In 1750 George Keller, husband of Barbara Hottel, received a land grant from Lord Thomas Fairfax. This 400 acre portion of land became the Keller home when he and his family settles there ca. 1760. Surrounding this property was land owned by Barbara’s father and brothers George, John, and Charles Hottel. Together these land grants, encompassing over 2,000 acres, define what is commonly called the Hottel-Keller homestead.
During the Civil War this land would be the center of some heavy fighting. The Battle of Toms Brook partially occurred on this land. Both Confederate and Union forces raided structures and families who lived on this tract during the conflict.
Apart from the war, this land has seen a vibrant history related to this area’s agricultural heritage. The farmers who tilled this land, Hottels, Kellers, and others, raised wheat, corn, apples, cattle, and numerous other items. Today most of the property is still part of active farms.
The core portion of the homestead is currently owned by Hottel-Keller Memorial Inc. They maintain the Keller house, built ca. 1800, several other historic structures, and ruins that are related to the original Hottel and Keller immigrants. Their 391 acre tract is also the home to annual reunions, festivals, and the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum.