The History of Goodstone
Goodstone’s story began in 1768, when Jamie “the Scot” Leith bought land on the frontier of the Virginia Colony and developed a plantation. Leith purchased 640 acres of land bordering Goose Creek for 240 pounds sterling.
The land prospered in its early years and even played a small part in America’s independence. Leith reportedly sold provisions to the Continental Army.
The Early Days and the Civil War Era
During the Civil War, three of Leith’s grandsons fought for the South. Two served with Colonel John Singleton’s Mosby Rangers and one fought with Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. Civil war skirmishes occurred on the property, along Goose Creek and at the corner of Millville and Snake Hill Roads. After the war, one son, Benjamin Franklin Leith settled on the property. For years, his family worked the farm. Several existing structures date back to the Leith family days, most notably the Dutch Cottage and French Farm Cottage.
In 1915, one year before his own death, Benjamin sold the land to the Goodwin family. The Goodwins built a large stone house (currently the site of the pool) thereby naming the property Goodstone. Later, the Goodwins built the prominent Goodstone Dairy, which operated into the 1960s.
In 1934, Frederick Warburg bought the property neighboring the Goodwin farm and built the Manor House that exists today. In 1939, Warburg bought the Goodwin property in order to enlarge his estate. Warburg and his wife, Wilma, maintained the façade of the Goodstone mansion as a backdrop for a poured concrete, heated pool, built around 1948. The Warburgs also added the bathhouses and arbors, and landscaped the property. This created an elegant venue that the Warburgs used frequently for entertaining.
The Warburgs were part of the famed German and later New York banking family. They maintained a primary residence in New York City, as well. They used the farm during Virginia fox hunt season and intermittently as a fall and winter residence. The Warburgs renamed the estate Snake Hill Farm because of the winding road bordering the property near the Manor House. During their ownership, the property was operated continuously as a Virginia horse farm and as a dairy farm.
The current owner purchased the property from the Warburg Estate in 1996. He visited the property for the first time on a beautiful mid-June morning and was so overwhelmed by its beauty that he made an offer to purchase the property the next day. However, he soon determined that the best way to steward such a large property was to convert it into a country inn. Since 1998, with the help of many dedicated people, he has endeavored to restore and maintain this gorgeous property.