Charlottesville is home to several historic mansions that have become the anchors for popular neighborhood developments.
The historic namesake for the neighborhood we’re featuring today was built in 1724 and is the original manor home to Albemarle County’s largest gated community – Glenmore. It’s minutes away from nearby Martha Jefferson Hospital at Pantops, and the University of Virginia and Downtown are about a 15-20 minutes drive away.
Two other familiar manor homes are the Belmont Mansion, also known as the Ficklin Mansion, built in 1820 and originally encompassing 551 acres, that became the center of the thriving Belmont neighborhood in 1890, and the Dunlora Farm House, built in 1730, that’s now tucked away down a long dirt road in the Dunlora subdivision.
The land grant for Glenmore was from King George II in 1732. Since then, this home has had several additions and some of them even made from the timbers milled from the property. The slate roof is also likely to have nails from Thomas Jefferson’s nail factory at Monticello.
Separated by 3-board fencing, Glenmore was once a renowned breeding farm for draft horses. You can still find many horses grazing the fields and riding rings around.
According to their website, the Glenmore Community Association (GCA) was incorporated in January 1992, but did not hold its first organizational meeting until July 1993. This took place at the historic Glenmore Manor House. At that time three representatives of the developer, Glenmore Associates, were elected to serve as directors – Steve Runkle (initially President), Frank Kessler, and Mike Comer. Ten lot owners were present at the meeting.
Glenmore was originally developed by the late Frank Kessler. The Board of Supervisors voted to approved the rezoning of 1195 acres of land from rural to planned residential on December 5, 2010. As part of the rezoning, Kessler was responsible for building the infrastructure for water and sewer. Shortly after the rezoning, ownership was transferred to the Glenmore Associates Limited Partnership.
In April 2010, the sale of the Glenmore Country Club to a private company owned by Glenmore resident family brought to an end to the developer’s representation on the board of directors.
In the early years of Glenmore’s development, much of the GCA’s activity was associated with completion of buildings, roads, and the sale of lots. This gradually evolved into the GCA taking full responsibility for maintenance of the roads, common areas, and gatehouse operations.
Golf & Horse Riding & Green Space
Glenmore is renowned for its 18-hole championship golf course, equestrian center, state-of-the-art fitness/swimming and tennis complex, Georgian-style clubhouse, and 24-hour security at the gatehouse entrance.
Maintenance of common areas is provided by the GCA. The neighborhood is composed of approximately 750 homes, each valued from $500,000 to $2.5 million. The entire development is 1,300 acres in size, broken up into 824 homesites, with 500 acres maintained as common land.
Glenmore’s planned community offers residents privacy. Residents have access to an RV storage area, soccer field, and a basketball court. In addition, Glenmore offers amenities like private year-round Country Club activities, community walking paths, and use of the professional on-site Glenmore Farm Equestrian Center (GFEC).
The Center is a 34 stall hunter/jumper facility located just 5 miles east of downtown Charlottesville. Boarders and lesson takers enjoy several different equine activities including pleasure riding and fox hunting up through competing at local and rated hunter/ jumper horse shows. GFEC offers programs for riders of all levels – full training and sales packages, as well as grooming services and 8 miles of manicured trails around the Glenmore community are available for use.
On Aug. 29, 2014, the GCA completed its purchase of the rural Equestrian Parcel from private ownership. The 60.8 acre area is now GCA Common Area, and will be protected from the risk of unwanted commercial development, enabling the GCA to permanently maintain the rural character of the western side of our entrance corridor.
The Center is now being leased to Glenmore Farm, Inc., a corporation established for the purpose of managing the center so as to provide the community with a quality amenity. The management of this corporation is essentially independent of the GCA, but the GCA is the sole shareholder of the corporation and therefore elects its directors. The land and buildings are owned by the GCA, while the equipment, furniture, and horses are owned by Glenmore Farm Inc.
Manor Homes & Cottages
While many residents live in the more formal manor-style homes, there are smaller cottages available for those who don’t want as big a footprint known as Scottish Homes and Bremerton Cottages.
Both feature somewhat smaller lot sizes, common external grounds maintenance for all lots, and shared local common areas. In order to pay for these maintenance costs, separate homeowners’ associations were formed for each, to which the local lot owners must belong, and pay dues, in addition to those required by the GCA.
Residents are also members of the local homeowners association and are required to pay additional dues to it. They are established primarily to provide for communal maintenance of private lots, and maintenance of the local common areas. The common areas in these sections are jointly owned with the GCA, and are subject to joint maintenance agreements, by which the local association pays for lawn mowing, and the GCA is responsible for most of the other maintenance.
Glenmore Country Club
According to their website, the Glenmore Country Club is privately owned and operated and has no direct affiliation with the GCA, other than its appointment of one of the GCA board members. It offers different levels of membership, encompassing social, fitness, tennis, swimming, and golf.
Because of the volume of traffic associated with its operation, the Country Club pays 25% of the cost of staffing the gatehouse and maintaining the stretch of road between the gatehouse and Piper Way.
East Rivanna Fire Station
Glenmore also has the added benefit of a nearby fire station. According to their website, the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company (ERVFC) began operations as a non-profit service organization in March 1969, and the first fire station was dedicated on Oct. 11, 1970 in Keswick.
The original fire house and the adjacent railroad station were central to the life of the community. The fire house building, which later housed Jackson’s Feed Store and then The Pine Shop, is now home to the handiwork of Stokes of England Blacksmithing Company.
The 1990s brought a tremendous change to ERVFC and its mission. In addition to its firefighting duties, ERVFC became an Emergency Medical First Responder unit. This new responsibility, combined with a larger service area and the need to modernize, led the ERVFC to relocate to its present, upgraded facilities at Glenmore.
The major features of the new fire house include: dormitory housing for our all-night duty crews; a greatly expanded bay area for the vehicles and apparatus; a designated regional emergency shelter; a training room, which is now used by all of the volunteer fire companies in Albemarle County; and a banquet hall that is available for community use.