Francz von Schilling Jr. and More Recent Owners

On March 28, 1941, John Tucker Battle deeded the 449 acre Mount Pleasanttract and its improvements to FranzVon SchillingJr.and his wife, ElizabethLivingstonVon Schilling.  At that time the property was described as 449 acres, “the residue of a tract conveyed to the Ingersoll Manufacturing and Development Company by JamesP.Beattyand his wife.”  The Battle-Von Schilling deed succinctly recounted the property’s recent chain of title (Surry County Deed Book 44:493).  Between December 17th and 21stFranzVon SchillingJr. hadMount Pleasant surveyed.  The plat that was prepared contains a tiny and somewhat crude sketch of the house (a central block to which were attached two wings).  The property abutted the James River on the north, the James River and Gray’s Creek on the east, the land of Garland Gray and B. T. Eppes on the south, and B. T. Eppes on the west (Surry County Plat Book 5:137-138). The Von Schillings made Mount Pleasant their personal residence for many years.  A newspaper article written around 1962, which indicated that Franz Von Schilling Jr. was an oil company executive, indicated that he and his wife refurbished Mount Pleasant and furnished it with period antiques they had collected in various parts of the world (Robins, September 26, [1962]).

OnJuly 6, 1974,StanleyandCeceliaYeskolski, who owned some neighboring property, made a legally binding agreement withFranzVon SchillingJr.whereby they consented to straightening the common boundary line they shared. They agreed to make the public road to Swann’s Point their property line. The description of the old boundary line reveals that it meandered slightly as it followed the trace of the old road to Swann’s Point (Surry County Deed Book 78:195).  Shortly afterVon Schillingsigned the agreement with the Yeskolskis, he conveyed to the U. S. Government a scenic easement on 130 acres of theMount Pleasanttract, including the promontory known as Swann’s Point. Von Schillingstated that he was conveying the easement to the government in order to protect the scenic view of his property, which lay across fromJamestownIslandand theColonial Parkway.  He referred to the 130 acres as the “Black Duck Gut tract” and stated that it lay east of the 284 acres ofMount Pleasantthat he had retained.  OnJuly 1, 1974, a plat was made of the land upon whichFranzVon SchillingJr.had conveyed a scenic easement to the federal government (Surry County Deed Book 78:262, 266-277).

On January 9, 1975, FranzVon SchillingJr.of Mount Pleasantdeeded all of his real estate to his son and daughter, who were identified as his trustees.  It was then that ownership of Mount Pleasantwas passed to Virginia Von Schilling Eley of Rumson, N.J., and FranzVon SchillingIIIof Bath County, Virginia.  On December 20, 1999, FranzVon SchillingIIItransferred his legal interest in the Mount Pleasanttract to Claud Von Schilling Eley and others.  He indicated that ClaudVon Schillingand his wife, Elizabeth, and D. Prentis andKevinEley were entitled to an interest in the property as part of the January 1975 trust agreement.  Finally, onSeptember 28, 2000,ClaudeVon Schilling and his wife,Elizabeth; D. Prentis Eley Nottebohm and her husband;ThomasR.; andKevenP.Eley and his wife,Susan M.; conveyed the late Franz Von Schilling Jr.’s Mount Pleasant tract to Nicholas and Shelley D.Schorsch ofMeadowbrook,Pennsylvania.  A notation was made that the land being transferred was what remained of Mount Pleasant  after 130 acres had been transferred to the U. S. Government (Surry County Deed Book 158:424; 162:719-728).