Mount Gilead, built in the second half of the 18th century, is the sole survivor of Newgate village, a colonial settlement and trading center, renamed Centreville in 1792, when an act of the Virginia assembly gave it town status. Presenting an excellent example of local Potomac River architecture with porches and end chimneys, Mount Gilead served as an ordinary and a private residence until the Civil War came to Centreville.
In October 1861, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston brought his 40,000 man army to Centreville for winter camp and moved into Mount Gilead. Forts and miles of earthworks were constructed throughout the Centreville area during the winter of 1861-1862. Remains of one section survive in the northeast corner of the Mount Gilead property, near a family cemetery.
After General Johnston's departure, Mount Gilead remained a private residence until 1996 when the property was acquired by Fairfax County.
Mount Gilead is a Fairfax County Historic Site located within the Centreville Historic District.