Mount Air: The Story of a Home
Keeping it in the Family
The McCarty's who built Mount Air, were an important Virginia family. Dennis McCarty patented the land where you stand in 1727. Dennis McCarty served as Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, a vestryman from Truro Parish and was a representative in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He married George Washington's cousin, Sarah Ball in 1724.
By 1732, the McCarty's had a house and garden on the property. There was also a public warehouse on his land, used to store produce that would have been shipped to England. Many generations of McCarty descendants continued to live in the house. In about 1850, the house was damaged by fire for the first time. We learned this through archaeology and historical documents. The house was rebuilt or repaired and sold out of the family in 1860.
On the Verge of War
In 1860, Aristides Landstreet, his wife Mary, and his family moved into Mount Air
. When the Civil War started, Aristides enlisted with the Confederate Army. For a time his family remained at Mount Air
, near the shifting lines of Confederate and Union troops. Finally, the estate was occupied by Union troops, and the family relocated for the duration of the war. The house and the lands suffered greatly as a result of the war. The property value declined over the years and after Aristides died in 1910, his daughters were forced to mortgage and subsequently to sell the property in 1914.
From Home to Historic Site
In 1914, George (sic) Shirley Kernan purchased Mount Air. In 1918, Mrs. Kernan made the grounds available as quarters for the Army men who were constructing a railroad to Camp Humphreys (now Fort Belvoir). Abandoned lumber from this encampment was used to panel one of the rooms in the main house and to construct a garage. In 1962, Mrs. Kernan left the estate to her daughter, Elisabeth Enochs. Although Elisabeth traveled extensively in her work for the Children's Bureau and as a journalist, her home remained at Mount Air. Sometime in the 1960s, Elisabeth began exploring means of preserving Mount Air. In 1969 the main house was registered with the Fairfax County Historic Landmarks Survey. Several weeks after Elisabeth died in May of 1992, the main house at Mount Air was completely consumed by fire.
Mount Air: A Journey Through Time
1727 Dennis McCarty
is granted a
patent for a 522 acre tract on Accotink Creek.
Bill of lading for plants from England probably for Mount Air (but unknown).
Mount Air deeded to Daniel McCarty.
Property passes to his wife Sinah McCarty
Property bequeathed to Daniel McCarty the younger.
c.1814 Sarah McCarty Chichester
buys Mount Air.
Property bequeathed to Pitt Chichester
1828 Pitt Chichester
deeds Mount Air to wife, Francis Chichester
House seriously damaged by fire.
1860 Francis Chichester
sells Mount Air to Aristides Landstreet
Mount Air occupied by Union troops; Landstreets
Mount Air bequeathed to Landstreet
Mount Air sold to Mrs. George Shirley Kernan.
304th Regiment camps at Mount Air.
Mount Air bequeathed to daughter Elisabeth Enochs.
Mount Air Historic District designated by Office of Comprehensive Planning.
1992 Elisabeth Enochs
dies; main house destroyed by fire.
Mount Air Historic Site conveyed to Fairfax County Park Authority.