In 1860, Benjamin Chinn and his family lived here in a two-and-a-half story frame farmhouse. Known as "Hazel Plain," the modest plantation comprised several hundred acres. The property was typical of those in Prince William County, yielding wheat, corn, oats, and potatoes for cash and subsistence. Like roughly one-third of their immediate neighbors, the Chinn family owned slaves.
War engulfed the Chinn homestead twice in thirteen months. Prominently located on a high ridge overlooking the Warrenton Turnpike and Young's Branch, Hazel Plain stood as a silent witness to some of the heaviest fighting during both battles of Manassas. On each occasion the family took refuge with relatives. They returned to find their house stained with blood and their well fouled by amputated limbs. It was a scene familiar to many local residents whose homes stood in the crosshairs of combat.