VA-R57 Oak Ridge Estate


About two miles east is Oak Ridge, a 4,800-acre estate first patented in the 1730s. Robert Rives (1764-1845), a tobacco planter and international trader, built his house there in 1802. In 1867, William Porcher Miles (1822-1899), a former Confederate congressman, acquired the plantation. Nelson County native and Wall Street financier Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851-1928) purchased Oak Ridge in 1901 and transformed it into a country estate. He remodeled Rives's Federal farmhouse into a Colonial Revival mansion and built some 80 structures, including schools, a telephone company building, a movie theater, and stables for Ryan's 200 Thoroughbreds. A Crystal Palace-style greenhouse, a racetrack, and a private railroad station are among 50 surviving structures.

Department of Historic Resources, 1996

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