Locator Map

William Fitzhugh (of Chatham) built Ravensworth Mansion circa 1796. In his mid-50s and successful in both business and politics, the new home in the country was said to be a retreat away from the social demands of Fredericksburg.1

Ravensworth mansion front view

Ravensworth mansion front view2

The manor house was home to his wife and three young children and enabled him to oversee activities on his 12,000 Ravensworth acres. David Turk argues that the “…move was motivated by profit of the tobacco trade. By living on the tract, he personally supervised the cultivation of the fertile product in Northern Virginia.”3

Ravensworth Mansion rear view

Ravensworth Mansion rear view4

The house survived until destroyed by a fire of undetermined cause on August 1, 1926. In the preceding years, it had passed by inheritance or life estate to:

  • William (of Chatham)’s son William Henry Fitzhugh in 1809
  • William Henry’s wife Anna Maria Fitzhugh in 1830 (for life in trust for Mary Custis Lee and her heirs)
  • William Henry’s nephew William Henry Fitzhugh (Rooney) Lee in 1874
  • Rooney’s wife Mary Tabb Lee in 1891 (in trust for oldest son George Bolling Lee)
  • Rooney’s son Dr. George Bolling Lee circa 1922. Dr. Lee built a smaller replacement house on the property, where the stables and outbuildings had survived the fire.

Photographs and historic survey documents


 

  1. Chatham Manor: history of the mansion, which now is part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
  2. Detail from Reproduction Number: HABS VA,30-RAV.V,1–1; Ravensworth, House & Stable, 5200 Port Royal Road, Ravensworth, Fairfax County, VA; Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hh/.
  3. David S. Turk, A Family’s Path in America: The Lees and Their Continuing Legacy, 2007, 5.
  4. Detail from Reproduction Number: HABS VA,30-RAV.V,1–2; Ravensworth, House & Stable, 5200 Port Royal Road, Ravensworth, Fairfax County, VA; Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hh/.