Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 12:55

Menokin, also known as Francis Lightfoot Lee House, was the plantation of Francis Lightfoot Lee near Warsaw, Virginia. Lee was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Menokin was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) documentation, including photos from the 1940s, shows the house standing and reported that it was in poor condition, awaiting a restorer. The National Park Service webpage shows the house in ruins, but reports that woodwork had been removed and placed in storage in the 1960s. Although the house has partly collapsed, the Menokin Foundation has developed a plan to restore the house using glass segments to fill missing portions of the building instead of trying to restore the house to its original condition.

Menokin was built c. 1769 on the occasion of the marriage of Francis Lightfoot Lee and Rebecca Tayloe. Rebecca was the daughter of John Tayloe II, who built neighboring Mount Airy. John Tayloe II gave the couple the large plantation on Cat Point Creek, approximately five miles upstream from the Rappahannock River, and financed construction of the two-story stone Menokin and its dependencies. Soon after, Francis Lightfoot Lee joined the cause of American independence, serving in the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1779 and signing the Declaration of Independence (together with his brother Richard Henry Lee) and the Articles of Confederation. Both Francis Lightfoot and Rebecca Tayloe Lee died in the winter of 1797. Menokin was then owned by Rebecca's nephew John Tayloe III, who lived at Mt. Airy and later built the Octagon House in Washington, D.C. Between 1809 and 1819, John Tayloe Lomax lived at Menokin with his family. Lomax would later become the first Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Menokin passed hands several times and went into serious decline around 1935 when it lay, for the most part, vacant before coming into possession of The Menokin Foundation in 1995.

NW of jct. of Rtes. 690 and 621, near Warsaw, Virginia
38.00842°N 76.80368°W
Francis Lightfoot Lee
NRHP Ref Number