Belvoir, meaning "beautiful to see," was built about 1741 for William Fairfax, land agent for his cousin Thomas, sixth baron Fairfax of Cameron and Northern Neck proprietor. George Washington was introduced to Belvoir and its gentry culture while in his mid-teens, during stays at Mount Vernon with his half-brother Lawrence, who married William Fairfax's daughter Anne. After the house burned in 1783, Washington wrote to George Fairfax that "the happiest moments of my life had been spent there" at Belvoir. Sept. 1814, British vessels shelled the walls of the house. The U.S. War Department acquired the tract in 1912 for a military camp.