20th Century

The Lees, Sargent, and Pleasant Colony

Richard Bland Lee and his descendants lived at Buckland until 1935.  Mrs. R. B. Lee’s first cousin, painter John Singer Sargent, visited Buckland Hall on several occasions during the late nineteenth century and painted a rare watercolor of the house in 1887.  He also painted a view of the icehouse and three large oil landscapes of various views of the farm.  In 1935, the property was sold to Mitchell Harrison, who hired architect Irwin Fleming for the restoration of the main house.

The property was later sold to Thomas Mellon Evans, a noted Wall Street financier, philanthropist, and horse-breeder.  Mr. Evans spent four decades developing a state-of-the-art thoroughbred farm at Buckland, the first in Virginia to be laid out in the Kentucky style.  His championship horses included Pleasant Colony, winner of the 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.  Pleasant Colony died on New Year’s Eve 2002 and was buried at Buckland on the center of the modern Point-to-Point race track within sight of the barn where he was foaled.