On a broad, private Piedmont plateau the manor at Marsh Run enjoys a masterful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1940, R. Donald Worth and his wife Phyllis Hartman Worth left White Plains, NY to raise their daughters in the Virginia countryside. Mr. Worth was a director of the local bank, an amateur painter, a foxhunting enthusiast and MBH of the Somerset Bassetts. On arrival from New York Mr. Worth began construction of their home on the site selected by Mrs. Worth. While living at nearby Blue Run Farm they undertook construction of the Marsh Run manor in the Neo-Classical Foursquare style from the design of Charlottesville Architect E.E. Burruss (1892-1981).
The present owner acquired the farm in 1999 and undertook a complete renovation with the help of Glave & Holmes Architects as implemented by Wayner Construction of Orange. The garden level of the solid masonry house is stucco while the upper floors are now clad in Hardiplank capped with a standing seam metal hip roof. The three story western elevation is resplendant with six full faade Doric columns over an equal number of brick Palladian arches.
The interior captures the essence of refined country living with pleasing scale and detail. With an emphasis on entertaining, the main floor plan circulates effortlessly and includes a study that could be a bedroom with en-suite bath. Wood-burning fireplaces highlight the library and the living room while walls of windows are the centerpiece of the conservatory. From the living room is access to the deep western porch with views over the farm to the Blue Ridge. The second floor is reserved for 4 bedrooms and two full baths. The Master suite is spacious and includes a large walk-in closet. The Garden Level includes a second kitchen, another bedroom and full bath. The large family room with wood burning fireplace is covered in locally quarried slate. There is also a covered porch open to the broad, level lawn.
Adjacent to and east of the manor, Mr. Worths former art studio is now an office with full bath and wood-burning fireplace. With these desigh elements a guest cottage is a likely alternative use. West of the house is a two car garage just off the plentiful parking area.
The farm is 208.047 acres by survey and is virtually all open in fertile pasture or hay. The farm is bisected by the bold stream proceeding to the nearby Rapidan River.
Farm use has been equally divided between cattle, hay and horses. The stable was built in 2002 and includes hay storage, tack room, wash-stall, feed room, run-in area and a room originally designed as an office but now serves as a two bedroom grooms apartment with kitchen and full bath. There are six stalls with a seventh double-foaling stall. There are four drilled wells on the property serving the dwellings and barns.
Historically important to the property is Old Marsh Run, that dates to 1855. It is currently rented. Originally the house was one-and-a-half-story dwelling built on a stone basement. The residence was raised to full two story height in the late 19th, early 20th century. The massive corner posts measure 14 square and much of the original woodwork including wainscotting remains. Today there are two parlors with fireplaces and 12 ceilings with two bedrooms of equal size above. There is a full bath upstairs. A rear addition houses kitchen, dining room and bath. The full basement is for storage and laundry.
Marsh Run resides in the 31,200 acres Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District of Orange County. The District takes its name from local families; former President James Madison whose National Historic Landmark Montpelier is nearby and Philip Pendleton Barbour, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Marsh Run is conveyed subject to a conservation easement to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation limiting division to two parcels. Similar easements virtually surround Marsh Run leaving a lasting environment of remarkable open space. Marsh Run is in the Keswick Hunt offering a sporting environment of rare quality. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia are less than one-half hour southwest. Washington, D.C. is less than 2 hours north-east.
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