The Long Branch Plantation is a great historic attraction to visit during your stay at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring. With history as a wheat plantation and, at one point, an all-girl’s school, the mansion stands as a Virginia Historic Landmark. Long Branch Plantation is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy a tour of the historic Long Branch Plantation as well as elegant gardens and gorgeous grounds with breathtaking views!
Historic Long Branch Plantation
Robert Carter Burwell
There is a rich history waiting to be shared at Long Branch Plantation. Long Branch has survived the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and both World Wars. This longstanding structure was initially constructed in 1811 by Robert Carter Burwell. The mansion was surrounded by a wheat plantation on land inherited by Burwell, and was designed with the help of a local builder and architect. The home features classic principles of style suggested to Burwell by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who was architect of the United States Capitol. The mansion was designed with a servant’s staircase, and a large dining room and chamber on the south side of the building.
After all his hard work, Burwell had little time to enjoy the house he built. He got sick at the camps around Norfolk while serving during the War of 1812 and died shortly after. The property then passed ownership to Burwell’s sister, Sarah, and her husband Philip Nelson. During their occupancy, the house was operated as a school for girls. There was also an open-air loggia addition to the house during this time.
Hugh M. Nelson, The Hewitts & Harry Z. Isaacs
The plantation was maintained by enslaved laborers and servants, even after being sold to Hugh M. Nelson in 1842. A Greek revival renovation took place at this time, including a spiral staircase and interior trim and doors, as well as columned porticos. The Nelson family kept the mansion until the 1950s, during which heirs sold Long Branch Plantation to Abram and Dorothy Hewitt for $125,000.
The Hewitts raised four sons at this location and made some structural changes to the interior. At this point, the plantation grounds were used as a range for cattle as well as grounds for corn, alfalfa, and other various crops. After financial hardships, Long Branch Plantation was once again sold, this time in 1978. It was finally endowed by Harry Z. Isaacs before his death in 1990 to be preserved and maintained for charitable purposes.
Long Branch Weddings
This elegant historic monument is an ideal place to host a wedding. With 400 acres of beautiful hills and expansive pastures, there is plenty of gorgeous space. There are also some exquisite panoramic views featuring the Blue Ridge Mountains. This backdrop is perfect for your wedding day if you’re looking to get married in Virginia! For more information on setting up a wedding at Long Branch Plantation, call Gretchen Wade at (540)454-3231! During your wedding, consider staying with us at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring. You can fit your entire party in our multiple houses and studios!
Long Branch Plantation Rhythm & Brews Festival
Today, you can tour this extravagant mansion as well as attend events on its lawn. The Rhythm & Brews festival will be occurring August 20, 2016 from 11am to 6pm and will include live entertainment and beer vendors. Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the gate, so book now if you want to attend. During the festival, you are invited to stay with us at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring for a delightful retreat in the Shenandoah Valley.