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History and Location

Hull Springs Farm Big House

Mary Farley Ames Lee, a 1938 graduate of Longwood University (then known as the State Teachers College), bequeathed Hull Springs Farm to the Longwood University Foundation, Inc., in 1999 to protect the property from development.

The 662-acre farm in Westmoreland County, Virginia, was cultivated for hundreds of years to produce corn, soybeans, timber and other crops. It is situated on Virginia’s Northern Neck between Aimes Creek and Glebe Creek, both tributaries of the Potomac River, just a short distance from the Chesapeake Bay.

The property has approximately 8,400 feet of tidal shoreline and offers stunning views of Lower Machodoc Creek, wildlife, forests and open land. With 160-acres in agricultural fields and more than 400 acres in forest, it is an excellent demonstration site to develop, apply and study replicable best management practices.

While living at Hull Springs Farm, Mary Farley Ames Lee watched as the land across the creek and around the farm was subdivided and developed. She watched as the natural shorelines of trees and shrubs gave way to seawalls, revetments and fescue lawns mowed to the water’s edge. She was keenly aware of the increasing degradation of the Chesapeake Bay and the declining numbers of watermen. Mrs. Lee donated Hull Springs Farm to Longwood University Foundation, Inc., on the condition that it not be subdivided for commercial or residential purposes, and that it be used solely for agricultural, archaeological, forestral, natural resource conservation, and educational purposes.

Born in 1917 in Arlington, Va., Mary Farley graduated from Longwood University (then State Teachers College) in 1938 with a degree in education.  She later earned a graduate degree in business from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.

After college, she returned to Arlington, where she worked in her family’s retail lumber business. During World War II, she was personnel director for the Fourth Civil Service Region in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1947, she returned to Arlington and was hired as the registrar of voters for the county, a position she held until 1973.

Mrs. Lee is buried nearby at Yeocomico Church.