Stratford Hall
Stratford Hall
483 Great House Road
Stratford VA 22558-0001
Mission Statement Robert E. Lee Memorial Association preserves the legacy of the Lee family and their plantation community; inspires an appreciation of America's past and encourages commitment to the ideals of leadership, honor, independent thought and civic responsibility.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John S. Bacon
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Wilson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Board Member
Contact Information
Address Stratford Hall
483 Great House Road
Stratford, VA 225580001
Telephone 804 493-8919
Fax 804 493-0333
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1933
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $2,212,774.00
Projected Expenses $2,483,099.00
Mission Robert E. Lee Memorial Association preserves the legacy of the Lee family and their plantation community; inspires an appreciation of America's past and encourages commitment to the ideals of leadership, honor, independent thought and civic responsibility.

Despite the unexpected loss of our Executive Director in 2015, Stratford Hall is thriving. We achieved success in our mission of education, preservation and research.

In fiscal year 2016, we began work on content that will be a new tour on (re)discover Stratford mobile devices: the African American story at Stratford Hall. This will be the first new offering beyond the core suite of tours, and will provide visitors with a fuller story about Stratford Hall. Information from Stratford’s collections, library and archives and from what is known about the experiences of other African Americans in Tidewater Virginia will be used.

We had a nearly 3 % increase in the number of visitors (27,176) compared to the previous year, with a 20% increase in participants in our school tours (1,745). Stratford Hall continues to offer an array of programs for lifelong learners. These include more traditional history programs, but also ones that deal with paleontology, wildlife, race relations and family-fun programs.

Collections and furnishing work for the Dining Room and Alcove continues in the Great House. These spaces are being returned to an appearance that will represent the late 1810’s, and provide a context for us to discuss the Lees who last owned Stratford. Architectural investigation and preservation work began on the Southeast Chamber and adjoining room. After restoration, thorough interiors research, and re-decoration, these rooms will resemble their appearance in 1807.

Additional archaeology was conducted in fiscal year 2016 that will help inform the plans for the East Garden, and that will help transform the West Garden into a work yard.

Other operations, including the Lee Family Digital Archive, a flagship initiative, the DuPont Library and support areas (including lodging and dining, farming, etc.) continued on course.

After the tragic and unexpected death of Executive Director Paul Reber, Capt. Carter B. Refo (USN ret.) led the organization while a nationwide search was conducted by the firm Russell Reynolds Associates. In April, John S. Bacon, previously a member of the senior leadership team at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, was named President of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association. (Title changed from Executive Director.) Bacon assumed responsibilities in June, 2016.


Successful Closure of Capital Campaign – December 31, 2016 marked the end of our $17.2 million comprehensive campaign. 

Grow the Annual Fund – Annual operating support must grow in order to keep pace with the increased audience we are reaching. We hope to raise $1 million for the Annual Fund in fiscal year 2018.

Continue Work on Chief Projects – work on the Great House will continue as well as the gardens and landscape, and other initiatives.

Organizational Assessment – With new leadership, we will begin a period of assessment to mark our progress and evaluate opportunities that are available.


Stratford Hall is located on Virginia's historic Northern Neck in Westmoreland County.  The Great House was built by Thomas Lee in the 1730's.  It was home to two signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee as well as the birthplace of Robert E. Lee.  The Robert E. Lee Memorial Association purchased the property in 1929 and still owns and operates the site. 

Now, Stratford Hall encompasses some 1,900 acres along the Potomac River, is still farmed and has a public dining room, guest suites, research library, visitor center and gift shop. Guided and self-guided mobile tours are offered, as well as a wide array of special programs. Visitors can also hike our nature trails, walk through the restored gardens and view the cliffs from Stratford’s overlook high above the Potomac. Stratford welcomes some 28,000 visitors annually.

While the Stratford story initially focused on the life of Robert E. Lee, the site’s interpretation now encompasses four generations of the Lee family and the freed and enslaved people who lived at Stratford Hall.

The organization is governed by a national Board of Directors, and has the counsel of a National Council. The staff includes the president, a full complement of library, collections and preservation specialists as well as landscape professionals, educators and docents.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
While Stratford Hall is pleased to welcome visitors from around the world, many of the individuals who take part in our programs are from the Northern Neck and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Washington DC areas and Southern Maryland.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Wilson
Company Affiliation Board Member
Term Oct 2015 to Oct 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mrs. Mary Jane Brock Community Volunteer
Mrs. Michelle Brookshire Director
Dr. Virginia Collier Community Volunteer
Mrs. Virginia Day Community Volunteer
Mrs. Elaine Deming Community Volunteer
Mrs. Sarah Fisher Community Volunteer
Mrs. Laura Gillette Community Volunteer
Mrs. Custis Glover Community Volunteer
Mrs. Cynthia Guill Community Volunteer
Mrs. Martina Hayward Community Volunteer
Mrs. Kathryn Hendricks Community Volunteer
Mrs. Nancy Isham Community Volunteer
Mrs. Martha Anne Jackson Community Volunteer
Mrs. Katie Lasker Community Volunteer
Mrs. Margaret Lee Community Volunteer
Mrs. Dianne Lykes Community Volunteer
Miss Paula Madden Community Volunteer
Mrs. Talbot Payne Community Volunteer
Mrs. Margaret Plum Community Volunteer
Mrs. Ann Ramsey Community Volunteer
Mrs. Anne Redd Director
Ms. Patricia Refo Snell & Wilmer LLP
Mrs. Paula Ruffin Paula Ruffin Interiors
Mrs. Jean Rutherfoord Community Volunteer
Mrs. Jane Schwab Community Volunteer
Mrs. Barbara Slick Community Volunteer
Mrs. Harriet Stephens Community Volunteer
Mrs. Cita Suratgar Community Volunteer
Mrs. Mary Wilson Community Volunteer
Mrs. Page Woltz Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 30
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 30
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 3
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Campus Planning and Development
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
Mr. H. Furlong Baldwin Community Volunteer
The Hon. John Chichester Community Volunteer
Mr. Ron Fleming Community Volunteer
Mr. Robert Grey Community Volunteer
The Hon. John H. Hager Community Volunteer
Mr. James J. Lee Community Volunteer
Mr. Henry Long Community Volunteer
Mr. Philip S. Reese Community Volunteer
Capt. Carter B. Refo Community Volunteer
Mrs. Alice Siegel Community Volunteer
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. John S. Bacon

John S. Bacon has served as President of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association since June, 2016. Mr. Bacon previously was with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia, for 28 years.

He has executive leadership skills from his experience serving as a member of the president’s senior staff and from oversight of significant staff and financial resources. As SVP for External Affairs, his responsibilities included creation and supervision of a vibrant integrated marketing and communications strategy; oversight of the visitor center; community and government relations; publications; and corporate archives and records. He has also led fundraising and event initiatives. Bacon first joined Colonial Williamsburg as in-house legal officer, assuming responsibility for all legal work at the Foundation and becoming the organization’s first in-house general counsel. He served as secretary of the Foundation with administrative responsibility for board relations throughout his tenure.

Bacon also served the Greater Williamsburg Area as chairman and board member of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Alliance, chairman and board member of the Williamsburg Area Destination Marketing Committee, and board member of the United Way of Greater Williamsburg and the Greater Williamsburg YMCA.

“Stratford Hall’s mission, centered on the leadership of generations of the Lee family, and the range of opportunities on site are gems, and I am excited to help convey that identity to current and future audiences,” said Bacon about his appointment to the position. “The historic site arena is challenging but immensely important and enriching, and Stratford Hall, with its exceptional grounds and riverfront, has fascinating stories to tell and memorable experiences to offer.”

Bacon holds a BA in history from Amherst College and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Senior Staff
Ms. Lesley Brooks Director, the Inn at Stratford Hall
Mrs. Judith S Hynson Director of Research
Mr. Andy Lo Chef
Mr. Phil Mark Director of Preservation
Ms. Abigail Newkirk Director of Interpretation & Education
Ms. Helena Omohundro Director of Budget & Finance
Ms. Gretchen Goodell Pendleton Curator
Mr. Matt Peterschmidt Director of Landscapes
Ms. Regina Pitts Annual Fund Coordinator
Mr. Jim Schepmoes Director of Marketing & PR
Full Time Staff 32
Part Time Staff 38
Volunteers 0
Contractors 2
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

In addition to guided tours and school programs, Stratford Hall is offering over 30 special programs this year. These range from birding and outdoor discovery programs to Lees & Independence to our annual Wine & Oyster Festival. Other programs focus on the African American experience at Stratford Hall and race relations. Stratford Hall also offers a highly-regarded teachers institute. Sponsorship of programs depends on the individual budget for each, but there are opportunities ranging from $500 to $25,000.

Population Served Families
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $2,212,774.00
Projected Expenses $2,483,099.00
Endowment Value $21,073,991.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage (if selected) 4
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$2,471,187$2,175,841$1,582,806
Investment Income, Net of Losses($583,874)$462,416$3,235,075
Membership Dues------
Special Events$46,912----
Revenue In-Kind$217,803$51,436--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$3,014,242$3,224,128$3,068,050
Administration Expense$711,706$573,948$521,041
Fundraising Expense$411,871$461,336$472,266
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.780.921.48
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%76%76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue16%21%30%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$30,317,543$31,087,430$31,448,573
Current Assets$3,345,749$2,533,287$2,198,453
Long-Term Liabilities$26,248$6,755$20,013
Current Liabilities$530,245$481,485$506,133
Total Net Assets$29,761,050$30,599,190$30,922,427
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.315.264.34
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose Securing a Place for the Past is a $17M Comprehensive Campaign. Goals of the campaign include expanding the Stratford Hall story, presenting the Stratford Hall story, and sustaining the Stratford Hall story. Funding components include designated projects, capital projects, endowment and the annual fund.
Goal $17,274,007.00
Dates July 2008 to Dec 2016
Amount Raised To Date $17,165,165.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2015View
Organization Comments

Stratford Hall continues to chart its course in the ever-changing landscape of museum operations. Knowing that previous operating models are no longer relevant, we continue to attract new visitors and donors through innovative programming, social media and through our network of existing Stratford Hall supporters. We continue our strategies to develop more earned income through our Gift Shop, Dining and Lodging and Gate operations. Evaluation of new programs, operations and equipment is considered to determine if they are sustainable.

Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from IRS 990s and audited financial statements.
  • IRS 990s and audited financial statements prepared by Hantzmon Wiebel, LLP.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" also includes corporate and foundation support, as well as money raised through special events.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" may also include support from government agencies.