The Founding of the Inn at Kelly’s Ford
The Inn at Kelly’s Ford, established in 2000, is a beautiful piece of history tucked away on the Rappahannock River. The peaceful property is home to an extensive history dating back to the 1700’s. The Main House of the Inn holds centuries of history within its walls, and is the last standing building on the property that dates back to the 1700’s.
The property’s first noted owners were the Kelly family, who owned and operated a small town on the land. The Main House of the Inn was their place of residence while the grounds was home to a flour mill, cloth-factory, general store, blacksmith, wheelwright shop, copper shop, sawmill, and shoe shop. This plentiful town earned the name “Kellysville”.
Nearly a century later, during the Civil War in 1862, the town of Kellysville shut down its town operations in anticipation of the approaching Federal troops destroying the works. On March 17th, 1863, Brig. Gen. William. W. Averell led 2,100 Union cavalry men across the Rappahannock River to Kelly’s Ford. On these grounds, the Union troops met the Confederate troops to commence “The Battle at Kelly’s Ford”. During this battle, well known Confederate Calvary Officer John Pelham was mortally wounded and met his death soon after. The battle ended with a draw, making it the first battle in which the Confederate troops had not triumphed.
Many years later, the Willoughby family purchased the remains of Kellysville with plans to preserve the history by transforming the Kelly homestead into a beautiful Inn. The renovation began in 1999 and by 2000, Kelly’s Ford had flourished into a beautifully inviting slice of paradise. While preserving the Main House and gravesite of the Kelly family, several unique accommodations were added to the Inn, as well as, two restaurants, an equestrian center, and several outdoor and indoor venues for weddings and special events. The property is also bordered by the Rappahannock River, to include tubing, kayaking, and canoeing.
For additional articles on the Inn at Kelly’s Ford history, as well as, history on local properties, please follow the links below: