In rural Northumberland County, the magnificent 221-acre estate of Gascony encompasses a Greek Revival-style main house built in ca. 1856, in addition to a guest house and numerous agricultural outbuildings that contribute to the property’s historical milieu. Gascony was first settled in the mid-17th-century by the Gaskins family, which held a prominent role in the Northumberland County community. Most notably, Thomas Gaskins V, who inherited at least a portion of the estate after his father’s death in 1737, served the county as a local sheriff and a delegate to the House of Burgesses from 1765 to 1768. During the American Revolution, Gaskins recruited county men for the militia. In one of his letters to Thomas Jefferson, Gaskins recounted the sacking of his estate by British privateers in 1781. A deed from Gaskins to his son implies that the main house, which had presumably been destroyed by the British, was rebuilt by 1784. The Gaskins family continued to own the property until the 1840s, when John Hopkins Harding purchased the lands. Oral tradition passed down by the Harding family contends that the current ca. 1856 main house was built on the foundations of Thomas Gaskins V’s original dwelling. Although current research has not confirmed this, future archaeological and documentary investigations may reveal information relating to the original Gascony dwelling’s location, and about the lives of the enslaved African Americans who lived and worked on the property.
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