Bushy Park Restored and Holds a Place in our Community's Future
Bushy Park has been moved to the new Gainesville Library. It will serve as a reading room and a special place to host community events. It will be used as a site to interpret our community's past. It has been restored and modernized so it can continue to serve our community as a place of importance.
Bushy Park's Place in Our Community's Past
In 1690, Lord Culpeper’s daughter Katherine Culpeper married Thomas Lord Fairfax. With this union, Lord Fairfax became sole owner of the Northern Neck land grant. This was confirmed by Great Britain’s Privy Council on Dec. 15 1692. Lord Fairfax appointed Robert “King” Carter as his agent to rent the Northern Neck land for nominal quit-rents. Carter held this position from 1702-1710 and again from 1720-1732 until his death.
In 1724 Robert Carter obtained a land grant of 41,660 acres from Thomas Lord Fairfax. What was later known as Bushy Park was part of this land grant. The total land grant encompassed areas now known as Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Carter called this region the Bull Run Tract.
Upon Carter’s death, the land was divided among his heirs. The land that Bushy Park sits on was left to Mann Page II, Carter’s grandson. The land boundaries ran between the Old Carolina Road (Route 15) and Groveton Road (Route 622). Mann Page II was born in 1718 and lived at Rosewell for many years. He married Alice Grymes who died in 1747 and he then married Ann Corbin Tayloe of Spotsylvania County. In 1780, Mann Page II died and his plantation in Spotsylvania named “Mansfield” was left to his son Mann Page III.
Mann Page III married Mary Tayloe in April 1776. In 1781, he inherited “All my (Mann Page II’s) Lands in the Northern Neck known by the name of Bull Run with the Negroes and stocks to him and his heirs forever.” The presence of quarters already on the Bull Run Tract was evident.
Neither Mann Page II nor Mann Page III lived at the Bull Run Tract, but tax records reveal that plantation quarters and a mill site were maintained on the property during the second half of the 1700s.
In 1769, a three-life lease (99 years) of 202 acres of the Bull Run Tract was executed to Anthony Seale Jr. Shortly after his son’s death, Mann Page III began to lease parcels of the Bull Run Tract to tobacco farmers. One of the families was the Hooe Family. In 1787, taxes and tithes for Mann Page III’s quarters, 23 slaves, six horses, and 54 head of cattle were paid by Overseer John Chapman.
Mann Page III was an active patriot in the Revolutionary War. He continued to live at Mansfield until he died in 1803. By the turn of the century in 1800, Mann Page III and his wife began selling off the Bull Run Tract in parcels ranging from 400-500 acres.
Records show the Whiting family owned lands on Snow Hill and Bushy Hill. There were no children. Mr. Whiting died in 1810. The 1810 tax records show Mrs. Whiting paid taxes on 826 Acres of the Enfield Estate. She died the following year in 1811.
On July 11 1821, Robert H. Little mortgaged 500 acres of the Enfield Farm to Humphrey Powell of Loudoun County. The Enfield Farm was renamed Bushy Park Farm by Susan F. Graham after she purchased 376 acres that following year. Susan Graham remained owner of Bushy Park until about 1838, when William Hooe became identified as the owner of Bushy Park.
In 1844, Alexander J. McMullen appears in the Prince William County Tax records with 315 acres known as Bushy Park. Alexander McMullen married into the Chinn family, a very prominent family in Western Prince William County and Fauquier County. McMullen’s occupation was a farmer with a real east value of $2500 in the 1850 Census. In the 1870 Census records, Alexander McMullen and his wife still lived at Bushy Park with a real estate value of $2800 and owning about $879.00 worth of personal property. Other family living at the estate was his daughter Pamelia (age 37), William Buckley (age 16), and Thomas and Sarah Buckley, parents to William.
In 1879, Alexander McMullen and his wife deeded Bushy Park to their grandson William Buckley out of love and affection. His payment for the land would be for him to take care of them and allow them to remain in a one-room common area for the remainder of their lives. Also, he was to allow Pamelia and Alexander McMullen’s granddaughter to remain on the property to live as well. William Buckley died in 1914 and is buried at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Haymarket.
William Buckley’s widow and surviving children deeded the property to B. Lynne Robertson for the payment of two liens on the property: one lien of $4000 and the other of $2700 paid to Prince William County. Robertson was originally from Delaplane, Virginia and was living in Manassas when he bought the Bushy Park Farm. He was in the U.S. Army three years prior to 1917. In 1918, Robertson was drafted in the U.S. Army for World War I. Robertson put two farms up for sale: his Snow Hill Farm and his Bushy Park Farm.
On Nov. 29 1919, he sold his Bushy Park Farm (295 acres) to M. Bruce Whitmore for $20,000. In 1931, the farm was mortgaged by Whitmore and his wife Annie for $5500. The farm was sold to E.E. Ursury for $10,446.78 in 1943. The farm was deeded to E. Carl and Verna Hengen on June 27, 1956.
The farm house from Bushy Park will be preserved and restored in the future.