Oatlands was formed in 1798 from 3,408 acres of prime Loudoun County, Va., farmland by a young bachelor named George Carter, descendant of one of Virginia’s first families. Basing his plantation economy on wheat production, Carter eventually branched out to grow other small grains; raise sheep for their wool; and build a mill complex on nearby Goose Creek. The success of his farm depended on a slave economy. By 1860, the enslaved community at Oatlands numbered 132 men, women and children.
In 1903 prominent Washingtonians, Edith and William Corcoran Eustis purchased Oatlands as their country home. The family donated the property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1964. Oatlands is a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation given by the National Park Service.