Photographer's Note

Local tradition states that the first known structure at Weston, the log cabin that comprises the nucleus of the present dwelling, was built for Thomas Fitzhugh as early as 1753. The cabin, however, contains no architectural evidence to suggest a date of construction any earlier than about 1810. As for Fitzhugh family ownership of the land, according to county deed books, Thomas Fitzhugh did not acquire land on Cedar Run, a stream in the vicinity of Weston, until 1788. No earlier record survives of Fitzhugh 1andl in the vicinity of Cedar Run. At Thomas Fitzhugh's death in 1843, his land holdings were divided and 484 acres on Turkey Run, a tributary of Cedar Run, were allotted to Giles Fitzhugh.

The property on Turkey Run was acquired in 1859 by Charles Joseph Nourse from the heirs of Giles Fitzhugh, who had died in 1852. Besides the house, two outbuildings were mentioned in the deed, presumably the extant kitchen and smokehouse. Charles Nourse, who was reared at The Highlands in Georgetown, D.C. (currently Sidwell Friends School), gave the property its present name—Weston—to commemorate Weston Hall, his ancestral manor house located in Herefordshire, England. For three years the farm was managed by an overseer, but in April 1862, Nourse, his wife Margaret, and infant son traveled from Georgetown through Union military lines to take up residence at Weston. The diary of Margaret Nourse, published in 1983 by the Virginia Historical Society, documents family life at Weston for seven months until November, 1862, when the family moved to Pennsylvania. Nourse returned to Weston in 1885 with his second wife, Annie Carroll Simpson. They produced a family of four children before his death in 1906. At that time the farm was left to the management of Nourse's widow.

During the century of Nourse family ownership from 1859-1959 the property served a number of specific needs. The farm operation was actively maintained during the lifetime of Charles Nourse and afterwards by his widow, Annie . She supplemented the farm income by operating a school at Weston for boarders and day students as well as a summer camp for girls in the early 1920s.

During World War II Constance and Charlotte Nourse, daughters of Charles and Annie, opened Weston as a hospitality center for military servicemen on duty at Vint Hill Farms Station and in the Washington, D.C. area. By the end of the war they had served about 11,000 meals to more than 1,600 guests at no charge. In appreciation the guests helped to maintain and repair the house and farm buildings.

In 1959 Charlotte Nourse willed the house, outbuildings, and ten acres of land to the Warrenton Antiquarian Society which has maintained Weston as a house and farm museum to the present date.

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Additional Photos by Michael Porterfield (mporterf) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 48 W: 113 N: 41] (558)
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