HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County has agreed to pay $10 million for the purchase of the Wilton Farm along the James River, ensuring it’s history remains intact after an agency planned on using the farm as a commercial space.
8News spoke with officials on why the decision was made and how residents in the area feel about the purchase.
“We dreamed and hoped even then that the property be preserved,” said Bland Goddin, a resident.
The Wilton Farm will remain a historical site for the future in Henrico County.
“It’s just a gift to all of us, that the county wants to keep it like it is,” Goddin said.
Tyrone Nelson, board of supervisors chairman said “the beauty in itself, makes it worth it.”
The county bought the farm from the real estate group HHHunt, who bought the property in 2005 for $18 million. The group had planned to build 3,200 homes on one million square feet of commercial property.
But the county stepped in to prevent that from happening.
“I cannot imagine anything that would be more exciting to me as a resident,” said Lynn Wilson.
“The property occupied the American Revolution, the Civil War, reconstruction, the Great Depression,” said Katie Watkins, of the Wilton House Museum. “It’s really emblematic of all of those areas of history.”
Some believe keeping that history intact will benefit the citizens of Henrico.
“Any type of development, would be closed to 895,” said Tyrone Nelson, board of supervisors chairman. “The rest of it will be preserved, used for parklands, a museum and any future uses we believe.”
“Even if we left it the way it was, I don’t count that as a screw up,” Nelson continued. “Open space, green space is important to our citizens.”