The farm office across the lawn is all that remains of the once-sprawling plantation called "Fairfield." Thomas Coleman Chandler purchased Fairfield Plantation in 1845. For the next 17 years it prospered and evolved - largely at the hands of the dozens of slaves who worked the fields and toiled in the Big House. The plantation was profitable enough that in 1854 Chandler tore down the main house and constructed a more substantial two-story brick house in its place. That house stood until 1909.
While Chandler raised his family and managed his affairs, slaves made Fairfield one of the more prosperous plantations in Caroline County. The place resembled more a village than a simple home, with barns, smokehouse, kitchen, and slave quarters. For a time before the war, Thomas Chandler's son practiced medicine from the farm office later made famous by "Stonewall" Jackson. Fro the Chandlers, the Civil War abruptly ended the halcyon days; for the Chandler slaves, war brought the prospect of freedom.
(caption of picture): Today the National Park Service owns just a fraction of Fairfield's original acreage. Only one building from the plantation remains - the farm office where Jackson died.
Sidebar: The main house, farm office, and other outbuildings lay at the heart of Fairfield's original 740 acres. After the war, all fell into disrepair. When the R.F.&P. Railroad acquired the property in 1909, it pulled down the main house and restored the farm office, calling it the "Jackson Shrine." The railroad donated the site to the National Park Service in 1937.