Historic Green Spring
The 1784 Historic House is open Wednesday-Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to learn about the site’s history, view art exhibits, browse in the gift shop, and enjoy year-round programs, including afternoon teas with a garden tour or presentation.
A Brief History
The Moss family was prominent in early Fairfax County politics and government. In 1784, John Moss built a square, two-story Georgian brick house on 540 acres of farmland. Moss and his sons, William and Thomas, farmed the land until they sold it in 1840.
The next long-term owner was Fountain Beattie. He ran a dairy and orchard business on around 300 acres from 1878 to 1911. He and his wife Annie raised 11 children at Green Spring. During the Civil War, Beattie was a member of Mosby’s Rangers and John Singleton Mosby’s most trusted confidante. After the war, “Gray Ghost” Mosby and his family were frequent visitors to “The Old Captain Beattie Farm.”
In 1942, young power couple Michael and Belinda Straight bought the house and 33 acres. They hired Mount Vernon’s resident architect, Walter Macomber, to expand and remodel the house. At the same time, pioneer landscape designer Beatrix Farrand designed and installed the landscape around the house. The combined work of these two American masters of design earned Historic Green Spring its listing on the National Register of Historic Places and its Virginia Landmark status.
Michael and Belinda entertained many important guests at Green Spring, including writers Dylan Thomas and Aldous Huxley and former vice president Hubert Humphrey.
The Straights and their five children lived at Green Spring until 1965. In 1970, they conveyed the house and 18 acres to the Fairfax County Park Authority. Over the years, the county has added additional acreage to make up the present-day 31 acres of Green Spring Gardens.