The Maymont estate as it is today is nearly the same as it was in 1886. The Dooley's, a prominent family in the Richmond area, and close to the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Carnegie families set about creating a grand-scale estate while his wife, Sallie-May was more concerned with the grounds and gardens.
The couple had no children and upon Mrs. Dooley's death in 1925, the City of Richmond (Va) assumed the care of the grounds under the assumption that it would always been free for visitors.
One of the first things you notice about the land is that it's huge; close to 100 acres set next to the James River and close to the Governor's mansion and historic Tredegar Iron Works. The National Historic Register recognizes Maymont as an excellent example of American Life in the Gilded Age.
Let's take a tour, shall we?
When you start up the driveway to the manor house, you're greeted by rows and rows of Magnolia trees. These have clearly been there since the late 1800's and still going strong.
The whole field is just saturated with the fragrance of Magnolia blooms, upon further inspection of the trees, you can see why...These were about a foot across.
They were setting up for an event at the main house where they hold special events and weddings.
There are some incredibly old trees on the property including this one. Many of the larger trees that were on the property when the Dooley's purchased the property and they made an effort to save them when they designed their home.
I chose the same day as nearly every Richmond city elementary school chose for a field trip to visit Maymont. They divided into classes and here is one group walking down one of the many paths towards the animals and Japanese gardens.
It doesn't matter which way you look at Maymont, there is always something beautiful to look at.