The Fairfax Lodge (aka the Philip Grandstaff Home)

Location: South end of Edinburg, on Stony Creek, on the east side of Route 11

Built: prior to 1800


26 Mar 1783: Martin Pickett and Ann, his wife, conveyed to Mark Ilor for the sum of eighty four pounds, current money of Virginia.

17 Nov 1804: Abraham Ilor of the county of Adams in the Mississippi Territory, son of Mark Ilor, deceased, conveyed to Philip Grandstaff, of the county of Shenandoah, for the sum of $2666.83, a certain tract of land on Stony Creek, where the main road from Winchester to Staunton crosses the same. It being the same land which was granted unto Martin Pickett by the Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia, by patent dated 4 Mar 1768.

Philip Grandstaff was deceased in 1833 and this home came into the possession of his son, John, who married Elizabeth Liggett.

30 May 1853: John Grandstaff willed his property to his wife until her death, then to be divided equally between his children.

19 Aug 1909: Presley Grandstaff willed his share to his sister, Mary F. Grandstaff.

28 Mar 1921: Mary F. Grandstaff conveys to her foster children, John Wetzel, Lilly Newland and Maggie Scruggins, all her real estate.

Physical Description

This is a large house with old architectural lines. These are seen more in the rear wing than in the front, with the front having been remodeled. A long, two-story back porch with an outside stairway and railings form the side entrance, which faces the highway.

Historical Significance

Mary F. Grandstaff was the great granddaughter of Amos Bischoff, who came from the Palatinate, and whose son, George Philip Bischoff, was captured by Indians in 1758. Because he was a tall slender youth, the Indians gave him the name of Grand Staff, which he retained, as he liked that name better than Bischoff, and always went by the name of George Grandstaff after regaining his freedom.

One incident in the life of Miss Mary F. Grandstaff was as follows: The old "Wagoner's Shop" that was used by stage drivers for their stopping place, was used by the officers for their headquarters during Sheridan's raid. When they set fire to the old "Grandstaff Mill", just across the road from this home, Miss Mary and another young friend pleaded so pathetically with the officers that the mill be spared to furnish bread for the women and children, that a young officer had his man extinguish the fire while she helped to carry the water.

From old court records: "In October, 1813, Philip Grandstaff made application to the Court for permission to erect a dam on Stony Creek (probably at Edinburg), for working a sawmill, carding machine and boring mill."

Presley Grandstaff was a member of the Volunteer Company of Edinburg, known as the "Southern Grays". In 1861, he went out with his company and remained until it disbanded. He then reenlisted in Company K of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, under Captain George J. Grandstaff. He remained in the service until the close of the war.

Source: Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project, 1937

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Created October 3 2001