“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Garden Dependency

The Garden Dependency Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 8, 2022
1. The Garden Dependency Marker
The Garden Dependency's exact date of construction is unknown, although several characteristics point to the early 1820s. The dependency shares the same type of mortar, brick, and unique roof framing system as the smokehouse. Physical evidence and historical precedence suggest the building likely housed enslaved people and provided storage and work space. It could have been used as a laundry, food preparation and cooking area, and a place for other activities associated with the mansion and garden. By 1890, a visitor to Oatlands noted the "rows of offices and storehouses" were now "a silent ruined town."

More than a decade later, Edith Eustis extensively renovated several of the garden buildings and removed dilapidated structures during her revitalization of the walled garden. She incorporated a laundry into the dependency with large soapstone sinks and decorative cast iron brackets. Today, Oatlands' garden staff continues to use the dependency as work and storage space.

Margaret and Morton Eustis, c. 1910.
While at Oatlands, the Eustis children spent much of their
The Garden Dependency Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 8, 2022
2. The Garden Dependency Marker
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time outdoors, exploring the garden and traversing the same landscape that visitors see today.

The Garden Dependency, c. 1904.
When the Eustis family first purchased Oatlands, they began documenting improvements to their new property. Family photographs help show the transition from disrepair to comfortable country estate. In one album, this photographer was captioned, "Some planting begun by us."

The Garden Dependency, 1951.
In the early 1900s, several gardeners employed at Oatlands began signing their names on the plaster walls of the garden shed, located at the east end of the building. Research revealed that some of the gardeners are descended from the families formerly enslaved on the property, illustrating a strong tie between Oatlands and its surrounding community. Today, the walls display dozens of signatures and whimsical sketches as a lasting legacy of many hardworking people who helped cultivate Oatlands' beautiful landscape.

Bazil Turner, c. 1930.
After the Civil War, some of the formerly enslaved people stayed on as paid laborers. One such employee, Bazil Turner, worked at Oatlands for both generations of Carters and the Eustis family. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division.

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Oatlands Historic House & Gardens, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansHorticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1890.
Location. 39° 2.463′ N, 77° 37.014′ W. Marker is near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker can be reached from Oatlands Plantation Lane, 0.4 miles south of James Monroe Highway (U.S. 15), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln, Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reclaim Your Story (here, next to this marker); The Smokehouse (here, next to this marker); The Walled Garden (a few steps from this marker); The Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); The Enslaved Community (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bachelor's Cottage (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Greenhouse (about 300 feet away); The Carriage House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 9, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 9, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 9, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 2, 2023