Downman House is along Gateway Boulevard in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Idlewild Mansion is another name for this home that was built in American Gothic Revival style architecture in 1859. William Yates Downman built the manor for his growing family and when purchasing the land was told it was “an idle wild that could never be made into anything”.
In 1863 the home was used as Confederate headquarters by General Robert E. Lee. The grounds were often the site of small skirmishes, battles and occupation of troops by both the North and South which was all witnessed by the Downman family.
The mansion was set ablaze in 2003 which burned the roof and 2nd floor. Another fire occurred in 2006 and the earthquake that happened in 2011 caused even more damage. The building walls are now braced.
Today the remains of the property include the main home, summer kitchen, meathouse, laundry, corn cribs, milking sheds and other small bits.
The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2009.
An easier way to access the property may be to park on the nearby street of Sand Circle which resides behind the house. Park here and cut through the woods to your destination.
Where is the Idlewild Mansion located? You can find it with these coordinates. 38.289567, -77.504835.
Image 1 by dhr.virginia.gov.
Image 2 licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported and by Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD.