Carter Hall to become hostel, conference center, new owners say |
MILL WOOD – The new owners of Carter Hall intend to make the monument a bigger attraction by making it more accessible to the public while preserving its history.
The 87-acre estate off Bishop Meade Road (Va. 255), in the unincorporated village of Millwood, southeast of Boyce, was recently purchased by Carter Hall Estate LLC, consisting of Langdon Greenhalgh; her brother, Blakley Greehalgh, and their mother, Beverley Byrd. They paid $ 5.75 million for the property, which, according to Clarke County’s tax rolls, was valued at $ 5,764,400.
Langdon Greenhalgh said he and his relatives are planning to turn Carter Hall into a country inn and conference center. They are currently in the process of determining what improvements, if any, need to be made to the area, he said. Therefore, no time limit is set for opening it.
âWe think this is already a fantastic property,â he said. “We plan to fully preserve the historic integrity and beauty of the property.”
Project HOPE, a nonprofit health and humanitarian organization, occupied the estate for 40 years before consolidating its operations in the Washington, DC area about a month ago.
When the property went on the market in late 2018, its asking price was $ 12 million. Cinira Baldi, vice president and director of development and communications for Project HOPE, said she did not have details of the offers for the property, but, although she did, she could not discuss them because it was not allowed. She did mention, however, that the organization changed realtors in the course of their efforts to find a buyer.
Carter Hall is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Nathaniel Burwell, a militia colonel who served in the Virginia House of Delegates, inherited the property from his father, Carter Burwell of James City County, and had a two-story mansion erected on the grounds at the end of the 1700s. The house was built of limestone and had an early Republican design that mixed both Georgian and Federal architecture, according to Mary Gray Farland’s book, “In the Shadow of the Blue Ridge”. Byrd provided the photography for the book.
Langdon Greenhalgh identified Nathaniel Burwell as his fifth great-grandfather. He said his great-grandmother was born on the estate.
The sale essentially means that the property “comes back into the family,” said Langdon Greenhalgh’s wife, Natalie.
Nathaniel Burwell, who died on the estate in 1814, bequeathed it to his son George.
During the Civil War, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson moved his headquarters from Lexington to the estate in late 1862. However, he did not live there, preferring to camp with his soldiers, according to history.
The layout of the rooms inside the house was changed in the early 1900s. A full renovation was done later, according to Farland’s book.
Former owners of Carter Hall included former US Secretary of State and Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph, Gillette Razor Company President Gerard Lambert and former Project HOPE Managing Director Dr William Walsh, who donated the domain to the organization as part of its endowment.
Fourteen structures are on the estate. They include the 14,694 square foot mansion; a 26,000 square foot three story building used by Project HOPE for offices; and two stone buildings used by the organization as guest houses for a conference center it managed.
Future plans for the new owners include regular tours of the estate, Greenhalgh said. They also want to make the grounds accessible to the public for walking and running, he said.
In addition, there are plans to partner with other local attractions and businesses to showcase what they have to offer and “bring local vibrancy” to the community, Greenhalgh said.
“We really hope to showcase all that this region has to offer” to visitors and residents alike, he added.
Officially, Project HOPE no longer has operations in Clarke County, Baldi said. But some of its employees still live in the county and work from home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, she said.