14/07/12 10:12 PM

Today we went to Richmond, Virginia to see the Maymont Mansion. Maymont was built between 1891 to 1893 by a wealthy businessman named, James Dooley and his wife Sallie. The home was built during the Gilded Age and show all the best of that period. The property sits high above the James River and is 100 acres. The architect was Edgerton Stewart Rogers who was born and educated in Rome. The house is 12,000 square feet with 33 rooms. The Dooley’s lived here for 32 years. At the time of their deaths, the property and home were gifted to the City of Richmond.

Today, it is a well preserved historic home with most of the original furniture that was purchased by the Dooley’s. It also has several outbuilding and extensive gardens. We were not able to take pictures inside, but believe me, it was VERY Victorian. We did learn one thing we didn’t know about the Victorian Age and it’s social protocol. As a lady of society, if you were to visit Mrs. Dooley, you were expected only to stay for 15 minutes. If you stayed longer, you were what they called a “Day Gobbler”. When word would get around about you staying over your time, you would not be invited to anyone’s home.

You can see more about Maymont on their website. We recommend if you are in the area to stop by and see this beautiful property. One note, wear good walking shoes! There is allot of ground to cover and most of it is hills.

To see more pictures from our day at Maymont,

Please visit our Belle Grove Plantation Facebook page!

More garden, inside the museum basement and carriage house!


Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 60 Comments »

60 Comments on “Maymont”

  1. tucsonmike Says:

    Very nice! I lived in Virginia for four years in the 1980’s

  2. Thank you! We have been here since 1992. Between his home state of Ohio and my home state of South Carolina, Virginia seems to suit us both in weather and location.

  3. tucsonmike Says:

    Your place will probably be a great place for a writers retreat. First thing I thought of. I am planning to do a post about James Madison for my History Made Fun. You are welcome to throw in suggestions.

  4. Wow, I think you are right about the writers retreat. We hope to have one soon as we get the doors open. Suggests about James Madison. Well, first I have to say that most people tend to over look him. He tends to be overshadowed by his best friend, Thomas Jefferson. I do know that there was some what of a scandel with James. Before Dolley, he tried to seduce a married lady. She ended her friendship with him before he could seduce her. But it wasn’t from a lack of trying. haha. Physically he was a very small man, only 5’4″ and weighed 100 pounds and was frail and was epileptic. But that didn’t stop him! He graduated from Princeton after just two years, wrote most of the Federalist Papers and most of the Constitution and all of the Bill of Rights. He cofounded the Democratic-Republican Party, was Secretary of State for two terms, sent Lewis and Clark to explore on behalf of Jefferson, served two terms as President and was the last President to lead troops into battle (War of 1812). After he retired at 65, he served 10 years as President of UVA. Not too bad for a shy and quiet fellow. Hope that helps!

  5. I’m going to have to plan a trip to Virginia to visit all of these! Thanks for providing an itinerary. Great choices!

  6. tucsonmike Says:

    Yes you will, I enjoyed living in Virginia. For a history buff like me, it is a treasure trove.

  7. We love the history too! I can’t get enough of it!

  8. I can totally understand.

  9. Thank you! We hope you will make our plantation one of your stops! 😉

  10. Of course! My daughter lives in Greenbelt,MD and she’s been exploring areas like Fredericksburg . She’s trying to convince us to relocate. My husband was a history major and finds the area fascinating, so we’re thinking about it. Funny, one of our first dreams was to have a B andB.Now it seems a bit overwhelming, but we’re living vicariously through you both.

  11. Virginia is a wonderful place to live if you are into history! I would recommend it! Beside, then you could not only life vicariously through my blog, but could come to the plantation and do it for real! 😉 Fredericksburg is a bit busy for my taste, but it is central to allot of great history!

  12. Thank you! We hope you will make plans to stop by the plantation too! 😉

  13. Thank you! I think anywhere in Virginia is a great place to see. So much history here!

  14. Gorgeous! There is something about the grounds that feels really European. I love these old homes through your eyes. It’s like traveling vicariously 🙂

  15. Thank you! I wish would could have taken pictures inside. It was amazing! The decor was a little too Victorian for Belle Grove but it was great just the same.

  16. terry1954 Says:

    what kind of business did he have? this was just beautiful. and as you know the Victorian era was my favorite. they had some weird rules and manners, but most Victorians that we hear of were born of wealth or made wealth. great blog!

  17. He was a lawyer, a Confederate soldier, had a master of art from Georgetown, was elected to the Virginia Assembly, was a board member of the Richmond and Danville Railroad which would later became Southern Railway, headed Richmond and Allegheny Railroad, served as director of Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and a leader in the founding of Seaboard Air Line Railroad. He was also involved in Steel Companies and Banking. I lean more towards Colonial and Early American History, but I can do some Victorian at times too 😉 Thank you!

  18. terry1954 Says:

    he was a very prominent man. thanks for letting me know about him. i appreciate it! i also love the Victorian clothing and accessories…..know of any costume jewelry for sale from that era?

  19. I’m sorry I don’t. But I will keep an eye out for you as I look at the antique stores.

  20. terry1954 Says:

    i collect if from anywhere if it is priced. don’t go out of your way, was just wondering about your area of the world…………….

  21. Tell me what to look for and I will let you know if I see something. I am in antque stores allot so I am sure I will come across something 😉

  22. terry1954 Says:

    gawdy, bright, and big! lol

  23. Ok I will keep an eye out for you!

  24. terry1954 Says:

    thank you my friend!

  25. Beautiful! Great history and beautiful photos. Looks like the home is made of sandstone – do you know?

  26. You know they didn’t state what it was. We really didn’t talk too much about the house itself. More around the furnishing. It was amazing!

  27. From the photos, it definitely looks like sandstone to me.

  28. You know, I am going to call and ask since I am not sure. I will let you know.

  29. Thanks for sharing with us. I love the Victorian era.

  30. Thank you! We enjoying sharing our adventures with you!

  31. Beautiful! Makes me homesick for Richmond. My first job as a lawyer was there. My family is still there and I love to go back to visit!

  32. Aw, I’m sorry to make you homesick! But if you come to visit, you can stop by the plantation if we are open!

  33. Jennifer Says:

    What an insane house…. just incredible. Maybe I’ve seen too many horror movies but I can jsut picture something creepy happening…

  34. It was a great house, but to see it in person, I don’t think I was too creeped out by it.

  35. Wow, that’s what in our part of the world would be called a ‘stately pile’!

  36. Haha I like that!

  37. Lloyd Parlee Says:

    Beautiful gardens

  38. They really are! I was getting too many new ideas for our plantation. Brett is going to be so busy once we get ours in! 😉

  39. Debbie Says:

    Please stop taunting me with these fantastic places! Headed to their website right now to bask in the glory of what should be my home 🙂

  40. Haha, I am with you! It was so beautiful.

  41. Beautiful home, thanks for sharing.

  42. You are so welcome!

  43. gardeniahung Says:

    A beautiful Victorian Mansion in Virginia, USA.

  44. It was a great house! But you have to see the inside to really see the amazing part!

  45. What a great house and grounds. I wish they would have let you take pictures of the inside. I’ll just have to go see for my self if I ever find myself in Virginia. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Thank you! Yes, It would have been so much better if I could show you the interior! It is amazing!

  47. Well, I will be the party pooper. I think this is one of the ugliest examples of Gilded Age Excess in America. There are many fine examples of good architecture from this period, but this is not one of them. Mrs Dooley would not be disappointed in me. I would spend about five minutes there and only that if collecting for some charity.

  48. Wow. I have seen many Gilded Age homes too. I can’t say it’s the top of the list, but I don’t think I would say its the worst I have seen. Granted the outside isn’t super, but it’s because they spent so much more inside. It is really the beauty of this house.

  49. belocchio Says:

    Sunday morning I exchanged my Manolo’s for walking shoes and wandered the grounds of Maymount. I journey back in history to a period of elegance, gracious manners and of course protocol. I felt like a character in an Edith Wharton novel. Armchair travel is really quite wonderful. Virginia

  50. Thank you! I am beginning to feel like I am bring back slices of my life to share with you all. It is wonderful knowing that it means something to more than just me. 😉

  51. hermitsdoor Says:

    Another property to explore.

    I added a link to your blog in a post. The explanation is rather convoluted, but I mentioned your blog and another as ones about history that I have come across recently.

  52. Thank you so much! We really appreciate you sharing us with others! It means so much to us!

  53. Nerd Trips Says:

    We visited Maymount a few years ago – it’s great! Thanks for sharing your trip. Beautiful pictures.

  54. You are welcome! I know then you know how wonderful the inside really is!

  55. Jane Sadek Says:

    That fifteen minute rule is a good one to use when you are visiting sick people, too. Last year a favorite aunt of mine passed away. She had cancer in her kidney and lungs. She was 91 and probably the best loved person in her small town. She had a lot of visitors, for which her family was very grateful, but most would stay and stay and stay. She wouldn’t dare run anyone off, but it was very taxing for her. Don’t be a “Day Gobbler”!!!

  56. Wow, that is a great point! I never thought about why they would want them to move on after such a short visit.

  57. John Says:

    Wonderful to see these pictures. I spent many a day at Maymont when I was with WRVA in Richmond.

  58. It was the first time we had seen it. We have friends in Richmond that have been after us to go. Thank you! They aren’t near as good as your photos!

  59. Wayne Augden Says:

    You always show something interesting and new to me. I guess that’s why I like your blog so much. 🙂

  60. Thank you! We enjoy finding new places to see to help us come up with ideas for Belle Grove. And it is so much fun sharing them with everyone!