On July 9, 2017, Chet and Laura Lea Moore, owners of the Historic Furr Farm on Snickersville Turnpike at Oatlands Road, hosted the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s event, “An Afternoon in Aldie,” and opened the restored farm home for a tour. Community members, as well as visitors to the area, came to see, as one visitor said, “… the old home brought back to life,” and was entertained by a MHAA’s talk about the farm’s history, a talk about the work involved in restoring the farm, a tour of the home, and a visit to the monument on the historic battle site.
On September 12, 2107, the Region IV (Northern Virginia) Civil War Trails Group, in association with NOVA Parks, toured the farm and home. Opening the home to community groups and organizations like these two organizations have been part of the owners’ plans since the restoration began. They feel the farm’s history is the community’s history, and they strongly support the preservation of historic properties.
Before the Moores bought the Furr Farm, the property was not sold for seven generations. William Furr bought the property just before the American Civil War began, and then many years later, one of the Furr heirs married a member of the Leith family. What is now known as the Furr Farm remained the property of the Furr-Leith families until the Moores bought it in 2010 from Mary Carol Leith Leslie, executor of the Leith estate?
The new owners began restoring the farm immediately, three of the farm buildings and the home have been restored, and the restoration work is still in progress. The work on the farm’s crib received a Community Blue Ribbon Award from the Loudoun County Joint Architectural Review Board for Restoration.
The original home was built in 1789, and the farm and home are on the National Register of Historic Places and Homes. The farm gained considerable significance during the American Civil War as a battle site, which is commemorated with a roadside monument on Snickersville Turnpike, one of the first of monuments south of the Mason-Dixon Line dedicated to Union soldiers. During the cavalry fight at the Furr Farm, which was part of the Battle of Aldie on June 17, 1863, and part of the Prelude to Gettysburg, the First Massachusetts Cavalry suffered a great number of casualties. According to historians, the battle was remembered as “…the severest experienced by any Union cavalry regiment in a single day during the war.” The battle site, the stone wall that was used during the fight, the home that was used as a hospital during the fight, and the monument dedicated to the battle’s casualties are in view from Snickersville Turnpike.
Several decades after the Civil War, a committee of the First Massachusetts Cavalry Veterans, the family members of those who took part in the historic battle, and the friends of those involved organized to erect a monument in honor of the battle’s casualties. Dallas Furr, who owned the farm at that time had been a Mosby Ranger during the war, but he granted the committee permission to place a monument at the battle site. The monument was erected and dedicated in 1891, and it is regarded by some to be, not only a monument to commemorate those who were casualties of the battle, but a monument of reconciliation too as some of both the Union and Confederate Cavalry Regiments’ veterans returned to the battle site for the dedication. To thank him for his help, the monument committee gave Dallas Furr a rocking chair for his home’s front porch where he loved to enjoy the view.
Previously, the Furr Farm was featured during a three-day, a community-wide event in 2013, part of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Prelude to Gettysburg battles described in Robert F. O’Neill’s book, The Historic Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, and the Moores plan on hosting other community events on their farm. Aldie Heritage Association will have a social meeting at the farm next spring, and the Moores plan to accommodate other community organizations which, like MHAA and the Civil War Trails Group, promote preservation through education or work to promote the community’s interests.