The New Nation Birthstone of the Nation Mount Airy, Richmond County, VA

Mount Airy, Richmond County, VA

Unlike most colonial Virginia plantation houses, Mount Airy was constructed of gray sandstone indigenous to the area.  White sandstone from Aquia Creek was used for contrasting trim.  It can be seen in string courses, or horizontal bands, quoins, window enframements, rusticated center pavilions, and pedestals at the top of terrace steps that support a pair of stone urns.  This stately Georgian home, completed in 1757, was designed by its owner, John Tayloe III, and has remained in the Tayloe family for over 200 years.  Mrs. Henry Gwynne Tayloe, Jr., related that Aquia stone traveled by boat from Aquia Creek via the Potomac to the Rappahannock to a wharf close to the house.  Fiske Kimball, noted architectural author, wrote that Mount Airy was “perhaps the most ambitious home in the colony.”