Josiah Watson, a wealthy merchant and postmaster of Alexandria, established his 272-acre plantation, "Bush Hill", in 1791. Richard Marshall Scott purchased the plantation in 1791; his family stayed here for 200 years. Scott was an attorney, bank president and planter who married three times, due to the death of his first two wives. In 1833, with Scott's death, his son Richard and Virginia Gunnell moved here and produced wheat, oats, rye, and corn on the plantation. Richard died at age 27 of tuberculosis. Virginia, a northern sympathizer, and two sons shared the house with Union officers during the Civil War while a Massachusetts regiment camped on the land.
Retired and apart from the world's busy hum,
This rural andlovely retreat,
By the genius of talent andtaste, has become
To the stranger andcurious, a treat.
'Tis a model, deserving ofcopy from all
Who wish'to improvetheir estates;
'Tis a spot, where thespring & the summerand fall,
Man's bosom delighted elates.
Should I search far & wide,there is not a place
My soulwould prefer to ?BUSH-HILL'
For Natural charms, andfor many a grace
Conferr'dby industry and skill.
—Phenix Gazette, November 26, 1825