Hollin Hall (Virginia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hollin Hall
Hollin Hall, full face from garden.jpg
The current house at Hollin Hall, today owned by Mount Vernon Unitarian Church.
General information
Location1909 Windmill Ln, Alexandria, VA 22307
Town or cityHollindale, Virginia, Hybla Valley, Virginia (CDP)
Coordinates38°45′13″N 77°03′56″W / 38.7536°N 77.0655°W / 38.7536; -77.0655

Hollin Hall was an 18th-century plantation house three miles (5 km) southwest of Alexandria in Fairfax County, Virginia. George Mason, a United States founding father, gave Hollin Hall to his third son, Thomson Mason, through deeds of gift in 1781 and 1786. The land, as given, totalled 676 acres (2.74 km2). Thomson Mason was the first member of the Mason family to actually live here. Before then, tenants farmed the property.

George Mason also helped Thomson Mason have a house constructed. Thomson and his wife, Sarah McCarty Chichester, celebrated Christmas, 1788 in the new house. However, as late as 1792 George Mason wrote Thomson about difficulties procuring lumber for the Hollin Hall front porch.[1] Fire destroyed the house in 1824, four years after Thomson's death.

An outbuilding survived and became known as Little Hollin Hall. Purchased by Edward and Eliza Gibbs, it remained in use until the 20th century. In 1916, industrialist Harley Wilson and his wife bought the property and constructed a new residence, pool and other buildings.

The Hollin Hills (whose name was inspired by the estate) neighborhood, primary to the west and north of Hollin Hall, was developed in the 1940s and is now a historic district.

The Mount Vernon Unitarian Church bought the property from Mrs. Merle Thorpe in 1958. It hosted a Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) training workshop in 1961, as well as other civil rights activities, both local and national, during the next several years. The congregation also worked against the Vietnam War and for affordable housing. In 1983, the church sold part of the property to finance construction of a new meeting house to replace the old car garage.

Fairfax County added the building to The Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites in 1993.[2] In 1994, with the help of Alexandria's Campagna Center, the main hall was restored as a decorator showcase, and started hosting concerts several years later. Further renovations (e.g. kitchen and air-conditioning) were performed in 2003–2004. It is currently available for function rental such as weddings.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "George Mason's Plantations & Landholdings: Hollin Hall". gunstonhall.org. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Master List: Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites" (PDF). Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Our History". Mount Vernon Unitarian Church. Retrieved 30 January 2017.