Daughters of the American Revolution Mark Carter Graves

The Ketoctin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on Saturday, Oct. 31 held a ceremony near Berryville on Saturday to mark the restoration of the graves of Charles and Elizabeth “Betty” Carter, relatives of both George Washington and Meriweather Lewis.

Betty Carter was the daughter of Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s only sister to live to adulthood, and Fielding Lewis, a Revolutionary War colonel and member of the same family as the famous explorer Meriweather Lewis.

From 1807 to 1813, Charles and Betty Carter lived at North Hill Estate, overlooking the Shenandoah River and what today is the Rt. 7 bridge.

The Carter family, one of the wealthiest families in early American history, has ties across the state, including in Loudoun particularly at Oatlands, which was formed in 1798 by George Carter. They were heirs to the fortune in both land and enslaved people of Robert “King” Carter, who when he died in 1732 left his family 300,000 acres—more than 468 square miles—of land and about 3,000 enslaved people.

George Washington, too, has close ties to the area. Legend has it that he stayed at North Hill during his work as a surveyor in the area.

Today North Hill is owned by Tim Lindsey, who has been at work restoring the property which has also belonged to such historic notables as Supreme Court Justice James Mercer, Edward Snickers who lent his name to Snickersville gap and other places in the area, and James Castleman for whom Castleman’s Ferry is named.

The Fort Loudoun chapter of the Daughters of the Daughters of the American Revolution has cared for the site where Betty was buried since before 1927, according to DAR records. Charles died at a different property, but has since been reinterred at North Hill.

Ketoctin Chapter DAR member Gina Blake was Lindsey’s neighbor when the grave markers were discovered. Lindsey and the DAR brought in eighth-generation Loudouner Ken Fleming to restore and conserve the burial site. Fleming has restored more than 100 graves of veterans and their families.

His work over two years included reconstructing the vaults with brick taken from a local building dating to the 1790s and cleaning and repairing the marble capstones. Fleming also installed memorial monument stones for the three Carter children who died at an early age at North Hill, although the exact site of their burials is lost. And Lindsey installed a wrought iron fence around the memorials.

“This has been an incredibly rewarding effort for all of us involved,” said Kecia Brown, Regent of the Ketoctin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “Speaking for my fellow daughters, we are so very proud that we can continue to preserve the legacy and culture of the American Revolution.”

The ceremony was also marked with a musket salute by the Sons of the American Revolution.

The restored burial sites of Charles and Elizabeth “Betty” Carter on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. [Renss Greene/Loudoun Now]

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