Oatlands Plantation: A Halloween Tea & Haunted History

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Oatlands Plantation, Leesburg, VA

If you ever find yourself in Leesburg, VA, head south on Route 15. A few miles down the old Algonquin and Iroquois route, turn left into Oatlands Plantation. Oatlands Plantation was founded in 1798 on 3,408 acres. Once owned by the Carter and Eustis families, it’s now operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s also listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The mansion, which wasn’t completed until 1804, is one of the best examples of Federal estate architecture in the country.

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Statue in reflecting pool garden.

Now claiming 417 acres of farmland and gardens, it’s a refuge in one of the fastest growing counties in Virginia. Besides the mansion which can be toured daily, there’s a carriage house with a gift shop and a wonderful open area where they serve weekend teas. The estate also houses one of the country’s oldest, still-in-use greenhouses and a sunken, walled garden in the Colonial Revival style (including a bowling green, rose garden, kitchen and herb garden, reflecting pool, and numerous dependencies) that rivals anything in Charleston or Savannah.

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Carriage House with the gift shop and tea room.

There’s so much history that I won’t even try to put it into a blog post. But I will say that my favorite things about the property are the interpretive tours and weekend seasonal teas. The annual Witches Brew Tea and the nighttime Paranormal tours are two the things my daughter and niece look forward to every year in the fall.

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Parterre garden and late autumn hydrangeas.

This year, due to the stress of my book deadline (Dec 1) and my kids’ college application deadlines (Nov. 1), I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to make either of the these events. But this past Sunday, we put away our computers and books and headed west. One of the best decisions I’ve made in months.

So instead of boing you with more history, I’ve included a photographic tour of our weekend at Oatlands. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Oatlands Plantation, back of the house.

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Memorial garden.

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Kitchen garden and dependencies.

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Entrance to the sunken garden.

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Pump house.

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Reflecting pool.

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Reflecting pooi statue.

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Autumn touches.

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One of the original wells in the parterre garden.

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One of the many water features found in the sunken gardens.

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Front exterior of the mansion.

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Entrance to Oatlands Plantation.

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Late autumn herb garden.

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Fish pond.

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Mrs. Eustis’s tea garden.

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Bachelor’s cottage.

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Entrance to the kitchen garden.

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Entrance to sunken gardens.

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One of the many sets of staircases leading down to the rose gardens and reflecting pool.

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Witches Brew Tea at Oatlands Plantation.

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Last of the hydrangeas in the parterre garden.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween with few tricks and lots of treats! And remember, if you’re ever in Northern, VA, try to make time for Oatlands. You’ll be so grateful you did!

About Sharon Wray

Sharon is a three-time Daphne du Maurier winner and an eight-time RWA Golden Heart Romantic Suspense author repped by Deidre Knight and Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency. She writes the Deadly Force romantic suspense series for Sourcebooks Casablanca and her first book come out next year.

Posted on November 1, 2016, in Halloween, Sharon Wray and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wow to have lived there would be a dream. I love the south and the history there.

  2. Great pictures, Sharon! I’ve only been to Oatlands for a cross-country meet. Didn’t realize the buildings were so cool or I would have explored more. Thanks.

  3. A lovely way to spend the day! A witch’s tea party in a mansion, nice!

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