Oatlands Acquires 54 Adacent Acres and Launches Capital Campaign
Goal of $2.5 million for land acquisition, property repairs and maintenance of historic property
LEESBURG, Va., May 9, 2014—The Oatlands board of directors and Executive Director Andrea McGimsey announced today that they have launched a capital campaign to raise much-needed funds to pay for the recent purchase of 54 adjacent acres, property repairs and maintenance.
The campaign kicks off pledges of almost $500,000 with two major leadership gifts and full participation of the Oatlands board. The goal is to raise $2.5 million over the next two years.
“There’s a lot of good energy around Oatlands,” stated McGimsey. “The purchase of the adjacent property, known as Oatlands Hamlet, is a core piece that was once a part of Oatlands, and we’re delighted to reunite it with Oatlands.” When the property came up for sale, McGimsey and the Oatlands’ board felt the necessity to purchase it and ensure that it would return to being a part of the national historic site.
Oatlands Hamlet has two historic homes on it that will require repairs and maintenance, and Oatlands is also researching historic artifacts on the site. “We’re working on how we want to interpret Oatlands history at Oatlands Hamlet and how we will specifically use the historic homes,” McGimsey explained.
A 1930s photo of Oatlands that is currently in the office of the Oatlands gardener, shows an orchard to the south of Oatlands on the newly purchased parcel. Given the symmetry of the layout at Oatlands and the fact that a walled garden sits to one side of the Oatlands mansion, the orchard would have provided the symmetrical balance found throughout the property.
Two stone buildings are part of the new parcel. One, “the stone house,” is believed to have been a dairy that was modified by Anne Eustis Emmet. The Emmet children and their governess lived in the house. The Emmets were former owners of Oatlands Hamlet. Anne Eustis Emmet and her sister Margaret Eustis Finley gave Oatlands to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. One of the homes has a mural on a wall that depicts the immense charms of Oatlands, the mansion, the garden and surrounding grounds. The property also contains a third Blue Atlas Cedar which was planted by the Eustis family and symbolic of its integration with the rest of the property.
Oatlands plans to inventory the newly purchased property and its artifacts, consult with historians including the National Trust and develop a plan to integrate and interpret the history of the site. The capital campaign will cover costs for maintenance and repairs on this as well as Oatlands other 360 acres, and it will help to pay off the mortgage on the land purchase.
For more information on Oatlands, or to contribute to the capital campaign, visit www.oatlands.org or call 703-777-3174.