Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

029-0245 Merrybrook

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/07/2007

NRHP Listing Date 04/26/2007

NRHP Reference Number 07000362

The significance of Merrybrook stems from both its representation of an evolved farmhouse, with architectural elements ranging from the early-19th to the mid-20th-century, and its association with noted Civil War spy Laura Ratcliffe, who lived in the Fairfax County house from 1869 until her death in 1923. Confederate Col. John S. Mosby credited Ratcliffe for saving his life in 1863, and she was also known for providing information to Mosby on Union troop movements, and hiding men and money for the Confederates. Her actions also earned the admiration of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, who wrote a poem dedicated to her. Merrybrook was built in at least five periods, displaying elements of Early Republic and Greek Revival styles, among others. The house also retains its immediate agricultural setting and three late-19th- or early-20th-century outbuildings, despite the encroachment of modern development nearby.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: November 9, 2020