Ben Lomond Historic Site

10321 Sudley Manor Dr.
Manassas, VA 20109
703-367-7872

 

 

 

 

House Tours:  $5 for adults, free for children under six, $3 for active military, $3 per person for groups of 10 or more and $2 per student for student programs (call for reservations) and accompanying adults are free.

Pricing varies for special programs, please see calendar for details.

Donations to support historic preservation efforts in the County are gratefully accepted.

 

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 Originally part of an extensive Northern Virginia land grant, the site of Ben Lomond was one of numerous plantations that Robert “Councillor” Carter III owned in Colonial Virginia. After Carter died his large land-holdings were divided amongst his heirs. One, Benjamin Tasker Chinn, inherited the site of Ben Lomond in 1830 and within two years had built the two story main house along with the dairy, smokehouse, and slave quarter. Chinn leased the property out the Pringle family prior to the Civil War. Both the Chinns and Pringles used their enslaved workforce to farm corn and wheat and to care for the nearly 500 Merino sheep that were part of the property.
 
006087.jpgImmediately after the Battle of 1st Manassas the house was converted into a Confederate field hospital. For nearly a month wounded soldiers were crammed into the house with many more covering the grounds. Confederate troops encamped near the house in the winter, requiring the house to be re-established as a hospital treating diseased men. After the Confederates evacuated the area in 1862, Federal soldiers ransacked the house, destroying furniture and littering the interior with graffiti.
 
E.A Craighill was a medical aid at Ben Lomond after the Battle of 1st Manassas.
 
006089.jpgAfter the Civil War, both the Chinns and Pringles struggled to rebuild. Eventually, the Chinns sold the property. A succession of various owners called Ben Lomond home, including John F. Rixey, chief doctor to President Theodore Roosevelt.
 
In time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, today Ben Lomond was brought back to its Civil War appearance. The grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. Tours are offered Thursday through Monday from May 1 through October 31 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Ben Lomond Joins Historic House Museum Group 

Ben Lomond Historic Site is a participating member of the Historic House Museum Consortium of Metropolitan Washington D.C. Please visit their website below to learn about over 40 historic house museums in the Washington DC area including Mount Vernon, Riversdale, White House and many more in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC! Visit www.dchousemuseums.org for information.
 
Enslaved People at Ben Lomond
 For nearly one hundred years slavery was an integral part of Ben Lomond. From 1771 to 1861, countless enslaved African-Americans lived and worked here. The original slave quarter on site is the only existing building of its kind in the county and one of a handful in the region. Also on site are places where the enslaved community worked: the dairy and smokehouse. In 2007, archeologists discovered another enslaved workspace, the antebellum kitchen. Specialized slavery tours are offered every other month listed in our calendar of events.   
 
Graffiti 
After the Confederate army evacuated Manassas in the Spring 1862, Federal forces occupied the area, including Ben Lomond. Federal soldiers not only destroyed furniture in the house at that time, but also put graffiti on most of the interior of the house. In much of the house, the plaster walls are covered from floor to ceiling with graffiti. Today most of the graffiti in the house is covered to protect it from UV rays, but sections are still visible, including the signature of a Medal of Honor recipient.
 
Old Rose Garden
The rose garden behind the house contains one of the largest collections of Old Garden Roses in the DC Metro area. This garden is significantly larger and different than the garden that was present during the antebellum period. The Old Garden Roses and companion perennials you see here today originally belonged to Jim Syring, a long time County resident and rose collector. Upon his death the garden was moved here in 1996 for the enjoyment of others.   
 
The garden contains many cultivars of Old Garden Roses many of which could have been here during the antebellum period. Many of the cultivars in the garden today have been in cultivation for centuries. The garden’s main season of bloom is in late spring; with some blooming throughout the summer and a second flush in the fall. Companion perennials, annuals, and bulbs insure that the garden is in bloom all season.  
Ben Lomond Timeline  
 
1732     Robert “King” Carter patents 8,000 acres of Prince William County to Robert Carter II 
 
1745     Robert “Councillor” Carter inherits 70,000 acres in Virginia, 5,000 of which are in Prince William
 
1776     “Councillor” Carter renames his Prince William plantation “Cancer Plantation”  
 
 
1791     “Councillor” Carter submits his “Deed of Gift” to Northumberland District Court, which sets in motion the gradual emancipation of 452 of his slaves, making Carter the largest slave-owner to voluntarily free his slaves in American history.  
 
 
1804     “Councillor” Carter dies  
 
 
1830     “Councillor” Carter’s grandson Benjamin Tasker Chinn inherits Cancer plantation. Settles in Prince William County with 10 slaves
 
1832     Main house, smokehouse, dairy, and slave quarters built  
 
 
1838     Chinn marries Edmonia Randolph Carter who changes the plantation’s name to Ben Lomond, after her family’s ancestral home  
 
 
1849     Chinn leases 1,800 acres to Horatio Andrews of New York.
 
1850     The Andrews family with the additional help of one slave and William Randall, William Hampshire, and Catherine Jackson, all hired out free blacks, grow corn and wheat and tend to 500 Merino sheep.   
 
1851     Chinns move to Hazel Plain; lease Ben Lomond to Benjamin Thornton  
 
1851     Chinn sues Andrews for failure to pay rent, evicts the Andrews family 
 
1852     Thornton leases Ben Lomond to the Pringle Family  
 
1852     Pringles farm Ben Lomond, focusing on the 500 Merino sheep that are on the property.  
Lease out local enslaved workers and hire out free blacks to help with the work. 
 
1861     Main house is converted into the Pringle House Hospital treating wounded Confederate soldiers.
 
1862     Passing Union soldiers cover Ben Lomond with graffiti.
 
1865     Civil War ends. Pringles leave Ben Lomond.  
 
1870     Chinns trade Ben Lomond for townhouse in Washington, D.C.  
 
1901     John Rixey purchases the house, turning the grounds into a major dairying operation. 
 
1910     Rear-Admiral Presley Marion Rixey, Surgeon General of the United States, inherits the property. President Theodore Roosevelt visits the property many times.  
 
1915     F.W. and Emma Bruch buy the property, spending thousands of dollars to create “one of the finest dairy and horse-breeding estates in the country”.
 
1927     Ben Lomond is auctioned off.  
  
1951     Robert Garner, Vice-President of the World Bank purchases the property. 
  
1966     Garner sells 814 acres to the Weaver Brothers Corporation who develop the land.
 
2011     Ben Lomond is rededicated and opened to the public.
 
 
Volunteer Opportunity
 
We are looking for Civil War and Garden Enthusiasts to help with tours at this beautiful site. If you are interested in joining our team to protect the historic and natural resources of our community, please contact us or visit our volunteer page.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Ben Lomond Historic Site
10321 Sudley Manor Dr.
Manassas, VA 20109
703-367-7872
 
Please note that directions given to the Ben Lomond Historic Site using GPS are not always accurate.  We recommend you use these directions to reach the site.
 
From Interstate 66:Take Exit 47A to VA 234/Business south onto Sudley Road. Travel .9 miles and turn left onto Sudley Manor Drive. Cross Garner Drive. Turn right onto second gravel road just beyond the Ben Lomond house.
 
From Interstate 495/Capital Beltway: Take Exit 49C to Interstate 66 West toward Vienna/Front Royal. Travel 17.9 miles. Follow above directions from Interstate 66.
 
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From Interstate 95: Take Rt. 234 North (Exit 152B); travel 20.1 miles and make a right onto Sudley Manor Drive. Travel 2.4 miles, Ben Lomond Historic Site will be on your right.
For more information on historic resources in the Prince William County area, click here.

 

Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 6
February 2014