"Ancestral home of US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall "
Oak Hill Farm
Rich in American History
Fauquier County, VA - SInce 1773
NMP#  12.O.1

Oak Hill is part of an interesting story that shows the changing circumstances of one of America’s most historic families through their homes.  The Thomas Marshall family started out living in a small rented farmhouse in Markham then as their circumstances improved they purchased Oak Hill, and constructed the 1773 house with its 7 rooms plus the various outbuildings.  Then as their situation improved further they added a much larger home in 1818 next to the 1773 home for their eldest son, Thomas Marshall. (The family frequently named one generation John, the next Thomas, the next John again, the next Thomas again, and so on.)  The Chief Justice assisted several of his other children acquire and build homes on nearby farms.

Oak Hill was established in 1773 when the Marshall family moved from their rented farm, “The Hollow”, in Markham, VA to this property that they purchased.  The original house was complemented with a cookhouse and probably also the spring house and smokehouse.  The 1773 house is believed to be the first house in Fauquier to have glass windows.  It is also believed that the architect of Mt. Vernon in repaying a bill to Thomas Marshall designed the 1773 house. 

 The owners of Oak Hill and some highlights consist of:

Lord Fairfax                                                                 -1740

Thomas Turner                                                 1740-1773

Marshall Family                                               1773-1869

  • Built 1773 and 1818 houses, cookhouse, schoolhouse, springhouse and smokehouse
  • The son of the Chief Justice, Thomas, was an excellent farmer.  Thomas is buried in the family cemetery at Oak Hill along with his wife. 

William McKnight & Wife                           1869-1873

C. M. Kefauer                                                    1873-1876

Franklin Webb Maddux                                                1876-1914

  • Mr. Maddux may have won the monies to buy Oak Hill from a successful cock fighting trip to New Orleans
  • Added wrap around porch to the 1818 house and also the first indoor bathroom
  • A descendent of the Maddux family, George Thompson, owns and lives on neighboring Rutledge Farm.  (A few episodoes of the TV show “West Wing” were filmed at Rutledge Farm with Mr. Thompson’s permission.)

Alvin Baird Family                                           1914-1965

  • Ran shorthorn cattle business
  • Built the cattle barn and horse barn, run-in shed and made interior and porch changes to the 1773 and 1818 houses.
  • Walled in the 1773’s home’s front courtyard and the English garden inside was said to be the pride of Mrs. Baird.
  • May have built the front and back tenant houses, carriage house, and Delco house.
  • George Patton visited Oak Hill several times and Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt visited at least once.

Morris Marks                                                     1965- 1998

  • Maintained Oak Hill as a working farm.
  • Probably added the tennis court
  • The Marks Estate subdivided the 366 acre Oak Hill and sold it in 6 parcels.  The core 100 acres with the property improvements was sold to Mr. Chamberlain.

Charles Chamberlain                                     1998-Present

  • Enclosed the back porch “sleeping porches” with windows to improve useable space and to protect the porches from the weather.  Removed the walk-in closet on the 2nd floor porch that separated the two porches that were accessed from each of the two upstairs bedrooms.
  • Restored the openness to the 2nd floor of the 1773 house by removing the 2nd floor bathroom and circular stairway entrance from the large bedroom upstairs….returning it to as it probably was in the 1700s.  Removed the laundry that was inside the 1773 home’s back hallway and opened up a covered up doorway from the back hallway into the front room. 
  • Cleared out the 1773 garden courtyard and installed paving stones and a new masonry set of stairs from the courtyard to the side door of the 1818 house accessing the front hall.
  • Took down the horse barn that was rotten beyond repair due to the holes in the shingled roof that rotted numerous rafters and floor boards.  George Patton probably frequently used this barn while fox hunting with the Cobbler Mountain Hounds.  Alvin Baird had started the Cobbler Mountain Hounds hunt club.
  • Rebuilt the floor of the schoolhouse (work done by local craftsman Michael Carr) and also repaired the exterior siding boards.
  • Repaired the siding on the cookhouse/slave quarters and took down the black walnut tree that was encroaching on the house’s chimmney.
  • Added numerous ceiling fans to the 1818 house and propane heating stoves to both homes.
  • Installed two new water wells and one septic field.
  • John Marshall, a descendent of the Chief Justice, raised funds to renovate the cemetery wall and clean-up the cemetery especially the removal of the trees that has invaded the cemetery.
  • For a short while Oak Hill was rented by Irwin Uran and his wife Dr. Betsee Parker.  Dr. Parker was the head Chaplain for Ground Zero in New York City during the clean-up following 9-11.

 For more information on the history of Oak Hill covering up to Alvin Baird, see An Historical Vignette of Oak Hill, Fauquier County Home of John Marshall Chief Justice of the United States and Native Son of Fauquier County, T. Triplett Russell and John K. Gott, Willow Bend Books, 2005, ISBN 1-58549-291-3

 The interesting features of Oak Hill include:

  1. 1773 House
  2. Cemetery
  3. Cookhouse
  4. Smokehouse
  5. 1818 House
  6. Carriage House
  7. Schoolhouse
  8. Old Water Well in the Main Houses Compound
  9. Front Tenant House
  10. Exterior In-Ground Bath
  11. Stone Springhouse
  12. Tile Silos
  13. Cow Barn
  14. Foundation of an old icehouse in the field in front of the 1818 house overlooking the springhouse
  15. Front and back tenant homes
  16. Old Rt. 55 abandoned years ago that went from Marshall to Delaplane.
  17. Vistas viewed from the back of Oak Hill
  18. A few of the remaining metal tools that have survived from Alvin Baird’s ownership
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