A Student of History

March 21, 2007

Presque Isle for Sale

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 11:05 am

From the Washington Post:

A plantation that served as a Union headquarters during the Civil War is on the market in Remington, Va., for $2.95 million.  [Ed. note: that is more than I make in two years!]

Known as Presque Isle, French for “almost an island,” or as the Willis House to locals, the brick manor home, built around 1813, housed the command post for officer and tactician extraordinaire Emory Upton. It was the site from which he planned incursions through Northern Virginia. The house is on a knoll, and the Hazel River winds around the property, making it easy to defend because attackers would need to ford the river to get there.

The house was originally built by Judge Daniel Grinnan of Fredericksburg in the early 1800s; it was completed around 1813. The property then traded hands several times before being purchased in the 1920s by the Willis family. In the 1980s, a California developer bought it, with an eye to building a large planned community in the area. The Johnsons bought it from the developer.

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