Planter John Gunnell built this Greek Revival-style house in 1851-52 on land acquired by his father, William Gunnell, III, in 1791. The property remained in the ownership of descendants until 1946. The two-story, T-shaped house, covered with weatherboards and built on a brick raised-basement, is one of the last surviving dwellings of this form and style in Fairfax County. The interior of the John Gunnell House boasts a notable central dogleg staircase, paneled doors, fine woodwork, heart-of-pine floors, and plaster, many of the materials being original to the house. One 1920s outbuilding, built over an icehouse believed to be contemporary with the house, exists on the property. Gunnell’s ancestors, among the earliest European settlers in what is now Fairfax County, rose from indentured servitude to positions of wealth and power. The John Gunnell House exemplifies, through this long tenure by a single prominent family, the transition of agriculture in the Upper Potomac area of Fairfax County, from frontier subsistence to large plantations worked by enslaved individuals, to small family farms.
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