At short distances eastward, across the creek from Harmony Hall and the Stickley homesteads are Belle Grove and Long Meadows. The latter was the home of Isaac Hite, Jost Hite's favorite son; and Belle Grove was the home of Isaac Hite, Jr., a distinguished officer in the Revolution. The old limestone mansion at Belle Grove is one of the most imposing houses in the Shenandoah Valley. It was built in or about the year 1787 from plans drawn, it is said, by no less a genius than Thomas Jefferson. Certain features of the Belle Grove architecture remind one of Jefferson's home, Monticello. Major Isaac Hite's first wife was Nelly Madison, sister to President James Madison; and it is said that President Madison came up to Belle Grove in 1814 while the British were in possession of Washington City.
In the old neglected graveyard at Long Meadows one may still find the graves of Major Hite, his wives, and other persons of distinction. It was near Long Meadows that General Gordon led his divisions across the Shenandoah River in the early morning of October 19, 1864, in his surprise attack upon Sheridan's camps.
Excerpted from John W. Wayland's A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia
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