Sketch by Margaret Pennington. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.
In 1938, Elizabeth McCraw surveyed “Mt. Rush Homestead” for the Virginia Historical Inventory. Located 3.6 miles west of Buckingham Court House, she dated the house’s construction in 1804, taking the ownership back to John Morris and noting that the estate was contested in court for many years in a suit “Vawter vs Morris.” She described the impressive and well-maintained house and grounds as follows:
The approach to this “large white house” is very pleasing. A driveway from Route #60 leads across the yard and makes a semi-circle in front of the house. The yard is rolling and contains shade trees and much shrubbery. A double porch with four columns and railing is noticeable even from the highway. Through plain double doors, one enters a large reception hall. From this hall a two flight stairway leads to the second floor. There are three large rooms back of this hall, and one large room on each side said hall. The mantles in the house are very high, narrow and plain, except for the “Wall of Troy” design just below the shelf part. Around the fireplace the mantle is curved or has the half moon effect, not square as is often found.
Wainscoting made of two very wide planks are put together so well as to give the appearance of one solid board, is down stairs, while the chair rail is in the rooms on the second floor. The door frames are made in one piece, but beveled down to three thicknesses. The rooms on the first floor are high-pitched while those upstairs are rather low. Some of the original plastering is still on the walls, but to a great extent the walls have been replastered. There are nine rooms in the house.
Coming next: Buckingham Houses: Mt. Rush, Part Two