Richard Ratcliffe bought this 1000-acre part of Parcel 1.1.7 in 1798 from doctors Henry Rose and Augustine Smith. Ratcliffe merged the land with about 2000 adjacent non-Ravensworth acres, which he had acquired over three decades. He called his plantation Mount Vineyard.
Divison of Parcel 18.104.22.168
Because Parcel 22.214.171.124 was merged with non-Ravensworth land, it’s division was not as straightforward as in other parcels.
- Fairfax Court House.The first division occurred within a year after purchase. Ratcliffe successfully promoted a site within his Mount Vineyard plantation for relocating the Fairfax County courthouse from Alexandria. He sold four acres to the county for one dollar in 1799, on which the new courthouse was built and opened for business in March 1800. The historic courthouse building and about one third of the 4-acre tract (Parcel 126.96.36.199.1) are inside the northwest border of Parcel 188.8.131.52.
- Town of Providence. At Ratcliffe’s urging, a Virginia law was passed in 1805 creating Providence (today’s City of Fairfax) adjacent to the new courthouse, again on his Mount Vineyard land. Almost all of the 14-acre site (Parcel 184.108.40.206.2) that Ratcliffe provided was on land within Parcel 220.127.116.11.
Today’s View (in Google Maps)
See map of Town of Providence. The courthouse lot is in the lower left corner of the town survey plat.
- In 1813, Richard and Locian Ratcliff “for love and affection” deeded all but a few remaining acres as gifts to their sons Robert Ratcliffe and Samuel Ratcliffe. Robert received 493 acres (Parcel 18.104.22.168.3), which included 35.5 acres of non-Ravensworth land. Samuel’s 486 acres (Parcel 22.214.171.124.4) were all within Parcel 126.96.36.199.
The few unaccounted for acres, which adjoined Providence, were likely sold in small lots, incorporated into the town or both.
Parcel 188.8.131.52 Chain of Ownership Documents
|B2:373||6/27/1799||Richard Ratcliffe||Commissioners Charles Little, David Stuart, William Payne, James Wren & George Minor||184.108.40.206.1||Sell 4 acres for new county courthouse and jail; cost $1.|
|M2:135||12/7/1805||William Payne and 13 other Trustees of the Town of Providence||Richard Ratcliffe||220.127.116.11.2||Deed plat and survey establish location and boundaries of new town (& 19 lots within) established by law in 1805 on Ratcliffe's land. Sell 16 lots not already owned by Ratcliffe for $4,530.|
|L2:60||3/13/1811||Richard & Locian Ratcliffe||Robert Ratcliffe||18.104.22.168.3||Sell 493 acres to their son for love & affection & 1 dollar. Included 35.5 acres of non-Ravensworth land.|
|L2:71||3/16/1811||Richard & Locian Ratcliffe||Samuel Ratcliffe||22.214.171.124.4||Sell 486 acres to their son for love & affection & 1 dollar.|