Bushy Park Restored and
Holds a Place in our
Bushy Park has been moved to the new Gainesville
Library. It will be used as a site to interpret our community's
past and continue to serve as a place of importance.
Bushy Park's Place in Our Community's Past
In 1791, a small frame house was built on the edge of Matthew Whiting's property near Catharpin Creek. Whiting rented the house to his sister-in-law, Francis Humphrey Toy Whiting Brown. Mrs. Brown moved into the home with her husband, Alexander and their children. Shortly after moving in, Alexander died. Francis would live out her life in the home.
After Francis died, the home passed through the Whiting Family until it was sold to Susannah Graham in the 1830s. It was then sold to Alexander McMullin. Alexander, his wife and two daughters lived in the home throughout the Civil War.
Alexander's grandson, William Buckley was a young boy during the Civil War. He remembered two injured Confederate soldiers that were brought to the home after the Battle of Second Manassas. The two soldiers died from their injuries and were buried in the yard. Decades later, William Buckley authored a poem entitled "Two Soldiers in Gray" as a tribute to them. It was published in a local newspaper and then reprinted in a newspaper in South Carolina. The poem helped to connect the soldier's decedents to the graves.
William Buckley inherited the home from his grandfather in appreciation for William caring for his aunt, cousin and grandparents throughout their lives. William lived in the home until his death. His widow sold the home to Bolling Lynn Robertson. With American involvement in World War I, Robertson sold the property and left to serve in the military.
Bruce Whitmore purchased the property and farmed the land. By the 1940s, Whitmore began to lease the land to various families to farm. In the early 1940s, the Childress Family rented the property. According to oral history, Mr. Whitmore provided materials and the Childrenn Family provided the labor to add a large addition to the home. The oldest of the Childress sons joined the Navy during World War II. Without the needed manpower, the Childress Family could not maintain the farm and moved away. After the war, the Childress Family returned to rent the property for a short time.
Today, the home has been moved to a site adjacent to the Gainesville-Haymarket Library. It has been restored for community use. The interior has been left exposed so visitors can explore the original construction methods used to build the home. It offers the community a chance to peek back at a typical family home from days past.