History of Hampstead

Walk the grounds that George Washington and his family walked. Formerly owned by Henry Washington, a cousin of George's, this setting has many historical features all original to the home.

Hampstead, near Remlik and approximately 3 miles outside of the Town of Urbanna, is said to have been owned by the Thacker family and build ca. 1750. Processioning orders of Christ Church Parish in 1751 list Colonel Thacker's Mill Dam as a division point. In 1755 the property is referred to as Captian Henry Washington's Mill Dam. The first mention of Hampstead was in the 1763 will of Henry Washington, a cousin of George Washington who had married Anne Thacker in 1749. Henry Washington bequeathed his plantation and property to his wife and to his son, Thacker Washington. When Thacker sold the property 24 years later, the deed mentioned the parcel of land "...about three miles from the Town of Urbanna known by the name of Hampstead containing seven hundred and fifty two acres... with the Mill and all the Improvements thereon..."

The main house, build over an English basement, is a 2-story, 5-bay, Colonial style brick dwelling with a traditional hall-parlor-passage plan. Original brickwork on the first floor consists of walls laid in Flemish bond and 2 interior end chimneys laid in common bond. Originally the gambrel roof and 2nd story were shingled but are now clad in aluminum siding and roofing material. On the first floor the central entrance is covered by a small porch flanked by 2 windows on each side. On the second floor 5 hipped-roof dormers are located directly above the bays on the first level and at basement level smaller windows appear directly below the other openings. In 2009 windows on the first loor are 6-over-6, flanked by shutters, and 6-over-6 in the dormers, while basement windows are 3-over-3. In 1902 a 3-story Victorian addition was added, replacing a 2-story extension similar to the original house. On Route 602, on the right just before you turn into the house, the Hampstead Cemetery, dates to 1763.

Owners including the Thacker Family, said to have been the earliest of record. Captain Henry Washington owned the property by 1763 and bequeathed it to his wife and son, Thacker Washington. Thacker and his wife Harriott sold it, along with numerous buildings, for £1000 to Hudson Muse. Muse married Agnes Neilson, the daughter of Henry Washington's second wife, in 1790. When he died in 1799 he left the house to his son, Thomas Muse, and the mill and surrounding land to his son Elliott, who later purchased his brother's share. Elliott Muse and his wife Betty Taloe Muse sold the house and 629 acres in 1813 to Henley Woodward and 5 years later sold him the mill and 115 acres. Woodward held the tract until his death in 1837 and his son-in-law and executor, Francis Smith, sold 629 acres to Henley's son, William P. Woodward, who sold i to his son, Robert R. Woodward. In 1877 Woodward sold the property to a Mr. Sutton who sold it the same day to G.T. Williams. Williams sold the portion on which Hampstead is located to J.W. Armstrong, who willed his entire estate to his wife, Alice W. Armstrong. Alice Armstrong married M.M. Bray in 1896 and left him her estate. M.M. Bray sold 235.66 acres to J.C. and Harry E. Bray in1943 and in 1978 Harry E. Bray was the sole owner. The farm is still owned and run by the Bray family.