The Etlan Property

By March 30, 2021 August 22nd, 2021 Articles

Sprawled at the base of Old Rag Mountain; rolling hills, ancient rock outcroppings, freshwater trout streams, working farmland, and a network of nature corridors make the Etlan Property extremely complex. 

The design team set out to conduct a site analysis in order to unpack its holistic potential.


  • 1725 – Established by German settlers, formerly Herbon community 
  • 1775 – Madison Men included in the formation of the Culpeper Minutemen during the Revolutionary War 
  • 1766 – Baptist preachers began preaching in the county 
  • 1792 – Madison County formed 
  • 1845 – Main crops were tobacco, hemp, flax, and wheat 
  • 1926 – Shenandoah National Park was established 
  • 2008 – Madison population 13,398 


  • Old rag dates back to 1 billion years ago
  • Old rag mountain stands as a geological monument within the modern landscape.
  • Old rag mountain is formed by a granite called old rag granite.
  • Old rag granite is a foundation to a number of other types of stone that can be found up and down the Appalachian trail, such as quartzite, limestone, basalt and phyllite

While on site we documented the environmental and cultural conditions through photographs, sketches, and mapping. The cultural identity of the area is defined by agricultural production of livestock, wine production, and organic food harvesting. Agricultural production is made possible by the fertility of the surrounding landscape, which is composed of rich minerals and soils posited in the eastern valleys of the Appalachian mountains. These mountains are a draw for many looking to retreat from the intensity of city life. 

We are excited to continue learning more about the intricate systems at work on this property, and deliver a design that not only meets the expectations of the owners but enhances the natural environment in a beautiful way.

Stay tuned as this project develops!