WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION OF VIRGINIA
COUNTY: King George
SEE PICTURE COLLECTION
This write-up is a part of the Virginia W.P.A.
Historical Inventory Project sponsored by the
Virginia Conservation Commission under the
direction of its Division of History. Credit to both
the Commission and W.P.A. is requested for
publication, in whole or in part. Unless otherwise
stated, this information has not been checked for
accuracy by the sponsor.
Research made by
Julia Marie Heflin,
Cropp, Virginia June 30, 1937.
2.2 miles north from King George Courthouse on Route #3,
thence 2.4 miles north on Route #609, thence 1.8 miles
east on Route #218, .8 of a mile north on private road.
Henry Fitzhugh, son of William Fitzhugh, eldest son of
Col. William Fitzhugh, was first owner in ... 1700.
William Fitzhugh of Chatham inherited "Eagles Nest"
from his father, Henry Fitzhugh.........in 1735 or 1750.
William Fitzhugh Grimes (a nephew of Wm.
Fitzhugh) received by will from the latter about 1825.
William Fitzhugh Grymes willed the estate to
his son, Thomas Jefferson Grymes about ---- 1835.
Arthur Johnson Grymes, present owner.
The original house built by Henry Fitzhugh stood on a hill
overlooking the Potomac River. It stood in a grove of ancient
trees and shrubbery, and was burned during the War Between
the States about 1860 or '63.
Some years later, the present house was built only a short
distance from the original house. It is rectangular; two
and a half stories, frame structure with gabled roof.
covered with metal today, originally covered with shingles.
There are two very large chimneys, built of brick, with
large fireplaces. The weatherboarding is plain. There are
thirty windows in the house, twelve panes sixteen by eighteen,
with two section lattice shutters. There are two porches
over the north and west doors, which are one story with square
columns. The main entrance is south through a six panel door
with transom above.
There are thirteen large rooms with eight foot ceilings.
The stairway is a closed string with hand-rail and baluster.
The doors are six panelled and have large iron locks and
common hinges. The planks of the floor are narrow and wide,
not uniform in size. The walls are plastered and the mantels
The house is beginning to fall down, it is not in very
6. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
The Eagle's Nest was built by Henry Fitzhugh, a son of
William Fitzhugh, eldest son of Col. William Fitzhugh. Henry
Fitzhugh married Lucy Carter, a daughter of Robert "King"
Carter and sister of Charles Carter of Cleve. Their son,
William Fitzhugh built Chatham. Henry Fitzhugh's sister,
Lettice, married Major George Turberville of Hickory Hill,
becoming his second wife. Henry and Lucy Fitzhugh's only
daughter, Elizabeth, born 1731, married in 1747, Benjamin
Grymes and became the grandmother of Bishop William Randolph
Meade, author of the famous volumes, "Old Churches, Ministers,
and Families of Virginia".
We find that William Fitzhugh of Chatham inherited "Eagle's
Nest", but his sister, Elizabeth, presided here as mistress
after the death of her mother. However, William Fitzhugh will-
ed "Eagle's Nest" and other estates to his three nephews,
Elizabeth's sons, William Fitzhugh Grymes, Benjamin Fitzhugh
Grymes, and George Nicholas Grymes. Eagle's Nest was will-
ed to William Fitzhugh Grymes because he was the eldest of
the three nephews. He died in 1830, and from him "Eagle's
Nest" passed to one of his sons, Thomas Jefferson Grymes.
This son was given the name Thomas Jefferson because he
was born on the Fourth of July. "Eagle's Nest" has been in
the Grymes family since the marriage of Elizabeth Fitzhugh
to Benjamin Grymes in 1747. The present owner is the grand-
son of George Nicholas Grymes.
The great hall here is where they tell us the old
Virginia Reel used to be done in correct manner. And "Eagle's
Nest" is where the big dinner used to be served after the fox
hunt. Before we leave Eagle's Nest we listen to a description
of an old Virginia fox hunt, by one of the Colonel William
Fitzhugh's descendants. First he pays his respects to the
"Federals" for coming up from their gunboats and smashing
up furniture here, destroying family portraits, and even
breaking up tombstones in the burial ground.
The preliminary to the fox hunt was the sending over of
twelve barrels of apple cider to a neighbor's and the bringing
back of six barrels of apple brandy. The chase--they meet
at Hamstead, one hundred and fifty dogs strong. We can hear
(almost) during the dramatic recital the music of the dogs
as they came up in hot pursuit from William' Creek—toward
Eagle's Nest—the fox is back in his den - in the cellar at
8. SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
Informants: Mrs. Edmonia Tolson, Amber, Virginia.
Mrs. Eva. Newton, Amber, Virginia.
Mr. Marshall Grymes, Amber, Virginia.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION OF BUILDING CALLED FOR IN
5-A. of BULLETIN 3400
Name of Building "EAGLE'S NEST"
1. Building Plan Rectangular Cellar ( )
2. No. of stories ( 2 1)/2 Attic classed as 1/2 story.
3. Material: Brick ( ) Frame (x) Stone ( ) Log ( )
4. If brick, state what bond: Flemish ( ) English ( ) Common ( ) Other ( )
5. Kind of roof: Hip ( ) Gabled (x) Gambrel ( ) Lean-to ( ) Deck ( )
6. If church, describe or draw sketch of roof on reverse side.
7. Roof Material: Slate ( ) Shingle ( ) Metal (x) Tile ( )
8. Chimneys: Number (2) Brick (x) Stone ( ) Location North and south.
9. Weatherboarding: Beaded ( ) Plain ( )
10. Cornices: Plain or Elaborate None. Material
11. Windows: Number (30) Size and number of panes 12 panes 16 x 18.
12. Shutters: Describe: Two section lattice shutters.
13. Dormers: Number, and Shape of roof None
14. Porch: One story porch over north and west doors.
15. Type of Entrance: Six panel door with transom above the door.
16. Columns: Doric ( ) Ionic ( ) Corinthian ( ) Square (x)
17. No. of Rooms: (13) Large (x) Small ( ) Approximate ceiling height
18. Stairway: Open String ( ) Closed String (x) Describe: Closed string with
rail and baluster.
19. Cellar: Describe None.
20. Doors: Style and type of wood Six and straight panel doors of pine.
21. Walls: Panelled, papered, or painted. Plastered.
22. Interior Cornices None.
23. Hardware: Locks and hinges Large iron locks and common hinges.
24. Floors: Planks narrow and wide, not uniform in size
25. Mantels: Large elaborate mantels.
26. Misc: None.
27. Present condition and state if spoiled architecturally by remodelling: Yes
Not very good.
28. Does occupant seem to appreciate old architectural features? Yes.
Your Name Julia Marie Heflin.