Friends of the Hollow News
June 1999

Highway Marker Installed

On December 11, 1998 the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation installed The Hollow’s first official Virginia Historical Highway Marker.

The marker, located on State Route 688 (Leeds Manor Road), demonstrates the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official recognition for The Hollow and provides a highly visible presence for The Hollow in Markham.

The marker reads as follows:

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In 1765, John Marshall, then nine, moved with his family from his birthplace 30 miles southeast to a small, newly constructed frame house one-quarter mile east known as The Hollow. The house built by his father, Thomas Marshall, was his home until 1773, when the family moved five miles east to Oak Hill. After the American Revolution began, Thomas Marshall and his sons, John Marshall, James Markham Marshall, and Thomas Marshall Jr. fought in numerous Revolutionary War battles including Great Bridge and Yorktown. John Marshall later served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835.


The marker at Oak Hill, where the Marshall family moved in 1773, has also been completely rewritten and reinstalled (after being destroyed by an automobile). It now reads as follows:

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Thomas Marshall, the father of future Chief Justice John Marshall, built Oak Hill about 1773 and relocated his family there from The Hollow, their former home nearby. John Marshall resided at Oak Hill for two years until he entered the Continental army in 1775 at the age of twenty. He became the owner of the property in 1785 when his father moved to Kentucky. Although Marshall resided mostly in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, he improved Oak Hill and used it as a retreat. In 1819, his son Thomas, constructed an attached Classical Revival dwelling.

Commonwealth of Virginia Funding

The Friends of the Hollow have been working to obtain acquisition funding for The Hollow. One source is the Commonweath of Virginia. On January 28, 1999, Thomas M. deButts, President of the Friends of the Hollow, testified before the Appropriations Subcommittee of the Virginia General Assembly in support of a budget amendment sponsored by Delegate Anne G. Rhodes. The amendment, as proposed, would have provided up to $600,000 for acquisition of the property. After the grueling budget process was complete, the funding was pared down to a $50,000 matching grant, contingent on finding a purchaser for the remaining acreage included in the parcel (total 322 acres).

Although the result is not what we had hoped for, it is quite significant. If we were to have a contributor or contributors step forward with a total of $50,000, we could obtain the State’s matching $50,000, and may have a chance at obtaining the site, provided we could find someone willing to pay $900,000 for the bulk of the property.

We will continue our legislative efforts in the next session. John Marshall is a favorite son of Virginia and the Virginia legislature has been very supportive of our efforts. The Friends received support from numerous members of the Virginia General Assembly and Senate.

Washington Post and Fauquier Times-Democrat Articles

The Washington Post and the Fauquier Times-Democrat printed favorable articles with photographs of the new historical marker. The Washington Post summary appeared in the May 23, 1999 edition and the Fauquier Times-Democrat article appeared in the June 2, 1999 edition. We are hoping to obtain additional press coverage of this important event in the recognition of The Hollow.

The Friends of the Hollow, Inc. is a Virginia non-stock, non-profit charitable corporation formed in 1981 with the express purpose of preservation and restoration of the boyhood home of Chief Justice John Marshall known as The Hollow. Basic membership dues are $10.00 per year and sustaining membership is $25.00 per year. Additional donations are welcome. Dues and contributions are fully tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Friends of the Hollow, Inc. and mail to Friends of the Hollow, 4283 N. 38th Street, Arlington, VA 22207.

Friends of the Hollow News is published by the Friends of the Hollow, Inc., 4283 N. 38th St., Arlington, VA 22207. Editor: T.M. deButts