Ossian Hall

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Ossian Hall


Nicholas Fitzhugh, a nephew of William of Chatham, built Ossian Hall in 1780, one of three large homes erected on Ravensworth plantation. Dr. David Stuart purchased Ossian Hall and 831 acres of land in 1804. Dr. Stuart's wife, Eleanor Calvert Custis, was the widow of Martha Washington's son, John, and the Stuarts frequently visited Mount Vernon. Washington appointed Stuart as a commissioner of Washington, D.C., when the city was established in 1791.

In 1918, Joseph L. Bristow, former U.S. Senator from Kansas (1909-1915), purchased Ossian Hall and several hundred acres and lived there until his death in 1944. Ossian Hall was abandoned, although various proposals floated to make the area and home into a state park or to create residential developments.

In 1959, upon the request of developers, the Annandale Fire Department burned the mansion in a controlled training exercise.


Photograph from Fairfax County Public Library, Virginia Room, Photographic Archive