The History of The Chilton House & Family
Moments in a 400 year old story that continues today.
Coming to America
Mary Chilton Arrives on the Mayflower
In the year 1620, at age 13, Mary Chilton (pictured left) crossed the Atlantic with the crew of the Mayflower. Her father James Chilton died in the crossing, and she was adopted by the leader of the colony, John Alden. She is given the honor as the first woman ashore on Plymouth Rock.
The Revolutionary War
Captain John Chilton
John Chilton III (left, sword raised) married Lucy Blackwell and moved to Warrenton. When war broke out, he served as Captain of the 3rd Virginia Regiment from 1775 to his death at the Battle of Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777. He perished along with his troops as they held the line to the rest of the American Army could escape. His diary is among the best records of the war.
The Civil War
Warrenton exchanged hands 67 times during the war, essentially making it an occupied town. The backyard at Chilton House was used as a small farm and as a camp for both union & confederate troops. Civil War era bullets are still regularly found when gardening or digging on the property.
The 20th Century
Austine Chilton McDonnell Marries William Randolph Hearst Jr.
"The Wedding of the Year" at Chilton House
Austine was part of the 3rd generation of Chiltons to live in the house, a prolific journalist who married into the most well-known journalism family in the nation, The Hearsts. They were married at the Warrenton Court House, received their guests in the reception rooms, and held dinner on the grounds behind the home.
Chilton House restored!
Today, the house is occupied by John Chilton McAuliff, the tenth generation in Warrenton. The entire branch of the Chilton family contributed to the restoration project, including Mary McDonnell, Barbara McDonnell, Kathy McDonnell, and William McDonnell McAuliff.