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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, August 14, 1955, Image 62

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1955-08-14/ed-1/seq-62/

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MUTUAL CURIOSITY —LittIe Cecilia McGhee peers inquiringly at the peacock,
hoping it will choose to show off its magnificent plummage. The bird is just one of
the many farm friends which thrill a little tot—not to mention grown-ups!
Faimer's Delight Is McGhees, Too
“How’re you gonna keep them down on the farm?"
All you need Is a manor house, swimming pool, tennis
court, a stable, jumps and other horsey accoutrements, a nice
little lake with canoes, motor boats and well-stocked with
fish: a log cabin nearby, plus a large assortment of animal life.
Yes. it’s no problem at all for former Ambassador to Turkey
and Mrs. George McGhee who own a beautiful 350-acre farm,
with all the above items, where they take their six children
each summer.
Known as Farmer’s Delight, the McGhee estate near
Middleburg, Va., more than lives up to its name.
Although equipped with many luxuriant trappings, the place
is also a real working farm in the heart of the Virginia country
It might better be named Children’s Delight, for six little
McGhees, ranging in ages from 1 J 2 to 15, find themselves every
summer in a youngster’s paradise.
There each has a chance to develop his particular interest
or sport. Swimming classes are held at the pool for various age
groups. Daughter Marcia gets tennis lessons, while Dorothy
McGhee is obviously destined to acquire ribbons by the hun
dreds as she becomes an accomplished horsewoman.
Michael McGhee, the 8-year-old Huckleberry Finn of the
family, loves to ride the hay wagon and follow the farmers
around but, according to his mother, he la “of doubtful assist
Already, eldest son George can manage a praetor and his
hands have acquired an appropriate layer of callouses. He's
earned enough pay to open his ow r n bank account.
Perhaps the nicest thing children leam from life on a farm
is a love of nature and naturalness around animals.
Even tiniest tot Valerie, still in diapers, gets frequent tours
of the farm where she learns to talk to the animals. She can
make the proper “moo” sounds at the Aberdeen Angus herd, and
"tttak” noises for the pigs, which, incidentally, are her favorites.
As a family, the McGhees' favorite pastime is picnics and
“But we seemed to have carried It pretty far” says Mrs.
McGhee. “First we built a large barbecue pit near the top ter
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SUMMER RETREAT —On a lazy summer afternoon
Mr. and Mrs. McGhee can sit on the porch of the
lakeside eobin and watch young Michael McGhee
race for large parties: then we built one on the beach at the
lake, then one below the dam and finally I realised this had to
stop. So we got a portable grill and now there isn’t any spot on
the place where we haven’t cooked!” >
When the McGhees bought the farm in 1947, they had
only three children.
“Luckily, this house seems to absorb any number of young
sters, plus their guests and friends.” says Mrs. McGhee, who's
as beautiful and young looking as her eldest daughter.
The big house boasts a history dating back to 1771, when
James Lane, a sheriff of Loudoun County built it. He died In
1777, and later it was the home of Col. Joseph Lane, who is
buried on the place. His tombstone is marked 1803.
Mr. McGhee says he has not been able to trace the history
of the property during the early 1800 s. In the Civil War era it
was the property of the Gregg and later the Cockerill families
and in 1918 Henry Frost purchased the farm and changed the
name to Frostfleld Farms. When the McGhees bought it,
they returned to the original name.
The present owners have made a number of changes. They
created a 14-acre lake, said to be the largest in the county,
complete with an island in the middle, plus two smaller lakes.
These lakes provide an excellent irrigation system during dry
Near the big lake is a log cabin which the McGhees had
moved from Leesburg. It dates from the late 1700 s and is used
for picnicing and camping out.
In back of the main house are handsome terraces and
formal gardens and at one side is a grape arbor supported by
a series of 13th century French columns purchased from the
Hearst estate.
During the winter, the McGhees live in Washington on
Kalorama road. As soon as weather permits they take off for
their country place on week ends. Their summer stay on the
farm is guided by the children’s school schedules.
Although Mr. McGhee is no longer with the Government, he
is a busy man managing his oil interests in Texas and Louisiana.
His work keeps him down South for days at a time, but he
hates to be away from the farm too long, so he commutes by
man the canoe. The McGhees built the 14-acre lake
which also serves a very practical purpose—irrigation
during summer month dry spells.
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a job to get all eight of the George McGhee
clan together for a family photo. Above,
they are pictured on the terrace of their
summer home at Middleburg, Va., known as
Farmer's Delight. Left to right Dorothy,
age 10; Michael, 7; Mrs. McGhee; baby
Valerie, 1 Vi; Cecilia, 4; Mr. McGhee, who
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(left), the eldest daughter, is shown here with her
house guest, Miss Ann Giese of Washington, at one of
FAR FROM RUSTIC —BuiIt in 1771, the main house
at Farmer's Delight is a beautiful example of Georgian
Colonial architecture. In back i,s a handsome series
was former United States Ambassador to
Turkey; eldest daughter Marcia and her
brother George, age 13. From the terrace
there's a magnificent view of the Virginia
the farm's most popular spots —ye olde swimming
hole. In the background a group of younger children
line up for swimming instructions.
of terraces with formal gardens and all around art
huge old boxwoods.
—Star Staff Photos by Randolph Routt.

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