The Holtzclaw family acquired Ashland Farm through a grant issued on Aug. 22, 1724 by Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood. The Holtzclaw family lived on this land until the 1920s.
While a portion of the house dates to about 1725, the main residence was completed by 1889, and was remodeled and enlarged by architect William Lawrence Bottomley in 1929. Between 1861 and 1864, the Union army stationed pickets at Ashland, as it was used as a Federal medical dressing station.
Legend claims that a Union army payroll was hidden by a paymaster who died in 1862 at nearby Waterloo, Virginia, is still buried here.
In 1714, German families immigrated via London to the colonies from the Nassau-Siegen region of Germany’s Ruhr Valley to work in silver mines and search for iron ore deposits in present-day Orange County. These first 42 people in 12 German families moved to Germantown in Fauquier County in 1719, as lot owners of 1,805 acres on Licking Run. They had completed their four-year commitment as minors to the Virginia colonial government.
This settlement had been claimed a year earlier by their trustees, John Fishback, John Hoffman, and Jacob Holtzclaw. Melchoir Brumback, Joseph Coons, Harman Fischback, Peter Hitt, John Kemper, John Joseph Martin, John Jacob Rector, John Spilman, and Tilman Weaver headed the other families.
With their pastor, the Rev. Henry Hager, they constituted the first German Reformed congregation in the southern colonies.
Descendants of the Germanna settlement will celebrate the 300th Jubilee anniversary of the first settlement, in 2014. The tricentennial is being organized by the Germanna Foundation, which begins its annual reunion festivities this weekend.
The foundation also has a fan page on Facebook.