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The brick foundations and chimneys of the Mount Air home stand behind a wrought iron fence.

Trial by Fire: Mount Air Walking Tour

A bucolic Lorton meadow preserves a colonial farm with tragic history.

  • 1 hour
  • From 25 US dollars
  • Starts from Mount Air Entrance Sign, 8568 Fisher Woods Drive, Lorton, VA 22079

Tour Description

WALKING DISTANCE: 1/2 MILE Step into the pages of history with our exclusive walking tour, "Trial by Fire" led by local historian Nathaniel Lee as we journey through the remnants of a colonial farm echoing with tales of tragedy and resilience. Experience the rich tapestry of Mount Air, once a sprawling plantation steeped in the legacy of Dennis McCarty, a figure of prominence who held sway as sheriff, Justice of the Peace, and even represented Virginia in the House of Burgesses. Delve into the fascinating narrative of McCarty's wife Sarah Ball, cousin to none other than George Washington himself. Uncover the dramatic twists of fate that befell this historic estate, from the ravages of Civil War upheaval, through the trials of multiple ownerships, to the heart-wrenching blaze that consumed the mansion in 1992, leaving behind only haunting remnants amidst the lush landscape. As you wander the grounds, weather-beaten markers serve as silent sentinels, guiding you through the storied past of Mount Air. From the early days of settlement and the echoes of Greek Revival architecture, each step unveils a new layer of history waiting to be discovered. The main section of the home had three stories, with a balancing room arrangement and dimensions. On the north front, the columns supporting the portico were previously set on brick piers. In 1997, the Mount Air Historic Site was conveyed to the Fairfax County Park Authority. While the ruins stand as a testament to time, our tour ensures both preservation and safety, offering insights into the estate's evolution while respecting the natural splendor of the park as it is today. Please note, certain areas are fenced off for your safety, but the allure of Mount Air remains undiminished. Conveniently located with on-street parking, our journey begins at the entrance on Fisher Woods Drive, beckoning adventurers to embark on a voyage through centuries past. Don't miss your chance to be a part of this immersive experience into the heart of Fairfax County's heritage. From the majestic columns to the whispering forest, Mount Air's story is one of resilience, preservation, and the enduring spirit of those who shaped its destiny. Join us on a walking tour like no other, where every step is a stride through time itself. Book your adventure today and let history come alive at Mount Air!

Accessibility and Cancellation Policy

Some of our tours are marked as active walking tours; guests are advised that they should be physically capable and prepared to walk around an urban environment for the time and distances listed. ASSISTANCE DOGS: All assistance dogs are welcome on our tours including registered guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical alert dogs. Please make us aware of this beforehand by email at WHEELCHAIRS AND MOBILITY VEHICLES: Any guests who use a wheelchair must be capable of travelling throughout the length of the relevant tour, some parts of which will be on uneven terrain. Manual wheelchair users are likely to need to bring a personal assistant with them. Self-propelled wheelchair users even with assistance are likely to struggle in some areas and as a result may experience difficulty on some areas of tours. Guests who use an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter must ensure they have sufficient battery power for the duration of a tour. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on the suitability of a tour. TOILET FACILITIES: As we host outdoor tours, we are not able to provide permanent toilet facilities for visitors. We however try to ensure our tours are designed to pass via publicly accessible toilets as a rest break for visitors. We are however not able to guarantee that these will be open at all times during our tours. Our guides will always try to direct visitors towards open facilities if required. TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY: Franconia History LLC understands that schedules change, especially while you are on vacation or with family. You are welcome to cancel or reschedule your tour with us at no additional charge up to twelve hours prior to the scheduled start time of your tour. If cancellation is required, you are requested to notify us no later than twelve hours before your scheduled tour start time. Please note that any cancellations you make within twelve hours of your scheduled tour start time will cause the forfeiture of one-half of the fee you paid for the tour. Franconia Museum LLC cannot be held responsible for delays or cancellations of customer trips that result from weather, traffic, mechanical difficulties or circumstances beyond our control. If Franconia History LLC is forced to cancel your tour due to reasons outside of company control, all prior payments will be refunded to you within ten business days.

Contact Details

Franconia Museum, Inc., 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310, USA

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