Upperville Refinement

A certain rural sophistication marks Peace and Plenty Farm, the epitome of unpretentious Hunt Country living.

Horses, a fine stone pair, bracket the mile-long entrance to Rose Marie Bogley’s Peace and Plenty Farm at Bollingbrook, in Upperville. A tree-lined drive follows along low stone walls and then turns sharply between two massive cedars that frame the first view of the house rising bright white from the blue-grey evergreens.

On any given day, the scene might be a sea of tweed jackets and horse trailers for the Piedmont Hunt breakfast Bogley hosts every December, or the black-tie revelers filling a tented courtyard for the Middleburg Humane Foundation’s annual benefit. But the constant guests are the 90 or so stray cats and dogs Bogley has collected. They spill out of nearly every corner of the farm—two cats prowl the pool house, an orange tabby haunts the slave church and a cocker spaniel rules the back porch from a velvet dog bed. A Shih Tzu named Mr. Newman (after the similarly baby-blued actor) was adopted several weeks ago despite heart palpitations and a host of other difficulties. “I get the ones with real problems,” says Bogley.

Photographs of a Bogley’s life cover the carpeted walls of her TV room: here wearing James Galanos couture and shaking hands with president Jimmy Carter, there presenting a trophy with pre-Elizabeth Taylor John Warner, and hundreds of shots of her on horseback.

“She is an extraordinarily marvelous human being and one of the most accomplished riders in the hunt field,” says Sen. Warner, a long-time friend. “I was among three or four men proud to escort her out.”

She could have been mistaken for Ursula Andress’ sister then (and today) with her deep-set green eyes and perfect mane. Bogley hadn’t ridden a day before she met her husband Sam in D.C. He was then master of the Potomac Hunt. They wed 11 months later. “We were married in March and hunted in Ireland in November,” says Bogley.

Daughter Hilleary was on a horse at nine months old because “my husband said if she can walk, she can ride.” After her husband’s tragic death in a foxhunting fall in 1966, Bogley taught herself sidesaddle riding from a book. “I’d read a chapter and then get on,” she says. Bogley went on to national acclaim in that event, winning Madison Square Garden three times.

With similar zeal almost 19 years ago, she snapped up Peace and Plenty Farm, a 400-acre parcel of a 1702 Royal grant to Robert “King” Carter. Sixteen additional buildings came with the property, including a late-1700s in-ground silo (the oldest in the state), a 14-stall horse barn and stone guesthouses.

“When I bought it I thought I’d do over one house a year,” says Bogley, “but I forgot about maintenance.”

Bollingbrook itself is really two houses—an elegant 1830 manor added onto a late-Federal 1809 house. “Nobody had lived here for 15 years,” Bogley remembers of her first visit. “Scenic wallpaper hung in ribbons, the ceilings were down…it was a total mess.” Not one piece of molding in the front of the house survived the house’s period of neglect. Bogley restored the 15-foot-tall rooms’ ornate cornices and Corinthian-capped pilasters that frame the 12-foot doorways and all four original mantels. “I came in and had everything painted white,” says Bogley.

Today more dynamic color has crept in, with high-gloss tobacco brown appearing in no fewer than three rooms. But the music room is banana coral, which she confesses was “a really cheap paint from the local hardware store.” The malachite-green marble library walls Bogley did herself.

“I can’t paint every room brown,” she says of the expanding palette.

Throughout the house, pedigree, economy and savvy collide: Yes, this is a multi-million-dollar estate and yes, the Mellons are across the way, but the tag on the Rolls in the garage reads “Farm Use Only” and a lack of pretension prevails.

“I was going to buy instant ancestors coming up the wall,” she says of the enormous foyer stairway. Instead, she landed a 15-by-9-foot Dutch animal scene at auction in New York City, which she bought “because there was no blood and no gore.” She then climbed onto a scaffold to paint a frame on the wall around it when the carpenter’s estimates came in too high. The Renaissance Revival console table in the green library was bought by her husband for $35 in nearby Paris, Va. and brought home in their horse trailer.

The breakfront from Marion du Pont Scott’s estate sale spans an entire dining room wall and holds a 144-piece Tiffany china set, each piece with a different hand-painted hunting scene. “There’s not one chip on it,” Bogley says proudly. “I’ve used it three times and I’ve been an absolute wreck.” Opposite such a densely pedigreed display, a white plaster antelope presides elegantly over the mantel. It’s a Bloomingdale’s or Wanamaker department store display prop that Bogley picked up at a flea market.

The brown library boasts equestrian trappings Ralph Lauren would kill for. Silver hunting trophies, boot base lamps, an elegant brass and leather jockey’s scale, crops, shiny French horns. Intermingled on tabletops and among well-worn spines on the bookshelves are brass foxes, glazed pottery, and bisque porcelain.

Bollingbrook has a coherence and grace that takes its cue from its owner and her daughter Hilleary, who is the president and founder of the Middleburg Humane Foundation. She lives nearby and is poised to continue her mother’s legacy.

“She’s the court-appointed animal cruelty officer for Fauquier County and has been threatened with knives and a sledgehammer,” says Rose Marie Bogley. “I think she deserves the Nobel Prize.”

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