Occoquan Guild Selects Rockledge Mansion for the Virginia Executive Mansion Christmas Tree

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Provided by Occoquan Business Guild


Historic Occoquan was one of several Virginia localities selected by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to submit a handcrafted ornament for the 2016 Executive Mansion Christmas tree. The theme selected by the Governor for this special occasion is “Home for the Holidays.”

The Occoquan Business Guild commissioned local artist Vicky Somma to design an ornament that is representative of Occoquan’s rich history. In 2014, Somma designed an ornament depicting the Library of Congress that was displayed on the Christmas tree in the East Wing of the White House. For the 2016 tree, Somma devoted her time and energy to designing the Rockledge Mansion, a historic Georgian home that was built in 1758 from stone at the request of John Balladine, a wealthy local industrialist. William Buckland, a master builder and colonial Chesapeake architect, helped Balladine complete this historic project because they were interested in making Occoquan a port and industrial town. This mansion on 9.9 acres of land was home to various entrepreneurs, and in 1973 Rockledge Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The ornament is a 3-D model that is made of grey and silver plastic and displays the mansion in its entirety. Ms. Somma has been constructing 3-D ornaments and other pieces for the past couple of years. She is a computer programmer who was born and raised in Occoquan. Somma’s father, mother and grandparents have lived in Occoquan since 1976.

Somma spent three weekends working on the 3-D ornament, which included taking photographs and mathematical measurements of the historic building. The mansion was restored and serves as a venue for weddings and other occasions to this day.

The Governor’s Executive Mansion Christmas tree will be on display in the Executive Mansion ballroom throughout the holidays.

For more information about the ornament, Ms. Somma or the Occoquan Guild, please contact, Laverne Carson at lavcarson@aol.com. She can also be reached at 703-201-8499.


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