of the house was added at the same time.18 Swann Sr. continued to add to his country estate until 1832, by which point he held a total of 1518 acres, having spent $14,096 on the acquisition of seven additional tracts.19 (See Appendix 1) While it is unknown as to when Swann Sr. adopted the Morven Park name for his country estate, a story passed down among the staff over the years attributes the name to a 1750s Princeton, New Jersey, home owned by Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Stockton’s wife, Annis Boudinot was a poet and named their home Morven after the mythical Gaelic kingdom featured in James Macpherson’s Ossianic saga which was published in the early 1760s.20 As the U.S. District Attorney for Washington and member of the social elite, Swann Sr. most likely had multiple occasions on which to cross paths with Richard Stockton (1730-1781) as well as his son, Commodore Robert Stockton (1795-1869), a United States naval hero and president of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. While there is no known written correspondence between the two families, exchanges regarding the naming of their country estates may have been verbal. It is also possible, however, that Swann Sr. himself, or someone close to him, also read the poems of Ossian and drew parallels between Macpherson’s magical, wooded kingdom and his wooded, country sanctuary.

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early two decades after his first major renovation, Swann Sr. was ready to upgrade his part-time residence again, this time in the fashionable Greek-Revival style.21 This “classic tradition…infected the American Continent from New England to New Orleans…[as] the country side broke out in a rash of white temples.”22 So common were they that Andrew Jackson Downing disparagingly wrote in his 1850s Rural Essays,

“Fifteen years ago there was but one idea relating to a house in the country. It must be a Grecian temple. Whether twenty feet or two hundred feet front, it must have its columns and portico. There might be comfortable rooms behind them or not; that was a matter which the severe taste of the classical builder could not stoop to consider. The roof might be so flat that there was no space for comfortable servants’ bedrooms, or the attic so hot that the second story was inhabitable in a mid-summer’s day. But of what consequence was that, if the portico were copied from the Temple of Theseus, or the columns were miniature imitations in wood of those of Jupiter Olympus?” 23
Jackson’s future disdain aside, Swann, Sr. launched into an extensive Greek-Revival renovation. After the main façade of the “Middle House” was switched from the south to the east, a large Doric portico with four twenty-four foot tall columns was added to its face.24 This portico, however, was originally too long and two nine foot additions, framed with wood, were needed to enlarge the eastern façade accordingly.25

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Swann Sr. also gutted the original central structure, raising the brick walls above the old cornice line, and enlarging the ceiling height of the entrance hall to sixteen feet.26 In an attempt to gain symmetry and balance the two buildings to the north of the “Middle House”, he added a brick wing as well as a kitchen to the south; both wings were connected to the “Middle House” with a colonnade.27 All of these changes produced the impressively grand but impractical results that Jackson disdained. “Both the vertical and horizontal circulation were unbelievably bad, and the outside communication between three separate buildings must have been most unpleasant in bad weather.”28 While certainly not the last remodel that the house would undergo, it was the last that Swann Sr., himself, commissioned.

Kitchen & Slave Qtrs ng Wi

Po 9’ rtic wi o ng & s

Middle House

Billiard Room

Builders: Pre-Swann Swann Sr. Swann Jr.
Scott

ng Wi Brick Wing

Stone House

n 1832, the year in which Swann Sr. acquired his final 118acre parcel of Morven Park, Thomas Jr. and his brother Wilson Fig. 3-1: Approximate evolution of the mansion’s footprint. (MPA image modified by author) endorsed their father’s notes for a debt he owed to the Bank of the 29 United States. Upon leaving his post as U.S. District Attorney the following year, Swann Sr. retired to Morven Park and soon after gifted the 118-acre parcel he had recently purchased, which included the “mill and mill pond,” to his son, Robert.30 When the Panic of 1837 struck and Swann Sr. was unable to repay his debt, the 1400 acres of Morven Park which he had offered as surety, were at risk.31 In order to keep the property in the family, he sold six to seven hundred acres to Thomas, Jr. for $25,000.32 As was the practice of the time, however, Swann Jr. held only the title to the land, and his father continued to reside at Morven Park.33 Two years later, Swann Sr., “being in a bad state of health and advanced in years,” drew up his “last Will and testament”, dividing his slaves and personal effects, as well as his house in Washington, D.C., among his children.34 Swann Sr. died on January 19, 1840, and all of Morven Park was inventoried with the results indicating that he had been a wealthy man with a working farm. “At a time when the average Loudoun farmer had personal property worth a few hundred dollars, the Morven Park estate, exclusive of land and buildings, was valued at more than $30,000, and included such luxuries as a piano, silver and china.”35 The most expensive items in his farm operations inventory, excluding his sixty “Negroes” valued at $20,050, included twelve horses, oxen, 78 cattle, 125 sheep, 88 hogs, 600 barrels of corn, 2238 bushels of wheat in the mill, 250 bushels of potatoes, 6000 lbs of bacon, and “wheat and rye in ground”.36 (See Appendix 2) Upon his father’s death, Swann Jr. took possession of the six to seven hundred acres he already owned, as well as a number of slaves and the law library his father left to him.37 While his siblings inherited the remainder of Morven Park, Swann Jr. eventually bought out their interests, reuniting the large property.38 Thomas Swann Sr. had cultivated his beloved country estate for over forty years, but the time had come for it to be passed on to a younger generation with a new vision for its future.

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homas Swann Jr. was the most successful of the Swann children, propelling himself into the lucrative railroad business and then politics, ultimately at the national level. He began his studies at the Preparatory School of Columbian University (now George Washington University) in 1825, and one year later enrolled at the newly formed University of Virginia with his brother Wilson.39 He joined his father’s law office as a clerk in 1828 and was soon after appointed secretary of the United State’s Commission to Naples by President Andrew Jackson.40 Stationed in Washington, D.C., it was during this time that Swann Jr. met Elizabeth Gilmor Sherlock. As the daughter of John Sherlock and Elizabeth Gilmor, Elizabeth was Baltimore’s wealthiest heiress, and she and Thomas Jr. married in 1834.41 When the Commission disbanded that same year, he relocated to Baltimore, the city which would be his primary home for the remainder of his life. As part of a family of enormous wealth and great social importance, Swann Jr. was exposed to the “advanced tastes in architecture, and art collecting, for which the Gilmor family was noted.”42 The couple bore six children, but only five lived into adulthood- Thomas III, Louise Sherlock, Jane Byrd, Elizabeth Gilmor, and Mary Mercer. Thomas Jr. was elected a director within the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in 1845, and upon the retirement of the railroad’s president, Louis McLane, in 1847, was chosen as McLane’s successor.43 Under his leadership, the once struggling railroad doubled both in miles of track and value of traffic, having finally reached the banks of the Ohio.44 In 1853, Swann Jr. resigned from the B&O after being elected President of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad Company.45 He served in this position for two years, during which time he spent a number of months traveling throughout Europe.46 pon returning to the United States, Swann Jr. turned his eye to politics and announced his candidacy for the 1856 mayoral race. He ran as a member of the Know-Nothing, or American, party, and in one of the bloodiest elections in state history in which voter fraud was widespread, he defeated his Democratic challenger.47 He was re-elected two years later amid continued voter intimidation and violence. Midway through election day, his opponent urged his own supporters to “make no further effort to cast ballots for him,” declaring that they would not be counted anyway and that any effort to vote against the Know-Nothing party only served to endanger the life of the voter.48 Fig. 3-2: Thomas Swann Jr. (MPA) Despite his controversial entry into office, Swann Jr.’s administration brought about significant civic improvement, accomplishing “more for the city’s beauty and the citizens’ convenience

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than any city executive before or after him.”49 During his tenure, the police and water departments were reorganized, street lighting was improved, a new system of waterworks was initiated, and the newly formed municipal fire department, which replaced the inadequate volunteer fire companies, was equipped with steam-powered engines and a superior emergency telegraph system.50 Calling upon his experience with the railroad, Swann Jr. also established a street car service, the revenue of which was taxed by the city in order to establish a fund devoted to the purchase and maintenance of public parks; it was in this manner that the city acquired Druid Hill Park, Baltimore’s “most notable public pleasure ground.”51 s Maryland’s Know-Nothing party lost its hold, Swann Jr. joined the Unionists and took an early stand against secession.52 While pro-Union, he was not anti-slavery, and his “actions and speeches were intended to preserve both,” arguing that secession was unconstitutional and that the “slavery question was prolonging an unnecessary war, one which should be fought for sole purpose of restoring the union.”53 As a large slaveholder himself, Swann defended the morality of slavery, believing that the “races could not exist on equal terms,” and ultimately opposed the Fifteenth Amendment and other policies that enforced racial equality.54 By December of 1863, however, Swann Jr. began to change his views on emancipation out of political necessity. With the Union party in control of Maryland’s highest office, he had only one choice if he wished to secure their nomination the following year. Rationalizing his “acquiescence with arguments that slavery had already been unprofitable for twenty years, and that Maryland’s economic future would be advanced,” Swann supported their call for emancipation as a necessary step in protecting the Union.55 wann Jr.’s maneuver paid off as he was unanimously nominated for governor at the Union party’s state convention on October 18, 1864. With the Union party ensuring that the “majority of voters had been deprived of the ballot”, Swann Jr. won the election.57 He took the oath of office on January 11, 1865, although he did not become “governor de facto” until the following January; he was the third of four native Virginians to serve as the Governor of Maryland.57 In his inaugural speech, he “declared that military necessity had left no alternative but to free the slaves, and encouraged voters to keep the races separate.”58 Governor Swann supported President Lincoln’s ambitions of speedily reuniting the nation, urging union in his own state, and advocated President Johnson’s plan of reconstruction, refusing to ban ex-Confederates from voting.59 As the Union, or Republican, party turned increasingly radical after the war’s end and pushed for the loyalty oath and registration laws, Governor Swann parted ways to join the Democratic party instead, although his white supremacist views persisted.60 In January of 1867, the Maryland General Assembly elected Governor Swann Jr. to the United States Senate seat vacated by John Creswell; amid fears that Lieutenant Governor Cox, a Radical Republican, would undermine Swann’s policies, his Democratic allies convinced him to serve out his term as Governor which ended on January 1, 1869.61 Following this, he was elected to five consecutive terms as the United

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States Representative of Maryland’s third Congressional district.62 Appointed to the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, he “exerted much influence in the national legislature,” and as the position “brought him in intimate relations with the most distinguished foreigners in Washington…[h]e entertained generously and was entertained lavishly in return.”63 Altogether, Swann Jr. served almost twenty years in public office, and despite the controversy around his elections, frequent party changes, and other political errors, he was eulogized by the Baltimore Sun “as a great mayor…a wise and beneficent governor…[and] one of the most useful and influential Congressmen this State or city ever had.”64

William P. Swann omas Swann, Jr. Wilson C. Swann

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s his political, economic, and social life was firmly rooted in Baltimore, Swann Jr. never took permanent residence at Morven Park. While he engaged in agricultural pursuits on site along with his brothers William and Wilson, the estate primarily served as a country retreat for Swann Jr. and his family. In letters to Robert Gilmor, his wife’s uncle, Swann Sr. frequently wrote of the benefits of the fresh mountain air and the quiet of the country.65

Leesburg, 1853

Fig. 3-3: 1853 Map of Morven Park, (Balch Library, redrawn by author)

While his ownership of Morven Park began with six to seven hundred acres, Swann Jr. gradually bought out his siblings’ interests in order to reunite the estate, ultimately holding more than one thousand acres.66 (See Appendix 1) An 1853 map of Leesburg showing three Swann residences on the parcel- William at Ravenswood, Thomas Jr. at the central mansion, and Wilson at Belgrove- as well as personal correspondence between the brothers, indicates that they continued to live on the property.

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wann Jr. did not wait long before making his own mark on the house, renovating it in the mid-nineteenth century in the trendy Italianate architectural style of the time. Morven Park was not the only home in the area that was influenced by the trend; Kenslee Hall, Arcadia and Springwood, all located along Route 15, were also updated.67 Swann Jr. began by gutting the interior of the three-story “Middle House” in order to create two high-ceilinged rooms, a grand entrance hall on the first floor and a ballroom on the second; he also connected it to the free-standing buildings on the north and south with wings.68 The most dramatic change, however, was the addition of four square Italianate towers as illustrated in the 1861 watercolor out of the office of the Baltimore architectural firm of Lind & Murdoch.

Edmund G. Lind and William T. Murdoch first partnered in 1856; soon after, their Grecian-Italianate design for the prestigious Peabody Institute was selected by the Peabody trustees. While their partnership did not last long, dissolving around 1860, Lind remained on the project until its completion in 1878.69 Swann Jr. most likely enlisted their services prior to the dissolution of their partnership as both names are included on the watercolor. Lind’s 1856-1902 record book included an 1859 line item entry in the amount of $14,000 for

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“Alteratns to country estate of Hon. Thomas Swann, Loudoun Co. Va.”70 According to Jim Wollon, the Vice President of Research at the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, this amount corresponds to Lind’s estimate of work, not the final construction cost.71 For some time, it was thought that these towers were never built, and that the watercolor reflected a conceptual design for the property rather than the finished product. However, the recent restoration of the mansion revealed architectural remnants of the towers. In addition, accounts from the Civil War, such as the following from Confederate soldier Willie Jones in October of 1861, suggest that the towers did indeed exist;

“After viewing the Yankee camps we went on and came to the largest mansion I ever saw. It was situated in the middle of a very large park in full view of the river. [The mansion is] two or three or four stories high and upon the top of it is an observatory. 72 ”
It is believed that Swann Jr.’s daughter, Mary Mercer, and her husband removed the two tallest towers around 1890 and incorporated the two smaller towers on each end into their renovated living space.73 hile little is known about the early history of Morven Park’s ornamental landscape, the watercolor depicts a scene fairly typical of midnineteenth century picturesque design. Deeply rooted in the principles of English landscape theory, the American picturesque was a natural style, popularized by prominent landscape designers including Andrew Jackson Downing, André Parmentier, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Calvert Vaux. At Morven Park, the “dramatic natural setting, an expansive lawn, ornaments and naturalistic plantings, and a circuit through the landscape from which to enjoy a scenic panorama” all paint an orderly, but not overly formal, portrait.74 While the accuracy of the watercolor has been questioned, particularly with respect to the towers, there are many landscape elements that are illustrated

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Fig. 3-4: 1861 Lind & Murdoch watercolor of Morven Park. (MPA)

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with precision. Although some artistic license was taken with their coloring, the detailing of the bronze stags and cast iron urns, lions, and fountain are validated in both Civil War accounts and old photographs. A soldier in the 8th Virginia Infantry, Randolph Abbott Shotwell, who eventually fought at Gettysburg before being captured in 1864 and sent to Fort Delaware, reminisced on his days at Morven Park.

“October 1861- The location was delightfully picturesque; the camp being pitched within the pale of “Swann’s Park, ” an area of one or two hundred acres surrounding the summer residence… The mansion stood near the summit of the terraced slope, commanding a view of park, plain, and river; having a jet fountain in front, and two gigantic bronze stags, upon granite pedestals at the verge of the main terrace overlooking the grassy expanse below. 75 ”
On December 25, 1861, Private Robert A. Moore wrote in his journal,

“Spent a few hours very pleasantly at the residence of Swan’s [sic]. It is a model of architecture. The situation is very romantic. Several fountains but they are not in operation, beautiful flower vases, lion & deer in front of the house, they are cast iron. 76 ”
It is unknown as to when the stags, urns and lions first appeared in the Morven Park landscape, but one could assume that it was most likely around the time of the mansion remodel and other landscape improvements. The stags, the source of which is unknown, maintained their position in front of the mansion throughout the Swann era and possibly well into the Davises’ ownership of the property. Dated photographic evidence indicates that they were removed no earlier than 1908 (figure 4-8), but if the undated photograph shown in figure 3-10 was indeed taken around the time of the Davises’ return from Richmond, then the stags remained part of the landscape into the early to mid 1920s, though one verbal account claims they were not moved until the 1930s WPA era. The stags, though now in pieces, are still in storage on site, thus presenting the opportunity to cast bronze replicas and return them to their prominent position on the front lawn. uring the mid to late nineteenth century, Baltimore was the center of cast and wrought iron manufacturing. In fact, Lind’s design for the Peabody Institute relied heavily on cast-iron alcoves and balconies, and for this work, he commissioned Hayward, Bartlett & Co.77 Renamed Bartlett, Robbins & Co. in 1866 and now the Bartlett Hayward division of the Koppers Co., the manufacturer was responsible for the majority of the iron work coming out of Baltimore at the time, but the company of G. Krug & Son was also active. It is very possible that one of these two companies was the original source for the cast iron urns, lions, and fountain at Morven Park, but no markings could be found on any of them, and records for neither company could be located.

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Fig. 3-5: Pieces of the bronze stags in storage.

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The watercolor features three urns, a matching pair located in front of the porches on either end of the mansion, and a single urn shown in the lower right hand corner, presumably with its equal on the other side of the lawn. While the pedestal of the latter does not appear in any photographs, the pair of planted urns and their matching pedestals do indeed turn up in photographic evidence, including figure 3-6. In this undated image, the front of the rim appears to have broken off; the condition of its pair is unknown as a detailed photograph could not be found. However, it is very possible that one of them is still in use at Morven Park as the planted urn currently located in the boxwood garden shares many of the same characteristics. Figure 3-6 also features two additional urns, although narrower and taller than the ones in the watercolor. Again, one could assume that their symmetrical counterparts are located on the far end of the portico, and a closer look of the photograph indicates that at least one was indeed present. While these smaller urns do not appear in the watercolor, they could have been purposely left out by the artist in attempt to simplify the composition; the other possibility, of course, is that they were not present at the time. Only one of the smaller pairs is still on display on the portico, although no longer planted; the other pair is in storage with the stags. The cast iron lions are present in all available photographs taken of the front of the mansion throughout the twentieth century, suggesting that they have been a prominent part of the landscape for roughly 150 years. There is no reason to believe that they are not the original lions, although their platforms were most likely rebuilt. They appear to be in excellent condition, having been properly cared for over the years.

3-6 Fig. 3-6: An undated photo featuring four cast iron urns and younger foundation plantings. (MPA) Fig. 3-7: One of the two pairs of smaller urns in storage at Morven Park. Fig. 3-8: The cast iron lions are still 3-7 prominently displayed in front of the mansion.

3-8

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3-9

3-10

3-11

Fig. 3-9: The fenced fountain in the foreground. (MPA) Fig. 3-10: The landscape looking uncharacteristically overgrown; the photo is undated, but as the fountain is still in place, it was most likely taken around the time of the Davises’ 1922 return from Richmond. (University of Virginia Special Collections: 6560- Papers of W. Davis). Fig. 3-11: The view of the mansion after the fountain and stags were removed. (MPA)

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nother prominent feature in the 1861 watercolor is the three-tiered fountain on the front lawn. Despite Moore’s claim of several fountains as well as its inaccurate placement in the painting (in reality, it was much closer to the tow of the sloped lawn), this is the only one known to be on site. Its exact installation date is unknown, but the fountain was almost certainly in place prior to 1860, possibly earlier, as the following correspondence from Swann Jr. indicates.

“Saturday Ev. Dear Charles, I wish you would call and see Hu[bball?] and tell him that I wish him to send up immediately his man who fixed my fountain. The water has ceased running and the whole system is out of order. Let him come forth unto, as he promised he should, on times notice. Yours, T-S. 78 ”
While the letter, itself, was undated, its envelope was stamped in Leesburg on August 9, 185x. Another correspondence in the same Maryland Historical Society folder was dated 1853, and as the letter was penned on a Saturday evening, and it is reasonable to assume that it may have taken a few days to make its way to the post office, it could have indeed been mailed on Tuesday, August 9, 1853. The cast iron fountain remained in place well into Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis’ ownership of the property. The year in which the Davises donated it to Richmond’s Capitol Fig. 3-12: The Swann-era fountain now located in the Western Dell of Richmond’s Capitol Square.

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Square is unknown, but one may assume that it followed his 1922 post-Governorship return to Morven Park, perhaps during his renewed efforts for beautifying the estate. The cast iron fountain is the third to be located in Capital Square’s Western Dell, having replaced a “rustic stone pile fountain circa 1851” which, in turn, had taken the place of the “original spring-fed marble basin circa 1818”.79 The Davis fountain, as it is known, is located southwest of the Capitol Building on access with the Washington Monument and is still in operation. According to Jim Wootton, Executive Director of the Capitol Square Preservation Council, it is “photographed nearly every day”.80 The swan that had adorned the top of the cast iron basin for so long was not part of the donation and remains at Morven Park to this day.81 During the boring of over seventy geothermal wells into the mansion lawn in the mid-2000s, staff members found remnants of old iron fencing in the shape of a “perfect circle” as well as old water pipes.82 While the watercolor does not show a fence, photographs confirm that one was installed, perhaps already in existence at the time of the painting and left out for compositional purposes. The fencing was uncovered on the northern side of the lawn, “at 11 o’clock with your back to the house”.83 The opportunity exists for the fountain, with its location verified, its basin in Richmond, and its swan in safe keeping, to be recreated with a high level of historic accuracy.

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n the watercolor, the dense wooded hillside provides a soft backdrop for the almost shocking geometry of his Italianate towers, but the vegetation in the foreground is sparse, artfully paired and placed throughout the expansive lawn to appear as if nature’s hand was responsible. Apparently, Swann Jr. had developed an appreciation for certain species of trees, and in his 1860 address at the dedication ceremony for Druid Hill Park, he proclaimed both his knowledge of and adoration for,

“Ornamental trees of every class and foliage, now standing alone, and now clustering into groups of singular beauty and richness…The stately tulip tree; the oak, with its lacework of foliage; the hickory, glazed in brightest green; the maple, ready on the first frost of autumn to open its magazine of colors; the beech, with its grey and weather-beaten trunk; the dogwood, and the countless varieties of humbler shrubs, all flourish around you in unsurpassed beauty, in every variety of combination and graceful disposition of light and shade…A Park without shade trees is like a theatre without scenery; it is but the skeleton”.84
Despite his fondness for such species, it appears that Swann Jr. concentrated the plantings along the drives and lawns rather than the house as was discouraged by landscape designers at the time. “Trees should never be planted in front of the house, particularly when the house has been built in good taste, and at great expense”, wrote André Parmentier, who throughout his career strove to enhance, but not overpower, nature; “The front of the house ought always to be uncovered…otherwise the taste and expense are, in great measure, thrown away.”85 The front of the house most likely remained uncovered for some time, but by the turn of the century, large deciduous trees flanked the mansion’s front walk, shrubs grew along the foundation, and ivy covered both the mansion’s columns and the bases of the stags (figure 3-25). This could have been the doing of Swann Jr.’s daughter and son-in-law when the property passed into their hands after his death in 1883.

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3-13

lthough not in the watercolor, the gates located at the main entrance to Morven Park are another important feature of the Swann-era landscape.86 Primarily wrought iron with decorative cast iron collars and rosettes, the gates have been rumored to be a gift from the City of Baltimore to Swann Jr. although no evidence for this claim can be found outside of a 1927 article in The Southern Planter, by then owned by Westmoreland Davis.87 According to Francis O’Neill, Senior Reference Librarian at the Maryland Historical Society and expert on nineteenth-century Baltimore history, it would have been very unusual for the City of Baltimore to gift iron gates; rather, Swann Jr. was most likely presented with a piece of silver upon his retirement.88 O’Neill supposes, however, that Swann could have used his political weight to broker a deal with one of the local iron manufacturers. Another theory emerged during the 2011 restoration of the ailing gates by Vintage Metalwork, Inc. in Milford, Delaware.89 The vehicular gates, which had been hit by automobiles several times, were out of alignment and missing several pieces including the locking mechanism, and the two pedestrian gates were rusted and rotted, having been partially buried under two feet of soil and mulch.90 During the restoration, the word ‘LYDACH’ was found stamped into the top wrought iron rail; it is believed that the stamp originally spelled ‘CLYDACH’ with the ‘C’ having been punched out for a hole for the round picket.91 According to Stephen O’Ryan Curtis, President of Vintage Metalwork, the Clydach Ironworks was founded in South Wales in the late eighteenth-century and closed its doors in 1861.92 It is possible that Swann, Jr. was introduced to the Clydach Ironworks during his 1850s European tour as President of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad Company. After an extensive, six-month restoration, the gates were reinstalled on June 6, 2011. Once passing the gates, the tree-lined entrance drive gently winds through the south side of the property for approximately one mile before leading up to the house on a parallel approach. A technique commonly employed at large country estates throughout the nineteenth century, houses were intentionally

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3-15 Fig. 3-13: The iron entrance gates, prior to restoration. Fig. 3-14: The tree-lined entrance drive. Fig. 3-15: Possible road trace on the north side of the mansion. (Author, modified by William D. Rieley)

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To Baltimore

sited at some distance from the main road so that visitors were shown the extent of the owner’s property, often with the goal to make the owner “appear important and their visitors small and insignificant.”93 The drive certainly appears to have been carefully designed, with its layout closely following the advice of André Parmentier; “It should be from eight to ten feet wide…and gently serpentine. This winding should have a reason—that is to say—some groups of trees should be so placed as to appear to be the cause of it: for naturally the road would have led directly to the house, but the person walking, when he observes these groups of trees, will see at once why it does not.”94 This entrance road, much of it still tree-lined, remains the primary access to the mansion today, although it is now a one-way as a parallel exit drive was added in the 1960s before the property opened to the public.

To Belgrove

C

ircumstantial evidence suggests that there may have been a second entrance drive off of the current day Tutt Lane. An entrance on the north side of the property certainly would have made sense for Swann Jr. when travelling to and from Baltimore. A closer study of the 1861 watercolor, painted from a vantage point northeast of the mansion, offers some clues. Highlighting this view could be considered a fruitless endeavor if the Swanns and their visitors were never intended to approach the mansion from this direction; the strolling couple was also painted approaching the

To Leesburg

Fig.3-16: Historic Entrance Drives The primary entrance drive to the mansion is in red, with a potential road trace completing the oval dashed. The orange line indicates the theoretical secondary entrance drive, possibly utilized by Swann Jr. when travelling to and from the north. The connecting drive to Belgrove is in purple; the dashed segment is no longer in use.

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mansion from the north. In addition, expensive landscape elements, such as the fountain, were almost always located where they made the biggest impact, suggesting that its location on the northeast side of the mansion was significant. If this second entrance road did indeed exist, its use was most likely discontinued by one of the post-Swann Jr., pre-Davis owners or early on by Davis himself as it does not appear in any correspondence or records. The existence of an old road bed-turned farm dump beyond the T-shaped maintenance building may or may not be related. Another possible road trace is the sweeping arc illustrated in figure 3-15 and dashed in red in 3-16. As carriages and coaches could not back up, this arc would have completed the oval drive leading to and from the mansion. Beyond a slight depression in the landform, however, no documentation could be found to confirm its existence. The Scotts built the coach and carriage house to the north of the mansion in 1901, but it is unknown whether Swann Sr. or Jr. had similar facilities necessitating a road to this location prior to that time. The mansion was also connected to Belgrove. Shown in purple, one-third of the roadbed is still in use whereas the dashed section was most likely taken out of use when Morven Park, excepting Belgrove, fell out of the Swann family in 1898.

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hile much of the Swann-era landscape can be attributed to the popular picturesque aesthetic of the time, almost nothing is known about the origins of its design. Again, the 1861 watercolor, along with its multiple connections with Baltimore’s very first public park, offers some leads.

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Swann Jr. enlisted the professional services of Lind & Murdoch for the renovation of his country estate in 1859. Around the same time, a sixteen-year old apprentice by the name of George A. Frederick joined the firm as a draftsman.95 While Frederick’s role in the Morven Park commission is unknown, one may assume that he would have had access to both the construction drawings as well as the watercolor featuring the Italianate-style towers. When Frederick opened his own practice in 1862, various structures at the city’s new Druid Hill Park were among his first commissions.96 After Central Park and Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, Druid Hill is the country’s third oldest major public park, all three emerging out of the early years of the American Parks Movement which pushed for the creation of large urban parks as reparation for the oppressive conditions found in most overcrowded urban centers.97 Frederick is commonly credited for the 1863 remodeling of the nineteenth-century mansion-turned public pavilion at Druid Hill Park which included the addition of an Italianate tower nearly identical to, and thus possibly modeled after, the tallest of the four towers already in place at Morven Park.

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Fig. 3-17: The tower at Druid Hill Park. Fig. 3-18: Architect George A. Frederick. (Baltimore Architecture Foundation) Fig. 3-19: The tallest tower in the 1861 watercolor. (MPA)

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However, it was actually John H.B. Latrobe who designed the alterations, including the tower, to the new park’s public pavilion.98 Incredibly, Latrobe had his own personal connection to Morven Park as his son, Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe, married Thomas Swann Jr.’s daughter, Louisa Sherlock Swann, in 1860.99 In fact, that same year, Mayor Swann appointed John Latrobe, who had been lobbying for a public park since 1851, as one of five Public Park Commissioners responsible for the procurement and management of Druid Hill Park; Swann himself was Chairman of the Commission.100 Whether at the hands of Swann Jr., Frederick and/or Latrobe, it is highly likely that the Italianate towers at Morven Park and Druid Hill Park are connected. ruid Hill Park also provides clues as to the development of Morven Park’s ornamental landscape. Working alongside Frederick and Latrobe was a landscape designer and self-proclaimed architect by the name of Howard Daniels. Born in New York City in 1815, Daniels was most well known for his cemetery work, having designed at least fourteen throughout the 1840s and 50s, the majority of which were located in Ohio, Maryland and New York.101 A disciple of Andrew Jackson Downing and contemporary of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Daniels’ style was similarly picturesque and naturalistic, and his ‘Manhattan’ design for New York City’s Central Park placed fourth. In an 1855 self-advertisement in Downing’s publication, The Horticulturist, Daniels offered services for “Plans for Parks, Cemeteries, country Seats, Villas, Farms, Orchards, Gardens &c., also designs in all styles for Mansions, Villas, Cottages, Conservatories, Green-houses, Rustic Statuary, &c.”102 His views on the “desirable elements of designed landscapes” were outlined in a series of letters written during an 1855-56 tour of English parks and gardens and subsequently published in The Magazine of Horticulture.103

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3-21

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Fig. 3-20: Mayor Swann’s address at the dedication of Druid Hill Park. (Maryland Historical Society) Fig. 3-21: Druid Hill Park, c. 1890. (Bowditch, 62) Fig. 3-22: The mansion at Druid Hill Park is perched above a sweeping lawn which features a three-tiered fountain and a gently serpentine path at its toe, just like at Morven Park; c. 1870. (Bowditch, 57)

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In 1860, Baltimore’s Public Park Commission hired Daniels as both landscape gardener and park superintendent for Druid Hill Park; he was paid ten dollars a day.104 It was Latrobe who was responsible for recruiting Daniels, as both men were very involved in the rural cemetery movement.105 Originally an English-style estate, the almost six hundred acres had been “neglected (agriculturally) for a long time” and lacked the walks, drives, and other amenities necessary for a public park.106 Daniels, who felt his job was to “carefully guide the existing landscape while still maintaining the wildness,” laid out the park with the intention for the old mansion house and its sweeping lawn to serve as its central feature.107 In an 1860 article on the new park, Daniels wrote,

“Persons alive to the charms of a landscape will find at every move or turn new scenes bursting upon the vision...the site embraces a fine surface for ornamental treatment, abounding in a variety of undulations, gentle, graceful, and grand; finely wooded portions forming a dense exterior belt of primitive growth; groups and single trees diversifying the interior portions, and forming admirable park-like scenes”.108
If the 1861 watercolor is any indication, the same could have been written of Morven Park at the time. Druid Hill Park was formally dedicated on October 19, 1860; work, however, continued for several years. The dedication ceremony was a momentous event in the history of Baltimore, preceded by a full military parade and attended by the public as well as officials at the highest levels of both city and state.109 Mayor Swann presided over the ceremonies, and his address provides insight as to his views of nature,

“Cast your eyes…upon the undulating fields and luxuriant forests which surround you...What a transition from the busy and crowded streets, which you have just left. Nature has been your landscape gardner [sic]. 110 ”
he similarities between the landscapes of Druid Hill Park and Morven Park, circa 1861, are striking, and while no formal record exists, it is possible that Swann Jr. asked Daniels to visit Morven Park and provide guidance on the design of the landscape. It is impossible that the two men did not know each other, Swann Jr. having chaired the five-man commission responsible for hiring Daniels. The extent to which they interacted before and after Daniels was hired is unknown, but considering how invested Swann Jr. was in Druid Hill Park, one can imagine that he was aware of Daniels’ work. Fig. 3-23: The sweeping drive approaching the mansion at Druid Hill Park is very similar to the one at Morven Park. The timing of events is not perfect, but provides enough of a window to entertain the theory. With Lind & Murdoch engaged in the remodeling of the mansion in

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1859 and the watercolor dated 1861, it is possible that Daniels visited Morven Park in 1860, around the time of his hiring in Baltimore. As previously discussed, the fountain was almost certainly in place by this time, but this does not preclude Daniels from having made suggestions for other areas of the landscape such as the drives, plantings, and ornamentation. Even if Daniels played no role in the landscape at Morven Park, it is still possible that the opposite occurred in which the design of Swann Jr.’s Morven Park influenced Daniels’ work at Druid Hill Park, as is thought with the Italianate tower. Of course, without hard evidence, any connection between Daniels and Morven Park is purely theoretical. He died young of a stomach hemorrhage in 1863 without the fanfare of many of his contemporaries. Very few records of his work exist, and correspondence with several researchers interested in Daniels and his body of work uncovered no ties to Morven Park. nother attempt to form a connection between Morven Park and a mid-nineteenth-century landscape professional also proved unsuccessful. Frederick Law Olmsted is certainly the most well known of his contemporaries, causing many to attribute the picturesque aesthetic to him. Indeed, the “Olmstedian” appearance of Morven Park has prompted some to wonder if he had any hand in its development. A thorough search, by both the author and a researcher at the Olmsted Archives housed at the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, uncovered no connections between the two.111 The search also served to negate Robert A. Raley’s conjecture, in his architectural survey report, that Olmsted Sr. once visited and wrote about his impressions of Morven Park. The only certainty is that, prior to 1859, Olmsted visited “an old family mansion” in Virginia that had been remodeled in the “Grecian style” and furnished with a large “portico”.112 As Raley had previously established in his report that “Greek Revivalism [had] infected the American Continent…[with] the country side broke out in a rash of white temples”, it was rash of him to assume that Olmsted had been referring to Morven Park. It is, of course, completely possible that Swann Jr., himself, was the designer of the ornamental landscape at Morven Park. A well-travelled man of refined style with a pulse on the most fashionable trends of the time, Swann Jr. was fully capable of mimicking what he saw elsewhere on his own property. The writings and works of Andrew Jackson Downing may have been particularly helpful to Swann Jr. in such an endeavor as Downing had long been advocating the appropriateness of “ornamental” gardens for American estates.113 In fact, Swann Jr. quoted Downing in his address at the dedication of Druid Hill Park,

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“The delightful and captivating effects of water in landscapes of every description, says Downing, “are universally ” known and admitted. The soft and trembling shadows of the surrounding trees and hills as they fall upon a placid sheet of water, and the brilliant light which the crystal surface reflects in pure sunshine, mirroring too...all the cerulean depth and sunny whiteness of the overhanging sky, give it almost magical effect in a beautiful landscape. 114 ”
Whether at the hands of Daniels or another contemporary or even Swann Jr., himself, the ornamental landscape portrayed in the 1861 watercolor is still well recognized and received at Morven Park today. Delightfully picturesque, its natural setting, expansive lawn, ornaments, and naturalistic plantings capture the beauty, simplicity, and drama of mid-nineteenth century landscape design.

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ittle is known about the slaves at Morven Park. In a September 1, 1838 letter to Robert Gilmor, Thomas Jr. wrote, “Among a population of 90 or 100 (white and black) upon my fathers [sic] estate, and have not a single case of sickness of any description.”115 What percentage of this “population” was enslaved is not known for certain, but the 1840 inventory conducted upon Thomas Swann Sr.’s death indicates that he owned sixty “Negroes” with a cumulative value of $20,050.116 (See Appendix 2) Roughly half of the slaves were men, individually valued between $150 and $700, while the women ranged from $100 to $500 (The slave listed as Patty had originally been valued at $350, but was later declared “valueless”). Only nine of the men and none of the women were recorded with both first and last names. In his 1839 will, Swann Sr. laid out his wishes for the division of his slaves among his children. Thirteen of the slaves to be passed to Mary, Wilson, and Robert were recorded by name; others were referred to only in terms of their mother, with the “rest and residue of my slaves” passing to Swann Jr.117 Beyond the inventory, the vague history of the slaves at Morven Park must be pieced together from fragments of information. While Thomas Jr. purchased much of the adjacent land that his father had left to his siblings, it is unclear whether he acquired additional slaves. A brochure at Morven Park asserts that prior to the Civil War, “Thomas Swann’s plantation was worked by twenty slaves.”118 A letter from 1852, however, implies that he had eight. A.M. Vaudevanter, possibly an accountant, informed Swann Jr. that for the year 1850 he owed $39.46 in taxes for 863 acres of land, seven tithes, eight Negroes, and twelve horses.119 A February 1853 letter to Thomas Jr. from an unknown source does not reference the number of slaves at Morven Park, only that there are several, “Dear Sir; This being a time of the year when the demand for money is quite urgent, I write to beg of you to remit me, if convenient, the amt. for attending [to the] servants at Morven [Park on] Nov. 1st, 1852. What that amt. is, we did not determine upon + I leave it entirely to yourself to fix upon it.”120

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ittle is known about the slave housing at Morven Park as well, and so it is helpful to begin with what is known about typical slave accommodations in Virginia at the time. In his 1991 book, By the works of their hands: Studies in Afro-American folk life, John Michael Vlach writes,

“Slave habitation was the smallest, most primitive element in the colony. While slave houses were not so very different from the cabins in which many white Virginians lived for some time, they were very different from the great houses of the ‘great men’ who owned both the largest tracts of land and the largest numbers of slaves… [The majority of slaves] were set up at quarters… an assemblage of structures and spaces including, potentially, an overseer’s house, slave dwellings, barns, pens, planted fields, pastures, woodlots, slave gardens, and other work spaces like saw pits or clothes lines. The quarter can be productively understood then as a farm within a larger farm. 121 ”
As Morven Park had at least sixty slaves at one time, it is logical to assume that a large number of them lived together in quarters similar to Vlach’s description, although one is left to guess where. One hypothesis put forth by Morven Park staff is that they were located along the road that once connected Morven Park and Belgrove, roughly where the small Civil War camp was thought to be.

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The only other information regarding slave housing is limited to individual buildings. The 1837 deed that transferred ownership of six to seven hundred acres of Morven Park from Thomas Swann Sr. to his Junior for $25,000 used a stone slave house as the southern boundary. “By a line to be run at the distance of twenty feet to the South of the gable end of the Stone House now occupied by his slaves John Fitzhugh and his wife and others near to the Spring.”122 (See Appendix 3) The only known stone house at the time of the sale is the original field stone structure on site when Swann Sr. purchased the property in 1800, and twenty feet south of its gable end is well north of the north face of the “Middle House.” If it is not to be believed that the six to seven hundred acres that Thomas Jr. bought from his father did not include the Greek Revival dwelling, then there must have been another stone building in the proximity. The stone marker aside, it is also thought that the southern brick structure, added by Swann Sr. in the 1820s in an attempt to balance the original stone and brick buildings on the north side of the “Middle House”, served as slave quarters as well as a kitchen.123 It is unclear as to whether or not the aforementioned slave houses continued to serve as such after Swann Jr.’s later Italianate remodel in which both structures were adjoined to the central dwelling. Contributing to the uncertainty of slave life is a November 1868 letter in which Ferdinand Latrobe wrote that his father-in-law, Swann Jr., was, “at one time a large slaveholder, but…emancipated his slaves some time before the war.”124 The only known evidence of such an action is an 1852 Deed of Manumission stating that Ramey Neale, a black servant, would be “manumitted from servitude to Thomas Swann because of just causes.”125 In fact, a Civil War account from a 17th Maine Regiment soldier who marched across the property in 1862 appears to refute Latrobe’s claim of emancipation altogether. The same November 1st journal entry from John W. Haley also suggests that racism was not limited to the South.

“Mr. Swan’s plumage is none too immaculate in respect to the Secession heresy; he departed summarily sometime previous to our arrival, leaving his estate in charge of a lot of niggers, who chattered and grinned like so many monkeys. They were mortally scared, as if they expected to be devoured then and there. But having lunched on chicken and turkey we felt little inclination to sup on crow, so we passed along and didn’t molest them or the house. 126 ”
If Latrobe’s claim is not to be believed, then one must wonder what happened to Swann Jr.’s slaves on January 1, 1863, the day that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect. “Almost nothing is known of…the strength of their feelings about emancipation, or whether they left the area or stayed to work as free labor...nor of their feelings toward their former master.”127 There is only one slave, Mary Mallory, for whom more than just a name is known. Mary’s great-granddaughter, Alberta Lee Anderson, maintains that Mary grew up at Morven Park with her mother and that she had fourteen children, some fathered by Thomas Swann Jr. himself.128 The evidence supporting the latter claim is unknown, but a 2005 Washington Post article claims that the 1870 Loudoun census lists Mary, 43, with “seven children, three born when she was a slave” and three of which were “noted as mulattoes.” The same article also asserts that 1850 Swann family slave censuses list “five black women all in their twenties.” The name “Mary” does, in fact, show up Swann Sr.’s 1840 slave inventory; she is valued at $300.129

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Thought to have been later sold to the Brown family of Waterford, Mary is assumed to have never left the Leesburg area, and if Anderson’s claim is to be believed, she had another seven children.130 Mary died in the fall of 1921, and a front page article appeared on September 15 in the Loudoun Mirror entitled, “Good Colored Woman Dead, Said to be 108 Years Old.”131 While her age has since been refuted, the obituary paid tribute to her character, “All the older white people who knew her had for her sentiments not only of affection but of very high respect. She was unusually intelligent and of unblemished character and raised a family of respectable and useful children.” She is buried in Leesburg’s Mount Zion Cemetery. n June 1878 at the age of 69 and having been widowed two years earlier, Thomas Swann Jr. married Miss Josephine Ward, daughter of Congressman Aaron Ward and a “famous belle in New York society.”132 Josephine’s first husband was New Jersey United States Senator John Renshaw Thomson, “social leader of the national capital”; they had married in 1845.133 Coincidentally, Senator Thomson’s first wife was Annie Stockton, the daughter of Richard Stockton of Morven, the property in Princeton, New Jersey thought to be the inspiration for the naming of Morven Park.134 As Josephine was “wealthy in her own right, Swann insured his children and grandchildren’s inheritance by establishing a large trust for them” which included Morven Park. The marriage soon proved unsuccessful, however, and the couple separated.135 Shortly thereafter, Swann Jr. died at Morven Park on July 24, 1883 and was buried in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery.

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Fig. 3-24: U.S. Senator John Renshaw Thomson, first husband of Swann Jr.s ’ second wife, Josephine Ward. (wikipedia)

Upon his death, Morven Park was passed to his three surviving daughters, Jane Ferguson, Elizabeth Whipple, and Mary Mercer Carter, as well as three grandsons. Maybe Mary, the youngest, and her husband, Dr. Charles Shirley Carter, formed more of an attachment to the estate and wished for it to remain intact, or perhaps they saw a real estate opportunity, but whatever the reason, they acquired the interests of the other five parties in 1888, bringing their total acreage to 1230 including “Morven and Belgrove.”136 Swann Jr.’s daughter and sonin-law wasted little time in remodeling his Italianate manor. By 1886, the two tallest towers had been removed, while the other two were incorporated into the living space.137 They added second story rooms above the stone passages and raised the height of the roof on both wings to that of the portico.138 Whether it was the purchase of their siblings’ interests in the property or their extensive renovations, the Carters found, only ten years after they acquired the entire estate, that they could no longer afford to stay at Morven Park and put it up for sale.139

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fter nearly a century of ownership by the Swann family, Morven Park passed into new hands in 1898, when Mary Mercer Swann and Dr. Shirley Carter sold “over 1000” acres to Mary Theresa Rush and Reverend Doctor Richard Lewis Howell.140 Swann and Carter did,

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however, retain a small tract of the 1230 acres, the property known as Belgrove. The Howells retained the name Morven Park as indicated on the seventeenth of June, 1899 in The Washingtonian, “George Jackson, a colored man, was bitten on the hand by a copperhead snake on Dr. Howell’s farm, “Morven Park,” on Thursday last and the hand was considerably swollen.” The Howells’ luck did not improve as less than two years after they purchased the property, it was sold once again, this time to Elizabeth H. and John C. Scott for a sum of $60,000.141 The Scotts embarked almost immediately on a series of renovations to the property. On the twentieth of June, 1901, The Mirror, reported that, “A dozen men from W.B. Moses, Washington, are at work on Morven, thoroughly renovating the entire house. They expect to be employed from four to six weeks in painting, frescoing, decorating, and upholstering. This fine old estate will then indeed be one of the loveliest in Virginia.— Mr. and Mrs. Scott will receive a cordial welcome in our community.” A large billiard room was added on the mountain side of the house; built in the popular Queen Anne style, the room featured oak paneling and stenciled burlap wallpaper.142 The Scotts also expanded the kitchen and created servant bedrooms on the second story; in addition, water pumped from the side of the mountain supplied new ensuite bathrooms as well as irrigation for the front lawn.143 Often attributed to the Swann-era, the coach and carriage house as well as the adjacent coachman’s dwelling were built by the Scotts in 1901, the latter for the sum of $2500; the gatehouse at the front entrance was added for $1000.144 While While the work may have indeed found them living in one of loveliest estates in Virginia, it improved their social status, it also strained their finances. The Scotts soon found themselves not only unable to pay the amount they had borrowed from their New York trust accounts, but also their mortgage.145 On the fourth of April, 1903, the Scotts were forced to turn over the property to Elijah B. White, a local prominent banker, who assumed liens in the amount of $67,500 plus interest.146 White granted the Scotts six months to repurchase Morven Park and allowed them to live there, free of rent, during this period. White’s confidence in the Scotts’ ability to secure the necessary funds must have been low as the following advertisement ran in Town & Country in June, “SPLENDID ESTATES: “Morven Park” in Loudoun Co., Va., 1,100 acres, elegantly improved, one hour of Washington by rail. Price $125,000. 147 ” Unfortunately for the Scotts, White had calculated correctly, and on the fourth of October, took sole ownership of the estate. Four days later, White sold Morven Park to Mr. Westmoreland Davis of New York City, for the sum of $75,000; Davis paid $35,000 in cash, with the remainder to be paid in increments of $5,000 over the following four years.148 If White had not been so anxious to unload the estate, he may have profited another $5,500 as Davis had authorized his real estate broker, Mr. H. Rozier Dulaney, a hunting acquaintance, to bid up to $80,500.149 Davis had also instructed Dulaney to ensure that the lions on the front portico, as well as several other Swann-era items, were included in the purchase price.150

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3-25

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The only known documentation of the landscape during this transitional time of ownership is a handful of photographs. Note the foundation plantings of small ornamentals and the large deciduous trees flanking the front walk. Fig.3-25: Thought to be taken in 1903 during the Scott ownership; note the ivy on the columns and the lack of awnings. Figs. 3-26 to 3-29: Also thought to be of the Scott years; the lack of ivy and presence of awnings over the second floor windows and select first floor doors, however, marks a divergent aesthetic. One explanation is that the photos show the before and after of their renovations; another is that the first was taken during the Howell ownership. (All MPA)

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The Scotts, however, refused to vacate the house; it was not until White filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court that the Scotts, choosing not to challenge it, finally surrendered Morven Park.151 The Scotts held an estate sale, and ran the following advertisement in The Record.

“Public Sale of Personal Property, at Morven Park Mansion House, Near Leesburg, VA. Wednesday, November 11, 1903, Commencing at 10 o’clock, A.M. China, Glass, Ornaments, Bedsteads, Mattresses, Pillows, about twelve Rocking Chairs, Washstands, Bureaus, Wardrobes, dozen or more handsome Pictures, Matting, Carpets, Kitchen Furniture, Kitchen Utensils, two large Refrigerators, Iron Coal Oil Tank with spigot, Extension Ladders, Garden Tools of all kinds; Horse Lawn Cutter, in perfect order, 2 hand Lawn Cutters, also in perfect order, Wheelbarrows, 9 Stoves, heating and Cooking, Hose and Reel, 3 new Iron Gates, large Churn, Butter Worker, Cooking Cans and Shipping Cans, large Circular Saw, Hot-bed Sashes. 1 BAY HORSE, Harness, Truck, Side-spring Buggy with pole and shafts, Runabout, with pole and shafts, Dayton Wagon, Basket Phaeton, Cutter Sleigh, with pole and shafts, Painting Machine, Porch Chairs, Lawn Chairs and Benches, lot of Stable Fixtures. TERMS.—Cash for all purchases of Twenty Dollars or under. The sale will commence as above states, and continue until all is sold.— Nothing will be reserved. 152 ”
The day before the sale, Mr. Davis met with his agent to arrange for the purchase of several items, including furniture, elk and deer heads in the Billiard Room, and iron gates.153 The Davises procured additional pieces, including screens and a private telephone, from White who had acquired them during negotiations with the Scott family.154 In a period of five years, Morven Park changed ownership five times. But it was now in the hands of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis who would preserve the legacy built by three generations of Swanns while leading the estate into the twentieth century. Over a 130 year period, the primary dwelling at Morven Park was transformed from simple field stone to Georgian brick, from Greek Revival to Italianate to Queen Anne styles. The remarkable thing about these many remodels and additions is that, with the exception of the early brick “Middle House”, significant sections of each unique alteration remain. Rather than razing the existing framework, each renovation was of an “additive nature, concerned mainly with providing larger living quarters…the elimination of some of the more obvious inconveniences endured by previous occupants” and stylistic preferences.155 Purposefully or not, Governor Davis continued this practice of preservation, making only minor architectural changes to the home. As architectural historian Robert Raley wrote in the 1960s, “Morven as it stands today cannot be considered a masterpiece of architecture, but its value as a case history of architectural styles is of primary importance.”156

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Leatherman, Dale. (1994, Nov/Dec). “A governor’s legacy: Virginia’s historic Morven Park is a priceless asset to horsemen of every persuasion.” SPUR: The magazine of equestrian and country life: 30(1), 44. Robertson, Aimee. (2004). “The Swann Family: Builders of Morven Park.” The bulletin of the Loudoun County Historical Society, 8. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). “The Swann Family, 1800-1898; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, Va. 4 Buchholz, Heinrich Ewald. (1908). Governors of Maryland. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Company, 185. 5 Miller, Nancy Anne. (1969). Thomas Swann: Political acrobat and entrepreneur (Master thesis). Blacksburg, VA: Department of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 6. 6 Latrobe, Ferdinand C. (1868, November 13). Letter to Charles Lanman. Charles Lanman Collection #77-4, Thomas Swann, 1809-83 folder; University of Maryland, Hornbake Library, Archives & Manuscripts, College Park, MD, 1. 7 Buchholz, 185. 8 Robertson, 8. 9 Ibid. 10 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book 2A-315. 11 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-i). “Swann family tree.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 12 Ibid. 13 Buchholz, 185. 14 Raley, Robert L. (n-d). “Morven Park, a Southern rural retreat: An architectural survey report.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 2. 15 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deedbook 2K-97. 16 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). 17 Raley, 2. 18 Personal correspondence with Jana Shafagoj, Director of Preservation at Morven Park. September 26, 2011. 19 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deedbooks 2K-186, 2O-283, 2R-53, 2R-449, 2S-229, 3A-417, 4C-237. 20 Personal correspondence with Anne Gossen, Academic and Artistic Director, Curator of Exhibitions, Morven; August 31, 2009. 21 Robertson, 9. 22 Raley, 5. 23 Jackson, Andrew Jackson. (1850s). Rural essays. 206-7. In Raley, 5-6. 24 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). Raley, 6. 25 Raley, 7. 26 Raley, 6-7. 27 Personal correspondence with Jana Shafagoj. 28 Raley, 8. 29 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book 4C-237. Miller, 18. 30 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 4D-106. 31 Robertson, 10. 32 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 4I-201. 33 Miller, 18. 34 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Will book 4_-144. 35 Robertson, 12. 36 Unknown. (1840). “Inventory of Morven Park”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 37 Robertson, 10. Miller, 18. 38 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 4I-183. 39 Robertson, 11. 40 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). Buchholz, 185. 41 Robertson, 11. 42 Raley, 8. 43 Latrobe, 1. 44 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). 45 Latrobe, 1. 46 Ibid. 47 Buchholz, 187. 48 Buchholz, 188. 49 Buchholz, 184. 50 Buchholz, 187. 51 Ibid. Latrobe, 2. 52 Buchholz, 189. 53 Robertson, 16. 54 Robertson, 16, 19. 55 Robertson, 17. 56 Buchholz, 184-5. 57 Buchholz, 184, 189. 58 Robertson, 18. 59 Latrobe, 3. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). 60 Buchholz, 189. Robertson, 19. 61 Latrobe, 3. 62 Robertson, 19.
1 2 3

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Buchholz, 191. Unknown. (1883, July 24). Baltimore Sun. Retrieved from Maryland State Archives on September 21, 2011 from http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/001400/001464/ html/1464extsourcenote.htmlMaryland State Archives 65 Swann, Thomas Jr. (1839, August 26 and 1842, August 30). Letters to Robert Gilmor, Esq. Thomas Swann Collection (1815-1886). #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 66 Miller, 18. 67 United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. (1988). “National register of historic places registration form: Catoctin Rural Historic District.” Prepared by David Edwards and John Salmon, 11. 68 Robertson, 12-13. 69 Baltimore Architecture Foundation. (2007). “Edmund George Lind.” Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://baltimorearchitecture.org/biographies/edmund-george-lind 70 Lind, Edward G. (1859). List of Works, Manuscript: Memoranda 1856-1875. Lind E.G., 1829-1909, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD. 71 Personal correspondence with Jim Wollon, Vice President of Research at the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. September 15, 2009. 72 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g). “Swann’s castle & the Civil War; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 73 Robertson, 20. 74 Czaplewski, Victoria. (2006, November 20). “Morven Park’s garden history: for the Board of Directors, Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation,” 1. 75 Hamilton, J.G. de Roulhac and Rebecca Cameron (eds.). (1931). The papers of Randolph Abbott Shotwell, Volume 2. Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission. 76 Silver, James W., ed. (1987). A Life for the Confederacy: As recorded in the pocket diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore: Co. G 17th Mississippi Regiment, Confederate Guards, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company. 77 Baltimore Architecture Foundation. 78 Swann, Thomas Jr. (185_, August 9). Letter to Charles Ing. Vertical file #47906; Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 79 Personal correspondence with Mark Greenough, Supervisor and Historian, Capitol Guided Tours, Commonwealth of Virginia. August 7, 2009. 80 Personal correspondence with Jim Wootton, Executive Director, Capitol Square Preservation Council. August 20, 2009. 81 Personal interview with Allen Stoudt, Collections Technician, Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 82 Ibid. 83 Personal interview with Doug Smith, former Chief Interpreter at Morven Park. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 84 Baltimore America. (1860). “Inauguration ceremonies and address of Hon. Thomas Swann on the opening of Druid Hill Park, October 19, 1860.” Baltimore, MD: Bull & Tuttle, 1860. Accessed at the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD, 30-31, 33. 85 Parmentier, André. (1822). “Landscapes and picturesque gardens.” The New England farmer. In Leighton, Ann. (1987). American gardens of the nineteenth century: “For comfort and affluence. Amherst, ” MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 130. 86 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (2011). “Morven Park gates make ‘grand entrance’ Monday, July 11th, 2011.” Retrieved on August 29, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/e-news/2011/07 /morven-park-gates-make-grand-entrance/ 87 Unknown. (1927, May 1). The Southern Planter: (88)9, 20. 88 Personal correspondence with Francis O’Neill, Senior Reference Librarian, Maryland Historical Society Library. August 27, 2009. 89 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (2011). 90 Ibid. 91 Ibid. 92 Ibid. 93 Vlach, John Michael. (1991). “Afro-American housing in Virginia’s landscape of slavery.” By the works of their hands: Studies in Afro-American folk life. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 222. 94 Parmentier in Leighton, 130. 95 Baltimore Architecture Foundation. (2007). “George A. Frederick.” Retrieved August 17, 2009 from http://baltimorearchitecture.org/biographies/george-a-frederick 96 Ibid. 97 Bowditch, Eden Unger and Anne Draddy. (2008). Druid Hill Park: The heart of historical Baltimore. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 37. 98 City of Baltimore. (2010). “Druid Hill Park”. Retrieved August 29, 2011 from http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/BoardsandCommissions/HistoricalArchitecturalPreservation/HistoricDistricts /MapsofHistoricDistricts/DruidHillPark.aspx 99 Semmes, John Edward. (1917). John H. B. Latrobe and his times, 1803-1891. Baltimore, MD: The Norman Remington Co., 577. 100 Bowditch, 40. 101 Personal correspondence with Rick Hoehn, Principal of Hoehn Landscape Architecture, LLC. September 28, 2009. 102 The Cultural Landscape Foundation. (2009). “Howard Daniels.” Retrieved March 27, 2011 from http://tclf.org/pioneer/howard-daniels 103 Ibid. 104 Bowditch, 53. 105 Bowditch, 52. 106 Daniels, Howard. (1860). “A Public Park for Baltimore.” The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste; v 15, 436. 107 Bowditch, 53, 62. 108 Daniels, 437-8. 109 Baltimore America, 5. 110 Baltimore America, 29-30. 111 Personal correspondence with Michele Clark, Researcher at Olmsted National Historic Site. July 28, 2009. 112 Raley, 9. 113 Raley, 10. 114 Baltimore America, 35. 115 Swann, Thomas Jr. (1838, September 1). Letter to Robert Gilmor, Esq. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 116 Unknown. (1840). “Inventory of Morven Park”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 117 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Will book 4_-144. 118 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g).
63 64

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119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156

Vaudevanter, A.M. (1850, November 22). Letter to Thomas Swann Jr. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. Unknown. (1853, February 1). Letter to Thomas Swann Jr. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. Vlach, 215, 219. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 4I-201. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). Latrobe, 2. Swann, Thomas Jr. (1852). Deed of Manumission. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. Silliker, Ruth L. (editor). (1987). The rebel yell & the Yankee hurah: The Civil War journal of a Maine volunteer: Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Regiment. Camden, ME: Down East Books, 45. Robertson, 18-19. Scheel, Eugene. (2005, June 19). “A former slave’s life, revealed in bits and pieces”, The Washington Post. Unknown. (1840). “Inventory of Morven Park”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Scheel. Ibid. Buchholz, 191. Ibid. Raley, 13. Buchholz, 191. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 7B-236. Personal correspondence with Jana Shafagoj. Robertson, 20. Raley, 14. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 7P-296. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 7U-28. Raley, 13. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). “Old mansion restored; Morven Park handsomely improved by its new owners.” (1902, January 26). The Times; Richmond, VA, 17. Retrieved on September 30, 2011 from http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034438/1902-01-26/ed-1/seq-17/ Ibid. Green, Carolyn. (1998). Morley: The intimate story of Virginia’s Governor & Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Leesburg, VA: Goose Creek Productions, 22. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 7Y-5. “Splendid Estates”. (1903, June 20). Town & Country, 58(15), 29. Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book, 7Y-5. Green, 22. Ibid. Ibid. “Public Sale of Personal Property, at Morven Park Mansion House, Near Leesburg, VA.” (1903, November 6). The Record. Morven Park Archives. Green, 24. Green, 23. Raley, 1. Raley, 15.

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4 The Davis Era: The making of a showplace

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nnie Harwood Lewis Morriss and Thomas Gordon Davis met in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1855. Both children of generations of Southern aristocrats, they married months later in Richmond, Virginia, and chose his family’s “Palmetto Home” plantation near Statesburg, South Carolina, as their primary residence.1 In addition to “Palmetto Home”, the couple managed four other plantations- two from her family, three from his- and Thomas spent a great deal of time travelling between South Carolina and Mississippi.2 Two sons were born to them- Thomas Jr. arrived in 1857 and Westmoreland followed in August 1859 while the family was in Europe on their annual business trip.3 Three months later, Thomas Jr. died from a pestilence; Thomas Sr. passed six months after that. Annie made the difficult decision to leave South Carolina and moved back to Richmond with nine-month old Westmoreland in tow; it was one year before the city was named the new capital of the Confederate States of America.4

Annie and Westmoreland were still in Richmond when General Lee ordered the evacuation of the city following the fall of nearby Petersburg in 1865. Almost six at the time, Westmoreland would later write that “the fall of Richmond and the entrance into the city of the northern troops was one of his earliest recollections.”5 Despite the retention of the titles to the five plantations, Annie, having lost everything else, could no longer afford the properties’ taxes or management costs.6 In 1873, Westmoreland began attending the Virginia Military Institute on the state’s dollar, and upon graduation in 1877, fulfilled his duties by teaching school for two years.7 Before attending the University of Virginia for a year of postgraduate work, Davis took employment with the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad Company for four years, first as a rail car tracer, then as the Captain of Company “C” of the 1st Regiment, Virginia Volunteers.8 Wishing to pursue a career in law as his father and grandfather had, Davis enrolled in Columbia University, and after passing the New York bar exam in 1887, accepted a position with the firm of Eaton and Lewis where he had worked as a clerk during law school.9 With Thomas Edison among its clients, Eaton and Lewis was one of the most prestigious law firms in New York, and after four years with them, Davis had become so skilled that he and a colleague left to form their own firm.10 With the success of his new firm and various real estate investments, Davis was well positioned to make his mark, not only in New York, but in Virginia as well.

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he woman who would become his wife was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1869 to Southern aristocrats, William Harding and Frances Curry Inman.11 Marguerite Grace Inman was described as “an energetic child, although quiet and polite when called upon to be so,” had three older siblings- Robert, Fannie Jane or Jenny, and Willie Lee.12 When Marguerite was eleven years old, the family moved from Brooklyn to a mansion at West 56th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan.13 As the children of a wealthy investor, they grew up as part of the upper class and received the “finest of private school educations.”14 After William’s death in August of 1888, Frances sought a lawyer to assist her in handling her late husband’s estate; it was Marguerite’s cousin, Walker, who recommended Westmoreland Davis.15 Though eleven years her senior, Davis was “attracted to Marguerite’s graciousness, idealism, and optimism, and apparently followed her around Europe until she would accept his proposal.”16 Marguerite and Westmoreland were married at St. Margaret’s Church in Westminster, London on August 7, 1892.17 Westmoreland brought to the marriage two properties in the prestigious Tuxedo Park development, located forty miles outside of New York City. After a year of living at the Waldorf Hotel, the Davises moved to “Bagatelle”, a Queen Anne Revival-style house that Westmoreland had had built on one of the Tuxedo Park lots prior to their marriage; the other property, located a quarter of mile from “Bagatelle”, contained his stables and carriage house.18 Two years later, in August of 1895, tragedy struck the Inman family when Marguerite’s brother, Robert, was killed in a yachting accident. Described in some accounts as a “handsome and debonair bachelor” and others as a “playboy”, Robert had been sailing his yacht, the Adelaide, in the New York Harbor when it was struck by a passenger ferry returning from Coney Island.19 Mysterious circumstances surrounded the incident as witnesses told the press that “it looked as though the steamboat deliberately attempted to run down the yacht,” and Robert’s body was never recovered.20 The stress may have proved too much for Marguerite’s mother, Frances, who died three years later. Per her father’s will, the principal of the estate was divided equally between the trusts of the surviving siblings; even if Robert had been married, no money would have gone to his wife.21 William’s foresight regarding his children’s inheritance would prove to be very significant to the future preservation of Morven Park.

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Fig. 4-1: Portrait of Marguerite Davis. (MPA)

Fig. 4-2: Westmoreland Davis in his foxhunting red tails. (MPA)

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Fig. 4-3: Morven Park in 1905, two years into the Davis’ ownership; note the presence of the Swann-era ornamental stags, lions and urns, as well as the absence of foundation plantings. (UVA SC 6560, papers of W. Davis)

n April of 1902, the Davises joined several members of the Orange County Hunt for a foxhunt in Warrenton.22 The trip, along with Marguerite’s insistence that he “slow down,” convinced Westmoreland to return to his native Virginia; upon the resignation of his legal practice, he and Marguerite moved to their 1100-acre Morven Park estate in 1903.23 As very little work was necessary on the house due to the Scotts’ extensive remodeling, the Davises wasted little time in settling in.24 They filled the twenty-two room mansion with antique furniture, sculpture, paintings, and other pieces they had collected during their travels around the world; family portraits and seventeenth century Flemish Brabent tapestries adorned the walls.25 While Westmoreland and Marguerite would introduce significant changes to Morven Park’s ornamental landscape in the 1920s and 30s, they made very few during their early tenure. They retained the Swann-era park-like setting that surrounded the house as well as the stags, lions, and urns. The fountain that Swann Jr. added in the 1850s also remained for some time, but it is unknown whether it was extant upon the Davises’ purchase of the property. While large boxwood would eventually line the front façade, early photographs show only a handful of foundation plantings. The ivy that once grew on the columns was removed, but it is unclear whether this was at the hands of the Scotts, E.B. White, or the Davises. Overall, the Davises preserved their estate’s rural character which was praised in Robert Lancaster’s 1915 Historic Virginia Homes and Churches,

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Fig. 4-4: Morven Park in 1906; the trim is noticeably dark. (Virginia Historical Society)

“Morven Park with its 1000 acres of fertile land, its spacious and distinguished looking mansion, its wide stretches of greensward and its stately trees is one of the finest estates in all Virginia. 26 ”

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Fig. 4-5: Marguerite, a skilled equestrian, was known to never miss the finish of a day’s hunt, regardless of miles covered or roughness of terrain. (MPA) Fig. 4-6: A hunt at Morven Park. (MPA) Fig. 4-7: The Davises visit their purebred hunting stock at Big Springs Farm. (MPA) s the foxhunt in Warrenton was partially responsible for Westmoreland and Marguerite’s move to Virginia, it came as no surprise that they were committed to pursuing the sport locally. Finding no formal hunt in place upon their arrival to Loudoun County, the Davises lent their considerable energy and organizational skills to establishing the Loudoun Hunt.27 In no time, the Loudoun Club was nearing sixty members, each paying $10 a year in dues to maintain the hounds and cover other incidentals.28 The kennels that housed the Hunt’s numerous American hounds were located at Morven Park’s Big Spring Farm as were the stables for the Davises’ purebred hunting stock.29 During the foxhunting season, which ran from fall to late winter, meets were held every other day, with hunts “conducted for pure sport, not for fashion.”30 The indigenous red fox, their quarry, was both “numerous… and mischievous enough to deserve to be hunted… He knows every inch of the ground, and to catch him is an achievement that calls for the best in man and horse and hound.”31 Westmoreland believed that Loudoun County would become one of the “great hunting centers in the country” and set out to make it so.32 Elected Master of Foxhounds in 1906, Davis spent a great deal of time cultivating relationships with landowners in the area and hosted lavish and legendary hunt breakfasts, balls and other social events, some accommodating more than 600 guests, for hunters and nonhunters alike.33 At one luncheon for local farmers, “fifty-five turkeys, twelve boiled hams, fifty gallons of ice cream, fifty gallons of coffee, and fifty gallons of oysters” were served.34 Davis also wrote a pamphlet touting the economic benefits of foxhunting to the community, contending that hunts attracted out-of-town visitors requiring lodging, stabling, and other services.35 While the hunts began in designated hubs throughout the county, including Morven Park, they extended wherever the foxes led, often causing damage to fences, farm fields, gardens, and other private property; to pay for such damages, a fund was established with the Hunt Committee handling all claims.36

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During his tenure, Davis helped to organize the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the mission of which is to promote and preserve the sport of foxhunting for future generations; it remains his most enduring legacy to the sport.37 Although Davis resigned from his position as Master of Foxhounds in 1908 to focus more attention on his agricultural pursuits, both he and Marguerite remained active members of the Loudoun Hunt for years to come, and their legendary parties continued well into the 1930s.38

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lmost immediately after his arrival, Westmoreland abandoned his law practice altogether and began transforming Morven Park into an agricultural show place.39 His first few years were focused on improving the infrastructure- existing barns, stables, and other outbuildings were refurbished, and the fields were plowed deeply with lime and planted with cover crops to enrich the soil.40 Davis immersed himself in agricultural literature to learn everything he could about crop rotation and other progressive practices, and planted only scientificallyproven crops.41 Within five years, Morven Park was well known for its innovative farming practices.42

Whereas Thomas Swann Jr. was only minimally involved with the farm operations at Morven Park, Westmoreland Davis was extremely hands-on, overseeing every aspect.43 He ran his five farms- Mountain Side, Ravenswood, Denning Springs, Connor, and Big Spring- as models of businesslike efficiency. Davis kept meticulous records; every penny spent or earned was recorded, every receipt catalogued. A demanding but fair boss, he expected his employees to work to his exacting standards and required weekly reports detailing the farm’s production and other operational aspects.44 He maintained two offices in their home; the farm office was located on the first floor in the original field stone cottage, with his personal office upstairs from which he could survey a large portion of his land. Livestock breeding was the heart of his operation, and Davis made several trips to Europe to hand select the very best for his herds– France for his Percheron draft horses, and the Isle of Guernsey for his cattle. Dorset sheep and Yorkshire hogs were also bred with both herds given free range on the property.45 In the early 1930s, Davis added Goldbank Bronze turkeys to his operation, and their numbers soon exceeded 20,000; by Davis’ death in 1942, Morven Park had become the largest supplier of turkeys in the United States.46

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Fig. 4-8: Sheep grazing on the front lawn in 1908. (Country Life in America via MPA) Fig. 4-9: Westmoreland with one of his Guernsey bulls. (MPA)

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atisfied with the direction that the farms at Morven Park were headed, Davis turned his attention to the broader farming community. In 1907, he co-founded the Virginia Dairymen’s Association with the intention of lobbying for legislation against new dairy substitutes, and served as its first vice president.47 Two years later, he was named President of the Virginia Farmer’s Institute, a group of roughly twenty farmers interested in progressive practices; it would eventually become the Agricultural Extension Service of Virginia Tech.48 In 1912, Davis purchased The Southern Planter, considered the oldest agricultural journal in America, in order to promote and advance his progressive agenda.49 Naming himself president, Davis used his publishing platform to share new and innovative farming practices, report the results of his scientific experiments, and urge farmers to lobby their legislators to support local agriculture. Every issue contained at least one advertisement for Morven Park farms, and feature articles on the Davis estate ran from time to time. Seeking a platform with a broader reach, he soon turned his attention to the Loudoun Times, purchasing it through a local corporation he headed; Davis would remain the publisher of both The Southern Planter and the Loudoun Times until his death in 1942.50 During the 1913 legislative elections, Davis campaigned tirelessly for candidates that were sympathetic to the needs of farmers, and along with those helping him in this cause, formed a non-partisan legislative farm league named the Agricultural Conference.51 In early 1914, the Davises left Morven Park for the winter, relocating to Richmond so Westmoreland had unremitting access to the Capitol.52 His efforts, on behalf of both the Farmer’s Institute and the Agricultural Conference, paid off as the General Assembly passed a number of progressive bills benefitting local farmers.53 Within ten years of his arrival in Loudoun County and first practical introduction to farming, Davis had not only transformed Morven Park into one of the most progressive farm operations in the United States, but had also become a driving force in Virginia agriculture.54 In March of 1914, he was offered the presidency of the Virginia Progressive Democratic League, but declined the position; his supporters would not be dissuaded, however, and as early as 1915, began encouraging Davis to join the 1917 Governor’s race.55 he decision to run or not was difficult for a number of reasons. Not only would it require leaving their beloved Morven Park for a number of years, but it would also take time away from Marguerite’s sisters, each of whom had recently suffered a tragedy. Her eldest sister, Jenny, was paralyzed in 1914 while living with her husband in Paris, and Willie Lee had been pronounced legally insane by a New York Court and committed to River Crest Sanitarium on Long Island.56 At first, Willie Lee accused hospital staff of “persecuting her” and claimed that “dead bodies were floating in the air” and that “the ground was rising and falling;” she also maintained that Marguerite was not her sister, but rather an impersonator.57 The following February, Marguerite and one of Willie Lee’s physicians were appointed as the Committee of the Person of Willie Lee Inman, and Marguerite, along

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with a representative of the U.S. Trust Company, was also charged with overseeing her sister’s financial affairs.58 Although soon well enough to leave the sanitarium, Willie Lee would be under constant care for the remainder of her life, dividing her time between the Inman family homes in Florida and Connecticut; despite staying with Marguerite and Westmoreland at Morven Park for a short while, she would never again acknowledge them as her relatives.59 In 1926, twelve years after succumbing to paralysis, Jenny was killed by her husband, William Payne, who also killed her nurse and then himself.60 Marguerite and Westmoreland travelled to Paris to settle the Payne estate, shipping many of Jenny’s belongings to Morven Park, and transferring her accounts at the U.S. Trust Company to those of Willie Lee and Marguerite; it would be their final trip to Europe.61 espite the personal tragedies as well as his inexperience in running for any office, Westmoreland Davis announced his candidacy for the 1917 Democratic primary. The third candidate to enter the Governor’s race, he faced the Lieutenant Governor James Taylor Ellyson, the Democratic party’s “Martin machine” contender, as well as Attorney General John Garland Pollard.62 Davis believed that government should be run like a business and pledged an “administration characterized by economy, constructive legislation and efficient public service, so that the educational and tax systems could be perfected, good roads could be built, and agricultural and industrial resources and interests would be intelligently and economically conserved and developed.”63 The central issue of the campaign, however, was Prohibition which had become law the previous year; although Davis did not drink, he opposed it, believing that localities should have the right to decide for themselves, and his opponents played up his “wet” candidacy.64

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“That Westmoreland Davis stands first in the hearts of the people of his own county, where he lives, where he farms, where he employs labor and where he is best known, is shown in an unprecedented form in the formation by his fellow citizens of the “Westmoreland Davis Club, in which practically ” every county official has voluntarily enrolled. ” 47
Fig. 4-10: (Loudoun Times via MPA)

Davis enjoyed local support from a group of Loudoun citizens who had joined together to form a Westmoreland Davis Club; several more materialized throughout the state.65 On August 7th, 1917, Davis shocked the “Martin machine” when he took the primary with less than half of the 90,000 votes cast; despite little support from his party, he was essentially guaranteed the win against his opponent, Muncy, come November as the Republican party was relatively weak at the time.66 As Davis’ biographer Jack Kirby would write, “Such was the irony that would make a wet, inexperienced, independent Democrat the governor of a dry and machine-controlled state.”67 Davis became the 55th Governor of Virginia, taking the oath of office while surrounded by hundreds of farmers and their families; conspicuously absent was Virginia’s entire Democratic delegation to the United States Congress.68 Characteristic of his no-nonsense approach, Governor Davis immediately set the tone for his tenure, replacing comfortable sofas and lounge chairs in his office with desks and filing cabinets.69 Davis’ inaugural address outlined his goals for office, which included economic and penal reform. As expected, he faced resistance from the General Assembly every step of the way, but was ultimately successful in achieving his goals for the state. After transferring the responsibility for budget-making from the legislative to the executive branch, he drafted Virginia’s first executive budget, and established the state Purchasing Commission.70 In addition to streamlining the state’s fiscal operations, Governor Davis enforced more humane living conditions for prisoners and initiated prison industries to manufacture goods for use by state employees.71 Davis also increased funding to colleges and universities, and lobbied for aid to farmers and funding for scientific farming research; overall, his tenure was noted for its “efficiency and economy of budgets and business systems.”72 Until the end of World War I in November of Davis’ first year in office, he had been intimately involved in coordinating the state’s contributions to the war effort, namely agricultural produce.74 Governor Davis’ greatest challenge was securing a labor force for the fields, but despite offering incentives and encouraging volunteerism, crops still went to waste.75 Davis spent a great deal of time attending to outbound soldiers as well as families of men lost in war, and both he and Marguerite attended countless bond rallies, personally holding over $30,000 worth of bonds themselves.75 For her part, Marguerite served as president of the Women’s Munitions Reserve, sowing and filling silk bags with gunpowder at a munitions plant in Richmond.76 She harvested peaches in support of her husband’s efforts to recruit volunteers to the state’s agricultural fields, and was always at the ready to play hostess to soldiers, volunteer organizations, and politicians, alike.77 During the influenza epidemic that killed 10,000 Virginians, Marguerite volunteered as a nurse at an emergency hospital set up in a local school.78

Fig. 4-11: Marguerite, left, filling bags with gunpowder at a Richmond munitions plant during WWI. (MPA)

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After the return of the soldiers and the end of the influenza outbreak, the Davises turned their attention to celebrating the end of the war and honoring those who had served. After a weeklong “Homecoming Jubilee” in Richmond, complete with fancy balls at the Executive Mansion, the Governor returned to Leesburg to personally award medals to veterans, and in 1920, the Davises hosted a grand party at Morven Park for wounded soldiers receiving care at Walter Reed Hospital.79 Many years later, Governor Davis would be made an honorary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in honor of his service during the war. Andrew Bell, the Secretary of the Winchester Chamber of Commerce, shared with the crowd that it was an, “honor to have the war time Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia as a member of our fraternity. This is fitting and proper, because it was Governor Davis who, during that trying period, went from camp to camp, and to points of debarkation to lend us encouragement and assistance and it was he who, on our return stood at the dock to wave a hearty welcome home. His distinguished service during that time and since, will not and cannot be forgotten by the veterans of the World War.”80 The ceremony, which was held on the lawn of Morven Park, was followed by a luncheon. Despite his vital and long-lasting achievements as the Governor of Virginia, Davis decided not to run for a second term, but rather focused his sights on the United States Senate. Announcing his candidacy in May of 1922, he faced incumbent Claude A. Swanson, a member of the “Virginia Democratic Machine.”81 Despite his varied achievements during his tenure as Governor, Davis was unsuccessful the second time around and lost to Swanson in the August primary. Although he would continue to fight the “machine” for two more decades through editorials and articles in the Loudoun Times and The Southern Planter, it was his last bid for public office; he was 63 years old.82 efeated, the Governor and Marguerite retired to Morven Park and turned their attention to the ornamental landscape, specifically the creation of a large formal garden south of the mansion. “Rather than align the garden with the house, in the colonial manner, the Davises chose to tuck the garden into an off-center area that would not interrupt the sweep of the lawn, or upstage the informal park-like effects of the Swann landscape.”83 The Davises are thought to have built the terraced garden first (figure 4-13). Modeled after the tradition of the Virginia falls garden, it measures approximately 230-feet in length and eighty-feet in width and features five crisp terraces with a walk down the center, originally gravel but later upgraded to brick. Planted almost exclusively with mature English boxwood, the terraces are bordered on two sides by a four-foot high brick wall with decorative iron gates. The Davises expanded their formal garden throughout the late 1920s and early-to-mid-1930s, adding several smaller garden ‘rooms’. By its substantial completion in 1937, the garden measured almost three acres in size and featured extensive boxwood hedges, a reflecting pool, a sundial garden, and other statuary. Without a plan, sketch or other evidence to suggest otherwise, tradition holds that Marguerite created the gardens without the assistance of a designer or landscape architect, while the Governor helped her care for it all.84 Marguerite was also active in promoting the Leesburg Garden Club, and frequently entertained the ladies on the lawn and among her gardens. Morven Park was frequently open to the public as part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week including the very first in 1929.85

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4-14 Fig. 4-12 & 4-13: Two of the photographs prepared for the Virginia Room Exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. The shared caption read: “The mansion at Morven Park is one of the stately and impressive old houses of Loudoun County. Note in 4-13 that the brick garden ” walk and steps had yet to be built. (Virginia Historical Society) Fig. 4-14: The Davises proudly pose in front of their mansion; thought to be taken around the same time. Note the extensive boxwood foundation plantings and the numerous mounting blocks along the drive. (MPA)

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As the Davises had spent exorbitant sums of money to fill their gardens with mature boxwood, they went to great lengths to ensure that they were well cared for. The Governor frequently enlisted the help of entomologists and pathologists who inspected the boxwood, either on site or via shipped samples. The boxwood were regularly sprayed for red spiders, and covered with burlap during the winter months. At the time of Marguerite’s death in 1963, it was reported that the old English boxwood at Morven Park were some of the most valuable in Virginia.86 Early photographs, paired with the documented purchases of large trees and shrubs, imply that the Davises’ goal was to make their new garden appear mature, as if it had been there for some time.87 Even as early as 1927, a feature article in The Southern Planter compared Morven Park to an old English estate, “It is indeed fit that “Park” should have been included in its name. The ensemble at once reminds one of an ancient English Estate, where advantage has been taken of all its natural beauties; formal designs and modern landscape effects have been avoided.“88 Referred to now in its entirety as the Marguerite G. Davis Boxwood Gardens, it was restored in the 1960s by landscape architect Charles Otey, dedicated to Marguerite in 1967, and is enjoyed nearly daily by the public.

Fig. 4-15: View of the terraced garden from beyond the iron gates. (MPA)

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hile generous with donations to the local hospital, churches, fire company, Boy Scout troops, and the Red Cross, Davis kept tight control on the financials of not only his farm operation, but his entire estate, never passing up an opportunity to save money.89 On March 24, 1920, Governor Davis, while in office, wrote to Mr. E.E. Garrett of Leesburg,

“Sometime ago Mr. Metzger was telling me of a deed which had been made by Mr. Eustis to a third party and from him to Eustis and wife as joint tenants, under the theory that at death the title would pass to the survivor and that this would be such a vested interest as would not be subject to the inheritance tax as well as would preclude the necessity of a will to transfer the real estate. I had thought of making such a deed to Morven Park if these results can be accomplished… 90 ”
Davis may have done just that as on May 10, 1920, Paul E. Spivey was engaged in a deed transferring the same tract of land Davis originally purchased from White in 1903, to Davis and his wife as joint tenants.91 However, in a subsequent deed dated August 21st, 1935, Marguerite terminated her joint tenancy of Morven Park.92 The significance of this is unknown, but as ownership of the property did indeed transfer to Marguerite upon her husband’s death seven years later, perhaps the action was taken in order to save on taxes or protect Marguerite’s inheritance.

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overnor Davis continued to expand his estate until the fall of 1942, when he was paralyzed by a stroke and rushed to Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore; he died on September 2nd.93 The following notice ran in the Loudoun Times-Mirror the next day:

“A career brilliant in achievement was closed early yesterday in the passing on of former Governor Westmoreland Davis, whose contribution to his native Virginia will long be history. Death came in Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, where he was admitted for treatment on Sunday. Active in his offices at his Morven Park estate until late Saturday, his illness was brief. Few men possessed greater courage than he evinced to the end. Friends close to Governor Davis in various walks of life gathered in the boxwood gardens at Morven Park near Leesburg this afternoon to pay his final tribute… Burial was made in a favorite spot in the gardens, cherished so long by their owner and among the finest in America…In the late years of his life he devoted the greater part of this time to managing his large acreage that lies adjacent to Leesburg and is one of the show places of Loudoun. 94 ”

Upon her husband’s death, Marguerite inherited his estate, the value of which exceeded $700,000, with no direction as to what she should do with it.95 At first, she was determined to maintain the farmlands as her husband had, but Robert Flynn, a longtime employee of the Davises, convinced her otherwise.96 Instead she leased a few parcels to local farmers, selling the rest, including the majority of the livestock and farm equipment, and decreased the once extensive Morven Park staff to two full time, including Flynn, and two seasonal employees.97 She also sold her stock in both newspapers, receiving $17,000 for the Loudoun Times and an unknown amount for The Southern Planter.98 Paul E. Spivey, the then vice president and business manager of the latter as well as a personal friend of both of the Davises, purchased her 1605 shares in The Southern Planter in 1944 along with B. Morgan Shephard with the stipulation that if they wished to sell the paper in the future, Marguerite would have first rights; they retained ownership until after her death.99 It took four years to fully settle the Governor’s estate at which point the proceeds from all of the sales were transferred to Marguerite’s accounts; excluding the extensive Inman family portfolio held for her and Willie Lee, Marguerite was worth more than $1.3 million.100 Marguerite remained at Morven Park for a few years, spending her days reading, playing the piano and working in the gardens.101 Flynn maintains that she “used to…go down to the boxwood garden and work from one to three plucking the boxwood,” leaving piles of clippings along the brick

Fig. 4-16: Marguerite in her beloved boxwood gardens. (MPA, undated)

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walk for him to cart away.102 After a few years, Marguerite began spending more time with Willie Lee and her companion, Mrs. Alice Proffitt, at their family homes in Florida and Branford, Connecticut, the latter of which was known as “Castle Rock”.103 According to Flynn, “she was in and out. She’d come here in the spring for a couple of weeks then she’d come back in the fall.”104 In January 1951, Willie Lee, Marguerite’s last family member, passed away in Florida, leaving her the sole heir, per the provisions of her father’s will, of the Inman family estate.105 Following the death of her sister, she continued to live with Mrs. Proffitt who “dedicated herself to [Marguerite] and was extremely close to her in every way.”106 As the mansion at Morven Park was gradually falling into disrepair with the furnace “so worn out that it couldn’t be used,” Marguerite spent even less time there, eventually ending her visits altogether.107 In a May 5, 1954 letter to Spivey, Marguerite wrote, “I was so disgusted at the condition of Morven and the farm, roads covered with water,” and again on July 26, “I am unhappy there, so why should I go back?”108 She began weighing her options regarding the future of Morven Park, and asked Spivey to make monthly visits to Morven Park to ensure that the $20,000 worth of annual upkeep was being put to good use.109 That same year, President Eisenhower was unsuccessfully approached regarding the federal government’s interest in turning the property into a National Park.110 For a short time, Washington & Lee University was named the beneficiary of her Estate with the stipulation that the house and gardens be maintained.111 Throughout the 1950s, she pursued the sale of the farmland, offering 1070 acres including six tenant houses, barns and other out buildings for $350 per acre, or $350,000 for the lot; she never found a buyer willing to pay that price.112 Despite numerous offers for the entire property, one of which was made on behalf of the descendents of the Scott family, onetime owners, she never wavered in her commitment to preserving the house and surrounding gardens in memory of her husband.113 Ultimately, Marguerite, who always referred to her deceased husband as “The Governor” and believed that one of his greatest successes was Morven Park, established the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation in 1955 to celebrate her husband’s legacy and that of their estate.114 With the exception of a few personal bequests, the Foundation was named the sole income beneficiary of Marguerite’s Estate which was placed in a perpetual trust with the U.S. Trust Company of New York.115 At Marguerite’s request, Henry G. Diefenbach of the U.S. Trust was named the Foundation’s President with Mrs. Proffitt, Mr. Spivey, and a Mr. Scully the Vice Presidents. In addition to maintaining Morven Park as a museum, park, and historic property, the Foundation was charged with advancing the “spiritual, mental, moral, and cultural welfare of the people of Virginia” through charitable donations to organizations with scientific and educational intentions.116 espite her considerable wealth, Marguerite arranged to receive only a modest monthly living allowance from the trust, remarking in a 1956 letter to Spivey, “I have a very odd feeling about what the Governor left me, he worked so hard, I feel as if what he left me was not entirely mine to dispose of.”117 Marguerite Davis died at her home in Branford, Connecticut, on July 13, 1963, just shy of her ninety-fifth birthday. Diefenbach and Spivey, the court-appointed executors of her will, were “directed to expend such sums as they may deem necessary to make the burial vault at Morven Park waterproof and in good condition to remain so and to cause it to be kept so thereafter.”118 After this work was completed, Marguerite was interred in the mausoleum next to her husband and surrounded by her beloved boxwood gardens.

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In accordance with her will, Mrs. Alice Proffitt, Marguerite’s longtime companion, received $400,000 in cash, $15,000 worth of Virginia real estate, and goods from the Connecticut and Florida Inman family homes, worth $2000 and $800, respectively; Proffitt had already received several cash gifts from Marguerite personally as well as $20,600 in jewelry.119 Ulysses Walker, Marguerite’s chauffeur and personal housemen for over twenty years, received $250,000 in cash as well as Connecticut real estate and a vehicle, together worth $88,916.66, which he was to split with Proffitt.129 Spivey, who helped her manage Morven Park for so many years without pay, received $300,000, and $50,000 was bequeathed to Diefenbach for his services.121 In addition to personal bequests, Marguerite left $100,000 to the Fig. 4-17: Marguerite’s longtime companion, Mrs. Alice Proffitt, at the 1967 dedication of the Marguerite G. Davis Memorial University of Virginia and $200,000 to the Virginia Military Institute Boxwood Gardens. (MPA) to establish need-based scholarships in honor of Governor Davis; the University of Virginia also received the Governor’s papers.122 The remainder of her estate passed to the Foundation to maintain Morven Park in perpetuity, although it took more than three years to officially settle her will.123 On October 17, 1967, following extensive renovations of the home and gardens, the Foundation hosted a day of celebration to honor both Governor and Marguerite Davis. A hunt breakfast kicked off the day’s events and was followed by the dedication of the Marguerite G. Davis Memorial Boxwood Gardens, and later the dedication and opening of Morven Park to the public; Alice Proffitt and the Honorable William B. Sprong Jr., a United States Senator from Virginia, were among the speakers.124 he Davises’ life at Morven Park represented a balance of the “easier temperament of Marguerite and the drive of Westmoreland,” but everything was done on a grand scale and with a great deal of pride for their beloved estate.125 Governor Davis gained great satisfaction by looking out the windows in his second-floor office knowing that he owned as far as he could see, and he always featured Morven Park on their Christmas cards.126 According to Flynn’s son, the Governor was so content with his country estate that he remarked that “he could settle down all of his life at Morven Park.”127 He did just that.

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Green, Carolyn. (1998). Morley: The intimate story of Virginia’s Governor & Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Leesburg, VA: Goose Creek Productions, 6. Green, 6. Green, 7. 4 Green, 8. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Green, 8-9. 8 Green, 9-10. 9 Green, 10. 10 Ibid. 11 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). “Marguerite Inman Davis; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 12 Ibid. 13 Green, 14. 14 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 15 Green, 13. 16 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 17 Green, 16. 18 Green, 11. 19 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 20 Green, 16. 21 Green, 14. 22 Green, 18. 23 Kirby, Jack Temple. (1968). Westmoreland Davis: Virginia Planter-Politician, 1859-1942. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 25. 24 Dyer, Walter A. (1908, February). “Country Life in Loudoun County: A Virginia community where certain ideal conditions obtain, and the lessons that may be drawn from ithorse breeding and dairying estates that pay a profit.” Country Life in America: 13(4), 385. 25 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 26 Lancaster, Robert. (1915). Historic Virginia homes and churches. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott and Company, 315. 27 Leatherman, Dale. (1994, Nov/Dec). “A Governor’s legacy: Virginia’s historic Morven Park is a priceless asset to horsemen of every persuasion.” SPUR: The magazine of equestrian & country life: 30(1), 48. 28 Dyer, 428. 29 Dyer, 428. Green 30. 30 Dyer, photo caption. 31 Dyer, 426. 32 Green, 35. 33 Leatherman, 48. Fishback, Mary. (2002). Northern Virginia’s equestrian heritage. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. Accession #SF294.26.V8 F57 2002, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA, 9. 34 Kirby, 41. 35 Roberts, Linda. (2005). “The Governor’s legacy.” Loudoun Magazine: Summer, 60. 36 Green, 35. 37 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). “Westmoreland Davis as Farmer; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 38 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). Fishback, 9. 39 Kirby, 27. 40 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 41 Kirby, 27. 42 Green, 30. 43 Kirby, 41. 44 Green, 27. 45 Kirby, 27. 46 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 47 Green, 43. 48 Green, 43. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 49 Roberts, 61. 50 Ibid. 51 Green, 45. 52 Green, 46. 53 Ibid. 54 Green, 45. 55 Green, 47. 56 Green, 56 & 83. 57 Green, 56. 58 Ibid. 59 Green, 57. 60 Green, 82-3. 61 Green, 83. 62 Bayliss, Mary Lynn Langford. (2011, April 7). “Westmoreland Davis (1859–1942).” Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved May 11, 2011 from http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Davis_Westmoreland_1859-1942
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Green, 49. Bayliss. 65 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-k). “Westmoreland Davis, Governor of Virginia, 1918-1922; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 66 Green, 52. 67 Kirby. 68-69 Green, 60. 70-71 Bayliss. 72 Roberts, 61. 73 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-b). “Governor Davis and Virginia in World War I; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 74-75 Ibid. 76 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 77 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-b). 78 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). 79 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-b). 80 Morgan, Elizabeth F. (1937, September 16). “Wartime Governor honored by V.F.W. at Morven Park Saturday.” Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory, Virginia Conservation Commission. 81 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-k). 82 Green, 76. 83 Czaplewski, Victoria. (2006, November 20). “Morven Park’s garden history: for the Board of Directors, Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 15. 84 Czaplewski, 14. 85 Cox, Teckla. (2011, July 7). “Historical sketch”. Leesburg Garden Club Collection, 1920 – (M 044), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA, 3. 86-87 Unknown. (1963, October 31). “Morven Park will be preserved.” Loudoun Times-Mirror. In Czaplewski, 17. 88 Unknown. (1927, May 1). The Southern Planter: (88)9, 20. 89 Roberts, 62. 90 Davis, Westmoreland. (1920, March 24). Letter to Mr. E.E. Garrett. Westmoreland Davis Papers (1889-1942). Accession #MSS 6560, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 91 Loudoun County Deedbook, 9K-288. 92 Morven Park Deed. Paul E. Spivey Papers, box 6. Accession #MSS 6560-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. box 6; folder: Morven Park Surveys and Deeds. 93 Green, 89. 94 Unknown. (1942, September 3). Loudoun Times-Mirror, 1, 4. 95 Green, 92. 96 Interview with Robert Flynn and son, longtime employee of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis. (1994, January 10). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 97 Davis, Marguerite. (1944, August 4). Letter to Mr. Younglin, Royal Indemnity Company. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 98 Green, 92. 99 Assorted documents. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 100 Green, 92. 101 Green, 93. 102 Flynn interview. 103 Green, 93. 104 Flynn interview. 105 Green, 57. 106 “Ante Mortem Gifts, Will of Marguerite Davis.” (1963). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 107 Green, 93. 108 Davis, Marguerite. (1954, May 5 and July 26). Letters to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 109 “Ante Mortem Gifts, Will of Marguerite Davis.” 110 Diefenbach, Henry. (1954, October 13). Letter to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 111 Davis, Marguerite. (1954, January 22 and July 26). Letters to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 112 Diefenbach. 113 Assorted letters and real estate offers. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 114 Green, 91, 97. 115 “Estate of Marguerite G. Davis, Deceased.” (1963). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 116 Green, 95. 117 Davis, Marguerite. (1956, January 8). Letter to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 118 “Estate of Marguerite G. Davis, Deceased.” 119 “Ante Mortem Gifts, Will of Marguerite Davis.” 120-121 Ibid. 122 Green, 95. 123 Carter Ledyard & Milburn, Counselors at Law. (1966, August 29). Letter to Henry Diefenbach and Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 124 Notice of Morven Park Dedication. (1967). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 125 Kirby, 41. 126 Green, 78. 127 Flynn interview.
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5 The French and Indian & Civil Wars: Morven Park in Wartime

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ctivity from two wars, waged almost exactly one century apart, permeated Morven Park. With the exception of a skirmish on its eastern boundary in September of 1862, all of the activity was non-military. Ultimately, the property escaped relatively unscathed from both the French and Indian and American Civil Wars.

ritish soldiers in the French and Indian War passed through what is now Morven Park’s Belgrove property in April 1755. Major-General Edward Braddock, along with his 44th and 48th British regiments, arrived in Alexandria with the mission to drive the French and allied Indians from their Ohio Valley and Great Lakes forts.1 The troops, which were joined by additional Virginia and Maryland soldiers, split up in Alexandria, meeting up again at Fort Cumberland, Md.2 The 44th regiment headed toward Winchester while the 48th, under Colonel Dunbar, set out for Frederick, Md.3 On April 9th, 1755, Sir Peter Halkett led the 44th out of Alexandria toward Winchester, stopping for their first night at the original Fairfax County courthouse near present-day Tysons Corner.4 It was on the second day that the brigade entered the future Loudoun County, overnighting at Coleman’s Ordinary, an inn off of today’s Route 7.5 The 44th continued northwest, passing by Belmont, and stayed at an Ordinary owned by Nicholas Minor, a captain in their war who laid out the town of Leesburg on a portion of his land only a few years later.6 En route to Edward Thompson’s plantation, Halkett separated his brigades from a point just west of what is now downtown Leesburg; he sent one east up Dry Mill Road through Paeonian Springs, and the other west along a rougher course that is now Old Waterford Road.7 It was this decision by Halkett that led the second group onto Morven Park’s Belgrove soil. Over a century later in July 1861, a South Carolina Civil War soldier by the name of J.W. Reid described the “camping ground of General Braddock” as “a beautiful grove of oak, hickory and other forest trees” five or six acres in size.8 Eugene Scheel, a prominent Northern Virginia historian and map-maker, asserts that this grove still exists at Belgrove, but it is difficult to ascertain whether or not is it indeed the same grove of which Reid wrote. While local legend maintains Major-General Braddock’s march through the future Loudoun County

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in April 1755, as illustrated by Reid’s 1861 assertion of Braddock’s camping ground, it is important to note that Braddock never actually stepped foot on Loudoun soil but rather traveled north into Maryland at Rock Creek with Major Washington and the 48th regiment.9 While ill-prepared, Braddock’s and Halkett’s troops did successfully meet up in Maryland to continue their march north to Fort Duquesne, Pa. Miles away from their destination, however, both men were fatally injured on July 9th in an unexpected French and Indian ambush at Monongahela River near presentday Pittsburgh; 456 of Braddock’s 1500 men were killed with another 422 wounded while less than thirty of the 300-600 Frenchmen and Indians were killed.10 The defeat of Braddock’s Army led not only to the Indian attack of many Shenandoah Valley settlements, but also to the arrival from Britain of Lord Loudoun as Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces and Governor of Virginia.11 The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War in February 1763.

Fig. 5-1: Route of Halkett’s Brigade through Loudoun County in April, 1755. Belgrove, misspelled as Belle Grove, would become part of Morven Park in 1859. (Eugene Scheel: The history of Loudoun County)

early one hundred years later, another war would infiltrate the area. The American Civil War (July 1861- April 1865) came to Loudoun County early in its campaign. Sharing borders with both Maryland and the newly formed West Virginia put Loudoun in a dangerous and vulnerable position. Bounded on the west by a low mountain range and on the north and east by the Potomac River, which in average conditions offered eight points of entry, Loudoun had little natural protection against invasion.12 Leesburg, in particular, held enormous strategic importance for both sides as both a transportation and communications hub. Not only did it sit at the junction of two of Northern Virginia’s main highways (present day Routes 7 and 15), but it also served as the western terminus of the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad (now the Washington and Old Dominion Trail), which connected Alexandria to the Upper Potomac.13 With the exceptions of the deadly Battle of Ball’s Bluff and the Skirmish at Mile Hill, both Loudoun and Leesburg were spared from major combat. By the end of the war, however, the majority of the valley between the Bull Run-Catoctin Range and the Blue Ridge was burned, and the continuous raids by both Union and Confederate troops desecrated the once rich and fertile land.14

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s the mayor of Baltimore in the years leading up to the war and the Governor of Maryland near the war’s end, Swann Jr. was not at Morven Park much during that time. Early on, Swann was both pro-union and pro-slavery, believing that the slavery issue was complicating a war which should be fought only to restore the union.15 Having researched the more recent history of slavery leading up to the war, Swann had written a “defense of its morality”, asserting that the two races could not coexist on equal terms.16 Although he became more politically supportive of emancipation as the war waged on, it may have been his apparent sympathy to both sides in the war’s early months that explains why no significant damage occurred to either his home or land. n October 21, 1861, three months to the day of the Battle of Manassas, the Battle of Ball’s Bluff was fought only a few miles away on the Virginia side of the Potomac. In an apparent attempt to take Leesburg, the Union forces were defeated by the 17th Mississippi and 8th Virginia regiments with the help of other southern troops. It was the second decisive Union defeat near Washington, and resulted in the death of 300 Union forces, including Col. Edward D. Baker, a close friend of President Lincoln and the only U.S. Senator ever to be killed in battle; another 800 were missing, wounded or captured.17 Though relatively small, the battle, which was blamed on the mistakes and misunderstandings of high ranking generals, resulted in the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.18 fter their victory, the 17th Mississippi regiment, along with members of the local 8th Virginia, remained in the area for several months to guard the numerous Potomac River fords.19 They established their winter quarters at Morven Park, setting up camp on December 24, 1861 in the woods north of the house.20 In this location, the men had adequate access to water from the nearby steam and springs as well as a plentiful supply of wood for building and fire; the wooded hillside provided decent protection from both the elements and enemy as well as entertainment, and its high point served as a lookout. Several men kept diaries, and much can be gleaned from their accounts of their time at Morven Park.

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“Marched through Leesburg & pitched our tents on the left of Swan’s [sic] Castle, at the foot of the Kittoctan [sic] mountain. After we got things arranged, myself and some of my group mates went upon the mountain where we had a panorama many [miles] beyond the Potomac & amused ourselves rolling large rocks down the mountain. 21 ” -Ezekial Armstrong, 17th MS, December 24, 1861
Construction of fireplaces and huts began almost immediately and continued well into February.22 On January 6th, the men received orders to construct their huts in a bomb-proof manner, and many daubed them by hand.23 The encampment eventually included more than sixty log huts with either canvas or plank roofs; each hut slept from four to six soldiers and some featured fireplaces and other conveniences.24

“Camp near Swan’s- Have been working on our house again to-day. Have finished it & moved in. Think we are quite comfortably & conveniently situated. Have built bunks & are well pleased with the idea of sleeping as if we -Private Robert A. Moore, 17th MS, February 5, 1862 were in beds… 25 ” 59

From the diary of Private Robert A. Moore, Company G, 17th Mississippi Regiment “Confederate Guards”: “Moved this morning to this place which is north of Leesburg & but a short distance from the beautiful residence of exmayor of Baltimore, Swan’s [sic]. We are camped in his park, see a number of deer feeding around us. This is one of the prettiest places in the state. I suppose we will remain here for the winter if the Yankees do not molest us. 26 ” -December 24, 1861

Fig. 5-2: Civil War activity at Morven Park.

Fig. 5-3: Mapped locations of log huts. (Eugene Scheel, MPA)

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The mansion, itself, housed officers and provided meeting quarters, and was referred to as “Swan’s Castle,” almost certainly due to the overpowering presence of the four Italianate-style towers which may have been used as lookouts throughout the winter.27 References were made to the fountain, reported to not be in operation at the time, as well as the cast iron urns and lions and bronze deer flanking the front entrance to the mansion.28 The broad expanse of lawn served as drilling, training, and gathering grounds for the cavalry. In late January, when “war excitement and reenlistment [we]re higher than ever,” the men formed in front of “Swan’s [sic] Castle” for an “able speech on the subject of reenlistment.”29 The lawn was also used for snowball fights as the winter was an especially snowy one, and many wrote about the splendor of the wintery landscape.30

Fig. 5-4: “Swan’s Castle” during the Civil War. (MPA)

“Bright, sunny Sabbath morning. Snow about six inches deep. As the silvery rays of the sun tinge the snow clad hills -Ezekiel Armstrong, February 16, 1862 & sparkle in our eyes, the scene appears more beautiful. 31 ”
The winter had been relatively quiet for the Confederate soldiers camped at Morven Park, but by late February, Union troops had successfully occupied northern Loudoun, and on March 7, 1862, the 17th Mississippi abandoned their winter camp, much to the chagrin of some of the men, to march south to Richmond.32

“Evacuated Leesburg this morning at 5 o’clock… Were a little loathe to leave our Winter Quarters. 33 ” -Private Robert A. Moore, March 7, 1862

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lmost exactly six months to the day, the Battle of Mile Hill took place in the northeast corner of Morven Park, just west of present day Route 15 at Tutt Lane. En route to Antietam, a small unit of General Robert E. Lee’s army was sent ahead to secure Leesburg and nearby river crossings. As Confederate Colonel Thomas Munford and the 2nd Virginia Cavalry approached Leesburg on September 2nd, he divided his men, sending a squadron under the command of Captain Jesse Irvine directly through town, while he and the remainder of his men marched north along the river.34 Irvine’s troops found Leesburg occupied by the Independent Loudoun Rangers, a Union force out of northern Loudoun under the direction of Quaker Samuel C. Means.35 Still recovering from a skirmish in Waterford a few days earlier, the Rangers quickly retreated north, and Irvine’s men followed in pursuit.36

Roughly one mile north of town, they encountered Cole’s Maryland Cavalry who were dismounted and unprepared for the attack from the south. As Cole’s men attempted to mount their horses to engage with Irvine, they were ambushed from the north by Munford’s squadron who had circled back along Smart’s Mill Road unnoticed as Cole had failed to post pickets at his rear.37 Those that were able to reach their horses fought back for a short time before retreating southwest across Morven Park toward Waterford and the Catoctin Mountains; Munford’s men gave chase for two miles before stopping to secure horses and prisoners.38 Out of approximately 200 men, the Confederates lost only two with another five wounded; the Unionists did not fare as well as the Loudoun Rangers suffered one dead, six wounded and four captured and Cole’s 150-men Cavalry reported six dead and twenty-seven wounded, eleven of which were captured.39 Munford’s success in chasing the Unionists out allowed Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, and Stuart, the four most famous men in the Army of Northern Virginia, to regroup in Leesburg before crossing the Potomac en route to the “fateful” battle of Antietam.40

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wo months later, the 17th Maine regiment marched across Morven Park on their way to Leesburg. On the first of November, 1862, John W. Haley wrote in his journal,

“In coming here we had a chance to glimpse the wealth of this section known as Loudon [sic] Valley. We passed many fine residences and I was much struck with the beauty of the country. One mansion in particular is so elegant that I can only describe it by calling it palatial, more like some ducal palace than the residence of a plain American gentleman. It is owned by ex-mayor Swan [sic] of Baltimore. Our route lay directly across his grounds, which we entered through a marble gate not less than a half-mile from the house. The grounds are very extensive and embrace a magnificent tract of country. 41 ”

It is unclear if Haley and his fellow soldiers camped overnight at Morven Park, but both Union and Confederate bullets were found at what may have been a temporary camp located southwest of the mansion, just south of the creek.42 It is thought that the 17th Maine regiment was one of if not the last to cross Morven Park, and with the war moving south, Loudoun County saw little significant action after 1862 beyond that accredited to Mosby’s Rangers. The 43rd Virginia was formed in June 1863 and centered their operations in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties in an area that became known as “Mosby’s Confederacy.” The Union considered the Rangers an especially dangerous battalion as they would execute lightning quick raids on Union supply and communication lines, and then quickly disperse among the homes and farms of local Confederate sympathizers; for this ability to seemingly appear and disappear at will, Mosby earned the nickname “The Gray Ghost.”43 In 1864, General Sheridan burned the valley between the Blue Ridge and the Bull RunCatoctin Range in an attempt to sever the Rangers’ access to food and other necessary supplies; this, combined with continuous raids by both sides, “laid waste to a once great agricultural land.”44

Fig. 5-5: “The Gray Ghost”, John S. Mosby. (www.KentuckyPress.com)

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or some time, it has been thought that Thomas Swann Jr. owned significant portions of what became Ball’s Bluff Battlefield before the battle began, and had either donated or sold the portion around the cemetery to the federal government soon thereafter. As early as 1865-66, the army was corresponding with Swann to obtain title to the land, indicating that he either owned or at the very least had some claim to it.45 However, incomplete deed recordings and unclear metes and bounds descriptions of transactions that had occurred in the 1840s had lead to a dispute between Henry T. Harrison, a Mrs. Jackson, and possibly Swann, over who actually owned the land on which the battle was fought.46 On April 4, 1870, Mrs. Jackson won the claim to the land in court, and sometime over the next five years and without a known record of sale, transferred the land to Swann, as he and his brother Wilson then sold it to Charles R. Paxton for the sum of $500.47 The Loudoun County deedbook 6H-240 recorded the 1875 sale, describing the land as, “two and a half miles from Leesburg…known as “Ball’s Bluff ” lying along and bounded by the Potomac River and adjoining the lands of the said Charles R. Paxton on the south and east; the lands of Mrs. Jackson on the South, and the lands of Thomas J. Harrison and others on the west containing in the tract hereby conveyed, about 41 acres, be the same more or less reserving and excepting however so much of said tract of land which has been heretofore given and conveyed by the said Thomas Swann of the first part to the United States of America for a cemetary [sic] and now enclosed as such and also reserving the perpetual rights of way over the land hereby conveyed to and from said Cemetary [sic] to all the authorizes of the Government and Laws of the United States, to visit said Cemetary [sic]. ” While Swann’s exact claim to the land on which the battle was fought as well as the land’s relation to his Morven Park holding remain unclear, Swann did play a role in ensuring that the cemetery would be preserved in honor of the fallen. oday, the story of the Civil War at Morven Park is an important element of the visitor experience. In 2003, more than fifty of the log huts built by the 17th Mississippi Regiment in the winter of 1861-2 were located and surveyed, and three have since been reconstructed in the vicinity. On select weekends throughout the year, Morven Park hosts its Civil War Living History Program. Centered on the three replica log huts, the program shares the perspective of soldiers from both the North and South. Daily life in the winter camp is reenacted as are drilling and firing exercises. In addition, exhibits about Morven Park during wartime are available for viewing in the Visitors Center. A Civil War Trails Marker stands prominently at the edge of the mansion lawn, commemorating the role of the plantation in the early months of the war.

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MORVEN PARK BALLS BLUFF PARK & CEMETERY

Fig. 5-6: Balls Bluff Battlefield Regional Park & Cemetery along the Poomac and in relation to Morven Park. (Google Maps)

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5-7 5-8 Fig. 5-7: Three reconstructed log huts. Fig. 5-8: Partial replica of Winter Camp; the Administration Offices are visible down the path. (MPA)
Scheel, Eugene. (n.d.-b). “General Braddock’s march through Loudoun in 1755.” The history of Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.loudounhistory.org/index.shtml British Battles. “The battle of Monongahela 1755 - Braddock’s defeat.” Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.britishbattles.com/braddock.htm Templeman, Eleanor Lee & Nan Netheron. (1966). Northern Virginia Heritage. Privately published by Eleanor Lee Templeman, 86. 4-8 Scheel. (n.d.-b). 9 Templeman et al, 86. 10 British Battles. 11 Templeman et al, 112. 12 Divine, John. (1961). Loudoun County and the Civil War: A history and guide. Fitzhugh Turner (ed.). Loudoun County, VA: Civil War Centennial Commission. Accession #F232.L8.A54 1961, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA, 12. 13 Scheel, Eugune. (2001, October). “With Leesburg in their sights, Union troops caught by surprise at Ball’s Bluff ”. The history of Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved on August 19, 2009 from http://www.loudounhistory.org/index.shtml. Divine, 18. 14 Divine, 13. 15 Robertson, 16. 16 Ibid. 17 Civil War Trust. (2011). “Ball’s Bluff.” Retrieved on May 28, 2011 from http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/ballsbluff.html. Scheel. (2001, October). 18 Civil War Trust. 19 Scheel. (2001, October). 20 Silver, James W. (editor). (1987). A Life for the Confederacy: As recorded in the pocket diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore: Co. G 17th Mississippi Regiment, Confederate Guards, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company; December 24, 1861 entry. 21 Valentine, Clifton (ed.) (1998). To See My Country Free, The pocket diaries of Ezekiel Armstrong, Ezekiel P. Miller and Joseph A Miller. “Magnolia Guards”, Co. K 17th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States of America. Pittsboro, MS: Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., 66. 22 Silver; January 2 & February 5, 1862 entries. 23 Ibid; January 6th 1862 entry. 24 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g). “Swann’s castle & the Civil War; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 25 Silver; February 5, 1862 entry. 26 Silver; December 24, 1861 entry. 27 Robertson, 18. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g). Silver, December 27, 1861 entry. 28 Silver, December 25, 1861 entry. 29 Valentine, 71. 30 Ibid, 70. 31 Ibid, 76. 32 Frantum, David M. (2004). “Seasons in Gray”. The Bulletin of the Loudoun County Historical Society, 38. 33 Silver, March 7, 1862 entry. 34 Divine, 41. 35 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g). 36 Johnson, Col. A. B. (1997). “The Skirmish at Mile Hill”. The Bulletin of the Historical Society of Loudoun County, Virginia, 1957-1976. John T. Phillips II (ed.). Leesburg , VA: Goose Creek Productions, 188. 37-39 Ibid, 188-89. 40 Divine, 41-2. 41 Silliker, Ruth L. (editor). (1987). The rebel yell & the Yankee hurrah: The Civil War journal of a Maine volunteer: Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Regiment. Camden, ME: Down East Books, 45. 42 Personal interview with Doug Smith, former Chief Interpreter at Morven Park. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 43 Civil War Trust. 44 Divine, 13. 46-7 Personal correspondence between Jim Morgan, Volunteer historian at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and Cemetery, and Morven Park staff; September 4, 2003. 48 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed book 6H-240.
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6 Agriculture at Morven: Prized Pursuits
“Turn to the arts, the useful pleasing arts of Cultivation; and those fields improve [sic] Your erring fathers have too long despised. Leave not to ignorance and low-bred hinds, That noblest science, which in ancient time the minds of sages, and of kings employed, Solicitous to turn the ways of God and read his works in Agriculture’s School. 1 ” Dodsley in Swann Jr.’s speech to the Agricultural Society of Loudoun County, 1872 riginally settled by family farmers in the 1720s, Loudoun County has always been agricultural in nature.2 Wealthy Piedmont planters, in search of fertile soil for their tobacco plantations, arrived shortly thereafter, effectively making Loudoun the most populous county in Virginia by the 1770s.3 The Civil War, however, devastated the area as most of the Loudoun Valley was burned, and continuous raids by both Union and Confederate troops desecrated the once rich and fertile land.4 Native farmers worked hard to recover from the war, slowly shifting away from historic staples of wheat, rye and oats to products more suited to the region such as feed corn and grasses for grazing.5 Loudoun’s soil is indeed ideal for supporting livestock. It consists of a red loam over a sub-stratum of limestone, and is said to be “so like that of Kentucky” that one can grow “the true blue-grass.”6 Its long growing season also contributes to Loudoun’s ability to produce the “highest class of animal life” as livestock is able to remain outdoors for the greater part of the year.7 Dairy cattle were particularly popular, and during the first half of the twentieth century, Loudoun farmers’ production of whole milk grew significantly, from 4.4 million pounds in 1909 to 56.3 in 1944.8 In 1945, Loudoun still contained over two thousand farms, but the character of the region soon changed as Washington D.C. began to grow rapidly in the early 1960s.9 Road construction and an enormous influx of residents necessitated land and farms began to disappear. Despite its rapid growth in the last several decades, however, Loudoun has managed to retain much of its historic agricultural character.10

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hile Morven Park never served as the primary residence for either Swann, both father and son took pride in their active Loudoun County plantation. While not much is known about the Swann Sr. era of agriculture, an inventory conducted upon his death in early 1840 offers some insight into what was cultivated. Excluding sixty “Negroes” valued at $20,050, the most expensive items included twelve horses, oxen, 78 cattle, 125 sheep, 88 hogs, 600 barrels of corn, 2238 bushels of wheat in the mill, 250 bushels of potatoes, 6000 lbs of bacon, and “wheat and rye in ground”; oats, rye, and hay were also grown.11 (See Appendix 2)

With Swann Sr.’s passing, the Morven Park estate was passed to his children. It is difficult, however, to ascertain exactly how the fields, equipment, and livestock were distributed among the siblings, although several references imply that Swann Jr. and both of his brothers,

William and Wilson, were actively farming the land. One such reference, dated September 11, 1845, is a letter from Swann Jr. to Robert Gilmor in which he writes, “This summer crops in this neighborhood have been very much curtailed by the drought but I have no cause to complain, as I shall realize from 4 to 5000 baskets of wheat…and I have every reason to believe now that I shall realize a good price.”12 Two other letters, written by William from Morven Park and addressed to Swann Jr. in Baltimore, touched upon agriculture though it is unknown whether the information was shared for business or general familial purposes. In December, 1850, William penned, “We kill our hogs on Thursday they are in good order.”13 Three months later, he wrote that Wilson’s corn was “all ready to go down” guessing that it would “go this week our county begins to look green.”14 Fortunately, much can be learned about Swann Jr. as an agriculturist, economist, and politician from an address he gave to the Agricultural Society of Loudoun County in 1872. His October address at the Fair Grounds was deemed “of such ability, containing so much matter, highly valuable and interesting to the Farmers of Virginia” that it was published by the order of the society in 1872.15 Throughout his speech, Swann stressed how vital agriculture was to the success of the country, referring to it as the “most leading and important” of all industrial pursuits.16 Ever the politician, Swann focused on the need of Virginia and other “middle States” to increase the productivity and profitability of its agriculture in order to compete with the “greater fertility and productiveness of the Western States.”17 As Loudoun County’s yield of wheat, corn, rye and oats for the ten years prior (1862-1872) had been “so small and the failures so frequent,” he advocated for replacing, or at the very least supplementing, these historic staples with products “of a less precarious character and more directly applicable to the wants of the consumer.”18 Leading by example, Swann shared that he had not only transitioned the majority of Morven Park’s agricultural land to timothy and other permanent grasses for purposes of grazing, but also had imported high quality stocks of cattle, sheep, and hogs.19 Beyond diversification, Swann offered other sound advice on improving the “present depressed state” of Virginian agriculture.20 He encouraged farmers to “renovate” worn-out lands with fertilizer and cover crops, and “restore” their soil by reducing the quantity of acreage under cultivation.21 “One of the great errors connected with our system of agriculture,” he asserted, “is the attempt, almost universal, to bring into use and cultivate more land than we can judiciously and profitably manage.Whatever the farmer does should be done well.”2 Judging from Swann’s strong convictions, one could conclude that these judicious methods were well employed at Morven Park at the time. He also promoted the importance of education, or enlightenment of farmers, stressing that agriculture was not merely a mechanical pursuit, but also scientific and philosophical.

Fig. 6-1: Publication of Swann Jr.s ’ 1872 speech to the Agricultural Society of Loudoun County. (Maryland Historic Society)

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One of the most telling components of his speech was his account of agricultural good fortunes at Morven Park. Proclaiming that he was so comfortably outfitted that he could not improve his position even if he “had the income of Queen Victoria,” Swann boasted that,

“There is my Shropshire-down mutton as good as any England ever produced; there is my Durham Beef… my Berkshire ham, from the stock of Prince Albert, but which the Prince would have found it difficult to equal; there is my corn-fed gobbler, standing four feet in his boots, with the fat hanging in rolls about him; there are my chickens, my ducks, and my poultry of every variety; and to close the list, there are my Alderney butter and milk, and every variety of fruits in their season, of my own growth; and if I am disposed to tempt, still further, the appetite of the gourmand, I take my gun upon my shoulder and I close the feast with rabbits, partridges, woodcock, pheasants, wild turkeys, ortolan, plover, and whatever else is tempting in my rambles upon the farm or in the forest immediately surrounding my dwelling. 23 ”
Regardless of whether it was intended to encourage his fellow farmers or simply impress them, this chronicle serves as an excellent record of Morven Park’s extensive livestock operation, at least during the latter years of Swann Jr.’s ownership. To what extent his daughter, Mary Mercer Swann Carter, and her husband farmed the estate after his death is uncertain, as is much of its agricultural history between the Swann and Davis eras. One reference from the time mentions only the departure of a long-time employee. In 1904, one year after the Davises purchased the property, The Record reported that, “Mr. George C. Royston, who so long has manged [sic] successfully Morven Park estate, has moved to his farm, near Ryan. Mr. Royston is one of our most experienced farmers and an excellent citizen.”24 This is the only known reference to Royston, and it is unclear as to who initially hired him, how long he worked at the property, and the circumstances upon which he left Morven Park. n the early 1900s, a sense of professionalism was re-emerging in the agricultural community as Virginia farmers once again began to immerse themselves in relevant science, technology, and methodology.25 Half a century earlier, Edmund Ruffin, a well-known Virginia farmer and editor of the Farmer’s Register, had “evangelized the South for deep and shallow plowing, crop diversification and the use of calcareous manures as fertilizers.”26 The Civil War, however, destroyed so much of Virginia’s farmland, and it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that a feeling of prosperity had returned. Between 1900 and 1913, for instance, land in Virginia doubled in value, and the total farm value grew 132 percent.27 It was within this context of scientific interest and spirited prosperity that Davis began farming at Morven Park. He acclimated quickly, becoming deeply involved in the broader farming community and writing in 1908 that,

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“the listless, I may say hopeless, farmer of yesterday has seen a new light and has become the bustling man of affairs of to-day. No longer is he content with the old conditions and methods, for he is steadily mustering and applying along agricultural lines what scientific research has brought to his aid. 28 ” 67

In 1907, Davis co-founded the Virginia Dairyman’s Association with the intention of lobbying for legislation against new dairy substitutes, and served as its first vice president.29 Two years later, he was named President of the Virginia Farmer’s Institute, a group of roughly twenty farmers interested in progressive practices; it would eventually become the Agricultural Extension Service of Virginia Tech.30 Within one year, Davis transformed the Institute “from a genteel educational society into an effective lobbying organization” determined to educate key state legislators on necessary agricultural reforms.31 In the summer of 1911, Davis spent several weeks at the University of Wisconsin with economics professor John R. Commons; it was during this time that Davis formed the foundation of his progressive farming political platform.32 During the 1913 legislative elections, Davis campaigned tirelessly for candidates that were sympathetic to the needs of farmers, and along with those helping him in this cause, formed a nonpartisan legislative farm league named the Agricultural Conference.33 The efforts of both the Farmer’s Institute and the Agricultural Conference eventually paid off. By the close of 1916, the General Assembly had passed a series of important farming bills related to seed inspection, land registration, rural school and road construction, crop and livestock protection, and the authorization of cooperatives to aid the new Virginia branch of the Farmers’ Union.34 Their biggest success, however, was making lime, an important but expensive soil amendment, more accessible to farmers. Not only had the General Assembly authorized two new limestone-grinding plants, but also enforced on the railroads a reduced freight charge for the transport of lime.35 The Southern Planter, a monthly agricultural publication that Davis purchased in 1912, had played a critical role in educating and galvanizing supporters. Whereas Ruffin’s Farmers’ Register was geared to the wealthy planter, The Southern Planter appealed to the broader community of farmers.36 Relying on advertising for income, the journal was able to publish “at so small a price as to bring it within the reach of all,” carrying Davis’ progressive farming platform across Virginia and beyond.37 In recognition of his leadership in agricultural pursuits, Davis was awarded the certificate of Master Farmer by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1929.38

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6-4 Figs. 6-2 & 6-3: Governor Davis with his prized Guernseys. Fig. 6-4: Davis’ Business Card. (MPA)

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Fig. 6-5: A glimpse of Morven Park during its intensive agricultural period. The land supported several livestock farms and extensive cultivation.

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avis spent the first two years at Morven Park planning and implementing the improvements he believed necessary to the farm operation. While this included remodeling several of the barns and outbuildings, the majority of his efforts were focused on rejuvenating the land for his planned herds and flocks.39 The tired fields were deeply plowed and dressed with lime, then planted with cow peas cut early for hay and allowed a second growth which was turned under in order to nourish the soil.40 Immersing himself in scientific farming literature, Davis planted only the latest, approved crops, rotating them from field to field to preserve the soil’s fertility.41 Following in Swann Jr.’s footsteps, he sowed the majority of his fields in grasses, although he also grew wheat, soy beans, and feed corn. Within five years, Davis had “worked a remarkable change in [the farm’s] appearance and productivity”.42 The soil, he claimed, had returned to “the quality of Kentucky, with its blue grass,” having hired a chemist to analyze it.43 More importantly, he had made the operation profitable, “something that your tailor-made country gentlemen cannot do,” according to an 1908 feature article on Morven Park in Country Life in America.44 Over time, Morven Park became a testing station for recommended crops, livestock, machinery, and growing methods, and Davis often summarized the results in The Southern Planter articles.45 In the late twenties, for example, Davis experimented with Abruzzi rye, and having made “exceptional profits,” issued a pro-Abruzzi feature article; he did the same for the gasoline-powered corn picker, brought on board in 1931.46

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The Morven Park farm enterprise was divided into four primary farms: Mountainside, Ravenswood, Denning Springs, and Big Spring.47 The latter was an adjacent property and not part of the Morven Park tract, as was the Connor property which housed a small farm and for which very few references could be found. The farms were connected via macadam roads which Davis had his men construct on “spare” days, believing that it “pays for itself in the saving to the rolling stock and in comfort.”48 Sometime after 1931, due to the presence of the turkey houses, several of the farms were individually mapped by an unknown source. For scale purposes, Mountainside Farm was divided into two and referenced as Morven Park Part I and II (figure 6-7); Ravenswood (figure 6-16), incorrectly labeled Ravenwood, and Denning Springs (figure 6-22) were also mapped. While the general location of buildings is correct, many of the indicated angles and distances between buildings are inconsistent with what is on the ground today. The structures shown in solid yellow still stand on site, while those outlined in yellow no longer exist, but are shown in old photographs. “Part I Morven Park” was not mapped out separately as the majority of the buildings still stand and are introduced in Chapter 1: Existing Conditions. Copies of the farm maps, the originals of which are housed in the Morven Park archives, are available without markings in the Appendix. (See 8-11)

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ountainside, so named for its proximity to the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains, was the primary farm of the entire operation, housing the larger of two commercial dairies. One of the first orders of business was to remodel the dairy barn to improve sanitation and allow for more natural ventilation and lighting. As in all of his remodeling efforts, Davis designed the changes himself, striving for the utmost comfort and health of his livestock, convenience for his workers, and economy of operation.49 Where possible, he would reuse what was already there, making use of everything of value, and adapting it to his needs.50 The dairy barn (figure 6-10), however, required more changes than normal. The existing wooden walls were knocked down and replaced with concrete and stone on the bottom half with plenty of windows above. The floors and raised central aisle that sloped down on each side to serve as feeding troughs (figure 6-11) were also made of concrete, enabling farmhands to quickly and easily flush the surfaces with a hose; a drain, located in the rear of the stalls, carried the liquid manure out of the barn for use in the surrounding fields.51 A 1906 letter from Froehling & Robertson, Analytical & Consulting Chemists to Mr. Decatur Axtell, President of the Virginia Hot Springs Company, regarding the potential of the Morven Park Dairy as a cream supplier, described the impressive cattle facilities,

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Fig. 6-6: Undated water plan, most likely for Mountainside Farm. (MPA)

“Morven Park is...a beautiful well kept estate and everything about the place shows the care and attention bestowed upon it... The stables were just being cleaned and were seen at the worst time but their condition showed the care with which they were kept and the thorough method of cleaning they were subjected to; the stables are most excellently ventilated and lighted, and even during the process of cleaning there was very little odor. The herd of cattle consisting of high grade Guernseys, numbering about one hundred, and those seen were in excellent condition. The milk rooms are models of neatness and cleanliness. All the utensils are washed, steamed and thoroughly aired and everything appears to receive the greatest care and closest attention... From the care with which everything about the place and stables is handled we have no hesitation in advising you to obtain as much of your supply as possible from this source. 52 ”

Spurred by the success of his dairy, Davis installed a six unit milking machine during the summer of 1913.53 Mountainside served primarily as a dairy farm with the sale of high quality cream one of its most profitable enterprises for years to follow. The introduction of turkeys in the early 1930s, however, changed the focus of Mountainside significantly. Rows of turkey houses dotted the landscape, squeezed in between the bull barn, and cow and calf barn. While the poultry house, now a maintenance shed, and the turkey manager’s house, now private housing, as well as a handful of machinery and storage sheds still stand today, the large No. 19 dairy and brooder complex was demolished in the 1960s after parts of it collapsed under the weight of a heavy snow. Today, the Winmill Carriage Museum stands in roughly the same location.

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Fig. 6-7 Mountainside farm map and buildings. Fig. 6-7: Davis’ Part II Morven Park farm map (MPA). Fig. 6-8: Prize-winning turkeys in the yard (MPA). Fig. 6-9: Three-story barn prior to demolition, part of No. 19 complex (MPA). Fig. 6-10: Newly remodeled dairy barn, also part of the No. 19 (Country Life in America). Fig. 6-11: Dairy barn stables; note the use of concrete on walls & aisle (CLA). Fig. 6-12: No. 20 Poultry House, now used as a maintenance shed. Fig. 6-13: No. 21 Tenant House. Fig. 6-14: No. 18 Storage House, now stables. Fig. 6-15: Turkey Manager’s House, now private housing.

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Ravenswood farm map & structures prior to demolition; this area is now part of the International Equestrian Center. Fig. 6-16: Davis’ Ravenswood farm map (note the misspelling). Fig. 6-17: No. 1 Tenant House and No. 5 Meat House. Fig. 6-18: No. 1 Tenant House. Fig. 6-19: No. 13 Corn House & Machinery Shed. Fig. 6-20: No. 7 Hay Barn (left) and No. 11 Machinery Shed/Blacksmith Shop (right). Fig. 6-21: No. 11 Machinery Shed/Blacksmith Shop. (All MPA)

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ocated almost due east of Mountainside, the Ravenswood farm was a significantly smaller operation. The type of buildings inventoried on the farm map (figure 6-16)-- three tenant houses for workmen, a blacksmith shop, three machinery sheds, two hay barns, one corn house, a small meat house, and a cattle loading platform with adjacent scales-- indicate that Ravenswood accommodated many of the support and storage services for the adjacent farms. The presence of two hen houses and one barn, however, suggest that poultry and possibly other livestock were housed there. With no known landmarks indicated on the Ravenswood farm map, it is difficult to overlay it onto a current aerial plan or photograph to determine if any of the buildings still stand. While it is possible that one or more of the smaller tenant homes or sheds was remodeled, most likely all of Ravenswood’s facilities were demolished to make room for the Morven Park International Equestrian Institute. Founded in 1967 by the trustees of the Westmoreland Davis Foundation as a training center for instructors, it now operates as an equestrian events center.

enning Springs Farm was located at the southern tip of the property, just east of Morven Park’s primary entrance road. While its footprint was even smaller than Ravenswood, more of its farm buildings were dedicated to housing livestock, specifically horses, cattle, and hens. Only one tenant house existed on site, along with a few feed and machinery sheds. Unlike Ravenswood, Denning Springs was not completely demolished when a new use for the land was identified. In 1983, the Foundation donated two hundred acres of land to Virginia Tech for the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center. While the construction of a new entrance road called for the demolition of the tenant house and ancillary buildings, the old corn house and adjacent machinery shed (figure 6-23) still stand in plain view, enhancing the pastoral landscape. Due east, hidden in overgrown brush, is the old dairy barn (figure 6-24), now dilapidated and seemingly forgotten. The original entrance to Denning Springs Farm is still maintained, marked at its intersection with Morven Park’s primary entrance road by two old concrete gate posts (figure 6-25). n December 18, 1905, Willie Lee Inman, Davis’ sister-in-law, purchased Big Spring Farm from Joseph and Marie Rose Curtis of Oakwood, Otterbourne, England. The purchase price was $52,500, of which $22,500 was paid in cash upon the transaction with the balance assumed in three trust deeds. Just as the Scotts had lost Morven Park to E.B. White, the Curtises lost their farm, having borrowed $26,000 from White and defaulting on their loan.54 The land, totaling “four hundred and ninety two acres, three rods and fourteen poles,” consisted of three separate tracts, all said to be on the Potomac River.55 One of the tracts sat adjacent to Morven Park, at the northeast corner of Route 15 and Tutt Lane. While Inman was named as purchaser on the deed of sale, Davis was most likely the instigator, acting as her representative and, after the transaction, managing the property as if it were his own. In a letter to his workmen, Davis wrote that the “properties of Morven Park and Big Spring Farm operated as one place.”56 No farm map for Big Spring Farm could be found. Prior to defaulting, the previous owners had turned it into a “horseman’s paradise,” having spent $30,000 over eight years on barns, stables, fences, paddocks, and accommodations for workmen.57 According to the Catoctin Rural Historic District National Register application, the “brick barns and stable of Big Spring Farm [we]re especially noteworthy…large five-course American-bond brick structures with square

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6-26 Denning Springs farm map & remaining structures. Fig. 6-22: Davis’ Denning Springs farm map (MPA). Fig. 6-23: No. 5 Corn House & No. 7 Machinery Shed. Fig. 6-24: No. 8 Dairy Barn remants. Fig. 6-25: Entrance to Denning Springs farm from Morven’s entrance road. Fig. 6-26: Panorama of a portion of Denning Springs farm looking toward Morven’s entrance road.

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end pavilions displaying elaborate corbelled brickwork and topped by vented cupolas.”58 While Big Spring was primarily a horse farm, able to accommodate over sixty horses at a time, it also housed a second dairy.59 The circumstances under which Big Spring Farm was transferred on November 25, 1913 from Westmoreland Davis to Willie Lee Inman are unknown as Inman was already the legal owner. The deed declared that Davis had been operating the farm, purchasing cattle, horses, sheep, machinery, grain, and other necessities and also included a Big Spring Farm bank account in the amount of $2401.19.60 Regardless, Davis continued to manage Big Spring Farm as his own until his death in 1942. His widow, acting on behalf of her sister, sold the farm six months later for a sum of $45,000.61 A subdivision has since replaced it.

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rom the very beginning, the chief enterprise of the Morven Park farm operation, as well as Davis’ true passion, was livestock breeding.62 Davis bred and sold cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, and even turkeys, and did so for a high premium. In 1924 alone, he sold thirty-two animals- seven calves, eight bulls, one horse, and seventeen hogs- for $11,034.20.63

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From the very beginning, the breeding and dairying of Guernsey cattle represented the heart and soul of Davis’ livestock operation. Early on, he traveled to the Island of Guernsey and elsewhere in England to personally select the foundation stock for his herd, comprised of “the most fashionable families of the breed” including May Rose, Masher’s Sequel, France’s Jewel, and Glenwood.64 Impressed by their production, Davis returned to Guernsey again in 1906 to purchase an additional fifty-two cattle, and by 1908, his herd numbered over one hundred.65 Known as the butter-fat breed, the Guernseys grew “large and brawny” on the “Virginia grass” with the entire herd registering over five percent butter-fat.66 They produced a high grade of yellow cream which Davis sold at “top price” to

6-29 Fig. 6-27: The Davises admire a Guernsey ready for milking (MPA). Fig. 6-28: The couple at Big Spring Farm (MPA). Fig. 6-29: Sheep graze the field below the mansion. (Country Life in America)

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a large New York “druggist” and several hotels in New York and Washington for use in ice cream; the remaining skim milk was fed to the hogs.67 Cream was a profitable enterprise for Davis; in 1924 alone, he earned $10,001 through the sale of 7863 gallons.68 The Guernseys were well cared for; a veterinarian monitored their health weekly and tested them for tuberculin annually. Davis, however, did not subscribe to the notion that Guernsey bulls, valuable as they were, should be “kept shut up, pampered, and spoiled.”70 Rather, Davis believed that working them as you would oxen kept them “sweet tempered and healthy” and made them “surer and longer-lived at stud.”71 On principle, this philosophy was applied to all of his livestock. While Davis insisted that the animals be “treated as gently and quietly as possible”, he expected all of those that could work, to work, especially his horses, believing them “stronger and healthier for it.”72 It was at the Big Spring Farm that Davis bred several types of horses- light riding, hunting, racing, and Percheron drafting horses- with the latter initially drawing the most attention.73 On April 12, 1906, The Mirror reported that “Mr. Westmoreland Davis, owner of the Morven Park estate, near this town, has imported from France the celebrated Percheron stallion Vibraye, the son of the famous sire Besique. It is reported that $4,000 was the price paid. The farmers of Loudoun are to be congratulated on the purchase of this handsome and high-bred horse, as his services will enable them to still further improve their heavy-draft stock.”74 Just as he had for his cattle, Davis travelled to the Perche region of France, between Paris and Lyon, to personally select Vibraye as well as nine mares.75 In the twenties, however, Davis shifted his focus from draft to race horses, and by the middle of the Depression, Morven Park had become one of Saratoga’s primary suppliers.76 Davis’ stallion, Supremus, sired a filly who won first prize in 1941 in the two-year-old class, but it was their stallion, Lucullite, who was the star of the operation, siring the winners of over three hundred races.77 Davis also bred horn Dorset sheep, having imported his first ewes from the famous flock of W.R. Flower, Esq. of Dorchester, England.78 The head of the flock was a ram named Morven’s Best who took first place at the English Royal Show in 1904.79 Touted by Davis as “the pre-eminent sire of early market lambs,” Morven’s Best could produce more than seventeen pounds of wool per shearing.80 The sheep were given free range, but were constantly moved around the property to act as lawn mowers and to avoid overgrazing.81 In 1908, Country Life in America reported on the care of the flock,

“their folds and shelters are cheaply constructed, the latter with simple thatched roofs, so that they may be torn down and new ones erected inexpensively in different places. It doesn’t pay to keep sheep on the same ground continuously. By the way of precaution, the entire flock is given the gasoline treatment at regular intervals. The shepherd takes along a bottle of ammonia, which instantly restores any that may become strangled by the treatment. The fight against parasites never ceases. 82 ” 77

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Figs. 6-30 and 6-31: Livestock ads in The Southern Planter (top: Nov. 1933, p. 15; bottom: Jan. 1913, p. 77). Fig. 6-32: Governor Davis in his finest with his beloved turkeys, note the Morven Park mansion in the upper left. Fig. 6-33: Mrs. Davis in her garden with masses of turkey houses in the field x behind. (All MPA)

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Also part of Morven Park’s farm operation early on were large white Yorkshire hogs. As of 1908, approximately 150 head had free range at Morven Park, most of whom were either imported or directly descended from stock imported from well-known English breeders.83 Davis bred his hogs specifically for sale and received orders from as far as Guatemala as reported in The Mirror on May 17, 1906; “Mr. Westmoreland Davis, of Morven Park, near town, has recently received an order from Guatemala for some of his thoroughbred hogs. Mr. Davis makes a specialty of thoroughbred stock of all kinds, and his farm is probably one of the best stocked in this State.” Known for putting on more pounds of growth for feed consumed than any other hog, Yorkshires also produced the “most nutritious meat in the world,” according to Davis.84 The breed is also prolific with some of the litters at Morven Park, fathered by two prize-winning boars, Holywell Huddersfield and Holywell Hatfield 2nd, approaching twenty.85 In March of 1923, Davis imported “Astor”, a Doberman from Germany, as part of his attempt to breed an “improved strain” of Doberman Pinschers which “resided” on the mansion’s front lawn; the females reportedly whelped their young in the rear quarters of the mansion.86 No other receipts or mention of dog breeding could be found, so one may assume that Davis abandoned this idea sooner rather than later. In addition to the Dobermans bred for sale, Morven Park was home to a small dog that Marguerite kept in the mansion.86 When guests were over, the dog was put in the pantry; scratch marks on the wooden door were evident for some time, but may have disappeared during the building’s recent restoration.87 In the early 1930s, Davis turned his sights on “Goldbank” Bronze turkeys, purchasing his original flock from the country’s top breeders.88 In 1933, the flock numbered 1200, but by the early 1940s, over 20,000 turkeys roamed the estate, making Morven Park the nation’s largest supplier of live and dressed turkeys at the time.89 According to workman Robert Flynn, “he made more money off [of selling] the turkeys than anything else.”90 The turkeys were hatched in the large four-story building that once stood where the Carriage Museum is now. It is thought that Davis had a tunnel dug into the side of the foothill with a three foot culvert leading under the hatchery so that the condensation from the tunnel would cool the building.91 Hundreds of turkey houses dotted the landscape, as seen in the photo of Marguerite in her boxwood garden (figure 6-33). The turkeys, “unsurpassed anywhere for either exhibition or market purposes,” competed in poultry shows across the East coast.92 Among an armful of other awards, Davis’ turkeys were named Grand Champion, 1936 New York Poultry Show; Champion Bronze, 1936 Pennsylvania Farm Show; Champion Female, 1937 Pennsylvania Farm Show; and Best Display Turkeys, 1937 New York and Pennsylvania Farm Shows.93Despite his already large and successful operation, Davis sought to grow it further, hiring Anthony Hlousek of Putnam County, New York in March 1941 for the task. “We have full modern equipment, including New Town and Jamesway Incubayors [sic]. I desire to expand my turkey operations,” he wrote to Hlousek.94 Davis died eighteen months later, effectively ending all livestock operations at Morven Park. One may ponder, however, how many more thousands of turkeys would have roamed Morven Park if Davis had lived even a few more years, or what breed of livestock he would have turned his sights on next.

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n addition to his livestock operations, Davis was very active in the property’s vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. The earliest receipts date to March of 1931 when he purchased $12.20 worth of sweet corn, squash, beet, bean, carrot, cucumbers chard, kale, lettuce, melon, onion, parsley, radish, and pea seeds from T.W. Wood & Sons in Richmond. Six months later, Mr. George E. Kopper, Davis’ head gardener at the time, purchased two hundred strawberry, fifty raspberry, fifty blackberry, and twenty-five horseradish plants from New York’s Peter Henderson & Co. Large orders of vegetable seeds were placed every couple of years through 1937. While a smaller, personal garden could have already existed on site, these large purchases of seeds and starts suggest that Davis did not establish any large, possibly commercial, scale vegetable gardens until 1931. It is believed that this garden was located south of the mansion, near the greenhouse. At the same time, Davis began purchasing fruit trees, acquiring fifty-three apple, pear, peach, apricot and plum trees in the fall of 1931, and another fifty two-year-old apple trees, as well as peach trees and grape vines in 1937. The planting map (figure 6-5) reveals that three orchards were located south of the mansion, one of which was considered “old,” though no indication is given as to which species were planted where. During this same horticultural push of the early- to mid-1930s, Davis also established his honey bee business, purchasing five hives worth of bees as well as assorted honey pails, jars, and six thousand labels. (See Appendix 13) Davis maintained a collection of newspaper and magazine clippings on a wide range of garden topics including tips on planting, harvesting, and canning; the health benefits of individual fruits and vegetables; and even the role of gardening in conservation. One clipping, significantly worn and marked up, read as follows:

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“Spring is here- and we feel the urge to go out in the garden and dig in the dirt. Don’t hold back when you feel that urge. Indulge it, encourage it, stimulate it, if it is slow in coming to life. If you are any sort of gardener at all, it will probably save you money. It will certainly give you better meals than you would otherwise have, and it will supply, at minimum cost, protective foods of which most families do not use enough. A good garden will produce enough vegetables for storing and canning, as well as make it possible for the family to have enough vegetables to serve twice daily. 95 ”
It appears that this message resonated with Davis and possibly even prompted him to write the following letter to one of his workman with regards to the household food supply:

“I am writing to call your attention to the fact that the garden is filled with green vegetables which we wish prepared and served as they ripen. Do not purchase macaroni or canned vegetables in any case without the special permission of Mrs. Davis or myself. Where canned goods are required in the absence of garden products, vegetables that have been put up for us last year must be used. All products which are available for the purpose should be used in the house, or for the various animals for which they are suitable on the place. Suitable cans must be maintained for the above purpose and anybody who fails to comply with this rule must be reported promptly to me. 96 ”

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avis ran all aspects of the Morven Park farm operation with a firm hand. As Jack Kirby, a Davis biographer, acknowledged the “panama-hatted planter” was “above all a white-collared businessman. He loved his animals, but even they were ultimately statistics.”97 Productivity was of the highest concern for Davis, and he required his men to log all breeding activity and farm production, down to individual eggs.98 At least once a week, they reported to the Plantation Office, located in the old stone portion of the mansion, with written accounts their respective operations.99 Davis had no patience for idleness, laziness, or carelessness. In a 1931 letter to his employees, Davis wrote, “No force of men except where individual tractors are running, or individual teams are hauling, are to be without a foreman in charge…seeing that the men and teams are kept occupied along productive lines.”100 When equipment was found damaged, or lost or stolen as in the case of the dairy house pump, stern memos were written and signs, such as those in figures 6-34 and 6-35, were hung. In addition to productivity, Davis kept an exacting eye on profits, recording every penny spent or earned, and cataloging every receipt- even those totaling only eighty-five cents. Receipts for purchases made from 1923 to 1942 are available in the Morven Park Archives, with the records for 1935 to 1937 particularly extensive. (See Appendix 13) The number of farm employees varied by season, but typically ranged from ten to thirty. Under Davis was a foreman who oversaw all aspects of the operation, from crops to livestock and even certain household affairs.101 It was said that he often hired graduates of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, selecting specialists for each of the livestock ventures, but he also frequently advertised in newspapers and journals, including his own The Southern Planter. Davis offered fair wages and often supplied housing for his workmen. As early as July 1904, he began advertising for “three white Farm hands,” promising “liberal wages…and good houses furnished to the right parties.”102 Over the years, Davis enhanced his offer. Anthony Hlousek, hired in the spring of 1941 to expand the turkey operations, received cash wages in the amount of eighty dollars per month and a house with “all conveniences” including a garden plot, a “reasonable quantity of milk”, wood for the cooking stove, “good water, too, and a good climate”.103 The payroll for thirteen employees, ten on wages and three paid hourly, for the half month ending May 15, 1941 totaled $387.25, of which $110 was attributed to the turkeys, $239.75 to the farm, and $37.50 to his secretary, Alice Ish Werner.104 Davis kept track of his men, recording not only their wages and work location, but also their race, marriage and family status, and residence. One such undated list indicated that out of nineteen of the employees, all but his secretary were male, fifteen were white, fifteen were married, fourteen had children, and twelve lived on the premises, including two in the dairy. Of peculiar note was the employment of Captain Trainor, who lived on site and whose work was listed as “detective”; his salary was paid by the Burns Detective Agency in Washington.105 According to Robert Flynn who joined the operation in 1939 and lived on the small farm known as the Connor Property, Davis “didn’t really trust anybody” and the role of the detective was to “walk around the farm to see what was going on.”106

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Davis also had a reputation as a demanding and stingy employer, expecting high productivity while supplying only meager resources. Flynn alleged that the equipment was the “worst junk I ever used in my life. Nothing bought new while I was there, and when I got there it was all broke up.” Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that frequent turnover was common. Flynn recalled that “the governor was tough… If you worked there two years, you were there a long time. I stayed there longer than any ten managers or foreman. It was the… most God-awful place I ever stayed in my life.”108 The stress caused by these strained relations may have ultimately contributed to Davis’ downfall. On the evening before he was paralyzed by a stroke, his farm manager quit, threatening to take “all the men with him.”108 Whether or not this would have happened will never be known as Davis passed away just days later. All that is certain is that at least one employee was not planning on leaving. After the encounter with the farm manager, Davis, “terribly upset”, approached Flynn who ensured his employer that “he was happy right where he was.”109 While Flynn had only been employed at Morven Park just shy of three years, it may have been this loyalty that convinced Marguerite to retain Flynn as one of only two full-time employees; Mr. Hough was the other.

Figs. 6-34 and 6-35: Davis era employee farm signs. (MPA)

nitially, Mrs. Davis desired to keep the farms running after her husband’s death, but Flynn claimed to have changed her mind, “I told her, we can’t, war’s coming on here, we can’t hire enough help to run the dairies and make the feed. I said, I’d rent it. Money rent it.”110 She heeded Flynn’s advice, renting the majority of the fields to local farmers. She also sold off much of the farm equipment and livestock; “had a sale, sold off everything. We were two days selling everything,” recalled Flynn.111 Six months after her husband’s death, she sold the Loudoun Times-Mirror for $17,000, the Connor Farm for $12,000, and her sister’s Big Spring Farm for $45,000.112 Beginning in 1950, Sam L. Marcum of Leesburg began leasing six to seven hundred acres of agricultural fields from Mrs. Davis. According to the lease, Marcum was required to keep the land in grass for grazing, but was permitted to cut hay from the portion of fields not needed for his cattle. He was allowed use of all sheds and livestock barns as well as the feed lot at Ravenswood to winter his cattle. For use in building two permanent loading pens, Marcum was permitted to cut lumber from the farm woods. Trees already down or those over twenty years old and “in need of renewal” were to be prioritized.113 In exchange, Marcum paid $3500 per year (the 1962-63 rate; prior years may have been less) and furnished three tons of hay for Mrs. Davis’ two dairy cows; in addition, Mrs. Davis’ men were to clip all grazing land once a year and keep the fences in good repair.114 The three small fields in front of the mansion, totaling sixty acres, and grazing land for Mrs. Davis’ cattle were never included in the leases, nor were the formal lawn and gardens. A local farmer continues to lease many, if not all, of the same hay fields today.

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orven Park had been productively farmed for generations prior to Westmoreland Davis’ purchase of the property in 1903, but it was he who transformed it into an agricultural showplace. The combination of his “enormous energy” and “obsession for understanding every aspect of a farm operation” produced results that were widely touted as innovative and profitable.115 In 1908, Country Life in America wrote of Davis’ enterprise that, “All the raising of animals is here not the fad of men of wealth who would play at country life. It is a serious business, productive of actual profit and a deep-seated satisfaction as continuous and well-grounded as I have ever seen taken by men in their vocation.”116 It was early praise for the panama-hatted farmer, whose quest to discover the most efficient, effective, and profitable systems of farming would end with his death thirty-four years later. Governor Davis’ love for the land not only propelled him into state politics, but also transformed Morven Park into one of the most progressive farm operations in the United States.117
Swann, Thomas Jr. (1872, October 30). “Address of the Honorable Thomas Swann of Maryland, before the Agricultural Society of Loudoun County, Virginia.” Printed by order of the Society, Baltimore: Steam Press of William K. Boyle & Son. Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD, 21. Templeman, Eleanor Lee & Nan Netheron. (1966). Northern Virginia Heritage. Privately published by Eleanor Lee Templeman, 112. 3 Ibid. 4 Divine, John. (1961). Loudoun County and the Civil War: A history and guide. Fitzhugh Turner (ed.). Loudoun County, VA: Civil War Centennial Commission. Accession #F232.L8.A54 1961, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library: Charlottesville, VA, 13. 5 Dyer, Walter A. (1908, February). “Country Life in Loudoun County: A Virginia community where certain ideal conditions obtain, and the lessons that may be drawn from it- horse breeding and dairying estates that pay a profit”; Country Life in America, 385. Swann Jr. (1872), 6. 6 Dyer, 384. 7 Unknown. (n.d.). “Morven Park Estate Registered Stock Brochure.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 8 Town of Leesburg. (2009). “History: Reconstruction through World War II (1866-1945).” Town of Leesburg, VA. Retrieved May 10, 2011 from http://www.leesburgva.org/index.aspx?page=598 9 Ibid. Loudoun County. (2007). “History of Loudoun County”. Loudoun County, Virginia. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=1123 10 United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. (1988). “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Catoctin Rural Historic District.” Prepared by David Edwards & John Salmon, (8)2. 11 Unknown. (1840). “Inventory of Morven Park”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 12 Swann, Thomas Jr. (1845, September 11). Letter to Robert Gilmor, Esq. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 13 Swann, William P. (1850, December 8). Letter to Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 14 Swann, William P. (1851, March 17). Letter to Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann Collection, 1815-1886 #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. 15 Swann, Jr. (1872), 3. 16 Ibid, 13. 17 Ibid, 7. 18 Ibid, 6. 19 Ibid, 9. 20-21 Ibid, 11. 22 Ibid, 19. 23 Ibid, 17. 24 Unknown. (1904, August 12). The Record. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 25 Kirby, Jack Temple. (1968). Westmoreland Davis: Virginia Planter-Politician, 1859-1942. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 27. 26-27 Ibid, 28. 28 Davis, Westmoreland in Kirby, 29. 29 Green, Carolyn. (1998). Morley: The intimate story of Virginia’s Governor & Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Leesburg, VA: Goose Creek Productions, 43. 30 Green, 43. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). “Westmoreland Davis as Farmer; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. 31 Kirby, 34. 32 Green, 44. 33 Ibid, 45. 34 Kirby, 34. 35 Ibid, 38. 36-37 Ibid, 30. 38 Unknown. (1942, September 17). Loudoun Times-Mirror, 4. 39 Dyer, 386. 40 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 41 Kirby, 27. 42 Dyer, 385. 43 Davis, Westmoreland. (1941, March 8). Letter to Mr. Anthony Hlousek. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Green, 86. 44 Dyer, 385.
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Kirby, 41. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 48-51 Dyer, 386. 52 Froehling & Robertson, Analytical & Consulting Chemists (1906, November 28). Letter to Mr. Decatur Axtell, President, Virginia Hot Springs Company. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 53 Green, 45. 54 Green, 29. 55 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives; Deed book unknown. (1905). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 56 Davis, Westmoreland. (1931, September 16). Letter to workmen. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 57 Green, 29. 58 United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 15. 59 Green, 29. Dyer, 387. 60 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives; Deed book unknown. (1913). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 61 Green, 92. 62 Kirby, 41. 63 “1040F tax form, Schedule of Farm Income and Expenses.” (1924). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 64 Live Stock Department, Morven Park. (1916, June). The Southern Planter, 375. Dyer, 386. 65-66 Green, 26. Dyer, 386. 67 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 68 “1040F tax form, Schedule of Farm Income and Expenses.” (1924). 69-71 Dyer, 386. 72 Dyer, 387. Green, 27. 73 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). 74 Unknown. (1906, April 12). The Mirror. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 75 Dyer, 387. 76 Kirby, 41. 77 Green, 88. Leatherman, Dale. (1994, Nov/Dec). “A governor’s legacy: Virginia’s historic Morven Park is a priceless asset to horsemen of every persuasion.” SPUR: The magazine of equestrian and country life: 30(1), 47. 78 Dyer, 386-7. 79-80 Live Stock Department, Morven Park. (1913, January). The Southern Planter, 77. 81-83 Dyer, 386-7 84 Live Stock Department, Morven Park. (1914, May). The Southern Planter, 421. 85 Dyer, 3 86-87 Roberts, Linda. (2005). “The Governor’s legacy.” Loudoun Magazine: Summer, 61. 88 Ibid, 22. 89 Hatcheries and Ranges Department, Morven Park Farm. (1933, November). The Southern Planter, 15. Roberts, 22. 90 Interview with Robert Flynn, longtime employee of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis. (1994, January 10). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 91 Interview with Ed Mauer, former director of Morven Park. (1994, February 21). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 92 Hatcheries and Ranges Department, Morven Park Farm, 15. 93 Davis, Westmoreland. (1937, November). Turkey World, 5. 94 Letter from W. Davis to Anthony Hlousek, dated March 8, 1941; Morven Park Archives. 95 Westmoreland Davis Papers. (1889-1942). Accession #MSS 6560, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 96 Davis, Westmoreland. (1932, June 20). Letter to Harvey Moten, workman. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 97 Kirby, 41. 98 Green, 27. 99 Ibid. 100 Davis, Westmoreland. (1931, September 16). Letter to Morven Park farm employees. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 101 Kirby, 41. 102 Unknown. (1904). 103 Davis. (1941). 104 Morven Park Payroll Sheet. (1941, May 15). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 105 Morven Park Employee List. (n.d.; between 1931-1941). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 106 Interview with Robert Flynn. 107 Ibid. 108 Green, 89. 109 Ibid. 110 Interview with Robert Flynn. 111 Ibid. 112 Green, 92. 113 Lease between Sam L. Marcum and Marguerite Davis for agricultural lands, 1962-1963. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 114 Ibid. 115 Green, 30. 116 Dyer, 385. 117 Green, 45.
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7 The Ornamental Landscape: Bricks and Boxwood
“Loudoun County is not noteworthy for gardening achievements. The rose terraces at Oatlands House are worth going far to see, and there is a garden of merit at Oak Hill, but they form the noteworthy exceptions. There is a fine chance here for formal gardens of the “old-fashioned” type, for wild gardening and broad landscape effects”1 Walter Dyer, 1908 or Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis, the landscape at Morven Park was equally agricultural and ornamental, one that accommodated their varied interests and events, from foxhunts to farming, Garden Club teas to extravagant 600-guest brunches. It also became their haven of horticulture and a “common meeting place” for boxwood and other species they transplanted to Morven Park from “many far away and scattered locations”.2 Despite the hundreds of acres of sublime wooded hillside and hundreds more in handsome production, it was the Davises’ boxwood garden that has become one of the most celebrated features of the landscape. here is no evidence of a formal garden at Morven Park prior to the Davises’ ownership. While the Swann family enhanced the front of the house with ornamental elements as well as informal plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers, the alterations could hardly be attributed to a proper garden. For the first two decades, the Davises introduced few non-agricultural changes to the landscape, retaining the Swann-era park-like setting surrounding the mansion as well as the stags, lions, urns and fountain.3 The early alterations that the Davises did pursue were horticultural in nature, beginning to plant trees and shrubs no later than 1908 and continuing throughout the Governor’s lifetime.4 An October 20, 1920 letter from the Wm. H. Moon Company informed the Davises that, “The trees suggested for the lawn before your house and the deciduous shrubs suggested for the group near the house can be planted to very good advantage at this time. There is really a very great advantage in doing the planting in the Autumn, because it enables the trees to start growing promptly with the first warm days of Spring.”5 As no reply on the Davises’ part or record of work could be located, it is not known whether or not this particular planting occurred in the fall of 1920 or exactly where it may have been installed, only that even from the Executive Mansion in Richmond, the Davises were pursuing horticultural enhancements to their country estate. The entrance drive was planted with “roses, which are aflame with color in season, and trailing vines on either side, marked at intervals with wonderful trees and shrubbery gathered from the four corners of the globe.”6 Not all of the trees and shrubs can be attributed to the Davises, however, as a 1902 article in the Richmond Times reported that the then Scott-owned mansion was approached by a “magnificent

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7-1

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Fig. 7-1: A wooden frame was constructed around the base of the stags on which a climber, most likely, ivy was trained. Fig. 7-2: They ivy has successfully grown up, and the large hollies have been shaped. Fig. 7-3: A closer look at the foundation plantings shows several small boxwood to either side of the portico and ivy at the base of the lions. Note that the stags have been removed. (All photos are undated; MPA). winding driveway through a well kept park of close mown grass, shrubbery and trees.”7 It is most likely that Swann Jr. was responsible for their planting, possibly as part of the extensive improvements he made to the mansion and landscape in the late 1850s and early 1860s. While the Davises’ roses and trailing vines were in place by 1927, no more specificity can be added to the dates of their planting. However, the 1911 and 1920 purchase of 0.52 and 46.08 acres, respectively, of the Belle Grove tract from Mary Mercer Carter, Swann Jr.’s youngest daughter, may offer a clue.8 This land, collectively known as the Carter Tract, flanks the west side of the original entrance drive and was most likely purchased so that both sides of the drive were under their control and protected from development. It would follow that after making such an investment, the Davises would be interested in planting it to their liking. n 1922, following an exhausting four-year term as Governor and demoralizing defeat in his run for the United States Senate, the Davises returned to Morven Park and focused their attention on the estate’s ornamental landscape. It is likely that the Swann-era cast iron fountain was moved to the Western Dell in Richmond’s Capital Square during this time. While other such enhancements to the broader landscape were surely being made, it was the creation of a large formal garden south of the mansion that took center stage. The Davises are thought to have built the terraced garden first. Modeled after the tradition of the Virginia “falls garden”, it measures approximately 230-feet in length and eighty-feet in width and features five crisp terraces. “Rather than align the garden with the house...the Davises chose to tuck the garden into an off-center area that would not interrupt the sweep of the lawn, or upstage the informal park-like effects of the Swann landscape.”9 While the original central path down the terraces appears in photographs to have been gravel (figure 7-5), it was later replaced with a narrower three-and-one-half-foot wide brick path with four sets of brick stairs. Also added was a four-foot high brick wall with decorative iron gates.

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From the late 1920s to the mid 1930s, the Davises expanded their formal gardens southward, adding several smaller garden ‘rooms’. By its substantial completion in 1937, the gardens measured almost three acres in size and featured extensive boxwood hedges and other mature plantings, a reflecting pool, a sundial, and other statuary. Without a plan, sketch or other evidence to suggest otherwise, tradition holds that Marguerite created the gardens without the assistance of a designer or landscape architect, while the Governor helped her care for it all.10 Photographs from the 1930s, paired with the documented purchases of large trees and shrubs, imply that the Davises’ goal was to make their new gardens appear mature, as if they had been there for some time.11 Restored in the 1960s by landscape architect Charles Otey, the gardens were dedicated in 1967 as the Marguerite G. Davis Boxwood Gardens, and are enjoyed by the public on a nearly daily basis. s their name would suggest, the gardens feature an incredible number of mature boxwood. The two primary botanical varieties at Morven Park are Buxus sempervirens var. arborescens L. and Buxus sempervirens var. suffruticosa L. Native to southern Europe, North Africa, and the Orient, boxwood has been cultivated in the Middle Atlantic States since colonial times.12 It wasn’t until the 1920s and 30s, however, that the species came into heavy favor in American landscape design.13 As Edith Tunis Sales wrote in the introduction to Albert Addison Lewis’ 1924 publication, Boxwood Gardens Old and New, “An immense wave of interest in Boxwood is now sweeping over America where only a few years ago seemed to be complete indifference and neglect.”14 By the late 1920s, boxwood gardens had become a status symbol, popular among the wealthy elite, including the Davises.15

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“A new form of ostentation has appeared. Among certain classes…the abundance and size of one’s diamonds constituted a scale of social rating. That sort of display is now considered the very nadir of bad taste. Its place has been taken by… Good, old-fashioned Buxus sempervirens, the sort of Boxwood you see growing in great clumps by ancient houses. About ten years ago landscape architects began realizing its beauty. Nurserymen scoured the countryside for specimens. Many a mortgage on the old home was lifted when decrepit owners parted with the Box bushes. And what a lovely thing a Box clump is—so gentle, so rounded, so sedate and contented, so very wise looking. Pass old Box, and it seems to impart a blessing to you. Used judiciously, Box gives a garden an atmosphere no other plant can contribute; used indiscriminately, it becomes commonplace and vulgar. Today at luncheons you hear women boast of the number and size of their Box bushes and the Box hedges that cost their husbands a fortune. One almost wishes they would go back to diamonds. 16 ”
The Davises did, indeed, spend a small fortune on their boxwood garden. They not only advertised repeatedly in The Southern Planter, but also scoured the countryside for boxwood specimens to transplant to Morven Park. Purchases ranged from $195 for 195 smaller plants to $450 for two large shrubs; it is thought that one man was paid $1400 for his boxwood collection and another man $3000.17 Of particular

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Mansion

Utility Buildings

note was a 1931 purchase of a 350-foot long boxwood hedge that the Governor spotted in Clover, Virginia from aboard a train. After paying Mr. William Brown $800 for his hedge, the Davises hired William & Harvey Nursery of Richmond to move it to Morven Park via rail and truck in October of that year for approximately $1800. As the nursery’s proposal stated,

Corbell House

Maintenance Shed & Greenhouse

Terraced Garden with Brick Paths Garden Gates Boxwood Alley

“[W]e agree to dig, haul and load in rail cars for $2.00 per linear foot the lot of boxwood hedge…We also agree to unload this boxwood from cars at Leesburg, Va and transport it to your home place for $2.00 linear footall of this work to be done in first class and proper manner…We figure there should be abut [sic] 3 carloads of it, maybe as much as four cars, since some of it is right large. At an estimated weight of eighteen to twenty thousand pounds to the car, the railroad freight…would be $300 to $400 at the rate of 50 cents per hundred. 18 ”
The boxwood were planted throughout the gardens, most notably on either side of the central path running down the terraces. Boxwood also surrounded the reflecting pool and bordered the many statuary gardens, and was added to the entire length of the mansion’s front façade. In addition, a nearly five hundredfoot long “boxwood alley” was created beginning just east of the Corbell house to a point in line with but west of the sundial garden. Turning west and becoming a triple row just south of where the maintenance shed and greenhouse stand today, the alley was frequently interpreted as a maze by children who played among the boxwood while their mothers visited with Mrs. Davis.19 While some believe that a more extensive maze once existed, Otey’s 1966 restoration blueprints as well as a lack of photographic evidence counter this claim.

Davis Mausoleum Brick Garden Wall Garden Gates

Sundial Garden Reflecting Pool

Fig. 7-4: The elements of the Davises’ formal gardens.

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7-6

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The evolution of the terraced garden. Fig. 7-5: As photographed for the Virginia Room Exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. (VHS) Fig. 7-6: After the installation of the brick path and stairs, and maturation of the boxwood. (MPA) Fig. 7-7: Marguerite and Alice Proffitt enjoying the garden during one of their visits to Morven Park. (Photo of a photo in MPA) Fig. 7-8: The terraced garden today.

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esides boxwood, the Davises planted yews, magnolias, and hollies throughout their gardens. Of particular note is their 1930 purchase of a $650 Irish yew specimen that was then transplanted to Morven Park.20 In 1937, fifty magnolia trees, each three to four feet tall, were selected from Greenwood Nursery for a total of $75, trucked from Oyster Point, Virginia for another $45, and added to the landscape. As Wilson Townsend, one of Davis’ chauffeurs, confirmed, “they had a lot of magnolia trees out there”. (See Appendix 15) One year later, the Davises paid two men from Horn Motors, Inc. $4 to dig up a large holly tree on their Leesburg rental property. While the records do not specify where the holly was moved, a crane was rented for the occasion, costing the Davises another $6. (See Appendix 13) Considering the Davises’ history of moving large specimens to Morven Park, the holly most likely followed suit.

By 1937, Marguerite had joined the Virginia Dahlia Society, and was ordering flowers, from asters to zinnias, marigolds to mums, larkspur to lilies, by the hundreds; while the majority of these were being grown for sale by the nursery, surely some made their way into the formal gardens. It was the boxwood, however, that remained her primary delight. In the January 1940 issue of The Southern Planter, she urged “rural homemakers” to forge an interest in boxwood, claiming that this “beloved and cherished...aristocrat of the garden” is both easy to grow and reminiscent of the Colonial Gardens.

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arguerite was also very active in promoting the Leesburg Garden Club, and frequently entertained the ladies on the lawn and among her gardens. While it had been believed that she was one of the club’s four charter members, she was actually the nineteenth woman to join.21 Founded on December 9, 1915, the club had twenty-four members by the end of 1917.22 Morven Park was frequently open to the public as part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week including the very first in 1929; Springwood was the only other home in the area open that year, and together, the tours earned “about $16”.23 However, the Davises’ request for their estate to be included was not always accommodated. As a December 3, 1934 letter to Mrs. Davis from Mrs. Lewis G. Larus, Chairman of GCV Garden Week, stated, “I am awfully sorry that it will be impossible for us to have Morven Park during Garden Week. I do hope that another year, we will have better luck.”24

Fig. 7-9: The Southern Planter, January 1940, 34. (MPA)

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n 1930, the Davises hired mason Gibson Fisher to construct the fourfoot high brick wall along the north and east sides of the terraced garden. Thirteen-inches thick with a “pointed top”, the wall was built on concrete footings that “extend at least eighteen inches below grade.” (See Appendix 13) That same year, Fisher also fixed unspecified windows and constructed the brick garage, now used as a maintenance shed, just south of the Corbell House. Combined, the work required 36,083 bricks and cost the Davises $605.81 per Fisher’s December 5th invoice. In the fall of 1931, Westmoreland purchased an additional 43,000 bricks from Harris Wrecking Company for the cost of $296.10. On September 21st, Davis wrote to his foreman Yonce that there would be two carloads arriving soon, one of sand and the other of brick with two girders and one hundred pieces of iron. Mr. Yonce was instructed to direct the horses to haul “as much as they can bearing in mind that horses standing still are a poor investment.”25 Filed under “Farm Vendors” at the Morven Park Archives, it is thought that these materials were used in the construction of a new farm building, but it is possible that at least some of the brick made its way into the garden. Another five hundred “common bricks”, along with building sand and two bags of Brixment, were ordered by Mrs. Davis in August 1939. Most likely, these were used in the formal gardens, possibly as the decorative surround for the reflecting pool and the two nearby sets of stairs. Records do not indicate when the brick walk and stairs were added to the terraced garden or when the four-foot high brick wall was extended along the entrance drive and the second set of garden gates installed, although the following may offer a clue.

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Fig. 7-10: Marguerite at the foot of her terraced garden; undated. The decorative iron gates are thought to have been added in the early 1930s. (MPA)

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1927 article in The Southern Planter on the ornamental landscape at Morven Park describes the Swann-era wrought iron gates at the main entrance, but mentions no other gates, suggesting that none of the others were in place by that time.26 A November 12, 1930 receipt in the archives indicates that Ornamental Iron Works, Inc. repaired and painted iron gates at Morven Park. If the above theory is correct, then these could only be the Swann-era gates as any new gates installed between May 1927 and November 1930 would most likely not need repairing. On October 10, 1932, Davis paid $85 to J.T. Corbin of Waterford for “gates” but no indication was given as to which set

this may be. One year later, Davis requested from Steward Iron Works Co. options for two iron gates, one for the garden entrance, the other for a residence front door. (See Appendix 13) As no receipt for either purchase was located, it is unknown if Steward crafted the gates or not. y the summer of 1931, the gardens were large enough to warrant a full-time caretaker. On July 1, Mr. George E. Kopper of Leesburg joined the Morven Park staff as a “trained gardener…to take charge of (the) lawn, boxwood and vegetable gardens”; he was also put in charge of the front entrance gate, ensuring that it was closed each night before retiring.27 Kopper, who applied for the position after seeing Davis’ advertisement in The Florists’ Exchange, was paid $100 per month and was supplied with a cottage to live in as well as wood, milk, and vegetables.28 It is unknown how long Kopper stayed on, but it appears that the Davises began advertising in The Rural New Yorker for a replacement gardener in 1937. While the vegetable garden surely demanded a good majority of Kopper’s time, the sheer number of boxwood must have been overwhelming. Luckily for him, the Davises preferred their boxwood to appear more ‘natural,’ as was stylish at the time, and did not direct him to clip them closely. As noted in the 1930s by English writer Marion Cran, boxwood “has a billowy tumbled loveliness in old Virginia gardens where it is not clipped, as in England, but grows in rounded hummocks of adorable green, and smells very sweetly under the hot sun.”29 It was during the winter months that the boxwood required the most attention. Aware of boxwood’s vulnerability to heavy snow and ice, Davis had them covered with burlap. With 300 square feet already on site, Davis ordered an additional 2000 yards of 32” burlap from Old Dominion Manufacturing Company in November 1930, and another 1022 yards in February and March of 1937. Several of the samples that Davis requested prior to ordering the protective covering are located in the archives at Morven Park. As Wilson Townsend recalled in 2003, “when it snowed, the farmers and, I think, everybody had to go knock snow off the boxwoods...They’d [tie boxwoods & put burlap over them] too. Especially the large ones…I’ve [even] seen them build a frame and then put the burlap over the frame.”30 The practice of removing snow from the boxwood continued well into Charles Otey’s time at Morven Park. In January 1968, Otey attempted to patent the “Flynn Snow Hook”, a unique “hand tool for the removal of snow on boxwood and other broadleaf plants”. (See Appendix 15) Invented by Robert Flynn, a longtime employee of both the Davises & Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, it does not appear that the patent was granted.

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Fig. 7-11: A wooden frame, from which burlap was hung, was constructed over the largest boxwood to protect them from snow and ice. Note the extensive boxwood parterres surrounding the sundial. (MPA)

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he Governor frequently sought advice on the care of his boxwood from experts, particularly on the topics of pest and disease management. Several entomologists and pathologists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils and Agricultural Engineering, as well as Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics, inspected the boxwood, either on site or via shipped samples. (See Appendix 15) Despite attempts to protect their boxwood from the winter elements, “cold injury,” caused by early, late, or deep freezes, heavy snow falls, or a combination thereof, was quite common.31 These “injuries” then made the boxwood tissue susceptible to the fungus Macrophoma candollei, or leaf cast, which was widespread at Morven Park by the 1940s if not earlier.32

Fortunately, the boxwood leaf miner did not appear to be a problem during the Davises’ time. This was likely due to their preference for English box and the leaf miner’s penchant for the American variety. The red spider, on the other hand, caused the Davises much grief. Both Red Arrow Spray and Red Arrow Soap were purchased by the gallon in attempt to rid their boxwood of the pest. (See Appendix 13) Ever the spend-thrifty scientist, Davis began seeking out more effective yet cheaper ways to control the red spider. At least once, he wrote the manufacturer of Red Arrow to inquire about their competitive advantage, “Will you be good enough to advise me the advantages of [your] soap over the plain soap used in connection with nicotine for the extermination of the red spider... I have been using your soap for a long time, and know that you have a justification for having a higher price.”33 Another letter, this one a reply from the Westcott Nursery Company, revealed to Davis their formula of water, fish oil, and black leaf 40 as an effective spray for the red spider.34 Despite the battles with leaf cast and red spiders, the boxwood at Morven Park were well tended and much loved. In fact, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported, following the death of Marguerite in 1963, that the English boxwood in the gardens at Morven Park was some of the most valuable in Virginia.35 Considering the immense effort and expense the Davises put into establishing their mature boxwood gardens, it is no surprise that the Governor sought to recoup some of his investment through the sale of boxwood cuttings. n August 30, 1935, Morven Park Nurseries received its Certificate of Nursery Inspection following an August 23 site visit by Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Immigration. Deemed free of San Jose scale and “other dangerously injurious insects and plants diseases,” the nursery stock did not appear to have been too affected by the presence of red spiders on site. (See Appendix 15) In the trade magazine, The Florists’ Exchange, Morven Park Nurseries began advertising rooted cuttings of old English and American boxwood, as well as English ivy, in quantities of one hundred and one thousand (figure 7-12). Ironically, Davis began acquiring boxwood cuttings from Mr. R.C. Riddell in Louisa that same year. He purchased one hundred pounds in November, the same quantity a month later, and another 150 pounds in January 1936, altogether totaling $62.50. (See Appendix 13) Most likely, Davis had already exhausted the available cuttings from his own plants and needed the 350 pounds to meet demand, but whether or not he specified the source of the cuttings to his customers is unknown.

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In 1936, the fledgling nursery business began purchasing supplies for the greenhouse which was under construction just south of the brick garage. While no record of the initial acquisition could be found, subsequent correspondence with the Metropolitan Greenhouse Manufacturing Corporation, a fellow advertiser in The Florists’ Exchange, indicates that Davis bought a “complete greenhouse set up” from them prior to the spring of 1936. Seed flats, carrying trays, painted pots, labels, bulb pans, and various other materials were purchased in large numbers from vendors including Metropolitan, F.W. Bolgiano & Company, and Ernest Brothers Pottery. (See Appendix 13) Asparagus and chrysanthemums were added to The Florists’ Exchange listing in 1937, and it is thought that a large variety of cut flowers were also being sold, as Davis’ acquisition of large “corrugated shipping boxes for flowers” would suggest. Significant quantities of hydrangea, snapdragons, dahlias, calendula, paper whites, lilies, delphiniums, and roses, among others, were repeatedly purchased in 1936 and 1937, and were most likely being grown primarily for sale, although it is possible that some may have found their way into the formal gardens on site.

Fig. 7-12: 1935 Morven Park Nurseries Advertisement. (MPA)

Despite paying a $10.00 “nursery registration fee” in November 1937 and $210.85 for “material for greenhouse” the following month, all advertising for Morven Park Nurseries appears to have stopped by early 1938. The last known receipt for a nursery related transaction was dated March 1938, and a December 6, 1938 return letter to a Mr. P.K. Teachey informed him that Morven Park Nurseries had no boxwood for sale at the time. Perhaps the Davises were simply losing interest, or even money, in the enterprise and decided to close up shop. While the ultimate fate of Morven Park Nurseries is a mystery, it does appear that it ceased to be a viable business enterprise sometime in 1938. ollowing the Governor’s sudden passing in September 1942, Marguerite halted all non-essential activity on the estate and decreased her staff to two full-time and two seasonal employees.36 Among them were Robert Flynn and Samuel Hough; both would outlive Marguerite and become employees of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. While she spent decreasingly less time at Morven Park after her husband’s death, Marguerite always made time while there to work in her beloved gardens. According to Flynn, she would “work from one to three plucking the boxwood,” leaving clippings along the brick walk for him to cart away.37

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While the Governor had designed a mausoleum for them prior to his death, it was not until the spring of 1943 that Marguerite hired Gibson Fisher, the same mason responsible for the brick garden wall, and his son to build it. In the meantime, his remains lay buried in a vault in an unknown location in the boxwood gardens.38 The mausoleum, the brick for which was hauled from Winchester by Flynn, was sited in the heart of the gardens, providing a “fitting resting place surrounded by the beauty of the couple’s own creation.”39 On Thanksgiving Day, 1943, the Governor’s vault was moved into the center of the mausoleum; the remains of his mother, originally buried in Leesburg in 1921, were placed to one side of him.40 Marguerite would not take her place on the other side until 1963. rom its very inception, the Davises’ boxwood garden carried an air of maturity and grandeur which ordinarily only comes with age. While the winding, tree and flower-lined entrance drive, the classic white mansion fronted by a gracefully sweeping lawn, and the sublime wooded hillside set off by handsome farm fields all turned heads, it was the formal garden that often made the most lasting impression on visitors to Morven Park. While the garden has since taken on more of a park-like quality, it still to this day demands attention and conveys the timeless aesthetic of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis.

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7-13 Figs. 7-13 and 7-14: The Davis Mausoleum in the Marguerite G. Davis Boxwood Gardens.

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Dyer, Walter A. (1908, February). “Country life in Loudoun County: A Virginia community where certain ideal conditions obtain, and the lessons that may be drawn from it- horse breeding and dairying estates that pay a profit.” Country Life in America: 13(4), 384. 2 Otey, Charles L. (1966-1967). Collected reports on the restoration of Morven Park. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 3. 3 Kirby, Jack Temple. (1968). Westmoreland Davis: Virginia Planter-Politician, 1859-1942. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 26. 4 Dyer, 384. 5 Westmoreland Davis Papers. (1889-1942). Accession #MSS 6560, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 6 Unknown. (1927, May 1). The Southern Planter: (88)9, 20. 7 “Old mansion restored; Morven Park handsomely improved by its new owners.” (1902, January 26). The Times; Richmond, VA, 17. Retrieved on September 30, 2011 from http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034438/1902-01-26/ed-1/seq-17/ 8 Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deed books 8M-484 and 9L-169. 9 Czaplewski, Victoria. (2006, November 20). “Morven Park’s garden history: for the Board of Directors, Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 15. 10 Czaplewski, 14. 11 Ibid. 12 United States Department of Agriculture. (1947). “Culture, diseases, and pests of the box tree.” Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1855. Retrieved from Paul Spivey Papers, Accession #MSS 6560-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 13 Czaplewski, 11. 14 Sales, Edith Tunis. (1924). In Albert Addison Lewis’ Boxwood Gardens Old and New. Richmond: The William Byrd Press Inc., 13. In Czaplewski, 11. 15 Czaplewski, 12. 16 Wright, Richardson. (1929). The Gardener’s Bed-Book. New York: J.B. Lippincott Company. Reprinted by PAJ Publications, 1988, 26. In Czaplewski, 12. 17 Green, Carolyn. (1998). Morley: The intimate story of Virginia’s Governor & Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Leesburg, VA: Goose Creek Productions, 83. 18 Czaplewski, 13. 19 Personal interview with Doug Smith, former Chief Interpreter at Morven Park, and Allen Stoudt, Collections Technician at Morven Park. September 30, 2009. Personal interview with William O’Keefe, former executive director of Morven Park. August 26, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 20 Otey, Charles. (1995, February 11). “History of Morven Park Gardens”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 21 Leesburg Garden Club. (2007). 2006-2007 pamphlet. Leesburg Garden Club Collection, 1920 – (M 044), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA. 22 Cox, Teckla. (2011, July 7). “Historical sketch”. Leesburg Garden Club Collection, 1920 – (M 044), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA, 3. 23 Ibid. 24 Larus, Mrs. Lewis G. (1934, December 3). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 25 Davis, Westmoreland. (1931, September 21). Letter to Mr. Yonce, Morven Park foreman. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 26 Unknown. (1927, May 1). The Southern Planter: (88)9, 20. 27 Davis, Westmoreland. (1931, June 29). Letter to Dr. G.E. Kopper. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 28 Ibid. 29 Cran, Marion. (1932). Gardens in America. New York: Macmillan Company, 210. In Czaplewski, 14. 30 Interview with Wilson Townsend. (2003, November 7). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 31 Weiss, Freeman. (1935, March 15). Letter to Morven Park Nurseries from United States Department of Agriculture. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 32 Lintner, J.R. (1946, July 2). Letter to Morven Park Nurseries from the County Agricultural Agent with Virginia Tech’s Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture & Home Economics. Brierley, Sr., Philip. (1946, August 1). Letter to Morven Park Nurseries from Senior Pathologist with United States Department of Agriculture. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 33 Davis, Westmoreland. (1940, July 3. Letter to the McCormick Sales Co., Baltimore, MD. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 34 Westcott Nursery Company. (1942, July 14). Letter to Westmoreland Davis. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 35 Unknown. (1963, October 31). “Morven Park will be preserved.” Loudoun Times-Mirror. In Czaplewski, 17. 36 Davis, Marguerite. (1944, August 4). Letter to Mr. Younglin, Royal Indemnity Company. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va. 37 Interview with Robert Flynn and son, longtime employee of Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis. (1994, January 10). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 38 Green, 91-2. 39 Interview with Flynn. Czaplewski, 17. 40 Green, 92.
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8 The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation: Restoring the Core

ollowing the death of her husband, Marguerite Davis began spending more time with her sister, Willie Lee, and her companion, Mrs. Alice Proffitt, at their family homes in Florida and Connecticut, and thus less time at Morven Park. She had decreased the once extensive staff to only two full-time and two seasonal employees. Under the direction of C.T. Rice, supervisor from the late 1940s until his death in 1953, the men were unable to keep up with the growing maintenance needs, and the estate gradually fell into disrepair.1 By 1954, conditions at Morven Park had gravely deteriorated, at least compared to Marguerite’s standards. On May 5, following a recent visit, she wrote to longtime family friend and business associate Paul E. Spivey that she, “was so disgusted at the condition of Morven and the farm, roads covered with water. The men too lazy to look after anything,” and again on July 26, “I am unhappy there, so why should I go back?...The place has gone down continuously since the Governor’s death. I think this deterioration should have some effect on my taxes.”2 Dismayed at the conditions and distrustful of her employees, Marguerite enlisted Spivey’s help in overseeing the estate’s affairs, asking him to make monthly visits to “ke[ep] the men busy at Morven and not let the place run down.”3 Spivey and Marguerite corresponded regularly regarding not only the the productivity of her employees, but also “the rental of the property, the payment of salaries, repairs, insurance and the like;” many of these letters are available in the Special Collections at the University of Virginia.4 Perhaps Marguerite had taken a page out of her late husband’s book and had developed unrealistic expectations of her minimal staff. Regardless, Spivey appears to have convinced her that Robert Flynn and Samuel Hough, her two full-time employees, were worth keeping around, reporting that,

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“Flynn seemed to feel that he is doing all of the work that he can do now…Morven Park is such a large place that it is difficult to give an accurate estimate as to the time required on the different jobs done. They do have right much to do in keeping the boxwood trimmed and keeping the grass cut in the gardens and on the lawn. Some new gates have been put up and fences seem to be kept in repair…The place seems to look no better or no worse and things seem to be going just about as they did while Rice was living and paid regular visits. Flynn is apparently honest and, inasmuch as he does have access to the house and its belongings, you are probably just as well off to have him continue as he is now doing as you would be to go and get a new caretaker. 5 ”

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Marguerite was especially concerned about the health of her beloved boxwood, and letter after letter between her and Spivey discussed their condition and care. She was particularly dismayed to learn that both red spiders and box leaf miner were beginning to appear, a result of having not been sprayed in over four years.6 “I was shocked to learn the boxwood had not been sprayed since 1950 or 1951,” wrote Marguerite, “I never realized Mr. Rice would be so careless. Please follow Dr. Plumb’s advice, leaf minor [sic] is a very serious disease and can destroy the whole garden… any infected parts should be cut out and burned…I am depending on you to save my boxwood gardens for me.”7 A three-day snow storm, “the worst in the history of Loudoun County,” did not help matters, as it ravaged the landscape at Morven Park during the winter of 1957-58.8 The boxwood were particularly hard hit, with many of the branches bent to the ground and broken. The damage was so extensive that Flynn wrote to Marguerite that, “We could not do a thing with it…I will just have to have some help to get the broken box out and this terrible mess cleaned up.”9 Later that year, Assistant State Entomologist, W.H. Matheny was brought in to inspect the boxwood. Not only did they show signs of extensive damage from the previous winter’s cold temperatures and snow, but also from poor drainage and ventilation, and insufficient fertilization.10 “There are several plants that have declined to an extent that I doubt the wisdom of trying to save them,” wrote Matheny, “A few replacements might be in order.”11 The three to five thousand boxwood growing in the “rambling and neglected nursery,” located where the visitor parking lot is now, were faring even worse.12 Matheny, as well as several nurserymen, judged them to be in poor condition with significant discoloration, heavy infestation of box leaf miner, insufficient growing space, and honeysuckle growing over entire sections with poison oak interspersed.13 While Marguerite entertained an April 1955 offer of $500 for the entire lot, it does not appear that she accepted it, as references to the boxwood nursery continue to appear into the 1960s.14

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nfortunately, the conditions of the mansion and various outbuildings were not much better. The interested party behind a 1959 $150,000 offer on the property alleged that,

“the buildings have been neglected for many years, they are in a deplorable state of deterioration, and most of them could not be salvaged. [Those} that can be salvaged will require an enormous outlay of money…In order to modernize the house (wiring, bathrooms, other plumbing, plastering, papering, etc.), it would cost in the neighborhood of $75,000-$125,000. In short, it would be cheaper all around to tear down all of the buildings and start anew…This is particularly true when the buildings are of non-historical interest. 15 ” Despite these pessimistic claims, records indicate that attempts were, in fact, made to maintain the buildings. The mansion was replastered and painted in 1952, reroofed in 1959, and painted again in 1960.16 After the bell from the south tower was stolen and a search for a suitable replacement proved unsuccessful, a new one was reproduced, albeit almost four years later (figure 8-1). “While it is not an exact reproduction, it will add to the appearance of the bell tower,” wrote Spivey.17

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In the spring of 1961, the exteriors of the Corbell House, spring house, and dairy, the three buildings closest to the mansion, received stucco and plaster repair, new coats of Sta-Dry, and fresh coats of paint.18 The gate house, which was damaged when a tree fell on it during a 1956 windstorm, was also fixed up with the back entrance reroofed, the front porch and interior walls repaired, stucco patched, and damaged cornice boards, sills and posts replaced.19 Flynn’s house as well as the “house in the woods”, most likely the manager’s house, were also repaired and painted in 1962.20 Even Governor Davis’ mausoleum was receiving attention “in an attempt to stop a water condition.”21 A 1956 letter to Spivey from Alfred Zaun of the U.S. Trust Company reported that,

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“Numerous experiments and improvement in the ventilation have practically eliminated water resulting from condensation. To date we have not been successful in eliminating water at the base of the vault. We are presently contemplating excavating the side and rear walls, installing drain tiles at the base of the walls, waterproofing the walls and thereafter, backfilling to grade. Provision will also be made to extend an underground power line into the vault with the expectation that a dehumidifier will be installed…Rest assured Mr. Spivey that we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to waterproof the vault and to comply with the wishes of Mrs. Davis. 22 ”
While Marguerite was adamant that the utmost care be taken in keeping the vault dry, it is unknown as to whether or not she authorized this work as no record or further mention could be found. In 1962, by which time Marguerite had ended her visits to Morven Park altogether, Spivey notified her that the original coat of calcimine on the side walls had peeled away over the years, and that Sta-Dry would be applied instead as would a fresh coat of gray paint on the Governor’s vault.23 “Otherwise,” he reassured her, “the vault is in just about the same condition as when it was built.”24

8-2 Fig. 8-1: The design for the 1962 replacement bell. (UVA #MSS 6500-e) Fig. 8-2: The bell and bell tower in the mid-1960s. (MPA)

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Around the same time, Marguerite received other encouraging news from Spivey, “I don’t believe I ever saw the box make more rapid growth than it has this spring since the weather has turned warm. It has greened up beautifully.”25 It appears that Alice Proffitt, Marguerite’s longtime companion, also agreed that conditions at Morven Park were improving. Following a May 1962 visit, she reported to Spivey that she had “never seen the place look so beautiful. When I told Mrs. Davis, it pleased her so much…You have had the most beautiful care taken of Morven and Mrs. Davis appreciates it.”26 espite her fears that Morven Park was “dilapidated,” as well as numerous offers for the entire property, Marguerite never wavered in her commitment to dedicate the house and surrounding gardens in memory of her husband.27 She died at her home in Branford, Connecticut on July 13, 1963. In accordance with her wishes, her remains were placed beside those of her husband in the mausoleum at Morven Park where a graveside service was held on July 17th.28 With the exception of a few personal bequests, the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation was the sole income beneficiary of Marguerite’s estate which had been placed in a perpetual trust with the U.S. Trust Company of New York.29 Charged with maintaining the property as a museum and park, the Foundation began to prepare for a thorough restoration, though no work could commence until Marguerite’s estate was out of probate.30 In the fall of 1964, the foundation invited Charles Otey to visit the estate. A Richmond-based landscape architect, Otey had “developed and executed more than 250 plans of landscape design and…never passed up an opportunity to study his field or broaden his experience.”31 He first visited Morven Park in September of that year and was shortly thereafter commissioned to draft the plans and specifications for the multi-year restoration project.32 Once the estate was settled in 1965, preparations began in earnest with Otey spending two months on site that year, six months in 1966, and another half year in 1967.33 Regarding the restoration, Otey wrote, “The historic development of Morven Park can serve no higher function than to warm those who come into its hospitality with a zeal to live with such purpose, as did those who gave this property that it may be enjoyed by others. 34 ”

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8-4 Fig. 8-3: Charles Otey, left, reviews the plans for the restoration with Alfred Zaun of the U.S. Trust Company’s Real Estate Division Management Section. Fig. 8-4: Otey, Zaun, and an unidentified man walk from the mansion toward the Corbell House. (MPA)

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Upon the completion of the project in October 1967, he was offered and accepted a full-time position as the resident manager of the estate, and moved with his wife and children into the newly renovated manager’s house at Morven Park.35 Using first the restored farm office in the mansion, he then moved his operations to the Corbell House. In addition to directing the restoration of the property, he managed the staff, operated the nursery, and developed community outreach and educational programs.36

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hile both of Spivey’s roles, at first as overseer of the property and then as co-executor of Marguerite’s will, had been officially terminated, he remained intimately involved with Morven Park as one of three vice presidents of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. As for Flynn and Hough, their loyalties also shifted from the estate to the Foundation. Flynn, who was earning a monthly salary of $175 under Marguerite, and Hough, who received $150 each month, saw their salaries increased when their employment was officially “taken over by the Davis Foundation.”37

onstruction on the eighteen-month restoration project began in April, 1966 and wrapped up just prior to the grand opening on October 17, 1967. While similar work continued throughout the property for years, the focus of these months was on rehabilitating the most visible parts of the estate and preparing it for daily public use. Most likely at the request of the Foundation Trustees, Otey wrote monthly, and sometimes even weekly, reports on the progress being made and also took a good number of color slide photographs.38 Despite Spivey’s and Proffitt’s early 1960s claims that things were improving at Morven Park, Otey found the conditions of the buildings and grounds to be very poor, with many of the buildings “beyond repair.”39

8-7 8-6 Fig. 8-5: Charles Otey standing behind a boxwood in signficant decline; the red flag suggests that it was scheduled for removal. Fig. 8-6: Otey (in hat) and an unidentified man inspecting the plants; note the discoloration. Fig. 8-7: Damaged wood being chiseled away in an attempt to revitalize a boxwood plant. (All MPA) 8-5

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Marguerite’s boxwood were in particularly bad shape, with Otey noticing on his very first visit that they had been considerably damaged by cold weather, overcrowding, nematode infestation, use of overly strong concentrations of spray material, and low soil fertility.40 Leaky water lines, combined with heavily compacted clay subsoil and poor drainage, was also a major contributing factor. Otey noted that, “the old water pipe system in the boxwood garden was cut off in late 1966. The leaking pipes had caused many large boxwood to decline due to too much water…during construction of a new drainage system, the old draintile pipes were found. As they were installed without encasement of rock, the old tiles soon filled with drainage silt. The new fields established in 1966 are encased with granite rock and should prove satisfactory for years to come.”41 Several catch basins were also installed above the boxwood gardens to intercept surface run-off before reaching the box.42 With a mission to “preserve all of the plants that were there,” Otey and his team carefully thinned and pruned as much of the unhealthiest limbs as possible and even transplanted some of the box into better growing conditions.43 The large hedgerow that the Davises had planted along the northwest edge of the terraced garden was removed, not only to enlarge the path for pedestrians and maintenance vehicle access, but also to address grading and drainage and to reduce competition for the boxwood.44 “In removing the hedgerow, the root structure of the trees revealed the large extent of their coverage in depleting the Boxwood Gardens of nutrient,” recorded Otey in June, 1966.45 Tree limbs that had been shading the boxwood were also removed “to give better air circulation and light.”46 A feeding program was also initiated using specialty 10-6-4 plant food to establish better root growth on the boxwood as it was found that “the older plants had very few new feeder roots.”47 Otey also recommended a change in winter care of the boxwood. Besides covering the plants with burlap, the primary form of winter protection during the Davises’ tenure had been to remove the snow as soon as it fell. Otey argued, however, that leaving a thin layer of four inches or less may act as a barrier to cold winds and subsequent freezes; wet and heavy snow, on the other hand, should be removed, but only when temperatures were above freezing.48 He also suggested the use of antidessicants, Wilt-Pruf material, insulated wire supports to prevent the plants from opening up under heavy snow, and crotched stakes to support large limbs.49 Despite the improved growing conditions, some of the boxwood was beyond saving and was replaced, including a few in Marguerite’s terraced garden.50 At Otey’s urging, a small nursery was established on site to grow English and American boxwood; while not on Otey’s blueprints, it is thought that it was located south of the greenhouse and maintenance shed. The box were used as future replacements for those that continued to decline; cuttings were also sold in the Morven Park gift shop.51

Fig. 8-8: A replacement boxwood being hoisted over the brick wall. (MPA)

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s with the boxwood, many of the trees on site were showing signs of neglect, but believing that the “trees just capture the landscape,” Otey attempted to “preserve as many as possible.”52 Throughout the estate, “tree surgery [was] carried out on all major trees plantings to insure [sic] the perpetual life of these fine specimen trees.”53 H.M. Van Wurmell of Van Wurmell Tree Service began on June 28th, 1966; it would take until the week of August 21st, 1967, for him and his men to complete the job.54 Van Wurmell not only pruned and thinned dead or decaying limbs, but also scraped and filled the cavities on several trees, including the maples near the boxwood garden wall.55 Other trees, including two large spruce, at least one magnolia, and a clump of Irish yew, were transplanted to new locations.56 While all volunteer and weed species that had grown in over the years were removed, specimen trees were only taken down if already dead or certain to die soon. In most cases, Otey replaced the dead or dying tree with “another similar in variety and as large as possible to transplant.”57 A new feeding regimen was established and cables as well as lightning rods were installed in several of the large trees throughout the grounds.58 Very few new plantings were added to the landscape and were primarily limited to the area where the dog fence and kennels had been removed between the Corbell House and new visitor rest station.59 The largest planting project resulted from Otey’s decision to enlarge the main walk that led from the Corbell House through the gardens. “The Davises had a narrow walkway, you could hardly walk down there,” remembered Otey, “so I widened it and took out the hedgerow.”60 The brick-edged ten foot wide walk was also extended to the visitors’ rest station and parking lot. In late May and early June 1966, a row of hollies was planted along its northwest edge, with a row of willow oaks just beyond. “The establishment of the new hedgerow of plant materials and trees,” wrote Otey, “was necessary to maintain the overall scale of the area.”61 While the hollies were removed around 1980 after a particularly tough winter, thirteen of the fourteen willow oaks still remain.62 tey recalls that 1966, the year in which many of the trees and shrubs were planted, was the driest in one hundred years.63 A deep well was drilled on site and a twenty-three zoned watering system was installed in early summer (figure 8-18).64 First programmed for use on June 30th and every other day after that, the system had used “250,00 [sic] gal. of water” in the garden by the end of July.65 An extensive drainage system was also installed in the garden with catch basins above the boxwood garden, nursery, and mausoleum.66 As drainage around the latter was particularly tricky, Otey installed “additional tile drainage in back of the Vault,” connecting it to the existing six inch line running under the garden wall to the entrance road.67 “Due to soil types and the understructure of the sub soil,” reported Otey, “it was decided to also tile drain around all the new specimen trees and to interlock this system into the original planned drainage system.”68

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Fig. 8-9: H.M. Van Wurmell. (MPA)

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Fig. 8-10 to 8-12: The willow oaks being trucked in, lined up and planted. Fig. 8-13: The newly planted oaks stand tall behind a row of hollies, planted around the same time. The hollies were removed in 1980 after a particulary bad winter, but thirteen of the fourteen willow oaks still remain. Fig. 8-14 to 8-17: Two pairs of “before and after” photographs of two of the more extreme cavity fillings at Morven Park. While we now know that filling such cavities with abrasive materials such as cement, asphalt, or masonry does more harm than good, such practices were common at that time. Neither tree still stands at Morven Park. (All MPA)

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Fig. 8-18: Otey’s master plan for the restoration of Morven Park’s gardens. Trees with labels were already on site while those unmarked were planted by Otey and his team between 1966 and 1967. This particular plan highlights the irrigation and drainage systems. (MPA)

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8-21 8-22 Fig. 8-19: Charlie Troy and his assistant rebuild the brick stairs in the terraced garden. Fig. 8-20 and 8-21: The reconstructed stairs and walk. Fig. 8-22: Rebuilding a portion of the brick garden wall. (All MPA) n May, 1966, Troy Masonry Company rebuilt the brick walk and steps in the center of the terraced garden. According to Otey, the Davises had used a “light salmon colored brick…that spalls water really bad and that’s the reason the walk…went all to pieces…We got old bricks from the city of Richmond. Some were pavers, some were thick, some were thin. We just overlaid that other walk.”69 The brickwork on top of the mausoleum as well as a portion of the surrounding brick wall (figure 8-22) was also reconstructed.70 “Those walls were done by what I call slopjacks,” recalled Otey, “they didn’t cut the mortar or anything.”71 In addition, Charlie Troy built a new section of wall southeast of the garden at the opening to the new visitor parking lot. Two Davis-era brick columns already stood in that location, but “we took one and pushed it out to widen [the entrance]…then built [the wall] to match the original.”72 The fifty-foot long Davis-era reflecting pool also required a complete rebuild. The majority of the work was completed in mid-June, 1966, with the framing completed on the 11th and concrete poured on the 18th.73 It was not until the following July, however, that the pump equipment and three fountains were installed.74 While the original reflecting pool did not feature fountains, Otey believed that they “lend a real degree of life to this outstanding area in the Garden.”75

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8-25 Fig. 8-23 and 8-24: Reconstructing the reflecting pool. Fig. 8-25: The jets were added by Otey in 1967. (All MPA)

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tey took some liberties with some of the smaller garden rooms as well, admitting that he “redid” the Davises’ sundial garden and added a new walkway and statue (figures 8-28 to 8-30) where the dog kennels once stood.76 The statue has since disappeared and the walkway has been returned to grass. Otey also painted and placed four large urns near the mausoleum as well as a bird bath between the reflecting pool and sundial garden.77 The Davis-era benches remained on site and were placed throughout the gardens. All of the metal gates were “sand blasted and treated and painted. They really looked nice,” recalled Otey.78 At the direction of the Foundation Trustees, he replaced the old iron doors on the mausoleum with new bronze ones, and the expansive lawn in front of the mansion was completely “reworked and seeded.”79

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Fig. 8-26: Otey’s redesign of the Davises’ sundial garden. Fig. 8-27: The walk leading to the white statue was perpendicular to the main garden path. Fig. 8-28 to 8-30: After the dog kennels were removed from this area, Otey installed the new walk, statue, and flower borders. It has all since been removed and returned to grass. Fig. 8-31 to 8-33: The Davis-era benches are still accessible throughout the gardens. (All MPA except for 8-32 and 8-33, by author)

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8-35 8-34 8-36 8-38 8-37 Fig. 8-34: The mansion exterior was in poor condition prior to resurfacing. Fig. 8-35 and 8-36: The portico was completely torn up and waterproofed before the tiles were relaid. Fig. 8-37 and 8-38: The Corbell House and Coach House, respectively, prior to restoration. (All MPA) The exterior of the mansion received significant attention from Otey and his team. The stucco was patched and all surfaces received a fresh coat of paint. Before this work could begin, however, the “ivy on the Mansion and around the foundation of the building was trimmed to permit a better painting job.”80 The chimneys and roof were repaired and the gutters and downspouts were replaced to “better advantage for handling the large amount of rainwater from the roof.”81 The columns of the front portico were completely reworked and the portico floor and stone steps rebuilt.82 When subcontractor C. Maloy Fishback and his team opened up the floor, they found that “all of the joists across the top of the steps and the steps themselves and around the columns [we]re bad and ha[d] allowed water to seep in for years.”83 After correcting the drainage and reinforcing the floor, the newly polished tiles were relaid. The three patio areas in the back at the mansion were repaved with paving bricks.84 The exterior surfaces of all of the outbuildings to the north and south of the mansion were also “completely restored and present quite an improvement in the overall effect.”85 Otey converted the interior of the Corbell House from a residence to an office for him and his staff. The upstairs of the Laundry House was transformed into a gift shop that was, claimed Otey, “successful for a number of years”, while the first floor was used as a creamery.86 Of the two greenhouses that stood on site when Otey arrived, the larger one was removed in the summer of 1966 as it was “old…nothing but glass and…real messy”.87 The smaller one next to the garage, however, was restored.88 It was subsequently torn down prior to the winter of 1994-95, when a new one was rebuilt on top of the old foundation.89 While new glass was installed, the panes from Otey’s 1967 restoration have since been in storage in the smoke house.90 The manager’s residence was also completely renovated in anticipation of the Otey family’s October 1967 move. The majority of the structures at Denning Springs, Ravenswood, and Mountainside Farms were demolished as they were not believed to be “worth the cost of restoration.”91 The old barn at Denning Springs, however, was in decent enough shape to be fixed up for use with the community. “We used it for activities...We had a little kitchen down there and everything,” recalled Otey.92 The two adjacent ponds were stocked with fish and “people would come out from Washington with busloads of kids. We had a good program going.”93 Significantly, Otey noted that none of the excavations at Morven Park uncovered unexpected building foundations, bury pits or trash disposal areas.94

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tey’s original recommendation for the narrow entrance to Morven Park was to widen it by relocating two of the four stone columns, either the two inside columns behind the outer ones or the two on the left further out; luckily, neither suggestion was implemented.95 Instead, the existing one-lane road became the entrance drive, and a second one-lane exit road was constructed approximately nine hundred feet to the northwest; this served to streamline visitors’ circulation and protect the existing trees and banks along the original entrance road. While the original drive was lined with Norway spruce and maple, white birch, locust, and osage orange, roughly twenty five voids required planting.96 In order to “enhance the beauty of the original trees and give a better perspective of the fields as one enters the Estate,” Otey had the dead and dying trees removed, along with the volunteer and weed species that had also grown in.97 Construction on the new exit road began on Friday, August 21st, 1967. “Undergrowth was removed and selected trees to remain were tagged. The road was staked out on August 22nd, and soil grading was also started on this day. Topsoil was stockpiled to be used on the shoulders of the road and other selected places. Several major cuts in the road were made and the lagoon area near the entrance gate and the ice pond near the parking complex were partly filled with soil. It will be necessary to tile drain the area next to the entrance gate if we are to keep this area dry.”98 The construction of the fence along the exit road was completed in early September.99 A large visitor parking lot was added where the entrance and exit roads come together. In February, 1967, ten maple trees were delivered in “nine inches of snow and were planted.”100 Four were placed in the medians, while the other six were planted along the south edge. On the northwest side of the parking lot, a rest station was added to offer bathroom and drinking fountain services to visitors. Construction of the building, which features terrazzo floors and tiled walls with an exterior brick surround, began in early March.101 Behind the rest station, a new water tank and pump house were installed; in order to screen them from new parking complex, they were painted green and planted with a hedge of American boxwood.102

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8-41 Fig. 8-39 to 3-41: The evolution of the visitor parking lot and rest station; all photos looking northwest. (All MPA)

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n collaboration with the Nature Conservancy, two interpretive nature trails were created on the wooded hillside behind the mansion. The Catoctin Trail began northwest of the visitor parking lot and wound its way up the hillside to the old Confederate lookout and then back down to join up with the Kalmia Trail just north of the Carriage House and Corn Crib. The looped Kalmia Trail extended around the general perimeter of the Confederate winter camp. A variety of tree, shrub, and flower species were highlighted along the routes. Otey and his team added bird feeding stations along the trails, buying “a thousand pounds of seed at a time,” as well as ground feeding stations for quail.103 The Nature Conservancy also recommended that the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation establish a conservation demonstration area to highlight the water resources on site, particularly the watershed contained within the boundaries of Morven Park.104 The latter never materialized, and while the two trails were much used and well maintained throughout Otey’s tenure, they were phased out of use by his successors.

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Fig. 8-42: One of the earlier nature trail guides for visitors. (MPA)

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n October 17, 1967, the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation hosted a day of celebration to honor both Governor and Marguerite Davis. A hunt breakfast kicked off the day’s events and was followed by the dedication of the Marguerite G. Davis Memorial Boxwood Gardens, and later the dedication and opening of Morven Park to the public; Alice Proffitt and the Honorable William B. Sprong Jr., a United States Senator from Virginia, were among the speakers.105 A pamphlet from the dedication read, “Even for Virginia’s mansion-dotted horse county, the estate of Governor Westmoreland Davis is something very special. And it will continue to grow in importance as a unique cultural center.”106 The Leesburg Garden Club was among the first organizations to enjoy Morven Park. As the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported, “Mrs. B. Powell Harrison, Garden Club President, has been advised by the Davis Foundation Trustees that the estate will be made available in October, 1967, when the Leesburg group is host to the board of governors meeting of the Garden Club of Virginia.”107 In addition, the Trustees had requested that the Morven Park Boxwood Gardens be included in the 1967 Historic Garden Week so that “members of the Leesburg Garden Club and others may see the extensive rehabilitation work under way.”108 While the Garden Club was unable to accommodate their request for 1967, Morven Park was included two years later, as well as several subsequent years.109 Fig. 8-43: Mrs. Alice Proffitt preparing to speak at the dedication of the boxwood gardens. Fig. 8-44: The heart of the boxwood gardens is the Davis Mausoleum, seen here flanked by a row of boxwood. Fig. 8-45: The new visitors’ parking lot was filled to capacity during the grand opening of Morven Park. Fig. 8-46: Guests await the dedication ceremony of the restored estate. (All MPA)

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hat same year, the Foundation, at the urging of trustee Dr. Joe Rogers, founded the Morven Park International Equestrian Institute and devoted a large portion of the estate, formerly Ravenswood Farm, to its establishment.110 Partnering with the United States Combined Training Association, the Institute was a premiere training center for teachers of horsemanship, graduating Olympic caliber instructors which were in great demand at the time.111 The master plan (figure 8-47) featured a one-and-one-half mile steeplechase course, a competition stadium jumping area, a 63,000 square foot arena, stables, veterinarian facilities, grooming quarters, plenty of pasture and paddock space, and a dormitory for students and employees as well as a director’s residence. With the explosive growth of equestrian sports in the 1970s and 1980s, however, colleges and universities established similar, but lower cost, instructor training programs, and the Institute was increasingly unable to compete.112 In 1991, the Institute was closed, but the facility soon reopened as the Morven Park International Equestrian Center.113 To this day, it continues to operate as a world-class equestrian events facility, hosting trials, shows, and clinics throughout the year. edicated on April 19, 1970, the Winmill Carriage Collection at Morven Park houses one of the largest personal collections of antique horsedrawn vehicles from the mid 1800s and early 1900s.114 The collection was donated by the late Viola Townsend Winmill, an avid horsewoman from Warrenton, and includes coaches, breaks, surreys, carts, and sleighs as well as livery, harness and tack; two noteworthy pieces are the pony coach once owned by “General Tom Thumb” of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and the funeral hearse that carried Viola’s casket during her funeral procession.115

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Fig. 8-47: Internatioanl Equestrian Institute Master Plan, 1966. (MPA)

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Fig. 8-48 to 8-50: The construction of the Winmill Carriage Collection. (All MPA) Wishing to keep her collection together after her death, Viola, with the help of her daughter, sought proposals from a variety of institutions interested in displaying her permanent collection.116 After Morven Park was chosen, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in March of 1969, and a large concrete foundation, poured in ninety degree weather, soon covered the site of the former four-story dairy barn and turkey hatchery.117 According to Otey, metal siding was used instead of “something nicer like wood” because the Foundation was strained at the time with the “cost and the influence of architects and other people involved in the Equestrian Center” which was also under construction.118

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hile the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation did not take on any other major building projects until the recent restoration of the mansion, it did, in keeping with the spirit of the Davises’ passion for equestrian interests, grant two hundred acres of land, formerly Denning Springs Farm, to Virginia Tech in 1983. With the gift of four million dollars from a respected horsewoman for whom the campus was named, the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center was dedicated on October 14, 1984.119 One of three Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine campuses, it was one of the first university veterinary hospitals in the East to concentrate exclusively on equine medicine and research.120 Initially planned for thirty staff members, it now employs around 120 equine healthcare professionals who offer advanced specialty care, 24hour emergency treatment, and diagnostic services for approximately 3,000 horses a year.121

Fig. 8-51: The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. (http://ncr.vt.edu/Locations/Leesburg.html)

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s the means and methods of historic restoration have progressed over the years, it is perhaps easy to look back and criticize some of the decisions made by Otey and his team while helping the estate recover from a long period of decline as well as preparing it for daily public use. What cannot be criticized however, is Otey’s dedication to preserving the Davises’ legacy. Despite the significant changes made to the estate in the 1960s and 70s, visitors to Morven Park can still “promptly interpret the character, the tastes and the ambitions of the Davises.”122 And the serenity that Davis wrote about nearly eighty years ago, can still be readily experienced.

8-53 Fig. 8-52: In November,1974, Otey was notified that Morven Park had been placed on theVirginia Landmarks Register. Fig. 8-53: The current view across the hay fields to the white mansion and hillside beyond.

“The spacious grounds, the expansive Old English box garden, the view across the rich grain and grazing land that has made Northern Virginia famous, the placid waters of the Potomac River shining in the distance, give that feeling of serenity so characteristic of successful farm life. 123 ”

Davis, Marguerite. (1944, August 4). Letter to Mr. Younglin, Royal Indemnity Company. Spivey, Paul. (1964, September 4). Letter to Mr. Samson of the U.S. Trust Company. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Davis, Marguerite. (1954, May 5 and July 26). Letters to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 3 Davis, Marguerite. (1954, February 22 and 1956, December 20). Letters to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 4 Ante Mortem Gifts, Will of Marguerite Davis.” (1963). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 5 Spivey, Paul. (1954, May 28). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 6 Ibid. 7 Davis, Marguerite. (1955, April 3). Letter to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 8 Spivey, Paul. (1958, March 31). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 9 Flynn, Robert. (1958, March 22). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 10 Davis, Marguerite. (1955, June 5). Letter from Paul Spivey. Matheny, W.H. (1958, December 2). Entomology report on the boxwood at Morven Park. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 11 Ibid.
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12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71

Spivey, Paul. (1955, June 23). Letter to Mr. Henry G. Diefenbach, U.S. Trust Co. Diefenbach, Henry. (1956, April 23). Letter to Paul Spivey. Matheny. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Spivey, Paul. (1955, June 23). Letter to Mr. Henry G. Diefenbach, U.S. Trust Co. Hilltop Nurseries. (1955, April 21). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Hilltop Nurseries. Unknown. (1959, March 10). Offer to purchase Morven Park. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Assorted letters. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Spivey, Paul. (1962, December 21). Letter to Mr. Robert Flynn, Morven Park caretaker. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Invoice from Spinks Brothers. (1961, June). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Hirst, J.T. (1962, June 15). Letter to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Ibid. Zaun, Alfred. (1956, June 9). Letter to Mr. Paul E. Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Ibid. Spivey, Paul. (1962, August 17). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Ibid. Spivey, Paul. (1961, June 13). Letter to Mrs. Westmoreland Davis. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Proffitt, Alice. (1962, May 31). Letter to Paul Spivey. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Davis, Marguerite. (1956, December 20). Letter to Paul Spivey. Assorted letters and real estate offers. Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. “Mrs. Westmoreland Davis, Widow of Governor, Dies.” (1963, July 18). Loudoun Times-Mirror. Section: Biographical, D. “Estate of Marguerite G. Davis, Deceased.” (1963). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1940-1970). Accession #MSS 6500-f, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Otey, Charles. (n.d.) Untitled history on Morven Park. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 3. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (1967). Pamphlet on Morven Park Opening. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Otey, 3. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. Otey, 3. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. Ibid. Assorted letters. (1963-64). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. Otey, Charles L. (1967, December 31). “Restoration summary of Morven Park, 1964-1967.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg. VA, 6. Otey (1967), 4, 5. Ibid, 1, 4. Ibid, 3, 4. Otey, Charles L. (1966-1967). Collected reports on the restoration of Morven Park. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 21. Otey (1967), 3. Otey (1966-1967), 21, 38. Personal interview with Charles Otey, former manager of Morven Park. September 10, 2009; Chester, VA. Otey (1967), 1. Otey (1966-1967), 21. Ibid, 27, 28. Otey (1967), 4. Otey (1966-1967), 38. Otey (1967), 3. Ibid, 2. Interview with Otey. Ibid. Otey (1966-1967), 19. Interview with Otey. Otey (1966-1967), 19. Ibid, 27, 49. Ibid, 46, 47. Ibid, 35. Otey (1967), 4. Otey (1966-1967), 4. Interview with Otey. Ibid. Otey (1967), 2. Interview with Otey. Ibid. Otey (1966-1967), 38. Ibid, 27, 28 Ibid, 22. Ibid, 28. Ibid, 21. Interview with Otey. Otey, (1966-1967), 21. Interview with Otey.

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Ibid. Otey (1966-1967), 22. 74 Ibid, 45. 75 Ibid, 46. 76 Interview with Otey. 77 Otey (1966-1967), 39. 78 Interview with Otey. 79 Otey interview, Otey, 66. 80 Otey (1966-1967), 39. 81 Otey (1966), 5. 82 Ibid, 5. Otey (1966-1967), 42. 83 Otey (1966-1967), 51. 84 Otey (1967), 5. 85 Ibid, 5. 86 Interview with Otey. 87 Ibid. Otey (1966-1967), 21. 88 Otey (1966-1967), 47. 89 Personal interview with Allen Stoudt, Collections Technician at Morven Park. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 90 Ibid. 91 Otey (1967), 5. 92 Interview with Otey. 93 Ibid. 94 Otey (1967), 6. 95 Otey (1966-1967), 3. 96 Ibid, 3, 37. 97 Ibid. 98 Ibid, 50. 99 Ibid. 100 Ibid, 32. 101 Ibid. 102 Ibid, 22. 103 Personal interview with Charles Otey, former manager of Morven Park. September 10, 2009; Chester, VA. 104 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. 105 Notice of Morven Park Dedication. (1967). Paul E. Spivey Papers. (1881-1967). Accession #MSS 6500-e, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. 106 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. 107 “Morven Park restoration underway.” (1966, May 12). Loudoun Times-Mirror, 1. 108 Ibid. 109 Garden Club of Virginia. (1967-1973). Historic Garden Week Guidebooks. Leesburg Garden Club Collection, 1920 – (M 044), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA. 110 Leatherman, Dale. (1994, Nov/Dec). “A Governor’s legacy: Virginia’s historic Morven Park is a priceless asset to horsemen of every persuasion.” SPUR: The magazine of equestrian and country life: (30)1, 47. 111 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-p). “Equestrian Center amenities at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/facility.php 112 Leatherman, 47. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-p). 113 Leatherman, 47. 114 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-w). “Winmill Carriage Collection.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 11, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/carriage.php 115 Ibid. 116 Ibid. 117 Interview with Otey. 118 Ibid. 119 Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. (2011). “History of the EMC.” Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/emc/welcome/history.asp 120 Ibid. 121 Ibid. 122 “Morven Park restoration underway,” 1. 123 “We practice what we preach.” (1936, October). The Southern Planter. October 1936. In Czaplewski, Victoria. (2006, November 20). “Morven Park’s garden history: for the Board of Directors, Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 11.
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9 Morven Park Today: Honoring the Legacy

or almost fifty years now, the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Inc. has owned and operated Morven Park. The 501(c)3 organization’s mission is to protect, preserve, and promote the historic and cultural resources of Morven Park in honor of Governor and Mrs. Davis, and the Foundation has identified four strategic goals for achieving this mission:

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• ”Care for the historic house and gardens, the artifact collections, and the property through responsible stewardship; • Educate the public through interpretive tours, exhibits, events, and publications; • Build partnerships within the local and greater community which help the Foundation to promote the legacy of Governor and Mrs. Davis; and • Enhance the quality of community life through an increased awareness of and appreciation for the Davises’ contribution to Loudoun’s and Virginia’s historic past and agrarian and equestrian heritage. 1 ”
The Board of Trustees, originally a group of twelve but since expanded to seventeen, oversees the Foundation and provides “guidance and financial leadership to the historic Morven Park to ensure a continued legacy of rich traditions for generations to come.”2 William O’Keefe considers the transformation of the Board of Trustees one of the principal changes at Morven Park during his seventeen year tenure as the executive director (1993-2010). In addition to the number, both the composition and level of involvement of the trustees increased during this time as well. In an interview the year prior to his retirement, O’Keefe explained that, “we’re looking at the different parts of the property and trying to get people whose skills match the needs of the property…the gardens…property maintenance…the Equestrian Center. We’re looking at a board that, instead of just meeting four times a year and patting themselves on the back, is going to contribute.”3 In accordance of Marguerite’s wish to financially support other local and regional organizations, the Foundation has contributed money to a number of organizations over the years. The recipients include universities such as UVA, VMI, Virginia Tech, and Shenandoah; historical groups including the Loudoun Historical Society and Leesburg’s Thomas Balch Library; and organizations with an equestrian or agricultural focus such as the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, Loudoun Foxhunt Club, Virginia Steeplechase Association, and 4H.4

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At the helm of Morven Park’s daily operations is the executive director of which the Foundation has had four since its formation, although this formal title was not always used. Charles Otey was brought on full time in 1967 as the “first property manager” and was responsible for restoring much of the grounds as well as preparing the property to accommodate public visitation; both the International Equestrian Center and the Winmill Carriage Museum opened during his term as well.5 Otey remained at Morven Park until 1975 by which time the membership of the board had changed so dramatically that he had “lost control…I had it made otherwise,” he claimed in a 2009 interview, “I could have been there right now.”6 Edward A. Maurer Jr. succeeded Otey as manager of Morven Park in January 1976. A member of the trust department at the U.S. Trust Company in New York and secretary-treasurer of the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Maurer served as director until 1993. Both the mansion and grounds suffered from deferred maintenance during this time, mostly due to Maurer’s philosophy of operating “in the black.”7 The property was reportedly in “very good shape” when Maurer took the reins, but by the time O’Keefe arrived seventeen years later, it “was really in bad shape…we had a lot of catch up to do and we haven’t caught up yet.”8 It was during Maurer’s tenure that the Board of Trustees donated two hundred acres of land to Virginia Tech for the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. Also during this time, they purchased the adjacent Belle Grove property in order to prevent future development or subdivision of the land. William O’Keefe joined Morven Park as executive director in September of 1993. Faced with a backlog of deferred maintenance, O’Keefe wasted little time in addressing immediate needs and planning for longer term projects. In an early interview, he explained that his approach to management was to hire qualified “people who know their jobs much better than I do.”9 John Hanshew joined the staff as gardener and worked hard to get the grounds back into shape, and curator Bill Myzk spent months restoring and cataloging Governor Davis’ papers so that they would be available for research.10 Many important goals were accomplished during O’Keefe’s tenure including a thorough inventory of trees, the restoration of the mansion, and the establishment of open space easements. n the winter of 1996-97, local arborist Ed Milhous inventoried 814 trees within Morven Park’s historic core, focusing on the area around the mansion and Davis gardens, as well as the main entrance drive. Over sixty-four species were represented at the time, and with no more than ten percent of a single species, twenty percent of a single genus, or thirty percent of a single family, the Morven Park landscape met the criteria for classification as an arboretum.11 Accounting for twelve percent (96) of the inventory was osage orange, with Southern magnolia and sugar maple each with nine percent (73), Norway spruce with eight (68), and Norway maple with five (40). American holly, black walnut, hackberry, flowering dogwood, sweet gum, and red and silver maple each came in at three percent, with black locust, persimmon, green ash, littleleaf linden, slippery elm, sycamore, tree of heaven, and willow oak at two percent; the remaining forty-four species each accounted for one percent of less of the total inventory.12 Forty-one percent (333) were categorized as native with the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) identified as the most common invasive.13 Most of the older trees, Milhous asserted, were likely planted around the turn of the twentieth century with only a few older than that; with the exception of the boxwood, shrubs were nonexistent at the time.14

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Regarding the condition of the trees, Milhous reported that “there was a time when [they] received good care…perhaps even too much” as several featured lightning protection as well as cavity fillings.15 As the latter fell out of favor around 1960, Milhous assumed that they had occurred under Marguerite’s watch, but Otey’s reports as well as photographs prove that it was part of the restoration work. “Then there came a time when the trees were ignored,” Milhous continued, “there was little upkeep; few new trees were planted; few trees were removed, even when they should have been…This lack of attention manifests itself as a rather lengthy list of deferred maintenance items.”16 Milhous hypothesized that the trees had received little care in the “last 25 to 30 years,” which corresponds to the period of 1967 to 1972, the heart of Otey’s tenure.17 From what is known about Otey’s active stewardship of the property as well as Maurer’s relative lack thereof, it is more likely that this period of neglect corresponds with the change in leadership in 1975, the equivalent of twenty-two years per Milhous’ report. Despite the neglect, only twelve percent of trees were determined to have exceeded their useful lifespan, defined as the length of time a tree will be “attractive and healthy, barring some unforeseen calamity,” with another seventeen percent expected to reach the end by the year 2007; just over one-half (421) were expected to live attractively for twenty-six years or more (2023 on).18 A number of trees included in the inventory no longer stand. While some of the removals could certainly be credited to Milhaus’ recommendations, others, particularly those on the front lawn, were surely attributed to the restoration of the mansion and installation of the geothermal wells. Approximately 250 trees within the historic core were inventoried in 2011 (figure 9-1). Thirty-four species are currently represented with Southern magnolia (35+) and osage orange (35+) remaining the most abundant; exact numbers of each are difficult to determine as dense rows of both species stand on site. American holly (22) and Norway spruce (17) are also plentiful, as are several maples including red (14), sugar (13), and silver (9). The prominent row of willow oaks (13) still shades the main garden path and the stunning post oak just north of the Davis mausoleum continues to command attention. While a handful of Norway maple (3), black walnut (2), hackberry (3), flowering dogwood (6), and sweet gum (5) remain, they no longer account for their once larger percentages. The tree of heaven, the most common invasive at the time of Milhaus’ inventory, could not be found within the survey area. While the majority of trees appear healthy, some, most notably the horse chestnut in front of the Corbell house and the Southern magnolias to the north of the mansion, are in serious decline. In addition, many of the trees, particularly the osage orange, require significant pruning. Several specimen trees have recently been planted on the front lawn, including a Fig. 9-2: The northern half of the row of willow oaks. Natchez crape myrtle, dawn redwood, and a second decidious magnolia.

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he most significant event of the last few decades at Morven Park was the multi-year, multimillion dollar restoration of the mansion. The “natural aging of the massive house, combined with the terrain’s continually generated moisture, necessitated a full-blown restoration,” much of which was financed through historic rehabilitation tax credits.19 The task at hand was so tremendous that it was broken into two discrete projects- the exterior and the interior- and the firm of Tidewater Preservation, Inc. of Fredericksburg was hired in 2001 to begin the first. The crumbling ivory stucco façade was removed and the surfaces underneath were repaired before the new coats of stucco were applied; the mansion’s roof was also replaced. The next project involved addressing the poor drainage at the mansion’s foundation; unfortunately, the problem was much more substantial than originally thought. Upon their discovery of the substandard conditions in the crawl spaces, the drainage consultants recommended that it be closed immediately.20 During the installment of steam heat in the mansion over a century ago, trenches were dug parallel to the footing-less stem walls. Over time, the stability of the stem walls were compromised by the constant presence of water in the trenches; the water, sourced from the nineteen natural springs behind the mansion, also caused significant mold damage.21 “That’s when it was obvious that we had another project on our hands”, explained O’Keefe; in order to reinforce the foundation, the floors needed to be taken up, and as long as the “floors were up, it made sense to replace the electrical and heating systems” as well.22 Approximately seventy closed-loop geothermal wells were installed on the front lawn, with holes bored down every seven feet, altogether about the size of a football field. It was during the installation of the wells that the old iron fencing that once surrounded the Swann-era fountain was found. A new HVAC system was also installed to control humidity as was a fire suppression system, both of which will help to “ensure the house and the memory of the Davis family will always be here.” To prevent water from further infiltrating the mansion, a multitiered drainage system was constructed featuring a seven foot deep French drain along the base of a retaining wall built on the backside of the mansion; as O’Keefe explained, “water really has to work hard to get into the mansion now.”23 Thus the first of three phases of the second restoration project is now complete, and the core of the mansion has reopened to the public. The second phase entails restoring the remainder of the mansion’s interior, with the final phase focused on the restoration of the outbuildings.

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Fig. 9-3: The dewatering project proved much more extensive than originally thought. (MPA). Fig. 9-4: The solution included a new retaining wall and French drain.

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round the time that the drainage project began, the Foundation placed open space easements on two-thirds of the property in order to ensure that Morven Park will always retain its unique open and agricultural character. The tax credits earned for the open space easements also generated the income needed for the second restoration project, O’Keefe explained; “it was obvious that to take care of the property, we were going to need a lot more money than our trust was able to generate.”24 Milgred Fletcher, a lawyer in Upperville, volunteered to help with the process, obtaining a written ruling from the Virginia Commission of Revenue that made their tax credits so appealing that the Foundation was able to “sell them, remarkably, in one fell swoop”.25 The International Equestrian Center’s land was not included primarily because open space easements severely restrict future development, but a second reason was to preserve the land’s marketability in case the Foundation was forced to sell it for income.26 The Belle Grove property, however, was placed under easement so that the development of this adjacent land would be controlled. As O’Keefe explained, “we can still sell it, but it will be a restricted property…we’ve controlled its destiny.”27 Overall maintenance schedules, community outreach programs and research opportunities, and the once contentious relationship between the historic and equestrian operations were also significantly improved during O’Keefe’s tenure. Other physical changes include the rebuilding of the greenhouse in the winter of 1994-95, and the removal of the ivy in the early 2000s that grew over the mansion’s south library porch and bell house and had completely enveloped the spring house, wood shed and laundry house.28 In addition, the front lawn, once “a patchy mess”, began to receive much needed care, and the pond to the far east of the mansion, originally constructed as a crosscountry horse jump, was enlarged in 2009 for increased drainage capacity.29 fter seventeen years, two years longer than originally planned, O’Keefe felt that it was time for “somebody with a little more energy”.30 In early 2010, O’Keefe retired as executive director of Morven Park, and Frank D. Milligan, Ph.D. was hired as his replacement. According to O’Keefe, the greatest challenge facing Milligan is in focusing resources, both financial and physical, on the restoration of the property’s historic core. Over the years, O’Keefe believes, the board “was too generous to too many groups…and let the property get entirely too big,” all while the historic core was “falling down”.31 While the dewatering and restoration of the mansion was an enormous accomplishment, a large majority of outbuildings as well as the ornamental landscape await their turn. Upon his arrival, Milligan launched a massive restructuring of management, creating several new positions while eliminating old, resulting in an almost complete turnover of staff. Besides the executive director, current positions include the Directors of Development and Community Relations, Preservation, and Public Programming; Property Manager; Business Office Manager; Collections Manager; Equestrian Events Manager; and ten Interpreters.32 In addition, the maintenance crew includes six employees, supplemented by a landscape company responsible for mowing the accessible areas once a week. A standing agreement with a local farmer allows him to cut and bail the hay in the fields along the entrance drives, across from the mansion, and at the International Equestrian Center.33

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Figs. 9-5 and 9-6: The original tree-lined entrance drive used by Swann Jr. and the Davises remains open to visitors; the gates were restored in 2011. The exit drive, added by Otey in the 1960s, runs parallel just to the west. he Morven Park estate is open to the public until dusk every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Visitors may choose between two guided tours, each offered on the half hour. Tickets for the forty-five minute long Governor’s Mansion Tour sell for $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children, ages six to twelve. The Columns and Carriages Tour, which includes the mansion, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, and the Winmill Carriage Collection, runs ninety minutes and costs an additional $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. Visitors may also add a self-guided tour of the Civil War encampment site for $3.00. Access to the grounds is free of charge, and dogs are welcome, provided that they are leashed at all times. Six school programs are also offered on site; tailored to specific grades and topics of study, they range from Backyard Forest to History on Wheels.34 In addition to museum tours, Morven Park hosts a wide range of events throughout the year. On select weekends, Civil War Living History Program offers visitors a taste of what life was like for the soldiers wintering on site in 1861-2. Centered on the three replica log huts, daily life in the winter camp is reenacted as are drilling and firing exercises. Annual events include the Classic Car Cruise-in, the Northern Virginia Brew Fest, the Governor’s Country Fair, the Ladies’ Board Rummage Sale, and the Festival of Wreaths. The Foundation continues to add more community-oriented events as “that’s what Mrs. Davis wanted.”35 While there is not currently a gift shop on the property, the precedent has been set as Otey successfully operated one on the second floor of the laundry house for a number of years; the hope is to reopen an accessible shop in the near future.36 Another opportunity is to dedicate or restore one of the rooms in the mansion to the Swannera to more fully incorporate the family’s history into the visitor’s experience. In addition, the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, currently housed in Davis’ farm office, could be moved to another building so that the office could be reestablished.

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he Morven Park International Equestrian Center (MPEC), located on over one thousand acres of open space, continues to operate as a multifaceted events facility. The grounds feature both indoor and outdoor arenas, a variety of barns, a renowned steeplechase course, a beautiful series of cross-country courses, and a polo field and sports complex.37 While MPEC hosts a number of world-class equestrian events and clinics throughout the year, it is best known for its four major annual eventsthe spring and fall horse trials, the Running of the Morven Park Steeplechase, and the Summer Fling Dressage Show and Pas De Deux. The two day horse trials are the triathlons of equestrians and the “most exacting, exciting and fulfilling of all equestrian sports.”38 Known as eventing, the trials test a horse and rider’s “partnership and athletic prowess” in three diverse and demanding disciplines: the “grace and harmony of dressage”, the “rigors and thrills” of cross-country jumping, and the “power and pageantry” of show-, or stadium-jumping.39 The Running of the Morven Park Steeplechase was recently voted “Loudoun County’s Best Equestrian Event” in the Leesburg Today’s “Best of Everything Poll”.40 A cross-country horse

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Fig. 9-7: The facilities at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center. (www.morvenpark.org/equestrian_center_map.php, modified by author)

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Figs. 9-8 to 9-11: A sampling of cross-country jumps located throughout the grounds.

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race featuring a variety of fence and ditch obstacles, the Steeplechase spills out into the broader Morven Park landscape. The Summer Fling Dressage Show brings together riders from all over the Eastern Seaboard to compete in various skill levels; the event serves as a qualifier for the regional championships. The following day features the Pas de Deux, or “ballet on horseback”, a musical freestyle routine performed by two horses and their riders.41 The Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, formed in 1974 to “foster and encourage…horseback riding and other related activities for therapeutic purposes for individuals with disabilities” has also made its home at MPEC, and several of the Center’s events serve as fundraisers for the Riding Foundation.42 MPEC does not currently board or rent horses, nor does it offer riding lessons, but private horse owners may ride the property on non-event days, provided they make a reservation for a guided trail ride. The facility also accommodates corporate and private events including concerts, weddings, and festivals. Another long-standing tradition at Morven Park is the fox hunt, first introduced to the estate by Westmoreland Davis himself. The Loudoun West Hunt has met at Morven Park nearly every season, seldom failing to “raise a fox” on the property.43 The Fox Hunters’ Challenge Hunter Pace, the proceeds of which benefit both Morven Park and the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, is held in the spring. Competitive divisions include best flask, horn, crack a whip, and tailgate; the best hunt team all-around is awarded the Fox Hunter’s Challenge Perpetual Trophy.44 he evolution of Morven Park over its 260-year history can only be fully appreciated within the cultural, economic, and social contexts of its ownership. The wealth and resources of the Swann family steadily grew the property and mansion throughout the nineteenth century, despite the Civil War activity that devastated much of its surroundings. During the Davis’ sixtyyear tenure, the country estate was a showplace for progressive agriculture, mature boxwood gardens, foxhunting, and other equestrian pursuits. For almost fifty years now, Morven Park has been stewarded by a dedicated foundation which honors the property’s rich heritage and celebrates its future as an iconic landscape. At a time when many historic sites, particularly house museums, are struggling for lack of visitors and funding, Morven Park continues to thrive. Remaining true to its mission, it has secured a name for itself over the years as not only a historic home and picturesque landscape, but also as an essential community-based educational and cultural resource, thus ensuring that its legacy lives on.

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Fig. 9-12: The restored mansion.

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Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-n). “About The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Inc.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 2, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/about.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-v). “Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Inc., Board of Trustees.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 11, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/board.php 3 Personal interview with William O’Keefe, former executive director of Morven Park. August 26, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 4 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation information slide. (n.d.-l). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. 5 Interview with O’Keefe. 6 Personal interview with Charles Otey, former manager of Morven Park. September 10, 2009; Chester, VA. 7 Interview with O’Keefe. 8 Ibid. 9 Leatherman, Dale. (1994, Nov/Dec). “A governor’s legacy: Virginia’s historic Morven Park is a priceless asset to horsemen of every persuasion.” SPUR: The magazine of equestrian and country life: 30(1), 49. 10 Ibid. 11 Milhous, E.P. (1997). “Summary”, Morven Park tree inventory. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA, 7. 12 Milhous, 6, 7. 13 Milhous, 7, 18. 14 Milhous, 2. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. 18 Milhous, 6. 19 Roberts, Linda. (2005) The Governor’s Legacy. Loudoun Magazine, Summer, 58. 20 Interview with O’Keefe. 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid. 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid. 28 Personal interview with Doug Smith, former Chief Interpreter at Morven Park. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 29 Ibid. 30 Interview with O’Keefe. 31 Ibid. 32 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-o). “Directory of Staff at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/staff.php 33 Interview with Smith. 34 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-t). “School Programs at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/schools.php 35 Personal interview with Allen Stoudt, Collections Technician at Morven Park. September 30, 2009; Morven Park, Leesburg, VA. 36 Interview with Stoudt. 37 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-p). “Equestrian Center Amenities at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/facility.php 38 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-s). “Morven Park Fall Horse Trials.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/cci.php 39 Ibid. 40 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-m). “32nd Running of the Morven Park Steeplechase.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/steeplechase.php 41 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-u). “Summer Fling Dressage Show And Pas De Deux.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/pas_de_deux.php 42 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-r). “Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/therapeutic_riding_foundation.php 43 Leatherman, 47. 44 Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-q). “Fox Hunters’ Challenge Hunter Pace.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/hunter_pace.php
1 2

126

References & Appendices
References Appendices
1: History of Land Acquisitions at Morven Park 2: 1840 Farm Inventory of Morven Park 3: Deed of sale from Thomas Swann, Sr. to Thomas Swann, Jr. 4: Letter from Ferdinand C. Latrobe to Charles Lanman 5: Portion of Deed of Sale from E.B. White to Westmoreland Davis 6: Deed Terminating Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis’ Joint Tenancy 7: Excerpts from Civil War Diaries Referencing Morven Park 8: Part I Morven Park (Mountainside) Farm Map 9: Part II Morven Park (Mountainside) Farm Map 10: Ravenswood Farm Map 11: Denning Springs Farm Map 12: Field Delineation & Crop Sowing Plans 13: List of Davis-era Morven Park Purchases for Grounds, Gardens & Farms 14: List of Davis-era Morven Park Sales for Grounds, Gardens & Farms 15: Misc. Garden and Farm Notes from Davis-era Operations 16: Transcription of Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Otey 17: Otey Master Plan 18: International Equestrian Institute Master Plan

128 135
135 137 139 140 142 143 146 151 152 153 154 155 156 161 162 165 171 172

127

References
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Silliker, Ruth L., ed. (1987). The rebel yell & the Yankee hurrah: The Civil War journal of a Maine volunteer: Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Regiment. Camden, ME: Down East Books. Silver, James W., ed. (1987). A Life for the Confederacy: As recorded in the pocket diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore: Co. G 17th Mississippi Regiment, Confederate Guards, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company. “Splendid Estates”. (1903, June 20). Town & Country: 58(15), 29. Thomas Swann Collection (1815-1886). #MS 1826, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. Thomas Swann Collection. Vertical file #47906, Maryland Historical Society Library, Manuscripts Department, Baltimore, MD. Templeman, Eleanor Lee & Nan Netheron. (1966). Northern Virginia heritage. Privately published by Eleanor Lee Templeman. Town of Leesburg, VA. (2009). “Community Profile.” Retrieved May 10, 2011 from http://www.leesburgva.org/index.aspx?page=599 Town of Leesburg, VA. (2009). “History: Reconstruction through World War II (1866-1945).” Retrieved May 10, 2011 from http://www.leesburgva.org/index.aspx?page=598 United States Census Bureau. (2010). “Loudoun County, Virginia QuickLinks.” Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51107lk.html United States Department of Agriculture. (1947). Farmers’ bulletin no. 1855: Culture, diseases, and pests of the box tree. Paul Spivey Papers; Accession #MSS 6560-e, box 6; Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. (1988). “National register of historic places registration form: Catoctin Rural Historic District.” Prepared by David Edwards and John Salmon. Unknown. (1840). “Inventory of Morven Park”. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Unknown. (1883, July 24). Baltimore Sun. Retrieved from Maryland State Archives on September 21, 2011 from http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/001400/001464/html/1464extsourcenote.htmlMaryland State Archives Unknown. (1904, August 12). The Record. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Unknown. (1906, April 12). The Mirror. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Unknown. (1927, May 1). The Southern Planter: (88)9, 20. Unknown. (1942, September 3). Loudoun Times-Mirror, 1, 4. Unknown. (1942, September 17). Loudoun Times-Mirror, 4.

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Unknown. (n.d.). “Morven Park Estate Registered Stock Brochure.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Valentine, Clifton, ed. (1998). To see my country free: The pocket diaries of Ezekiel Armstrong, Ezekiel P. Miller and Joseph A. Miller; “Magnolia Guards”, Co. K 17th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States of America. Pittsboro, MS: Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. (2011). “History of the EMC.” Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://www.vetmed.vt.edu/emc/welcome/history.asp Vlach, John Michael. (1991). “Afro-American housing in Virginia’s landscape of slavery.” By the works of their hands: Studies in AfroAmerican folk life. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (1967). Pamphlet on Morven Park Opening. Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (2011). “Morven Park gates make ‘grand entrance’ Monday, July 11th, 2011.” Retrieved on August 29, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/e-news/2011/07/morven-park-gates-make-grand-entrance/ Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-a). “From stone to stucco: The architecture of Morven Park; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-b). “Governor Davis and Virginia in World War I; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-c). “Marguerite Inman Davis; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-d). “Morven Park fact sheet.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-e). “The Morven Park landscape.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-f ). “Morven Park’s tree tour; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-g). “Swann’s castle & the Civil War; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-h). “The Swann family 1800-1898; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-i). “Swann family tree.” Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-j). “Westmoreland Davis as farmer; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-k). “Westmoreland Davis, Governor of Virginia, 1918-1922; Points of interest at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA.

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Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation information slide. (n.d.-l). Morven Park Archives, Leesburg, VA. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-m). “32nd Running of the Morven Park Steeplechase.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/steeplechase.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-n). “About the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Inc.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 2, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/about.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-o). “Directory of staff at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/staff.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-p). “Equestrian Center amenities at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/facility.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-q). “Fox Hunters’ Challenge Hunter Pace.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/hunter_pace.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-r). “The Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/therapeutic_riding_foundation.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-s). “Morven Park Fall Horse Trials.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/cci.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-t). “School programs at Morven Park.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/schools.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-u). “Summer Fling Dressage Show and Pas De Deux.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 13, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/pas_de_deux.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-v). “Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Inc., Board of Trustees.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 11, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/board.php Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. (n.d.-w). “Winmill Carriage Collection.” Leesburg, VA. Retrieved August 11, 2011 from http://www.morvenpark.org/carriage.php Westmoreland Davis Papers. (1889-1942). #MSS 6500, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA Williams, Dave. “How Loudoun got its name” and “Lauding Lord Loudoun”. George Mason University. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://mason.gmu.edu/~drwillia/loudoun.html Williams, Harrison. (1938). Legends of Loudoun: An account of the history and homes of a border county of Virginia’s Northern Neck. Richmond, VA: Garrett and Massie Inc.

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APPENDIX 1: History of Land Acquisitions at Morven Park (Source: Compiled via Loudoun County Circuit Court Archive Deed books by author.)
Principal Owner of Morven Park Thomas Swann, Sr. Purchasing Party Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Robert P. Swann Mary Scott Mercer & Wilson, Thomas, Jr., & Robert Swann Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann, Jr. George Stewardson Thomas Swann, Jr. J. Pussey, N. Braden William P. Swann Thomas Swann, Jr. Richard S. Mercer Thomas Swann, Jr. John W. Fairfax Thomas Swann, Jr. Thomas Swann, Jr. Selling Party Wilson C. Selden** Wilson C. Selden** Estate of John J. Miller Samuel Hough John Thompson Mason, Jr. Chancery of George Ball John Littlejohn Richard H. Henderson Trustees of Charles P. Tutt Thomas Swann, Sr. Thomas Swann, Sr. Year 1800 1808 1810 1812 1812 1814 1815 1820 1832 1835 1837 Price 1170 pounds $7,672.50 $1,504 $1,880 $830 $2,673 $2,709 $3,500 $1,000 Gift Inheritance Acreage purchased 262 438 169 213 62 99 93 64 118 118 Unknown Cum. Acreage, Primary Owner* 262 700 869 1082 1144 1243 1336 1400 1518 1400 Unknown Deedbook & Folio 2A-315 2K-97 2K-186 2O-283 2P-53 2R-449 2S-229 3A-417 4C-237 4D-106 4I-173 Included "Mill & Mill Pond" Same tract as above Concerned his late wife's interest in the Loudoun County Selden property Sold at Public Auction Sold at Public Auction; Mrs. Hough q never relinguished ownership Notes "neighborhood of the Big Spring"

Thomas Swann, Sr. William P. Swann, & Robert P. & Sarah Swann Robert P. Swann Thomas & Elizabeth Swann Thomas & Elizabeth Swann Thomas & Elizabeth Swann Henrietta Swann (William Swann's widow) Thomas Swann, Jr. Richard S. Mercer Thomas & Elizabeth Swann John W. Fairfax Isaac Vandervanter

1837 1842 1842 1842 1846 1851

$25,000 $25,000 $750 $4,896.85 $2,961.80 $510

600-700 600 20 126 118 20 300 Unknown 242 242 157 1 40

600-700 1200-1300 1220-1320 1094-1194 1212-1312 1192-1292 892-992 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

4I-201 4R-111 4R-263 4U-350 4X-3 4W-111 5D-167 5L-24 5O-276 5S-127 6A-423 6H-55 6O-16 Includes the 67 acre wedge Includes mill around Big Spring; part of 1835 gift to Robert 2 tracts: 59 acres & 67 acres Via legal case against Swann, Sr. "20 acres with the Mill" Swann, Jr. owes William $10,000 "Ravenswood" Formerly owned by Swann, Sr. except for 57 acres made up of two Belgrove tracts "Belgrove" "Belgrove" Part of "Belgrove" May not be part of Morven Park

G. Vandeventer for Jane Carr 1841

$5,000 $1,900 + 1854 personal items $12,107.93 $12,500 $11,000 $60 $500

1857 1859 1870 1875 1879

135

Principal Owner of Morven Park

Purchasing Party

Selling Party

Year

Price

Acreage purchased

Cum. Acreage, Primary Owner*

Deedbook & Folio

Notes

Mary Mercer Swann & Dr. C. Shirley Carter

Jane & Thomas B. Ferguson, Elizabeth & John C. Whipple, Mary Mercer Swann & Thomas & Carita D. Swann, Dr. C. Shirley Carter Thomas Swann Latrobe, & Shurlock Swann Mary Theresa R. & Richard L. Howell Elizabeth H. & John C. Scott Elijah B. White Westmoreland Davis Westmoreland Davis Westmoreland Davis Westmoreland Davis Westmoreland Davis Westmoreland Davis Mary Mercer Swann & Dr. Shirley Carter Mary Theresa Rush & Rev. Dr. Richard Lewis Howell Elizabeth H. & John C. Scott Elijah B. & Lala B. White H.A. Thompson Edwin E. Garrett Mary M. Carter Mary M. Carter N.S. Purcell's Exc. Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation unknown unknown

1888

Unknown

Unknown

1230

7B-236

"Morven and Belgrove"

Mary Theresa R. & Richard L. Howell Elizabeth H. & John C. Scott Elijah B. White Westmoreland Davis***

1898

Unknown

"over 1000"

"over 1000"

7P-296

Carters retained small tract of land- possibly Belgrove

1901 1903 1903 1905 1909 1911 1920 1932

$60,000 $67,500 $75,000 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

"over 1000"

"over 1000"

7U-28 7X-60 7Y-5 8N-356 8I-279 8M-484 9L-169 10L-68 Originally a lien Asking price $125,000 "Flat Iron Tract" "Garrett Tract" "Carter Tract #1" "Carter Tract #2" "Purcell Tract"

"over 1000" 1100 5 2 0.52 46.08 40

"over 1000" 1100 1105 1107 1107.52 1153.6 1193.6

Marguerite Davis***

Marguerite Davis

1955

NA

~1200

~1200

Unknown

Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation

Virginia Polytechnic University W.D. Meml. Foundation W.D. Meml. Foundation

1983 1984 1984

Gift Unknown Gift

200 71.17 30.77

~1000 ~1100 ~1100

Unknown 841-1394 841-1795

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center "Belgrove Purchase" "Belgrove Gift"

NOTES: The current Morven Park property is composed of portions of three land patents: 1. Francis Awbrey, 4054 acres, in 1730 2. Francis Awbrey, 2998 acres, in 1739 3. Catesby Cocke & John Mercer, 5985 acres, in 1742 *Cumulative acreages are very approximate as information regarding tract sales and acquisitions is incomplete and unexact. **Dr. Wilson Cary Selden, Swann, Sr.'s father-in-law, inherited 4500 acres from his late wife. This land was made up, at least partly, of Francis Awbrey's patents. ***All non-adjacent farmlands, as well as Big Spring Farm purchased by Westmoreland Davis and subsequently sold by Marguerite Davis after his death are not included.

136

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APPENDIX 3: Deed of Sale from Thomas Swann, Sr. to Thomas Swann, Jr., September 6, 1837 (Source: Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deedbook 4I-201; recorded by author.) This Indenture made this sixth day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty Seven between Thomas Swann of the City of Washington of the one part and Thomas Swann Junior of the City of Baltimore of the other part: Witnesseth that the said Thomas Swann in consideration of the Sum of twenty-five thousand dollars to him in hand paid by the said Thomas Swann Junior at and before the ensealing and delivery of these presents hath granted bargained and sold aliened released and confirmed, and by these presents doth grant bargain and sell alien release and confirm unto the said Thomas Swann Junior and his heirs forever all that tract or parcel of land, in the County of Loudoun and Commonwealth of Virginia now in the tenure and occupation of the said Thomas Swann and being part of his Loudoun estate which shall be included in the lines and boundaries to be laid off in the following manner to wit: by a line to be run at the distance of twenty feet to the South of the gable end of the Stone house now occupied by his slaves John Fitzhugh and his wife and others near to the Spring and to the South thereof the line to be run parallel to the gable end of that house and to be extended Eastwardly until it reaches the end of this land and Westwardly from the point of Beginning the same course reversed through the Woodland until it reaches the end of his land. It being understood that all his lands to the North of these lines are to pass to him the said Thomas Swann Junior and as it is supposed will comprise between Six and Seven hundred Acres together with all houses building profits commodities and advantages to the said tract or parcel of land belonging or in any wise appertaining and the Reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and also all the estate right title property claim and demand of him the said Thomas Swann of in and to the same and every parts and parcel thereof. To have and to hold the said hereby granted premises with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging unto him the said Thomas Swann Junior his heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Thomas Swann Junior his heirs and assigns forever. Provided never the less and upon this reservation and condition that he the said Thomas Swann shall hold possess and enjoy the said hereby granted promised with the benefits and profits thereof during the term of his natural life and the said Thomas Swann for himself and his heirs the said hereby granted premises with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging unto him the said Thomas Swann Junior and his heirs forever against the claim and demand of all and every person and persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. In Witness whereof the said Thomas Swann hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first before written. Sealed and delv In presence of Thomas Swann (seal)

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APPENDIX 4: Letter from Ferdinand C. Latrobe, Thomas Swann, Jr.’s son-in-law, to Charles Lanman, November 13, 1868. (Source: Charles Lanman, Collection #77-4, Thomas Swann, 1809-83 folder, University of Maryland, Hornbake Library, Archives & Manuscripts; recorded by author.) Baltimore Nov 13 1868 Charles Lanman Esq Dear Sir My friend Governor Swann of Maryland handed to me your letter of November 7 1868 requesting that I would reply by sending you a short sketch of his life knowing that I was familiar with the services to the public in my own State. I have hastily written the enclosed which I hope will meet your requirements. Please acknowledge receipt and oblige Yours Very Respectfully Ferdinand C. Latrobe Thomas Swann was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and received his education at Columbia College and the University of Virginia. His father, Thomas Swann, was an eminent lawyer, distinguished alike for ability in his profession and for his high social position in the City of Washington. He was appointed U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia during the administration of Mr. Monroe, which position he held for many years. Thomas Swann, the subject of this sketch, after completing his education, commenced the study of the law in the office of this father in Washington. During the administration of admiral/general Jackson, he was appointed secretary of the Neapolitan Commission, composed of Mr. Silliman of Ohio, Mr. Cabot of Massachusetts, and Mr. Livingston of New York, while occupying this position he married into an old and wealthy Maryland family and, at the close of the business of the Commission in 1834, he moved to the City of Baltimore where he has since resided. Though possessed of ample fortune, Mr. Swann did not long remain idle, but turning his attention towards the great works of internal improvement then contemplated by the people of Maryland, he was, in 1845 elected a Director in the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company. In 1847 on the resignation of the Hon. Louis McLane as president of that Rail Road, and during a period of great financial embarrassment in the company, Mr. Swann was chosen as its President. To this position he was annually re-elected, and, in 1853, succeeded in finally completing the road to the Banks of the Ohio. Prior to resigning his post as President of the Baltimore and

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Ohio Rail Road Company in 1853, Mr Swann was elected President of the Northwestern Virginia Rail Road Company, and in two years had the satisfaction of witnessing the completed of that road which, leaving the line of the Baltimore and Ohio at ___ two hundred miles the completion of that road which, leaving the line of the Baltimore and Ohio at from the City of Baltimore, strikes the Ohio River and Parkersburg ninety miles west of Wheeling. While connected into these two great works of internal improvement, Mr. Swann disbursed sums amounting to upwards of thirteen millions of dollars. During his Presidency of the Northwestern Virginia Rail Road Company, Mr. Swann visited Europe spending some months in travelling over England and the continent. Returning home, he was in 1856 elected Mayor of the City of Baltimore to which place was reelected in 1858 thus filling the position for four years. During the administration of Mayor Swann he introduced into the City, the steam Fire Department, the City Passenger Railway, the Fire alarm telegraph, the present admirable system of waterworks, and it was by his suggestions that the plan was adopted of providing a fund, by a tax on the revenue of the City Passenger Railway, which enabled the City to purchase and adorn the celebrated Druid Hill Park now the chief ornament and attraction of Baltimore. In 1861 the war for the preservation of the Union began, although a Virginian by birth, a resident of a South State and at one time a large slaveholder, but having emancipated his slaves some time before the war. Mr. Swann was strongly opposed to secession, and from the commencement of the war until its final close was thoroughly on the side of the Union, alienating from him by this course many of the friends of his early life. In 1863 Mr. Swann was unanimously elected President of the First National Bank of Baltimore. In 1864, while the war was still in progress, he was elected by the Union Party Governor of Maryland, and took his seat as Chief Executive Officer of that State on this first of January 1865 at the expiration of the term of Governor Bradford. On the termination of the war, Governor Swann supported the policy of Mr. Lincoln looking to a speedy restoration of the Union, and, on the accession of President Johnson advocated his plan of re-construction. At the session of the Maryland Legislature in the winter of 1866, Governor Swann was elected United States Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of Mr. Creswell, but at the earnest request of his friends resigned the position and remained at his post as Governor of Maryland until the end of his term in office on the 1 st of January 1869. In November 1868 he was elected by an overwhelming majority for the position he now occupies, that of representative of the third Congressional District of Maryland in the Congress of the United States. Mr. Swann has spent the greater part of the last twenty five years in the public service, he is a man of marked personal appearance, slightly above the medium height, an able and eloquent speaker, a chaste and forcible writer, a gentleman of open and unconcealed address; few men have occupied higher or more responsible positions in their own States, and none have left behind them more enduring monuments, as evidences of the fidelity and ability with which he has discharged the duties of the positions to which he has been elected by the people.

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APPENDIX 5: Portion of Deed of Sale from E.B. White to Westmoreland Davis, October 8, 1903 (Source: Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives, Deedbook 7Y-5; recorded by author.) THIS AGREEMENT, made the 8th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 1903, between E.B. White, of Leesburg, Virginia, of the first part, and Westmoreland D. Davis, of New York City of the second part. WHEREAS, on the 4th day of April, 1903, by deed recorded in the Clerk’s Office of the County of Loudoun, in Liber 7 X’s Folio 60, Elizabeth H. Scott and John C. Scott, her husband, in consideration of the said E.B. White’s assuming and promising to pay liens to the amount of Sixty seven thousand five hundred dollars, and interest ($67,500) on “Morven Park”, did grant and convey with general warranty unto the said E.B. White, his heirs and assigns forever, that tract of land situated in Loudoun County, Virginia, about one and one-half miles northwest from Leesburg, adjoining the land of Mrs. M.M. Carter, S. S. Lutz, Mrs. Minis and others, and known as “Morven Park” and by survey of L. Norris containing “over 1,000 acres”. And WHEREAS, on the said 4th day of April, 1903, said E.B. White entered into a written contract with said Elizabeth H. Scott that she should have six (6) months from that date within which to redeem of to re-purchase said land, and should be permitted to remain in possession thereof until the expiration of said six months, without rent or pay, and WHERAS, the said six months has now expired but the said Elizabeth H. Scott refuses and declines to surrender the possession of said land, and the said E.B. White being desirous of selling the same and the said Westmoreland D. Davis being desirous of purchasing the same, nowtherefore this AGREEMENT WITNESSETH; that the said E.B. White agrees to sell and convey unto the said Westmoreland D. Davis the said “Morven Park” for the sum of Seventy-five thousand Dollars ($75,000), to be paid to him as follows, Thirty five thousand dollars ($35,000) to be paid in cash, Forty thousand dollars ($40,000) to be evidenced by the sealed notes of the said Westmoreland D. Davis, payable to E.B. White, or order, each for the sum of Five thousand dollars ($5,000), two of them to be payable on or before on (1) year after date, two of them on or before two (2) years after date, two of them on or before three (3) years after date; and two of them on or before four (4) years after date. These notes are to be secured by a deed of trust given on said “Morven Park” by the said Davis and wife, and they are to bear interest from date at the rate of five (5) per centum per annum payable semi-annually. And the said Westmoreland D. Davis promises and binds himself to pay the said Seventy five thousand dollars ($75,000) in manner and form aforesaid for said “Morven Park” to the said E.B. White when the following conditions and arrangements are complied with…

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APPENDIX 6: Deed Terminating Westmoreland and Marguerite Davis’ Joint Tenancy of Morven Park, August 21, 1935. (Source: UVA Special Collections, Papers of Paul E. Spivey, 6560-e, box 6; folder: Morven Park Surveys and Deeds; recorded by author.) THIS DEED made this 21st day of August, 1935, between Westmoreland Davis, party of the first part and Marguerite G. Davis, party of the second partWITNESSETH, That whereas, the parties hereto are now the owners as joint tenants of the lands hereinafter described and whereas, they have determined to terminate said joint tenancy and for that purpose have agreed to partition and divide said lands between them in the manner hereinafter set forth; Now, therefore, this deed of partition is made and in consideration of the premised of the premises and mutual conveyances herein as well as the sum of five dollars, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the said party of the first part and Marguerite G. Davis, his wife, do hereby grant, release and convey unto the said party of the second part, her heirs and assigns forever, all the right, title and interest of the party of the first part in and to all that certain tract of land known as “Morven Park” situated about one and one half miles northeast of Leesburg, in Loudoun County, Virginia, and more particular description whereof is as follows; Commencing at intersection of the hedge fence on the south and west sides of the roadway from the public road to the main dwelling being the northeast corner of the tract of land recently purchased from Mary Mercer Carter, thence running in a westerly direction with the hedge fence to intersection with the hedge fence on the west side of the driveway, thence following said fence in a northerly direction to the southern gate post to the first entrance in the brick wall, thence in a westerly direction and parallel to the first line above mentioned to a point one hundred yards west of the west line of the main dwelling, line extended, thence parallel with the west line of the main dwelling and one hundred yards west thereof in a northerly direction to the intersection of the paling fence dividing the lawn from the cottage and stable on the north side thereof extended, thence with the north line of said lawn in an easterly direction extending to the intersection of the hedge fence on the east side of said lawn, thence with said hedge fence in a southward and then eastward direction to a point in said hedge fence opposite the place of beginningSecondly, commencing at the northwest corner of the property first above described and running with the west line thereof extended to the intersection of said line with a line parallel with the northwest corner of the well house, thence with the north line of said house and south line of the corn house and paling fence to the paling fence running north and south, thence south with said fence to the north line of the lawn, thence with the north line of the said lawn to the place of the beginning, together with the right of ingress and egress of the roadway extending to the public road known as the Leesburg-Waterford road, said right to be a right-of-way next and appurtenant to said lands.

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It is further covenanted and agreed that there is reserved for the use of the farm land and those in possession thereof, the right to the use of the water on the lands conveyed to the party of the second part. Said lands are a part of that tract of land known as “Morven Park” containing about one thousand acres more or less, more particularly described in a deed from E.B. White and wife, bearing date October 23, 1903, of record in the Clerk’s Office of Loudoun County, in Liber 7Y’s, Folio 5, and the same land conveyed by Paul E. Spivey, to the parties hereto by deed bearing date May 10, 1920, of record in the Clerk’s Office of Loudoun County in Liber 9 K’s, Folio 288. In consideration whereof, the said Marguerite G. Davis and Westmoreland Davis, her husband do hereby grant, release and convey unto the said party of the first part, his heirs and assigns forever, all of the right, title and interest of the party of the second part in and to the rest and residue of said tract of land known as “Morven Park” and more particularly set out in the deeds aforesaid’ Also, all the right, title and interest of the party of the second part in the following tract of land: First, that certain tract of land on Ketoctin Mountain on the north side of the public road which was conveyed to said Westmoreland Davis by Edwin E. Garrett and wife, by deed, dated June 2, 1909, of record in said Clerk’s Office, in Liber 8 I’s, Folio 279; Second, that certain tract of land adjoining the tract first above described, containing 52/100 of an acre which was conveyed to said Westmoreland Davis by Mary Mercer Carter and husband, by deed, dated January 7, 1911, of record in said Clerk’s office, in Liber 8 M’s, Folio 484; Third, that certain tract of land known as the Flat Iron, containing five acres and twenty-nine poles, adjoining the tract first above described, which was conveyed to Westmoreland Davis by T.W. Edwards Trustee for H.A. Thompson Bankrupt, by deed, dated May 4, 1911, of record in said Clerk’s Office, Liber 8 N’s, Folio 356. Fourth, all that certain tract of land adjoining the tract first hereinbefore described, containing Forty-six and Eight Hundredths Acres (46.08 A) of land, more or less, and being a portion of the estate known as the Belle Grove farm, the metes and bounds of which tract of land are set forth in a certain deed from Mary Mercer Carter and C. Shirley Carter, bearing date October 27, 1920, of record in the Clerk’s Office of Loudoun County in Liber 9 G’s, Folio 169, to which deed reference is hereby made for a more particular description of said property.

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Fifth, all that certain other tract of land adjoining the “Morven Park” tract located on the back road from Leesburg to Waterford, containing forty acres more or less, and which is more particularly described in a certain deed from A. Dibrell and W.A. Metzger, Executors, to the parties hereto, bearing date March 21, 1932, or record in the Clerk’s Office of Loudoun County, in Liber 10 L’s, Folio 68, to which deed reference is hereby made for a more particular description of this tract of land. Sixth, that certain other tract of land lying on what is known as the Waterford road just outside of the corporate limits of the town of Leesburg, in Loudoun County, Virginia, adjoining and bounded by the lands of Currie, Ely, et als, and containing four acres, fourteen poles, more or less, and more particularly described in a certain deed from Wilbur C. Hall, Executor, to the parties hereto, bearing date June 15, 1931, of record in the Clerk’s Office aforesaid, in Liber 10 I’s, Folio 291. All of the foregoing lands are located in Leesburg Magisterial District, Loudoun County, Virginia, and were conveyed to the parties hereto as joint tenants and the intention of this conveyance is to terminate said joint tenancy and this deed is made for the partition of the lands so held between the party of the first part and the party of the second part. The parties hereto do hereby covenant mutually with each other that they will severally warrant generally the lands hereby conveyed that the same are free from all encumbrances and that they will execute such further assurances thereof as may be requisite. WITNESS the following signatures and seals: Westmoreland Davis (signed) Marguerite G. Davis (signed)

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APPENDIX 7: Excerpts from Civil War Diaries Referencing Morven Park (Source: various, see headers; courtesy of Morven Park Archives; compiled by author.) Valentine, Clifton (ed.) (1998). To See My Country Free, The pocket diaries of Ezekiel Armstrong, Ezekiel P. Miller and Joseph A Miller. “Magnolia Guards”, Co. K 17th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States of America. Pittsboro, MS: Calhoun County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. DIARY EXCERPTS FROM EZEKIEL ARMSTRONG: Wednesday, October 23, 1861: “Next morning the company was ordered to proceed to Carters’ Mill by Swan’s house” (54) Tuesday, December 24, 1861: “Slightly clouded. Struck tents & marched through Leesburg & pitched our tents on the left of Swan’s Castle, at the foot of the Kittoctan [Catoctin] mountain. After we got things arranged, myself and some of my group mates went upon the mountain where we had a panorama many mis. [miles] beyond the Potomac & amused ourselves rolling large rocks down the mountain.” (66) Thursday, December 26, 1861: “Our mess fixed up a shanty to winter in. Got a bucket of milk for dinner.” (66) Monday, January 13, 1862: “Went to work to help to fix up our house. Commenced snowing about 9 o’clock p.m.” (70) Tuesday, January 14, 1862: “Still snowing. Snowed all night. Snow six inches deep.” (70) Wednesday, January 15, 1862: “Sleeting & snowing today. Had a flourishing time snow balling. Sun shining. Snowballing going on all day. I am acting O.S.” (70) Sunday, January 26, 1862: “War excitement & reenlistment are higher than ever. Formed in front of Swan’s house & listened to an able speech on the subject of reenlistment delivered by Adj. Gen. Inge. He spoke of our noble deeds” (71) Sunday, February 2, 1862: “A bright Sabbath morning. Having laved in waters from a mountain brook, refreshed with bright hopes in the future I look to” (73) Tuesday, February 11, 1962: “Received orders at night to “be ready to march at a moments warning.” (75) Thursday, February 13, 1862: “On guard. Considerable shooting going on down on the river. The enemy are shooting cannon at our pickets.” (75)

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Sunday, February 16, 1862: “Bright, sunny Sabbath morning. Snow about six inches deep. As the silvery rays of the sun tinge the snow clad hills & sparkle in our eyes, the scene appears more beautiful.” (76) Monday, February 17, 1862: “Sleeting this morning. Col. Featherston, an old, tyrannical, hard hearted scoundrel has got men detailed to build a house for his negroes to stay in, while he is enjoying himself smoking a pipe by a good fire in Swan’s Castle.” (76) Saturday, February 22, 1862: “I hear heavy firing in the direction of Point of Rocks this morning.” (77) Sunday, February 23, 1862: “Cloudy. A dull day. “Tiger Miss” established a telegraph line from their tents to the Sutler’s.” (77) Wednesday, February 26, 1862: “Started to work on Fort Evans but were sent back & ordered to pack up our baggage & send it to Middleburg & be ready for any emergency at any moment. Slept in our tents on the straw & covered with the few blankets we had reserved.” (78) Friday, February 28, 1862: “Received orders to roll up one tent to every ten & be ready to march in any direction we might be needed. Twelve thousand reported to be across on Loudoun Heights. Heavy firing in that way.” (78) Thursday, March 6, 1862: “We leave in the morning, I suppose, to meet the enemy. If so, I pray Providence to protect us.” (79) Friday, March 7, 1862: “Started before day & camped just beyond Doves Cove’s Mills at night” (79)

DIARY EXCERPTS FROM EZEKIEL PICKENS MILLER, 3rd LT: Tuesday, October 1, 1861: “On picket its mission is some 4 miles from our camp at the Big Spring… Little did I think that I would ever stand picket on the Potomac River in Va.” (145) [footnote: “The camp referred to here was just west of Leesburg, VA. The regiment had been in camp near Leesburg since mid-August and would remain in the area throughout the winter.”] Wednesday, October 23, 1861: “At daylight a courier brought us an order to fall back to Carter’s Mill or ______ by way of Swan’s Castle leaving Leesburg to our left.” (149) Monday, October 28, 1861: “Instead of going to the “Big Spring” as we expected Gen. Evans ordered us up to Saxton’s [Paxton’s] store six miles above Leesburg… We are fully eight miles from the regiment. We are only two miles from the river across which we can see the Yankee tents dotting the distant hills.” (149-50) [NOTE: Both Ezekiel Armstrong & Ezekiel Miller died in battle on December 9 th, 1862]

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Silver, James W. (ed.). (1987). A Life for the Confederacy: As recorded in the pocket diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore: Co. G 17th Mississippi Regiment, Confederate Guards, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company; pages unknown. “Tuesday, Sept. 3rd, 1861, Camp near Leesburg- I am on guard again to-day, think I have to stand too often. Wish all could be well so that such duties would be lighter… There are great quantities of apples & peaches brought in camp now, also any quantity of green corn. We had for supper last night boiled corn & coffee… All of us very lazy.” “Tuesday, Sept. 10th, 1861, Camp near Leesburg- We have all been fixing up things to-day, also drilling. We have not as good water here as we had at our last camp. We have a very high hill near us from which we can see the enemie’s [sic] camp with a microscope [telescope]. Some of the boys looked at them with the microscope & had the Yankees [sic] brought up near them. I told the boys I would not look at them as I was afraid to have them so near…” “Thursday, Sept. 12th, 1861, Camp near Leesburg- Everything is going on very regular, heard about thirty cannon this morning. I suppose it was a salute. We all went up on the mountain this morning. It is the lovliest [sic] view that I ever beheld. From thence may be seen the river & for several miles into M[arylan]d. One can see the gap in the mts. where the B.&O. R.R. passes through, also the Sugar Loaf Mountain [in Maryland]. Leesburg presents a beautiful view… In the west may be seem the Blue Ridge.” n “Tuesday, Dec. 24th, 1861, camp near Swan’s- Moved this morning to this place which is nearly north of Leesburg & but a short distance from the beautiful residence of the ex-mayor of Baltimore, Swan’s. We are camped in his park, see a number of deer feeding around us. This is one of the prettiest places in the state. I suppose we will remain here for the winter of the Yankees do not molest i us…” “Wednesday, Dec. 25th, 1861, camp near Swan’s- …Spent a few hours very pleasantly at the residence of Swan’s. It is a model of architecture. The situation is very romantic. Several fountains but they are not in operation, beautiful flower vases, lion & deer in front of the house, they are cast iron…” “Friday, Dec. 27th, 1861, camp near Swan’s- …Had a very nice dinner at an old gentleman’s near The Big Springs [between Swan’s and the Potomac]… Several of our officers have taken up winter-quarters at Swan’s.” “Saturday, Dec. 28th, 1861, camp near Swan’s- Have been getting pole to-day to build our winter quarters…” “Thursday, Jan. 2nd, 1862, camp near Swan’s- …Have finished our fire-place & are well pleased with the job. Find it much more comfortable. All in camp are very busy building. The weather is cold wind blowing.” “Friday, Jan. 3rd, 1862, camp near Swan’s- …The enemy are mounting a gun on the opposite side of the river & about three miles from our camp. Snowing to-night. I think Winter has now really set in.”

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“Monday, Jan. 6th, 1862, camp near Swan’s- Had more snow last night. The snow is about 2 inches dep & the weather is very cold yet we consider if very pleasant in camp. All the boys seem to think we can stand the cold better than ever before. General Hill sent us orders this evening to construct our huts so as they will be bomb proof. A number have been at work on their huts to-day, some daubing them with their hands…” “Thursday, Jan. 16th, 1862, camp near Swan’s- Have been out getting board timber. Think we will build us a little hut…” “Monday, Jan. 20th, 1862, camp near Swan’s- Another gloomy & rainy day. I wonder when the rain will cease. Very dull times in camp. The ground is very soft & the roads are getting nearly impassable… Nothing at all exciting in camp…” “Saturday, Feb. 1st, 1862, camp near Swan’s- The ground was covered two or three inches in snow this morning. All were surprised as it looked but little like snowing when we retired. Hired a waggon [sic] from Mr. Swan & hauled up logs to build a house. Found it very disagreeable work. Think it late to be building winter quarters…” “Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 1862, camp near Swan’s- Have been working on our house again to-day. Have finished it & moved in. Think we are quite comfortably & conveniently situated. Have built bunks & are well pleased with the idea of sleeping as if we were in beds…” “Saturday, March 1st, 1862, winter quarters- …Had battallion [sic] drill this evening & the yankees tried to shell us while we were drilling but did not come nearer than three quarters of a mile of us…” “Sunday, March 2nd, 1862, winter quarters- …About one half of the Reg. are now out having a fight with snowballs. Had orders to prepare shoes to march two hundred miles this evening. Have no idea where we are going. The yankees raised a balloon this evening to take a peep at us.” “Monday, March 3rd, 1862, winter quarters- …The enemy tried to shell our camp this evening from their gun opposite us but could not come nearer than one half of a mile of our camp…” “Friday, March 7th, 1862, bivouacked near Middleburg- Evacuated Leesburg this morning at 5 o’clock. Were not apprised of it when we left our Winter Quarters not knowing but what we were going to Lovetsville [sic]. Brought away everything that was of any value. Were a little loathe to leave our Winter Quarters.”

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Silliker, Ruth L. (ed.). (1987). The Rebel Yell & the Yankee Hurrah: The Civil War Journal of a Maine Volunteer: Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Regiment. Camden, ME: Down East Books. “November 1 [1862]- In coming here [Leesburg Heights] we had a chance to glimpse the wealth of this section known as Loudon [sic] Valley. We passed many fine residences and I was much struck with the beauty of the country. One mansion in particular is so elegant that I can only describe it by calling it palatial, more like some ducal palace than the residence of a plain American gentleman. It is owned by ex-mayor Swan [sic] of Baltimore. Our route lay directly across his grounds, which we entered through a marble gate not less than a half-mile from the house. The grounds are very extensive and embrace a magnificent tract of country. Mr. Swan’s plumage is none too immaculate in respect to the Secession heresy; he departed summarily sometime previous to our arrival, leaving his estate in charge of a lot of niggers, who chattered and grinned like so many monkeys. They were mortally scared, as if they expected to be devoured then and there. But having lunched on chicken and turkey we felt little inclination to sup on crow, so we passed along and didn’t molest them or the house. We halted for the night... The town of Leesburg is at the foot of these hills.” (45)

Hamilton, J.G. de Roulhac with Rebecca Cameron (eds.). (1936) The Papers of Randolph Abbott Shotwell: Three Years in Battle and Three in Federal Prisons. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Historical Commission; pages unknown. [Note: Shotwell was part of Company H (Potomac Grays), 8th Virginia Volunteer Infantry] October 1861, likely just before the Battle of Ball’s Bluff: “We find the 8th Regiment enjoying the bright October weather en bivouac upon the sloping sides of a little mountain overlooking the town of Leesburg to the right, and the blue, winding Potomac in front. The location was delightfully picturesque; the camp being pitched within the pale of “Swann’s Park,” an area of one or two hundred acres surrounding the summer residence of the Hon. Thomas Swann, formerly mayor of Baltimore… whose supposed Southern sympathies were security for the non-molestation of his property. The mansion stood near the summit of the terraced slope, commanding a view of park, plain, and river; having a jet fountain in front, and two gigantic bronze stags, upon granite pedestals at the verge of the main terrace overlooking the grassy expanse below. On the smooth [green]sward, at the base of one of the life-like bronzes, was my favorite lounging place, when not on duty. Reclining at full length, half hidden in grass and flowers, basking in the sunshine and balmy breezes, perfumed with honeysuckles and roses, lulled by the hum of bees, the twittering of birds and fanciful strains of the regimental bands practicing in the groves at the foot of the hill, while far and near over the turfy lawn came the merry laughter of the Leesburg maidens coquetting with their “bold soldier boys,” while groups of children fed the swans in the pond, or chased the herds of tame deer around the pickets, it was easy for me to forget all about the war, and its hardest features, individual and national….

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151

152

153

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APPENDIX 13: List of Davis-era Morven Park Purchases for Grounds, Gardens & Farms (Source: Compiled via available receipts in the Morven Park Archives by author.)

Year 1923 1928 1929 1930

Date March n.d. 25-Apr 21-Jan

Supplier

Product

Cost

Purchaser

Morven Park Archive Folder Dogs- receipts: kennel Farm Farm- Farm Vendors, burlap "

1930 1930 1930 1930

17-Feb 12-Nov 18-Nov 5-Dec

1931

11-Mar

1931 1931 1931 1931 1931 1931 1931 1931 1932 1932

1-Jul 4-Sep 21-Sep 25-Sep 7-Oct 13-Oct 31-Oct 8-Dec 10-Sep 30-Sep

1932 1933 1935

10-Oct 21-Nov 24-Jan

Germany "Astor", Doberman dog unknown W. Davis Virginia Horse Breeders' Associations Dues $50.00 " Capital Bay & Burlap Co 4 pieces burlap 15 ft sq- for boxwood $15.00 " Stevenson-McGee Co. Requesting price for 8 sheets of burlap 30' square, na " "I require these to cover around large boxwood bushes to protect them from the weather" na " Buckingham Virginia Slate Corp. Request from W. Davis for info regarding irregular slabs (slate) for walks for 'old fashioned garden' Ornamental Iron Works, Inc. Repairs & painting of iron gates unknown " Old Dominion Mfg. Co. 2000 yards of 32" burlap for boxwood unknown " Gibson Fisher Brick wall: $40 for concrete footings, $150 for brick $605.81 " garage, $5 for laying brick & taking down, $50 for fixing windows, $360.81 for 36,083 bricks; brick wall: 13" thick, 4' high, built on concrete base which extends to a depth of at least 18" beneath the ground, pointed top T.W. Wood & Sons Seeds: sweetcorn, squash, beet, beans, carrots, $12.20 " cucumbers, chard, kale, lettuce, melon, onions, parsley, radish, peas Peter Henderson & Co Seeds: various veggies $1.65 " Harris Wrecking Company 20,000 bricks $125.00 " T.W. Wood & Sons 1 bag grass seed, 50 lb unknown " Peter Henderson & Co 200 strawberries, 50 raspberries, 50 blackberries, unknown Mr. Kopper 25 horseradish, 1 gal weed destroyer Harris Wrecking Company 23,000 bricks $171.10 W. Davis T.W. Wood & Sons 25 lb crafting wax unknown " Bountiful Ridge Nurseries 53 fruit trees: apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum $29.75 " The Hechinger Company 2 used Eye Beams: 12" beam 14-1/2' long; $12.50 " 12" beam 10-1/2' long A.E. Fisher Hot Water Arcola Heating Apparatus for cottage at unknown " entrance (Mr. Copper's, Gardner, House) " C.F. Tyler Electrical Contractor Wiring buildings on Big Spring Farm: Brood Mare $209 (+labor) Stable, House at Brood Mare Stable, Stud Stable, House at Stud Stable J.T. Corbin, Waterford VA Gates: ? $85.00 " Steward Iron Works Co. Request for options for 2 iron gates: garden NA " entrance & residence front door T.W. Wood & Sons 85 bus. Fulghum Oats, 700 lbs. Kansas Alfalfa $261.50 "

Gardens Gardens- Iron Work, Gates Farm- Farm Vendors, burlap Boxwoods- Brick Wall Construction

Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds

Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. Farm- Farm Vendors, Brick Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. Farm- Farm Vendors, Brick Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens-Bountiful Ridge Nurseries Farm- Farm Vendors, Brick Earl L. Poston Acct (Plumbing) Big Spring Mgmt Misc- 1932-40

Gardens- Iron Work, Gates Gardens- Garden Gate Inquiries Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds

156

Year 1935 1935

Date 6-Mar 18-Mar

Supplier T.W. Wood & Sons

Product

Cost $92.80 $33.73

Purchaser W. Davis "

Morven Park Archive Folder Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds "

1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935

20-Mar 26-Mar 24-Apr 4-May 20-May 22-May

1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1935 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936

22-May 24-May 10-Jun 29-Jun 2-Jul 23-Jul 10-Aug 23-Aug 29-Aug 4-Sep 4-Oct 10-Oct 21-Nov 4-Dec 5-Dec 23-Dec 10-Jan 14-Jan 15-Jan 15-Jan 16-Jan 8-Feb 19-Feb 7-Mar 12-Mar

300 lbs Va. Northern Neck Red Clover, 2 2-1/2 bus. Stimugerm (innoculation) " Seeds: squash, radish, parsnip, peas, onion sets, lettuce, corn, cucumber, carrots, beets, beans, chard, peppers " 4 bags cert. Irish Cobblers " 28 gals. Nursery Volck .74 Gal f.o.b. (box gardens) F.W. Bolgiano & Company 5 standard hives with metal cover, 5-3lbs bees w/ queen, 15 bee escape, 150 sheets airco fndtn. " 10 queen excluders, other hive equipment T.W. Wood & Sons 10 lbs white sweet clover, 2 bus. Japanese Buckwheat 2 gals Red Arrow spray & 5 gals Red Arrow soap F.W. Bolgiano & Company (for red spiders on boxwoods); frames; 200 sheets foundation postage T.W. Wood & Sons Bees F.W. Bolgiano & Company 2 gals red arrow spray T.W. Wood & Sons 2 bags cert. Green Mountain Potatoes A.M. Leonard & Son Pruning shears (2) F.W. Bolgiano & Company Root indestructible veil- wire & cloth; gloves Peter Henderson & Co 2 32" english scythe stones L.J. Carter Assorted jars & caps, pails for honey Hazel-Atlas Glass Company 120 dozen jars & caps for honey F.W. Bolgiano & Company Printed labels (various); 8 oz dextrine " 6000 labels for bee jars: labeled "Morven Park, Leesburg, Virginia" with weight Garfield Williamson, Inc. 5 bales of Sphagnum Moss Wiegrow Products Co 20 corrugated shipping boxes for flowers (60x20x10, 9") Mr. R.C. Riddell, Louisa, VA 100 pounds of boxwood cuttings T.W. Wood & Sons 10' 3/8" rubber hose for sprayer Mr. R.C. Riddell, Louisa, VA 100 pounds of boxwood cuttings "quality to be same as order of Nov. 21, 1935" F.W. Bolgiano & Company 1 lb spinach, 1 oz tomatoes, 1 oz endive Mr. R.C. Riddell, Louisa, VA 150 lbs first quality fast growing boxwood cuttings J. ? Hust? 20 sacks cement? Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp. 50 cypress seed flats & carrying trays F.W. Bolgiano & Company 500 4" pots, painted, plant labels T.W. Wood & Sons Seeds: 42 types Peter Henderson & Co Seeds: various & sundial Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp. 50 col. style A double shelf brackets F.W. Bolgiano & Company 1000 qts Westcott Nursery Company Labor to prunning [sic] trees, paint for trees, 1 pruning saw for gardner [sic]

$10.00 $21.32 $48.55 $40.20 $3.80 $168.35

" " " " " "

" " Bees & Queen, Hives " Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres.

$3.80 $24.00 $4.50 $3.25 $1.71 $6.00 $53.90 unknown $19.34 unknown $9.75 $9.00 $20.00 $1.20 $20.00 $1.25 $22.50 unknown $8.63 $2.43 $16.95 $8.90 $12.00 $4.85 $152.40

" " " " " " " " " "

Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Bees & Queen, Hives Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. Bees- jars & correspondence Bees- Hazel Atlas Glass Co. Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Bees- Honey labels

MP Nurseries Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors " Gardens- MP Gardens Business & Sales W. Davis MP Nurseries W. Davis Boxwoods- R.C. Riddell Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Boxwoods- R.C. Riddell

" Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " Boxwoods- R.C. Riddell " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors MP Nurseries Gardens- Metropolitan Greenhouse W. Davis Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Mr. Kopper Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. MP Nurseries Gardens- Metropolitan Greenhouse W. Davis Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors

157

Year 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936 1936

Date

Supplier

Product

Cost $34.00 $16.50 $3.50 $24.00 $1.50 $6.00 $2.30 $50.00 $0.85 $1.20 unknown $1.67 $6.60 $5.28 $7.00 $6.94 $12.29 $0.45 $10.00 $1.65 $6.00 $1.50 $4.10 $1.20 unknown

Purchaser

Morven Park Archive Folder

16-Mar T.W. Wood & Sons 17-Mar " 27-Mar Leesburg Garden Club 18-May T.W. Wood & Sons 11-Jun " 24-Jun " 29-Jun " 16-Jul " 24-Jul F.W. Bolgiano & Company 1-Aug " 10-Sep " 14-Sep T.W. Wood & Sons 24-Sep " 1-Oct S.S. Pennock Company 27-Oct Bountiful Ridge Nurseries 27-Oct T.W. Wood & Sons 2-Nov Ernest Brothers Pottery 8-Nov F.W. Bolgiano & Company 18-Nov J.C. Schmidt, Bristol, PE 12-Dec Peter Henderson & Co 12-Dec J.C. Schmidt, Bristol, PE 12-Dec Wm. J. Leseman- Green Cave Springs 12-Dec H.W. Rich- Abecon, NJ 12-Dec Verkade Nursery, Inc.- Wayne, NJ spring Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp.

1936 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937

various 6-Jan 23-Jan 26-Jan 26-Jan 26-Jan 5-Feb 12-Feb 17-Feb

1937

20-Feb

40 bus. Burt Oats 22 bus. Burt early spring vareity certified oat seed Feb 1936-Feb 1937 dues 15 bus. Recleaned Va. Early Soy Beans Universal nozzle attachment w/ spray, 1/4" thread 1 bus. Wood's Evergreen Lawn Grass (20 lbs) 2 bus. Japanese Buckwheat 200 lbs Red Clover, Va. Northern Neck Seed for fall garden: kale, lettuce, turnips, radish 2 lbs rutabaga 3/4 lb spinach seed 2 lbs. Cyanogas (1 lb. Cans) A Dust 20 lbs. Evergreen Lawn Mixture 40' yards 6" chif., 3 6" green wire sticks 10 purple wisteris, 3 yr; 10 hydrangea P.G., 3-4' 21 lbs. Evergreen Lawn Mixture 100 8" bulb pans Seeds: kale, lettuce 1000 snapdragons Dahlia seeds: various 200 calandulas [sic] 100 paper white narcissus 29 clumps dahlias: various 2 samples of holly, grafted (2 varigated, 2 english) Complete greenhouse set up (referred to in subsequent purchases from company; no documents regarding original) Earl L. Posten Various plumbing/water systems for: new turkey bldg, house, house at BSF Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp. 6 roof purlin end fittings for 1" pipe; 100' #22 glazing bar T.W. Wood & Sons Seeds: beans, beets, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kale Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp. 3 boxes zinc pts, 5/8" size w/heads for new work Peter Henderson & Co 4 32" scythe stones, shears, hoe, seeds: various, 1000 5" painted pot labels T.W. Wood & Sons 2500 lbs White Blooming Sweet Clover " 20 lbs. Evergreen Lawn Mixture F.W. Bolgiano & Company 550 yds new burlap T.W. Wood & Sons 3-1/2 bus Va Northern neck red cloves, 20 bu. cert. ME grown Irish Cobbler Potatoes, 250 lbs Korean Lespedeza Virginia Dahlia Society "Virginia Dahlia Society- dues 1937"

W. Davis Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " " Mrs. Davis Gardens- Leesburg Garden Club W. Davis Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " " " " " " " " " Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " " " " " Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " : Morven Park Gardens- S.S. Pennock Co. W. Davis Gardens-Bountiful Ridge Nurseries " Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " Gardens- Ernest Brothers Pottery " Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " Gardens- Schmidt Florist " Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. " Gardens- Schmidt Florist " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors " " " " " Gardens

unknown $6.78 $63.25 $0.99 $17.60 $400.00 $6.60 $76.20 $65.80

unknown W. Davis " " " " " " "

Earl L. Poston Acct (Plumbing) Gardens- Metropolitan Greenhouse Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens- Metropolitan Greenhouse Gardens- Peter Henderson Seed Co. Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds

$1.00

"

Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937

158

Year 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937

Date 1-Mar 2-Mar 4-Mar 9-Mar 12-Mar 12-Mar 20-Mar 27-Mar 1-Apr 5-Apr 10-Apr 10-Apr 12-Apr 13-Apr 26-Apr 27-Apr 27-Apr 27-Apr 4-May 15-May 1-Jun 26-Jun 17-Jul 17-Jul 17-Jul 26-Jul 31-Jul 7-Aug 14-Aug 16-Sep 16-Sep 16-Sep 16-Sep 16-Sep 16-Sep 18-Sep 2-Oct 4-Oct

Supplier Bountiful Ridge Nurseries

Product

Cost $22.00 $70.80 $6.38 $6.00 unknown $21.50 $49.60 $105.50 $663.15 $13.20 $3.50 $18.93 $4.17 $9.30 $4.50 $2.25 $45.00 $75.00 $2.95 $5.00 $10.88 $170.52 $3.00 $8.50 $7.50 $1.95 $8.00 $10.00 $101.98 $20.00 $20.00 $25.00 $18.00 $3.50 $12.00 $3.50 $10.50 $37.52

Purchaser MP Nurseries W. Davis MP Nurseries W. Davis H.A. Lefferts W. Davis " " " " Mrs. Davis W. Davis " G.E. Kopper

Morven Park Archive Folder Gardens-Bountiful Ridge Nurseries Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Gardens- F.E. Myers & Bro Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " Bees- Correspondence Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds " Gardens- Leesburg Garden Club Gardens- T.W. Wood- Seeds Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Gardens-Bountiful Ridge Nurseries

200 WA asparagus, 2 yr; 200 strawberry; 50 apple trees, 2 yr F.W. Bolgiano & Company 472 yds new burlap The F.E. Myers & Bro. Co. No 1 spray gun T.W. Wood & Sons 6 bus. American Grown Red Clover, 1 bus. Evergreen Lawn Grass " 40 bus. Burt Oats L.J. Carter 5 3lbs packages Bees with queen (wings clipped), 3 extra tested queens unknown "200 ft. high pressure hose, garden sprayer" " "Hydrangeas $5.00" T.W. Wood & Sons ??? (totalling $663.15- sum of other purchases?) " 40 lbs Evergreen Lawn Grass Leesburg Garden Club Feb 1937-Feb 1938 dues T.W. Wood & Sons Seeds: squash, spinach, onion, peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, radish, beets, cucumber, corn F.W. Bolgiano & Company 25 pots boston ivy Bountiful Ridge Nurseries 20 Boston Ivy; 10 Niagara grape, 2 yr; 10 Elberta peaches 4-5' S.S. Pennock Company 25 lb drum Fume Tobac A.M. Leonard & Son 8' Waters Pattern tree trimmer unknown "Truck to Oyster Point, VA for 50 magnolia trees" Greenwood Farms "50 magnolia trees, 3 to 4 foot high" F.W. Bolgiano & Company Seeds: beans, chard, pepper grass, squash American Bulb Co, NYC 2000 green 4' bamboo canes for mums The Rural New Yorker "Classifed ads for gardner, 4 issues" unknown "Garden acct, brick, etc." " "100 dwarf Stevia plants" " "1000 asparagus" " "Flower seeds" C.U. Liggit Inc. Beauty of Nice: various unknown "200 ferns for 2 1/2" pots" " "Erecting two cement gate posts in field below house" " "Garden seeds" American Bulb Co, NYC "1 case (200) lillies" unknown "200 pointsettas, 100 perorgoniums" " "100 Magna Charta roses" " "100 hydrangias" " "100 Delphiniums" " "200 Callas" " "50 strawberry plants" " "Work on greenhouse" Metropolitan Greenhouse Mfg. Corp. Greenhouse heating equipment

W. Davis Gardens- S.S. Pennock Co. " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " " " Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1943 " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " " " " " " MP Nurseries Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors W. Davis Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " " " " " " " " " " " MP Nurseries " " " " " " " " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1942 Gardens- Metropolitan Greenhouse

159

Year 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1937 1938 1938 1938 1939 1940 1940 1940 1940 1940 1940 1941 1942 1942

Date 9-Oct 16-Oct 23-Oct 23-Oct 6-Nov 22-Nov 1-Dec 1-Dec 30-Dec unknown various 7-Mar 25-Mar 30-Apr 11-Aug 10-Jan 16-May 23-Jul 14-Aug 11-Nov 18-Dec June 6-Apr 30-Apr

Supplier unknown " " " Florist Exchange unknown " " C.R. Burr & Company Inc. C.U. Liggit Inc. Earl L. Posten Ernest Brothers Pottery Horn Motors, Inc Herndon Sales and Service Co. Thomas J. Fannon & Sons " " " " Meadow Brook Kennels F.W. Bolgiano & Company Thomas J. Fannon & Sons Southern States Leesburg Service "

Product "Construction fish pond in garden" "105 shipping boxes for flowers" "Snapdragon seed" "Larkspur seed" "Classified advertising, issue Oct. 30" "Nursery registration fee" "Mending front gates" "Material for greenhouse" 100 Magna Charta Forcing Seeds: snapdragon, calendula Plumbing/water systems: house next to coach barn, greenhouse, dairy, saw mill, poultry house 250 5" standard pots 2 men to dig up Holly Tree on St. Clair Place Crane, etc. for moving holly tree 500 bricks, 4800# bldg. sand, 2 bags Brixment 1 36" damper, 30 fire bricks, 1 bag calcine plaster 1-1/2 tons bldg sand, 40 bags cement 40 bags cement, 6700# sand, 6 tons sand 80 bags cement Boarding 2 dogs: Oct 9-Nov 11 Sharpen & repair 2 hand mowers 290 bags cement, 10 tons bldg sand Assorted meal, seeds, oats, etc. for farm 1200# seed potatoes, 4000# recleaned oats, 4000# bran, 300# turkey starter, 6000# cement, 1000# horse feed, 300# broiler mash, 200# turkey mash, 14 bushels seed corn 2000# turkey starter (mash) 500# Oyster Shell Wilson Soybeans 3000# 2000# turkey starter (mash) 253 gals gas, 50 gals kerosene (for turkeys) 275 gals gas 4000# beet pulp, 100# 8P. Nails, 2500# fattening mash, 8000# turkey breeder pellets, 800# turkey grow, ~27000# hay Turkey feed, various garden seeds For turkeys: 1000# dried buttermilk, turkey grower, turkey grow pillet, 1000# course grit, 6000# turkeys grow pillets; 1800# whole oats, 300# med. Salt, 150# block salt, 100# steamed bone meal, 300# whole oats, 15# rotenone

Cost $35.00 $31.50 $4.25 $2.90 $3.00 $10.00 $15.00 $210.85 $25.00 $5.60 various $8.07 $4.00 $6.00 $12.58 $8.59 $22.75 unknown unknown $16.00 $7.75 unknown $484.16 $441.95

Purchaser

Morven Park Archive Folder

W. Davis Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " " " " " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1938 " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1940 " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1939 " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1937 " Notes-Davis checking accounts, 1941 " Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors MP Nurseries Gardens- Correspondence misc. vendors W. Davis Earl L. Poston Acct (Plumbing) " " " Mrs. Davis " " W. Davis " " " " " " Gardens- Ernest Brothers Pottery Gardens- Herndon & Horn " Thomas J. Fannon & Sons " " " " Dogs- receipts: kennel Gardens- Bolgiano Orders & Corres. Thomas J. Fannon & Sons Farm- Southern States Cooperative "

1942 1942 1942 1942 1942 1942 1942

8-May 11-May 15-May 23-May 20-Jul 6-Aug January

" " " " " " "

$70.98 $4.25 $125.00 $71.00 $55.40 $46.99 $810.83

" " " " " " "

" " " " " " "

1942 1942

June July

" "

various $714.35

" "

" "

160

APPENDIX 14: List of Davis-era Morven Park Sales for Grounds, Gardens & Farms (Source: Compiled via available receipts in the Morven Park Archives by author.)

Year 1918 1920 1922

Date 5-Mar 31-Jan na

Buyer W.H. Gould W.A. Metzger T.S. Titus

Product 9 Guernsey cows Fifty stock cattle (from Miss Inman's "Big Spring Farm") Rented Big Spring Farm on half share, commencing Jan 1922 (received & pd half of everything) "One-half interest in and to Twenty-two Durham Steers, weight about 775 lbs. each… One half interest in and to Sixty-two cattle weighing about 897 lbs. each" "One undivided one-half interest in and to sixty-five dehorned St. Louis & Tenn. Steers, weighing about 63,130 pounds"

Cost $2,300.00 $5,261.56 unknown

Morven Park Archive Folder Big Spring Farm Management Big Spring Farm Management Big Spring Farm 1922-23

1922

13-Feb

Edwin E. Garrett

$2,425.35

Big Spring Farm Management

1923 1926 1930 1935 1935 1935 1937 1942 1942 1942 1942

9-Nov 9-Jan 24-May 5-Sep 5-Sep 22-Aug 2-Nov 15/16-Oct 16-Oct 9-Apr 28-Jul

W.A. Metzger T.S. Titus & Son 10 hogs, 1920 lbs; 3 hogs, 340 lbs Herrick-Merryman sale, various buyers 3 bulls, 13 females; totaling $3110 minus expenses Shipley's, Towson, MD 1 Pa Plants, 25# Shipley's, Towson, MD Samples: 1, 2, & 3 yr old English Boxwood plants 100 semperviren at .15 each A-1 stock (for spring delivery) Ignatz Schmidt, Nurseryman L.S. Rohr, Inc. 5 cent to $1.00 store Purchase of boxwood, ivy, ferns, etc. Public auction- various 125 dairy cows & heifers (Guernseys & Holsteins) Public auction- various "All farm machinery, work horses, sheep and feed" H. M. Ball & Co 25 cattle Whitmore & Arnold 16810# orchard grass seed

$2,088.27 Big Spring Farm Management $264.40 MP Farm- Misc. Information Farm $2,483.00 Big Spring Animals- inventory cattle unknown Gardens- MP Gardens Business & Sales $0.24 Boxwoods- Sales Corresp. $15.00 Boxwoods- Ignatz Schmidt customer $35.14 Big Spring Mgmt. Misc 1932-40 unknown Gov Davis Estate- American Cattle Club unknown Gov Davis Estate- American Cattle Club $3,142.75 Farm- Farm Admin- Sales Dept $2,701.61 Farm- Farm Admin- Sales Dept

161

APPENDIX 15: Misc. garden and farm notes from Davis-era operations (Source: Compiled via available receipts in the Morven Park Archives by author.)

Year GARDENS 1931-38 1934 1935 1935 1935

Date

Record

Morven Park Archive Folder

na 3-Dec 10-Oct 15-Mar 30-Aug

1935-37 1938 1940

na 6-Dec 3-Jul

1942 1943 1946

14-Jul 8-Nov 2-Jul

Solicitations offering boxwoods for sale; 2-1938 responses from Davises that they're not purchasing boxwood at this time Letter to Mrs. Davis from Mrs. Lewis G. Larus, Chairman of GCV Garden Week: "I am awfully sorry that it will be impossible for us to have Morven park during Garden Week. I do hope that another year, we will have better luck." Recognition of adverstisement of Old English Boxwood for sale in the Florists Exchange Return letter from Freeman Weiss, Pathologist with US Dept of Agriculture: inspection of boxwood samples sent show cold injury due to heavy fall rains & relatively early winter Certificate of Nursery Inspection for MP Nurseries from VA's Dept of Agriculture & Immigration after 8/23 inspection of nursery stock on site (apparently free from San Jose scale & other dangerously injurious insects & plants diseases); certification valid for one year Invoices from Florists Exchange for advertising MP Nursery plants; boxwood advertised late July - October 1935 & again in Nov 1937; ivy advertised late July 1935 - May 1936 & again in Nov 1937; asparagus & mums advertised Nov 1937 Return letter to Mr. P.K. Teachey informing him that MP Nurseries has no boxwood for sale at this time Letter from Gov Davis to The McCormick Sales Co., Baltimore, MD: "I have been using in my box garden on the box as a preventive of red spider your Red Arrow Soap in connection with Red Arrow Spray. Will you be good enough to advise me the advantages of this soap over the plain soap used in connection with nicotine for the extermination of the red spider... I have been using your soap for a long time, and know that you have a justification for having a higher price" Letter from Westcott Nursery Company: formula for sprawing red spider (water, fish oil, black leaf 40) Return letter from principal entomologist with US Dept of Agriculture: dept has no info regarding "the care of English box" but is referring letter to the Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils & Agricultural Engineering Return letter from J.R. Lintner, County Agricultural Agent with Virginia Tech's Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture & Home Economics: "After looking through the boxwood at Morven Park today, it is my opinion that there is very little insect damage there, but there is a lot of fungus disease inside many plants"; offers treatment plan Return letter from Philip Brierley, Sr. Pathologist with US Dept of Agriculture: "Dr. Curtis May has referred here so+D20me specimens of diseased box twigs collected at your estate. This disease, known as leaf cast, is caused by the fungus Macrophoma candollei... a weak parasite, growing only on box tissues damaged by other causes, such as cold and drought...Possibly due to a late freeze"+D37 Otey tries to unsuccessfully patent the "Flynn Snow Hook", a unique "hand tool for the removal of snow on boxwood and other broadleaf plants has been invented by Mr. Robert N. Flynn, an employee" of the Davises & Foundation for 32+ years

Boxwoods- Solicitation letters Gardens- G.C.V. Boxwoods- Sales Corresp. Boxwoods- Care & Brochures Boxwoods- Certification of Inspection Boxwoods- Advertising, Florist Exchange Boxwoods- Sales Corresp. Boxwoods- Spray for red spiders

Boxwoods- Spray for red spiders Boxwoods- Care & Brochures Boxwoods- Care & Brochures

1946

1-Aug

Boxwoods- Care & Brochures

1968

11-Jan

WMDF: Snow Hook

FARM 1922 1923 na 1-Jan Statement of Big Spring Farm for the year 1922: net profit for year: $1050.15 Stock on hand at B.S. Farm: 74 sheep, 60 cattle, 4 cattle; hogs: 1 sow & 10 pigs, 9 sows, 20 shoats; baled hay Big Spring Farms 1922-24 Big Spring Farms 1922-23

162

Year 1924

Date 2-Aug

Record Letter from T.S. Titus to Gov Davis: "Dear Sir, I would to know when I could see you in regard to renting the farm for another year if you wish to rent to me I cannot afford to rent the farm and give half for it I am working and worrying myself and not making any money so I had better be doing something else or working for someone else. I want to see you to settle with you I owe you some money. Yours" "Weights of eleven hogs butchered and destributed [sic] December 14th"- 6 hogs Letter from MP Farm to E.T. Titus: "Dear Ed, I am directed by Governor Davis to request you to make checks in settlement for Big Spring Farm accounts either to Big Spring Farm or to Mrs. Marquerite G. Davis. 'Committee' & not to Westmoreland Davis as he is simply acting for Mrs Davis, and Miss Inman in handling these matters. Yours very truly, MP Farm "Weights of hogs slaughtered January 13th"- 2 hogs Letter from Gov Davis to Bureau of Game and Inland Fisherieis, Richmond, VA: "Dear Sirs, attention Mr. Hart… I have under my care what is known as the Big Spring Farm, situated two miles from Leesburg on what is known as the Point of Rocks Road. There is wholly within the farm a stream, the source of which is what is known as the Big Spring, which flows through the place to the Potomac River clear cool water of sufficient volume years ago to operate a grist mill. The stream is about a mile long and has been noted for its trout. I should like to restock this stream..." 6 cans rainbow trout delivered via train by Government [sic] Fisheries messenger to Leesburg; "meet baggage car promptly with vessels sixty gallons capacity" From Fifteenth Census of the United States: Total # of acres in farm: "About 1000"; Crop land in farm: 403; Pasture land in farm: 165, 100 of which is in rotation; Woodland not used for pasture: 200; All other land in farm: 232; Mortgage owned on farm in 1930: none; 1929 taxes: $3500; # of days farm work was done in 1929 by hired laborers: 300; any crops grown on irrigated land: no; 1929 ANIMALS: ducks: 20, chickens over 3 months: 100, chicken eggs produced: 300 (none sold, all used on property), dairy cows: 60, gallons of milk produced: 43,000; gallons of milk sold: 41,000 for $14,000; hogs: 21; horses: 10; road adjoinging farm: gravel; telephone: yes; piped water into farmer's dwelling: yes; water piped into a road adjoining farm: bathroom: yes; electricity in farmer's dwelling: yes; CROPS: acres of corn: 130; winter wheat: 80, oats: 75; rye: 40; soy beans: 40; alfalfa cut for hay: 50 tons; clover cut for hay: 50 tons; soybeans saved for hay: 60 tons; potatoes: 50 bushels; wheat sold: 1200 bushels; value of farm garden veggies grown in 1929 for home use only: $100; apples: 50 bushels; pears: 25 bushels; value of farm products used by family in 1929: $750 Seeds sown: Spinach, peas, carrots, beets, lettuce, radish, swiss chard, kale, sweet corn (2 varieties) "Received Jany., 13th 1931, from Margaret G. Davis Com. by check payable to my order for 78.60 dollars and the payment of 96.40 to E.S. Adrain Sheriff of Loudoun County, Virginia, in full satisfaction of a certain judgment of W.H. Whitmore against John Thayer & James Thayer for $200. interest and costs, of record in the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, Va. upon which an execution issued and a levy was made by said Sheriff in payment for all machinery on Big Spring Farm, gas engine, saw, new Thomas Drill, harness, collars, bridles, grain fan, all tools in blacksmith shop, drill & blower single trees, etc. except one small box of horse shoeing tolls [sic] excluding the property sold at public sale on Dec. 29, 1030 $175.00, Thomas Bros" "Bought of John Thayer all machinery on Big Spring Farm, gas engines, saw, new Thomas drill, harness, collars, bridle, grain fan, all tools in blacksmith shop, drill and blower, single trees, etc. except one small box of horse shoeing tools for the sum of $175.00. This includes the drill bought at $75.00 day of sale. (Signed) Mason F. Smith Correspondence with Eugene W. Surber, Experimental Station, Department of Commerce, Bureau of Fisheries: Gov Davis wished for a "planting of fish" in the stream & required "a self-cleaning screen that could be placed above the bridge above the point where the Potomac backs water during its highest water stages"; fish introduced on Aug 10, 1932, "all had consumed natural food... a few hundred rainbox trout" to be released in week's time Letter from Gov Davis to Eugene W. Surber: "We have had considerable rain the last few days and the stream at Big Spring has overflowed and the velocity of it has stretched the wire from the revolving drum"

Morven Park Archive Folder Big Spring Farms 1924-26

1925 1925

14-Dec 18-Jul

MP Farm- Misc. Information Big Spring Farms 1924-27

1926 1929

13-Jan 21-Apr

MP Farm- Misc. Information Big Spring Farm- Trout Stream

1929 1930

5-Jul n.d.

Big Spring Farm- Trout Stream Farm- Farm Administration1930 Census

1931 1931

10-Apr 13-Jan

Gardens- Correspondence Big Spring Farm- Thayer Bros

1931

undated

Big Spring Farm- Thayer Bros

1932

June-Aug

Fish

1932

19-Oct

Fish

163

Year 1933

Date 25-Aug

Record Letter from Surber expressing concern over a neighbor girl fishing in Big Spring Creek & that her father had removed trout without reporting species, length & weight; "I have told you, a number of times, that I considered the stream an ideal one in which to conduct experimental work"; no fish less than 9" can be taken Letter from Gov. Davis to Surber: "…we shall create of it a permanent refuge for trout" Livestock: 36 small beef cattle, 34 large beef cattle, 43 sheep, 5 lambs- 1 killed 10/4/33 (dogs), 1 cow, 1 heifer (to be made beef), 1 holstein calf, 12 brood sows, 50 little onws (13 shoats); Race Horses: 5 mares, 2 fillies, 3 yearlings, 1 stallion; Work Horses: 1 mare, 4 colts, 1 stallion Letter from Surber to Gov Davis reporting evidence of poachers on Big Spring Creek during 1934 season rendering results ruined; Govt trespassing signs added to Davis' "keep off" signs various solicitations from Gov Davis to area grocery stores to sell honey Bred horses Inventory of BS Horses: 3 fillies-yearlings, 3 colts- yearlings, 4 1940 fillies, 2 1940 colts, 8 mares, 2 stallions, 9 wk horses Inventory taken of sheep & cattle at Big Spring: Cattle, 80; Sheep, 44 ewes, 2 rams, 10 lambs Inventories taken at: Connor Place, Denning Springs, Ravenswood, Mountain Side Farm (also references to Jump Gate) Note on 1941 accounting sheet: "80 cattle to be sold, 1700 turkeys to be sold" Letter from C.T. Rice to American Guernsey Cattle Club: "No doubt you have read an account of the death of Governor Davis on September 2, 1942 and Mrs. Davis has decided to disperse the herd as quickly as possible." Article in Southern Planter: "Dairymen, poultrymen and general farmers who want purebred or high-grade Guernseys and Holsteins, the most fashionable turkey breeding stock in the country, or farm implements and work animals at farmer prices, should look into the dispersal sale of livestock and farm equipment of the Morven Park Estate of the late Westmoreland Davis. The Turkeys, foundation breeders from which have come Grand Championship and Best Display Award Winners at the New York Show for five years, will be sold at private treaty as longs as the supply lasts. The cattle, horses, and farm equipment will be sold at public auction, October 15 and 16, 9:30am, Morven Park Farm, Leesburg, VA. Mrs Davis is curtailing the extensive farming operations of the former governor and is offering the livestock and equipment to the highest bidder. This is one of the most widely known and best equipped farms in the South. The sale will afford farmers the opportunity of a limetime to acquire superb breeding stock and top-flight implements at their own prices." Interview with Wilson Townsend, Jr. (worked as interim chaffeur for 6 weeks): "Yeah, he had all these turkeys. And I think he used to ship most up in New York state… but see, they'd be out on the range. Then he'd have a- I don't know what you would call it, but he'd have a shanty that they'd pull, you know, from field to field, for- I guess you'd call it a night-watch-man and then chase foxes and everything got into them and everything. But he'd raise them- I don't know how many thousands... I have drove him at different times out on the range to whoever was taking care of them. He just, he wouldn't even get out of the car, he'd sometimes just wind the window down and talk to the foreman or whoever it was... Yeah, [the turkeys would range free} all fenced off, and then they'd have a- they'd have these houses they would pull out there, they were houses, but they were open, the front of them was open and they had roosts, you know, in them, and you just pull them out on the range, and that's what- for the shelter... He had a... Big Spring... that's where he had his horses, out there, on 15, where they're building all those houses... before you get to White's Ferry? Well, he owned all that in there. And I think he called it the Big Spring Farm... Yeah he kept the horses over there... Most all of this domestic help were black Americans. And, most the year tenants, they were African-Americans... He had a man by the name of Mac Williams, he was white, and he looked after the boxwood garden and all that... They had a lot of magnolia trees out there too. And then when it snowed, the farmers and I think everybody had to go knock snow off the boxwoods... They'd done that [tie boxwoods & put burlap over them] too. Especially the large ones. But the smaller ones I think they just- I know they used to put burlap on them, too. I've seen them build a frame and then put the burlap over the frame."

Morven Park Archive Folder Fish

1933 1933

28-Sep 4-Oct

Fish Big Spring Animals- animal & equip invent. Fish Bees- Honey for sale BS Animals- breeding notes BS Animals- inventory 1940 BS Animals- inventory 1941 Farm admin- other farms Farm- Receipts 1941 Gov Davis EstateAmerican Cattle Club Farm- Farm AdministrationEstate Sales

1934 1935 1939 1940 1940 1940 1941 1942 1942

12-Jan July Spring 16-Jul 17-Jul 17-Jul Dec 12-Sep October

2003

7-Nov

Oral History: Wilson Townsend

164

APPENDIX 16: Transcription of interview with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Otey at their home in Chester, Virginia, September 10, 2009. (Source: Interview given, recorded, and transcribed by author.)

KEY: [C: Mr. Charles Otey; M: Mrs. Otey; K: Karen Kennedy] K: When did you first come to Morven Park? C: 1964 K: You first wrote the restoration report, then they brought you on full time? C: 1965 & 66, then I went full time in October 1967 K: When did you move there? C: In 1967; I had to restore the manager’s house; I wrote the specs for all of the restoration of Morven Park- the mansion, the office building, I used the Corbell house as an office K: What was that building originally used for? C: It was a residence before, then there was a smokehouse on the right side of it; I restored the laundry house as a gift shop, the upstairs part, and the lower part was used as a creamery- the milk and cream; and the springhouse- all of that was really active when we were there; when we went there originally in 1964 with Hank McTheane, the state entomologist at the time, and Fritz Freun (sp?), one of the inspectors; what the U.S. Trust had hoped to do was create something so that the state could help out on it and Alfred Zahn hoped to spend more time down there- he was my main contact at the Trust at the time; unfortunately, he went to Florida and had a heart attack and died there; in the meantime, I had sent him a notice that I was interested in managing the place so Mr. Johnson in the realty division at the Trust Company picked it up and proposed to the Foundation that they hire me as the resident manager; so we had a good time restoring all of those places; Denning Springs- we restored a building down there & used it for activities with the community; we had a little kitchen down there and everything- it’s not there anymore *Equine Hospital+ K: [using Davis era farm map of Denning Springs] Do you know which building it was? C: Yes, it’s this barn with the silo; the wind came up one day & blew that silo over- I had to have it removed; then we restored the building; we had the two ponds down there stocked with fish and everything; people would come out from Washington with busloads of kids- we had a good program going K: Where you still there when the land was given? C: No, I left in 1975 K: When you were there were Mr. Flynn and Mr. Hough still there? C: Oh yeah; they were there the full time I was there; I even went there a year or two after I left and saw Mr. Flynn; Mr. Hough was still living in town K: During the time you were there did they live on the property as well? C: Mr. Flynn lived at the gatehouse and Mr. Hough lived by the carriage house; we worked on all of those buildings- we restored the exteriors and everything

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K: I’m sure they had some good stories… C: Oh yes, Mr. Flynn could tell some good stories about the Davises, they were characters; but they did everything; the Foundation has written some things about how good our maintenance was with as few people as we had; I even quote some of it in a book I’m writing K: Really? What is your book about? C: My life- Morven Park, my service in WWII, everything… I’ll be 88 on the 2 nd (October) K: How was the Winmill Carriage Collection sited? C: That’s where the old barn was before used for the production of the turkeys and all; they demolished that whole barn- it was all to pieces, you couldn’t begin to save any of it… there was a barn there, then the buildings for the poultry and all that K: Did it collapse because of snow fall? C: Yes, wasn’t worth saving it; it was even dangerous to go in K: You put in a new exit drive; what was the thought behind a second road? C: To accommodate visitors, you needed to have circulation; to not have to widen the other road, we just did a single road in and a single road out; K: So both roads were intended to be single lane? C: The way the banks and all the trees were in there, you’d have to destroy all of it to widen the road, so it was better to just add another one K: It is rumored that the gates at the main entrance were a gift to Thomas Swann, Jr. from the City of Baltimore. Have you ever heard that? C: No; I know the other gates- the ones in the gardens and the ones near the mansion & the Corbell House- we had those restored, sand blasted and treated and painted; they really looked nice K: It is my understanding that you redid all of the brick walkways and walls? C: Not the walls; those walls were done by what I call “slopjacks”; they didn’t cut the mortar or anything K: So the walls are original? C: The walls were all there; there’s one wall in the first garden- a little wall in there- we redid part of that wall, but that’s all; we redid all of the walkways though- we got old bricks from the city of Richmond, some were pavers, some were thick, some were thin; we just overlaid that other walk- Charlie Troy did that; he did my walk out here before I went to Morven Park; when I went up there in 1995, there were only two or three places on that walk that needed repair & I pointed that out, but they didn’t do anything about it, so now there are several areas where the walk is split out; on top of the mausoleum- we had redone all of the bricks on top of that too; the Davis’ had a light salmon colored brick that they used that spalls/solves(?) water really bad and that’s the reason the walk that Davis put in went all to pieces *LOOKING AT OTEY’s PICTURES & MAPS+ C: There I am checking the elevation of the pool area K: So that was completely rebuilt? C: Yes, that was completely rebuilt; Charlie Troy put the coping around it K: The three spouts- were those original? C: No, I bought those; there weren’t any fountains there before; I put those in to give it a little kick

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C: There we are putting a big box over the wall K: What’s that one? C: That’s a cover for the boxwood- for winter protection; we had the driest year in 100 years when we planted these in 1966- look how dry that ground is; we put tile all around the base of the trees then intersected them into a tile drainage system that I had in that garden; see, that garden; That’s the sundial garden; the Davises had the sundial, but I redid the garden; there’s that statue *white cherub that disappeared+; the doors at the mausoleum- I had those bronze doors put on there- they had old iron doors- I was told to do it and I did it! C: *looking at Otey’s blueprint+ This is where the statue was, right at the end of that; I had two rose beds down there; we were picking up a lot of waterthis land here, you could hardly drive a truck over it; we’re on the 400’ level here, the mountain is at 640’ so we were building up a lot of water; the quartzite in there- water drains right through it and then drains on out and we were picking it up down here, so I put in the drainage system to protect the garden K: So the statue was here? C: Right at the end of the brick walkway, not there anymore; and the birdbath was right in the center between the pool and the sundial K: Were these maples and spruces already there or did you put them in? C: They were all there; all of the labelled trees were already there; the ones that aren’t marked I put in; these are little boxwood here- they were all there; all we did with new planting was down here- where the dog kennels were taken out- and we did this planting here- where the numbers are- the numbers have a key to the drawings; but nearly all of these tress are gone- they need to go into another tree planting to get more trees in there; but somebody has to decide how to phase it- I wouldn’t go any longer than 3 years, otherwise you have a hard time catching up again, plus you’ll lose public support if you go over three years K: What about the ivy? C: That was all there, we didn’t plant any ivy K: This is where the new kennels are; was there anything there before? C: Nothing; the old nursery was where the parking lot is now; they had an old service road going through there; we took those two columns out down was were the there- we took one and pushed it out to widen it K: Was this part originally here? (shorter wall with two columns near the 2 entrance roads) C: No, I built that to match the original Davis wall K: What about the little service road leading from it? C: No, there was nothing there and I didn’t do anything with that K: Which part of the wall did you have to rebuild? C: Right in here; it was just a walking pathway in there; we followed the original walkway & edged it out K: You took out a large hedgerow; where was it? C: I had a vision- I had to wedge a truck in here to maintain the garden b/c everything in here was so complicated; the Davis’s had a narrow walkway- you could hardly walk down there; so I widened it and took out the hedgerow (not box); the boxwood alleys were there, but the area with the statue- that was new

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K: What about the greenhouse? Did you rebuild that? C: No, that was here; there was another old greenhouse that we had to take out- nothing but glass and it was real messy K: Dog kennels over by the Corbell house? C: Yes, I took those out; and I took these box out in front of the Corbell house and put them in front of the manager’s house K: Did you keep the nursery open? C: We sold some cuttings in the gift shop K: In your reports, you write of the farm office; where was it? C: In the mansion; upstairs on the 2 nd floor where you come down from the main part in the center where the great hall is below; you come down the first stairs & that was his farm office K: Didn’t he have two offices? Where was his personal office? C: I don’t know; but before we moved into the Corbell house, we used the one near the large walk-in safe K: The Nature Conservancy trails that went in behind the mansion. Were they heavily used? C: Oh yes; we had a lot of activity; we had bird feeding stations; we bought 1000 pounds of seed at a time; we had ground feeding stations for quails as well- Mr. Flynn made them out of old brooder tops; we used to put sand in those areas as well as food K: All of this was lost after you left? C: Of course; you need somebody to keep up with this; Morven Park needs a person that takes the interest outside, not just inside; that’s a lesson that some of the people in the Trust Company didn’t learn; I had about 12-14 people representing the Trust Company when I was there; I learned a lot from them, but they learned a hell of a lot from me K: The area known as Belle Grove was not part of the property when you were there? C: No, it had been discussed, but I told them they didn’t need it; it’s more to manage- they already had enough on the table with the Equestrian School; that’s probably why the Carriage Collection was built with metal siding instead of something nicer like wood- because of the cost and the influence of architects and other people involved in the Equestrian Center; I built the second school and all of that too and I didn’t know that much about horses K: There was a report written by an architect named Robert Railey; in it he writes that he believes there is an Olmsted connection to Morven Park. Had you ever heard of that? C: No K: In one of your early reports, you wrote about Commodore Robert Stockton who lived at the original Morven in NJ; was that how Morven Park got its name? C: I’m not sure K: The boxwood- they were in bad shape when you got there. How many did you have to replace? C: We tried to restore all of box that was there- problems due to watering, the spray due to the red mite; we were still cutting out frozen wood from that horrible winter too K: Did you have to replace any of the box along the walkway? C: We used what was there, we didn’t replace many of those; we primarily tried to preserve all of the plants that were there- that was our mission

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K: So the pictures of the box being hoisted over the brick wall? C: Those were moved there, then we replaced some in the first garden; we went in and trimmed everything & tried to preserve everything that was there K: Do you have any idea who the original landscape architects are- either for Swann or Davis? C: No K: Do you think the Davis’ designed most of the walled garden themselves? C: I would imagine so, but I’m not sure; the pool is well placed- they probably had some architectural help K: Why did you leave Morven? C: Because I lost control of the board; they kept changing the board; I had it made otherwise; I could have been there right now [PICTURES FROM TRACY AND ON LAPTOP] C: See that area in front of the mansion, we think there may have been a garden there sometime; the grass was different there- it had a lot of Bermuda grass there K: That’s where the fountain was M: Look at the water here *in picture+; that’s pretty K: There wasn’t any water there? M: No, we didn’t have any water there; the water was when you were coming in on the drive C: Yes, I built those ponds there at Denning Spring M: That area wasn’t even damp; they must have excavated; they’ve put that in since we left; actually the area all in there was fenced in and leased it out to farmers- there were cattle in there and everything; it looks so barren- the trees are gone too- they just wiped it out K: Who is this? C: That’s H.M. Van Wurmel(?)- the tree man; his men did all that planting and everything for me K: When was the last time you were there? C: In December 2008 K: How different does it look? C: It’s not that different; we’ve lost a lot of trees; I’m not sure the practice for trimming boxwood is the right time because they’re selling the cutting; s; when you trim for maintenance, you trim in mid season so they grow out again before winter comes; but they sacrifice the cuttings for foliage- people come in and do it for free and spray it and everything- it’s not for the health of the box, it’s for the cuttings K: the box there now are huge C: they’re using more American boxwood now which grow larger; Davis had mainly English box, with a few American box; they should be scoping out new species of box rather than using the regular sempervirens K: To you, what makes Morven Park such a special landscape? M: The fact that it’s such a large place- it’s so vast- it can take massive planting; it looked really cut & dry; it made a sharp image of everything to me and people were kind with compliments

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C: the size, #1; probably the diversity of plants and trees that you can have in a place like that K: If the Garden Club were to come in and restore the gardens, to what period do you think they should do so? M: I would think the Davis era C: You can see how the trees just capture the landscape there- that’s why we tried to preserve as many as possible M: that’s a shame; of course, they have to be introducing more as time goes on C: they should be planting more yews- that’s a good plant for that area and the foliage goes well with box K: So the parking lot was used as the nursery; the dog kennels and greenhouses were up here; but the area in between was just grass- not used by the Davis’? C: there were a few apple trees in there; we used to go over and collect them; we would drive behind where the greenhouse was and collect apples K: Did you enjoy living there? M: It was interesting; you went up in 1965, I went up in ‘67 and we came back in ‘75? C: But it wasn’t much fun to live behind a gate; every night we’d have to lock it up M: the nicest man lived in that gatehouse- Mr. Flynn; he was a nice man; he did everything and anything; he didn’t know HOW to do it, but he was willing; plus, they didn’t have a thing to work with M: For Christmas time, we’d open for three days- we’d decorate everything; I remember doing those balloons; I bet they’re not even there anymore; we had those weather balloons; we’d blow them up- Mr. Flynn would help us with that, then poke a hole in them & strung lights in them, then hung them from the portico; we brought up a stuffed horse from the carriage collection and hooked it up to a sleigh with presents- we really decorated C: I don’t like some of the restoration they did with the carriages- they used high gloss when they shouldn’t have M: That’s the reason I don’t like to go back; you work so hard to get things looking nice, then other people do it differently [Mrs. Otey shows me a picture of her holding the 2 animal pelts- tiger & bear- in the trophy room; they’ve since deteriorated+ M: all those holes in that furniture were from powder post beetles- but the girls put enough stuff on them to kill them all; everything was so dirty when we got there; the silver in the safe was terrible- they never got the salt out of the salt cellars- it was so corroded; it’s amazing what was left there that was still good; but Mr. Hough and Mr. Flynn- they were two good men and worked hard to take care of things; poor Mr. Flynn never had any education- he didn’t even go to school; his father rented him out for work; but he was certainly a good worker K: Did they have families that lived there with them? C: Mr. Flynn had children- Bobby was with the CIA at the time, his daughter would come visit too; Mr. Hough didn’t have any children I don’t suppose C: We used to get a lot of lightning strikes behind the new Carriage Museum because of the quartzite, it would hit the trees; the trails were well used toowe had bird feeding stations all over; you’ve got to get the public interested like they were when we were there F: Of course, a huge difference now is that when we were there, those people had been there for years; now everyone is new- all the subdivisions M: [END]

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