Nestled along the side of Georgetown Pike is a bucolic estate surrounded by trees and teeming with history. This property, called Drover’s Rest, is located at 8526 Georgetown Pk., McLean.
It was originally built in support of a mill complex called Towlston Mill, then served as a resting place for travelers along Georgetown Pike. The property went on to serve as a portion of Fairfax’s larger estate, Towlson Manor; a post office for the Prospect Hill community; and a general store.
Thomas Lovejoy, a prominent biologist and conservationist often known as the “Godfather of Biodiversity,” bought the home in 1975 and lived there until his death in 2021.
Lovejoy’s family worked with the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust to conserve the property and have it designated on the National Register of Historic Places.
The main house has two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. In addition, the property also holds a one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house, a library, and a detached garage. The total livable interior space is 3,150 square feet. It sits on a 2-acre lot.
The current list price is $1,450,000.
The history of this building is a core part of its interior aesthetic, as shown by the distinct striped appearance of the “log and chinking” walls and high beamed ceilings. The home boasts old-growth flooring and timber ceiling beams that show off its historic personality all throughout the home.
Though much of the structure is old fashioned, the home has the modern facilities to make it functional — like the kitchen, which features stainless steel appliances.
This dining room has a more modern appearance with its painted walls, but the fireplace still represents the history of the structure. Wide windows look out to the patio on the side of the house.
The main dwelling has two bedrooms on the upper level, one with an attached bathroom.
The guesthouse, accessible to the main house via a paved walkway, is complete with a bedroom, a full bathroom, a kitchen, and a deck.
A library, also in its own detached structure, can be found on the grounds. Skylights in the ceiling allow light to filter in, and a small “reading room” is located off to one side. This building was initially a smokehouse before Lovejoy converted it into a library.
Beyond the house, there’s plenty to discover on these historic grounds. There’s a koi pond, a swimming pool, a garden, and a stone-lined well.
The property will be shown by appointment only. Contact Nathan Julian Guggenheim with Washington Fine Properties for more information.
Feature image by C. Gauthier Photography
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