Wednesday, November 16, 2005

History of Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion in Leesburg, Virginia
Temporary Residence of Philippine Commonwealth President
Manuel L. Quezon & His Family During World War II

The Belmont mansion has been an important part of American history since Ludwell Lee built it in 1799 – 1802. It is important, not only for its refined expression of Federal-style plantation architectural design, but also for the generous hospitality and solace it has provided noted people throughout the years. Local tradition says that Mr. & Mrs. Lee opened the mansion to the President and Mrs. Madison during the war of 1812 while Washington, D.C. was under siege. In addition, Belmont has opened its doors to other presidents including Presidents Harding and John Quincy Adams. Marques de Lafayette was a distinguished guest who is said to have presented Mr. Lee with the mantle pieces in the Library and Parlor as an expression of his appreciation during his last visit to America in 1825. Mr. Lee served as aid-de-camp to General Lafayette during the Revolutionary War.

The Quezon Family, Leesburg 1942. Nini Quezon is on the extreme right.

The mansion and its surrounding property have had a number of famous owners. The first, Mr. Ludwell Lee, was a son of Richard Henry Lee, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Following Mr. Lee’s death, Margaret Mercer, daughter of a former Maryland governor, established it as a progressive Christian school for ladies. Former governor of Kansas, Frederick M. Staunton, purchased the mansion as a residence, Mr. & Mrs. Edward McLean owned the mansion from 1915 – 1931. Mr. McLean was the son of the owner/publisher of The Washington Post. Mrs. McLean was the owner of the Hope Diamond. President Hoover’s Secretary of War, Patrick Hurley, owned the property and rented it to the Philippine government in exile headed by Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon during World War II. In 1995, Toll Brothers, Inc. purchased Belmont and restored the mansion to its original elegance.

Same Place, October 27, 2005 with Poppo Olag, Nini & Son, Gaye

Belmont was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1976. The mansion is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places with the United States Department of Interior. The Belmont mansion stands on the point in Eastern Loudoun County, which is quite appropriate since Belmont means "Beautiful Mountain."

From: Poppo Olag
More pictures coming soon.


And here's an informative post about the Mansion from MLQ3.

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