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Indians of the Virginia Piedmont

The Piedmont area of Virginia has been inhabited since the Last Ice Age (9500 BC to 8000 BC). The first people were nomadic hunters and food gatherers. Around 1000 B.C., the rudiments of agriculture and pottery making began. By around 900 A.D., agriculture had become an important source of food thereby allowing the development of permanent settlements.

One of the first references to the Indians of the area can be found in Captain John Smith's "Generall Historie". The area was inhabited by the Manahoac Confederation. Their name has been translated to "They make merry" and they were a semi-nomadic tribe of hunters that had migrated from southern Ohio. They were of Sioux decent and it has been estimated that about 1500 Manahoac lived in the Piedmont area. John Lederer, an early German Explorer, believed the Manahoac to be a "peacefull and intelligent people who worshiped one god and followed a calendar." In Northern Fauquier, located near the head of the Rappahannock River, were the Tanxnitania and Whonkentia tribes of the Manahoac Indians.

Around 1650, they began suffering from new diseases, including smallpox, measles, and tuberculosis, introduced by French and Dutch fur traders and early pioneers. By 1669, the remaining Manahoac had been driven out by the Massawomek tribe of the Iroquois. War parties of these northern Indians, passed threw the area each year on their way to and from their attacks on the Catawba Indians in the Carolinas. The Iroquois were punishing the Catawba for helping the British against the Tuscarora.

In 1686, Lord Howard signed an agreement with the Long House that recognized the Iroquois claim to sovernty in the Piedmont area and kept English Colonists east of Bull Run Mountain.

In 1722, Governor Spotswood of Virginia traveled to Albany, New York where he signed a treaty with the Iroquois in which they agreed to stay west of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range thereby opening up the area for English settlement.

Early English Exploration

Captain John Smith was the first recorded English explorer to enter the territory that is now Fauquier County(?). He ascended the Rappahannock River in 1608 as far as the falls near present day Falmouth.

Captain John Smith in his "Generall Historie" described Captain Argall's 1613 expedition up the Rappahannock River.

When explorer John Lederer, a German physician and scholar, visited the area in 1670, he described it as:

"To heighten the beauty of the parts, the first springs of most of these great rivers which run to the Atlantic Ocean, or Chesapeake Bay, do here break out, and in various branches interlace the flowery meads, whose luxurious herbage invites numerous herds of red deer to feed"

English Settlement

In 1649, King Charles II of England granted a large portion of Virginia to seven English noblemen. Through a series of circumstances, all of this land, known as the Northern Neck, was inherited by Lord Thomas Fairfax by 1719. The Northern Neck was described as being bounded by the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River, the Rappahannock River, and a line connecting the sources of the two rivers.

Within two years after Governor Spotswood signed the Albany treaty with the Iroquois, the Proprietors Office was issuing Land Grants in northern Fauquire County, west of Thoroughfare Gap and Bull Run Mountain.

Dondoric Farm

Dondoric was first known as Mountain View Farm.

The first structure on the property was a stone house built by Richard Brent Horner for his mother, Francis Harrison Horner, This house burned and the current house was built in 1818.

Note:Alteritive History from Listing Sheet: The first structure on the property was built about 1820 by John S. Horner. A portion of the current house bas built in 1829 for his mother.

The place later belonged to his son Richard Henry Horner, Henrietta Horner Wyeth, Elizabeth Horner, Henrietta Horner Bales and John M. Turner.

In 1880, substantial additions made when a frame living room and kitchen were added.

Gen & Mrs Richard M. Cutts III acquired the property in 1941 and lived there until their deaths. They remodeled the property in the 1940's at which time the center hall with its flying staircase was constructed. The cutts renamed the farm to Dondoric and operated it as a Dairy Farm. During World War II, because of the labor shortage, the cutts employed German Prisoners of War to work the farm. General Cutts died in 1972 and Mrs Cutts died in December of 1998.

The current owners acquired the property in September of 1999.

General Cutts' Father, Col Richard M. Cutts, is burried with his son.


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