A National Trust for Historic Preservation property, Belle Grove Plantation, built in 1797, was the home of Revolutionary War hero Isaac Hite and his wife, James Madison's sister Nelly. The grand mansion, whose design was tweaked by Thomas Jefferson, was built from limestome quarried on the property. Proudly facing the Valley Pike, the plantation cultivated over 7,000 acres of grain crops with a workforce comprised of enslaved African Americans and Anglo American tenant farmers.

Belle Grove was occupied by Union General Philip Sheridan during the Battle of Cedar Creek, and Union soldiers camped along the creek in front of the home. The battle raged all around Belle Grove, which became a field hospital for both sides after Confederate Gen. Dodson 'Dod' Ramseur was mortally wounded during the counterattack and brought to Belle Grove. He spent his final hours with his West Point buddy Union Gen. George C. Custer by his side.

Belle Grove Plantation, which is a working farm, is available for weddings and events and offers tours of the restored home and a self-guided walking tour of the restored and reconstructed outbuildings and gardens. Visitors can also enjoy a video presentation, gift shop and book store. Belle Grove recently hosted an installation of the traveling exhibit To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade. Belle Grove's house tours focus on the history of the home and its occupants as well as the plantation's role in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and African American history.

Pictured at the top: The ca. 1797 Belle Grove Plantation manor home.

cedar creek belle grove fence

Belle Grove Plantation hosts fairs and festivals as well as seasonal events on the property.

cedar creek belle grove gardens

The tour of Belle Grove includes the manor home and its history as well as the grounds, outbuildings and gardens.