MAYMONT’S OUTDOOR PARKLAND AND GARDENS ARE OPEN FOR FRESH AIR, OPEN SPACES AND NATURAL BEAUTY. SOME INDOOR EXHIBITS, INCLUDING MAYMONT MANSION, ARE CLOSED. PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES.
In 1886, James and Sallie Dooley acquired farmland on the banks of the James River, where they planned to build a new home. Their architect, Edgerton Stewart Rogers (1860-1901), born and educated in Rome, combined the Romanesque Revival style with the picturesque Queen Anne for the Dooley residence. By 1893, the Dooleys were living in their new 12,000 square-foot, 33-room home, which they named “May Mont,” a name which combines Mrs. Dooley’s maiden name and the French word for hill.
Among historic house museums, the Maymont Mansion is rare in that no intervening families or adaptive conversions separate us from the original owner’s 32-year occupancy. Despite the fact that no architectural drawings or other early records of its construction and design have survived, its physical integrity and ongoing research has provided a solid base of documentation. Within six months of Mrs. Dooley’s death in 1925, the mansion was opened to the public as a museum. The upper floors’ interiors and a large original collection remained relatively untouched until the beginning of the restoration in 1970. Since the nonprofit Maymont Foundation took responsibility for the estate in 1975, extensive conservation and restoration have greatly enhanced its authenticity, condition, and presentation.
Thus today, Maymont Mansion is a well-preserved document of Gilded Age design and the taste of well-educated, cosmopolitan millionaires. The house also illustrates the dynamic interplay between server and served, working class and upper class and black and white through a compelling exhibition in its restored belowstairs rooms – the culmination of a decade-long research project that was completed in 2005.
When you enter Maymont Mansion’s upper floors, you step into the luxurious world of James and Sallie May Dooley. Tour twelve restored rooms on the first and second floors and view items on display from the Maymont Mansion Collection. At the same time, many men and women experienced Maymont as a workplace. Through eight period rooms and informational panels in the Belowstairs exhibit, meet specific employees and consider their lives inside and outside the workplace. Explore Maymont Mansion’s Upstairs/Belowstairs.
Buildings & Carriage Collection
More than 25 preserved historic buildings and garden structures can be found throughout the estate. These structures include the Dooleys’ Doric temple-style mausoleum, gates, bridges and gazebos of differing styles including ItalianNeoclassical, Victorian and rustic or Adirondack. In addition, the Carriage Collection was established in 1975 to interpret horse-drawn transportation typical of country estates in Virginia during the Gilded Age. View Maymont’s buildings and carriages.