In the early 19th century these 10 acres were part of Burgundy Plantation. In the 1850s, John A. Fairfax established a 150 acre plantation named Fairview on the property. He improved the existing dwelling originally constructed between 1800 and 1830. The property changed hands several times until 1847 when Bushrod Frobel purchased the land. Within a year Frobel sold the property and in 1854 it was sold to Fairfax. In 1921, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, from St. Mary's Academy in Alexandria purchased the property. Since 1936, it has been a site of a private residence. During the Civil War, Union officers occupied the house and troops camped on the grounds which were adjacent to Fort Lyons. Fort Lyons was one of the Union forts erected in defense of Washington City.
Mosby's Second Visit
According to neighbor Anne Frobel's diary, John S. Mosby and his partisan rangers visited the Fairfax house twice. Sometimes in the summer of 1864, Mrs. Margaret Fairfax told Anne Frobel that Mosby had visited her house. The second time Mrs. Frobel's young girl, Milly, found the horse tracks and reported it to the nearby fort. Union cavalry searched the surrounding area all day, but didn't find the Gray Ghost.
Mrs. Fairfax Is Almost Killed From Anne Frobel's Diary
Monday January 26, 1863:
We were at Mrs. Fairfax's this evening and learned how narrowly she escaped being killed on Thursday last, she had just finished dressing and had left her room, when a ball came tearing through the walls and into her room, shivering the looking glass frame and splintering her bed stand and then dropped near the fireplace where two or three of her little children were standing. She says if she had been in bed she would have been killed. Mrs. Fairfax went out and searched all about, and through the bushes but could see no one.