Our new home is in the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia, a city rich in natural beauty and historical significance. But it seems Richmond’s crown jewel is the Maymont Estate and Gardens, a gorgeous combination of both nature and history. We’ve been several times and only begun to scratch the surface, so consider this merely an introduction to the place!
Maymont was the property and home of James H. Dooley and his wife, Sarah ‘Sallie’ May (for whom Maymont is named). Mr. Dooley was a Confederate Army officer who became a wealthy Richmond lawyer, businessman, and state politician after the Civil War. He and Sallie married in 1869, and their mansion at Maymont was completed in 1893. They lived here until their deaths: James in 1922 and Sallie in 1925. They bequeathed Maymont to the city of Richmond as a park and museum, which first opened to the public in the spring of 1926.
Maymont is a place full of details–old buildings and architecture, beautiful landscaping, natural flora and fauna, and plenty of nooks and crannies waiting to be explored.
The Dooleys’ final resting place can be found on the grounds as well, in a peaceful mausoleum.
Beauty around every corner!
The expansive Japanese Garden is a highlight of Maymont, especially when the season lends splashes of color to the place, reflected in the pond.
The waterfall may be artificial, but it is still a beauty!
It’s a fantastic place for kids to explore, but be prepared to climb stairs and rocky pathways like this!
Again, this is just an introduction–there’s also a farm and zoo that we have yet to check out. That will have to be Part 2! The estate house and some other buildings are also often open for tours, though we haven’t yet been able to do that because of this year’s pandemic. The horse-drawn carriage collection is worth checking out as well.
Maymont Estate and Gardens are located on the south side of downtown Richmond, near the James River. The grounds are open every day of the year (hours vary by season). Admission is free for the grounds, farm, and wildlife exhibits, though a small donation is suggested and appreciated. The new Robins Nature Center charges a small admission fee. Tours of the Maymont mansion are also generally offered for a small fee. Free parking for the mansion and gardens is available in a lot along Hampton Street, off Shirley Lane for the farm and wildlife exhibits, or off Shields Lake Court for the new Robins Nature Center. The nature center is wheelchair-accessible, but the grounds and gardens are more limited–pathways are paved, but uneven in places, with stairways to some areas. See the Maymont website for additional details!