Gunston Hall was a busy, thriving enterprise made possible by the work of hundreds of people who were not part of the Mason family. Some people, such as Thomas Halbert, a tenant farmer, and Mrs. Newman, a governess, had a choice. Others, such as Cato, an enslaved man who probably worked in the fields, and William Bernard Sears, an indentured servant, toiled at Gunston Hall in bondage.
We are still uncovering the details of their lives. Historical documents and archaeological evidence tell us that their experience was far removed from that of the people who lived in the mansion that remains today. From the food they ate to the clothes they wore to the work they did to the buildings they lived in, many residents experienced much more hardship and much less elegance than the Masons did.
Learn more about all of the people who lived in and around the property.