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Sabine Hall

( Originally Published 1932 )



Sabine Hall, one of the ancestral homes of the Carters, is situated in Richmond County near Warsaw, the county seat. Its private road leaves the highway shortly before reaching Warsaw and winds for a mile through the woods to the lodge.

The woods adjoining the lawn are composed entirely of native trees, mainly oak and hickory, some of the oaks by their size evidencing great age. The lawn contains many native trees, but the presence of mulberry, Ailanthus, aspen, English elms, linden and other foreign varieties prove that the former owners of Sabine Hall, yielding to the urge of fashion from time to time, introduced trees that in many instances proved far inferior to those of native growth.

Sabine Hall was built by Robert (King) Carter of Corotoman, for his son Landon, in 1730. It is situated on the hills a mile from the Rappahannock, commanding an extensive view of the river and overlooking most of the cultivated area of the four-thousand-acre estate. The house fronts the lawn, and has in the rear a terraced garden laid out by an English gardener when the house was built. The garden extends in five terraces from the top of the hill to the level of the fields below. The first and second levels are devoted exclusively to flowers, and on the eastern side of the second level is a large box hedge of unknown age dividing the flower garden from a portion of the vegetable garden.

The main house and the wings are of brick. The main building is of Georgian architecture, having a front portico the pediment of which is supported by four large cypress columns. The walls are massive, and the cellar, beneath the entire house, is divided by brick partition walls extending to the roof. Entrance is made through heavy doors into a broad hall, which runs from front to rear and opens through similar doors on to a covered porch which extends along the entire rear of the main building. Over the entrance to a side hall is an arch through which one passes to a beautiful, hand-carved staircase. The halls, as well as the parlor, dining room and most of the bedrooms, are wainscoted from floor to ceiling.

On the left of the main hall hangs one of the few known portraits of "King" Carter, and on the walls opposite are portraits of two of the three wives of his son, Landon. In the library is a fine portrait of Landon Carter. There are also portraits of his third wife and all, save one, of the other Carter owners of Sabine Hall.

Robert Wormeley Carter, the last of the name, died in 1861, leaving no son. By his will he gave Sabine Hall to his oldest grandson, Robert Carter Wellford, son of his daughter Elizabeth Landon, who married Dr. A. N. Wellford of Fredericksburg. After his death, in 1919, Sabine Hall passed, after a life estate to his widow, Elizabeth Harrison, to his two sons, Armistead Nelson Wellford and William Harrison Wellford, the present owners.

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