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Nicholas Fitzhugh built the house c.1783 for his residence on Parcel 1.1.2. It appears to be the first Fitzhugh home built on Ravensworth land, and Nicholas the first Fitzhugh to live on Ravensworth.

The house’s design included a front portico, two stories, center hall and two rooms deep. Somewhat similar in appearance to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, its designer may have taken Mount Vernon as a model.

Ossian Hall Named

In 1804, Dr. David Stuart purchased the house with 831 adjoining acres from Nicholas Fitzhugh. He named the plantation Ossian Hall in honor of his family’s roots in Scotland.

The house and plantation changed hands several times in the next 70 years.

  1. On David Stuart’s death in 1814, the tract passed to his son William Sholto Stuart.
  2. On William’s death in 1822, it passed to his sisters Sarah, Arianna, Eleanor and Rosalie.
  3. In 1833, the Stuart sisters sold the property to Stephenson Scott and William Stephenson Scott. According to Robert Moxham, it’s unknown whether and for how long the Scotts resided at Ossian Hall. Citing the Alexandria Gazette, he reports that by January 1837 William Brent’s “Seminary for Youths” was operating at Ossian Hall “where boarding students could be accommodated.”1
  4. In 1838, it was purchased by William, Thomas and Henry Steers.
  5. in 1839, Thomas and Jane Crux bought the property.
  6. 1n 1843, the Crux sold the house with 598 acres to Francis A. Dickins.
  7. In 1878, the Dickins were forced to sell to Jacob Stout in an out-of-court debt settlement.

(further research on subsequent owners pending)

Civil War

Ossian Hall was located in what became a “no man’s land” between armies and later Union-occupied territory. Sympathetic to the southern cause, Francis and Margaret Dickins experienced arrests, confiscations of property and eventually abandoned the home to move behind Confederate lines. Margaret’s diary recounts experiences and some of what she sees from the porch and windows of Ossian Hall during the months of February to October 1862.

Destroyed in 1959

Abandoned and neglected for many years, Ossian Hall was destroyed in 1959 to make way for building new homes.


  1. Robert Morgan Moxham, Annandale, Virginia: A Brief History, ed. Estella K Bryans-Munson (Fairfax County History Commission, 1992),24