The Farm

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NRHP Listing Date


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The Farm originally served as the ironmaster’s house of the Washington Iron Works, Franklin County’s first industrial enterprise. The self-sufficient 18,000-acre plantation was one of the last great iron plantations in Virginia. Franklin County’s first court met here in 1786 while the house also served as an ordinary. The original portion of the house was built ca. 1779 by James Callaway and Jeremiah Early. It was expanded in the 1820s and remodeled in the Greek Revival style in 1856. The property was purchased in 1823 by Peter Saunders, an ironmaster, who acquired the place with his brothers. The ironworks flourished under Saunders’s direction. Following flood damage in 1851, the family transformed the property into an extensive farming operation. Remaining on the grounds is the kitchen/servants’ quarters outbuilding along with the office chimney and traces of other outbuildings.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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