Gunston Hall, Home of George Mason
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HISTORY OF THE MANSION

 
 
 

 

Mansion 1932

1932

Though George Mason IV built Gunston Hall as the “family seat” designed to remain in family hands in perpetuity, this was not to be the case.  After his death in 1792, the mansion passed in quick succession to his son, George Mason V, who died in 1796, and then to his grandson, George Mason VI.  Upon his death in 1834, his second wife Eleanor Clifton Patton Mason inherited the residence.  She and George Mason Graham, who owned part of the property, sold Gunston Hall by 1867 to William Merrill and William Dawson.  They in turn deeded the property to Edward Daniels in 1868.  During the 1880s, the house was leased to Frank and S. M. Smith, who boarded local residents during the summer.  Emma and Joseph Specht purchased the house in 1891 from Edward Daniels.  The Specht’s daughter Adelaide sold the house to Paul and Vaughn Kester in 1907.  After his brother’s death, Paul Kester sold the house to Louis Hertle in 1912.  The Hertles were the last private owners of Gunston Hall before its gift to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1949 to be administered by Regents from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. 
 
 
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