Nearly five years after it first hit the market, a 1700s-era mansion that once was the highest-priced residential listing in metro Richmond has found its next caretakers.
The 7-acre Fairfield estate in western Henrico sold Nov. 15 for $3.1 million. The 10,000-square-foot mansion at 211 Ross Road had most recently been listed at $3.3 million.
Property records list the buyers as Jason and Christa Vickers-Smith. Jason is a principal of WVS Cos., the development firm behind Rocketts Landing.
The sellers were the children of the late Alice Preston Smith, whose family had owned Fairfield for nearly a century. The descendants had listed the estate with John and Holly Martin, a husband-and-wife team with Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate.
The sale price was almost half the nearly $6 million price tag that was put on the property in 2018, when a different brokerage listed it for the first time in 90 years following Smith’s death in 2017. It was relisted the following year at nearly $4.4 million and continued to drop in price until the Martins listed it in May.
Henrico County most recently assessed the property at $2.2 million.
The Vickers-Smiths put it under contract Oct. 3. They were represented by Dawson Boyer with Providence Hill Real Estate, which broke off from SRMF last year.
Boyer said the couple was not in the market for a new home but became so when they came across Fairfield.
“My clients love historic homes, and they’d been keeping an eye on it,” he said. “We went and looked at it one time because they had interest in seeing it, and that turned into them really falling in love with it.”
Boyer said the couple’s offer was made 10 days after that visit and a contract was pending after a single back-and-forth during negotiations. While the listing had drawn interest as a potential events venue, Boyer said the Vickers-Smiths, who are relocating from Richmond, were interested in making it their new home.
“The acreage with that location was very attractive to them, and the architectural detail and the millwork,” he said. “For them, they really saw it as an opportunity to steward this historic property and carry on those elements of the history.”
Originally built in Hanover County around 1750 by John Syme, a half-brother of Patrick Henry, the Colonial Revival-style home was dismantled in 1928 and reconstructed at its current location, along Tuckahoe Creek west of the Huguenot Bridge.
The house and outbuildings were moved by Fred Nolting, who sold the property a year later to Smith’s grandfather. The home was kept in the family, and Smith acquired it in 1968 with her husband, Parke Farr Smith, a World War II fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force who flew stunt planes at Kings Dominion and owned a local building supply company before his death in 2013.
Designed by Herman Louis Duhrig Jr., the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and described in Henrico’s “Inventory of Early Architecture” as “one of Virginia’s most notable 18th-century Palladian mansions,” notable for its interior details and block-like stonework façade.
The two-story house has four bedrooms and 5½ bathrooms, with 7,000 square feet of finished living space and a 3,000-square-foot unfinished basement. The property includes a swimming pool and pool house that can serve as a guest space, a detached three-car garage with upstairs apartment and an attached one-car garage.
A 2002 easement restricts construction of additional buildings on the property and prohibits alterations or demolition of the house or outbuildings. Boyer said the Vickers-Smiths have no such intentions, beyond making the home their own.
“The house is on the historic registry, so any changes, even painting an interior wall color, you have to get approval,” Boyer said. “I’m sure there’ll be some things they want to do, but there wasn’t anything immediate that was needed. The house was really in surprisingly good condition, just given its overall age and the amount of time it’s been in its current location.”
John Martin, the listing agent, described Fairfield’s condition as a testament to its history and stewardship thus far.
“I have spent a lot of time at the property over the past year, and it is really hard to imagine how such a relocation could take place without modern transportation and tools,” Martin said. “Getting from Hanover County to Henrico in the 1920s wasn’t easy with just simple travel, but moving stone, brick and materials is unimaginable. They rebuilt the house like a fortress, and it has surely withstood the test of time.”