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Berclair: Best yet to come?
Berclair plantation with its rich history goes on the auction block later this month

 The main house is one of several structures on the Berclair Plantation property. The eight-acre estate goes up for auction Sept. 25.
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Date published: 9/3/2004

By RICHARD AMRHINE

Spotsylvania estate has seen region change

ITS RESIDENTS, as interesting as they are, come and go. But after more than 200 years, Berclair Plantation is a firmly planted landmark amid a rapidly developing area of Spotsylvania County. It is once again headed to the auction block.

The eight-acre horse farm is located alongside a subdivision off Harrison Road near Interstate 95. It has diminished substantially in size since Fielding Lewis, who was married to George Washington's sister Betty, owned the property in the mid- to late 1700s.

Over the past two centuries, the home has been repeatedly modified and expanded. Recent renovations have helped it retain its Colonial charm. But there is ample opportunity for the next owner to further restore the house and grounds to their classic luster.

The auction has been scheduled for Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. Auctioneer Daniel Mastin suggests that with no comparable properties on which to base an asking price, establishing a market value will be left to the bidders.

Will the estate change hands at a bargain price?

Current owner Miltos George bought the property at auction six years ago for $893,000. At that time, it included three parcels totaling 56 acres and was assessed by Spotsylvania at $1.9 million.

George, a native of Greece, moved here from Austin, Texas, where he owned and operated three Italian restaurants. George and his family have now left the area for Arizona, but substantial improvements were made to the property during their ownership.

The property includes the main house, several outbuildings and expansive formal gardens traversed and surrounded by brick walkways.

The date of construction of an original log structure on the property is believed to be in the 1760s or '70s. Research shows that Lewis, who was building the Kenmore mansion in Fredericksburg in the 1770s, apparently sold a house on the Berclair property to Washington's youngest brother, Charles, in 1773.

The existing main house probably originated in 1803, when the original structure was encased in additions and it was given its Federal, center-hall style. Subsequent remodelings added design and details in the Classic Revival style.


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