Historic Hopewell farm is a Virginia equestrian estate on 147 gently rolling acres close to Gordonsville and the Keswick Hunt country.
THE PROPERTY MLS #566292 $1.1M
The 3 bedroom 3 full and 2 half bath home dates from 1785. It’s been lovingly renovated over the years, while retaining many of the original features. The land is ideally suited for a variety of agricultural pursuits including horses, cattle, hay, crops, and vinticulture.
You have a stable with 4 stalls, wash stall, tack & feed room, plus a dressage ring with all weather footing. Of the overall 147+/- acres, about 90 acres open and the remainder is wooded.
There is a 1120 sq ft great room for you to renovate (see photos), offering the opportunity for an in-law apartment, 1st floor master suite, game room… the possibilities are endless.
HISTORY OF HOPEWELL
Best known as the home of the eloquent “Blind Preacher”, the Rev. James Waddell, Hopewell was once called Belle Grove. It is located near Gordonsville, on the portion of the 13,762 acres of land patented by Nicholas Meriwether in 1727. In 1743 Nicholas willed the land to his grandson, James, son of David and Ann Holmes Meriwether. In 1771 James sold 1,209 acres of this land to James Gilmer, who married James’ niece, Mildred, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Thornton Meriwether. In 1785 Col. John Syme of Hanover, whose first wife was a cousin of Gilmer’s wife, purchased Hopewell, selling it eleven days later to Reverend Waddell.
Born in Ireland in 1739, James Waddell became a teacher at an early age and first came to Louisa to assist the Rev. John Todd with his school. Having become a Presbyterian minister in 1761, Reverend Waddell Served several churches in Augusta County before going to live at Hopewell, where, in addition to preaching at nearby churches, he conducted a school whose pupils included Meriwether Lewis and Gov. James Barbour. He married Mary Gordon, daughter of Col. James Gordon, in 1768. Reverend Waddell died in 1805 and was buried in the garden of Hopewell. After his wife’s death, the estate passed to his son, Lyttleton, who sold it in 1816 to James Miller.
In 1821 William Martin Mills Baker, son of Clevears and Mary Elizabeth Mills Baker, purchased Hopewell and resided there with his wife, Lucinda Swift Baker, until his death in 1870. He left the home to his widow for life and then to their son, Henry Clay Baker, and to their unmarried daughter, Mary Elizabeth Baker. Henry died without issue in 1904. At her death in 1912, Mary left the property to her nephew, George Granville Baker, and it remained in the Baker family until 1944.
Frank and Mary Dolzer, who owned Hopewell from 1973 until their deaths, his in 1990 and hers in 1992, improved the front and rear porches, and added a brick veneer over the original wood lap siding, a large one-story wing, and a garage. The property then passed to John F. and Janet E. Dolzer, and after several interim owners and a foreclosure, was purchased by the current owner.
The central and original portion of this one-and-one-half-story home has a gable roof with three dormer windows both front and rear. The twin freestanding brick end chimneys and two nine-over-nine windows on either side of the front entrance can still be seen. Interior walls are made of brick, most of them still covered with original lathe and plaster. Early photos show that the porches were a later addition to the home.
The current owner found the property in serious disrepair and has done much to revive this old home place by replacing the mechanical systems, restoring a fireplace and wainscoting that had been covered with modern paneling, repairing damaged floors yet respecting and restoring the home’s eighteenth-century features. The house retains many of its original doors and hinges, several manel pieces, and some early moulding and trim. The exterior’s twentieth-century appearance belies its age and the historical importance of Hopewell’s past.
*** from Old Home Places of Louisa County Revisited