Backstory and Context
In 1727, Robert Carter gained ownership of a plot of land called the Goose Creek Tract, part of which contained some of the land that would today become the land of Farmer’s Delight. Carter held on to the land for some time, and in 1741, 1000 acres of the land was obtained by Doctor Charles Green. The land was sold upon Doctor Green’s death, and it eventually made its way into the hands of Colonel Joseph Lane when he bought it in 1791. It is presumed that in that same year, Colonel Lane built a residence which he dubbed Farmer’s Delight on part of that property. The property would remain in the Lane family for some time, even after Lane’s death in 1803.
The property was bought in 1856 by the Leith family, who owned and operated the property until 1919, when it was obtained by Henry Frost, Jr. During their ownership, the Frost family added several wings to the house, as well as a number of racing and hunting stables. American ambassador to Germany George McGhee bought the property in 1948, greatly expanded on the property, and held political gatherings at the home for some time. On April 17th, 1973, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on June 2nd, 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Farmer’s Delight is under the care of the McGhee Foundation, which oversees the property’s maintenance and uses it as a location for public and private events.