In 1716 Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood led a group of 62 men on an expedition westward across the Blue Ridge. As the group passed through some of Virginia's most exquisite land. Spotswood's men were continually awestruck by the successive beauty they encountered throughout their journey.
After the trip, Spotswood is believed to have presented each officer with a gold pin that was shaped like a horseshoe, and the men became known as "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe."
In 1722, King George of the British Crown granted, 24,000 acres of Virginia land in Spotswood. Much of the grant was the very same land that Spotswood explored with his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. In turn, Spotswood passed on the grant to the Octonia Company, a group of eight Virginians, most, or all, had been officers on Spotswood's real estate expedition.
Orginially part of what was the newly formed Orange County, the grant extended along the south bank of the Rapidan River, from Laurel Run, just north of the town of Orange, westward to the Blue Ridge foothills.
Today, half of the grant remains in Orange County. The other half makes up the heart of Greene County, which became independant from Orange in 1838. Greene County acknowledges it's rich history by embracing the horseshoue as it's official County emblem.
The town Standardsville, incorporated in 1794, was originally part of a 6,000-acre parcel of the grant. William Standard, namesake and grandson of one of the original grantees, received the land from his great uncle Robert Beverly, son of Captain Harry Beverly, another original grantee.
Also, still present is a large boulder, called the Octonia Stone, which marks the northwest corner of the Octonia Grant. With its pre-revolutionary war symbol etched onto the surface-two circles, one atop the other, forming an "8" topped by a cross - this important stone is a Virginia Historic Landmark and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. The stone rest just down the road from Octonia Highlands, about half-a-mile from the Parrot Farm entrance.
As tribute to the rich history and lore of ths unique property, Octonia Highlands derives its name from the historic Octonia Grant. Streets are named in honor of some of the original grantees and the region's founding fathers.
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