Oatlands Executive Director Andrea McGimsey announced today that Oatlands will be celebrating the 201st birthday of the greenhouse on Wednesday, June 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The birthday party, complete with cake and balloons is free and open to the public. Oatlands staff will be on hand to provide information about the agricultural operations of 18th and 19th centuries. This event will feature vendors and concessions. Representatives from Willowcroft Farm Vineyards will also be providing tastings and selling wine by the glass.
The greenhouse at Oatlands is the second oldest extant greenhouse in the United States, and the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Built in 1810 by George Carter, the unique brick structure was state-of-the-art. It featured a sophisticated heating system that combined the radiant heat from a central compost pile, fireplaces and the southern exposure of a glass roof. The advanced heating system allowed Carter to grow vegetables and fruit, such as bananas and strawberries, out of season.
Oatlands, originally owned by George Carter, includes a federal style mansion, built in 1804, several 19th century brick dependencies, including the nation’s second oldest propagation greenhouse and a four acre, terraced English garden. While under the ownership of George Carter, the property evolved into one of the region’s most successful wheat plantations. At the turn of the 20th century, Mr. and Mrs. William Corcoran Eustis of Washington D.C. purchased Oatlands as a country estate. In 1965, the ownership of Oatlands was transferred to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The transfer included the mansion at Oatlands and the many nineteenth century buildings on the property, such as the greenhouse, as well as hundreds of acres of conserved land.
For more information about the greenhouse at Oatlands and the celebration for its 201st birthday, visit www.oatlands.org.