The Historic Mayhurst Inn

 

The Mayhurst Inn is located in the town of Orange in Central Virginia.

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Originally constructed as the Willis Plantation in 1859, Mayhurst has a history during the Civil War of the United States and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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John Willis, a great nephew of President James Madison built the Italianate-Victorian mansion for his wife and eight children.  The first structure on the property was built in 1820 and later became the Summer Kitchen and Slave Quarters.  The plantation was maintained by approximately 50 slaves.  During the winter of 1863-1864, Confederate General A. P. Hill commanded 18,000 soldiers from his tent on the front lawn of Mayhurst for five months.  General Hill's wife was a guest at the Mayhurst and gave birth to their daughter who was Christened at the Mayhurst with her godfather, General Robert E. Lee commander of the entire Confederate Army. 

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The historical artist Mort Kunstler painted the scene, a print of which hangs on the walls of the Mayhurst.  Willis supported the Confederate Army with his resources and after the end of the war in 1868 he had no money left to pay taxes to the new Federal Government and his property was seized by a "Northern Carpetbagger" who was sent to administer the town of Orange.

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A monument honoring the Confederate fallen soldiers is located in the front
of the Orange Courthouse.

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The Mayhurst Inn is located just  a bit south of the town of Orange when
making a right turn from the Mayhurst sign on Route 15 (James Madison
Highway).  The owner Jack North greeted me at the entrance was a fantastic
host and gave me the run of the place with my camera and told me additional
details about the Mayhurst history.  He showed me a collection of bullets
found on the property, and since the property is private, he was able to
retain them at the Mayhurst. 

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The Mayhurst Inn has eight guest rooms with private bath and a few with jacuzzi baths and 12 fireplaces.  Wine and cheese is served to guests each evening and a full "plantation" breakfast each morning.  The Inn is situated near six Civil War battlefields and three Presidential mansions.  One of the bedrooms which I photographed is called the Generals Room which is where Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and A.P. Hill spent the night at Mayhurst.

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At the top of the spiraling steps is a lookout room where Confederate
soldiers watched for Union movements when all the land was cleared during
the Civil War.  Nowadays, Jack North has placed a chair and telescope for
residents at the inn to view the surrounding area.  Jack also told me that
when the Confederate lookouts were sitting idle, they etched their names or
initials in the glass which can still be seen today.

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The Mayhurst Inn address is 12460 Mayhurst Lane, Orange, Virginia 22960 and more info can be had at www.mayhurstinn.com.

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George G

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