Situated at the corner of Mt. Gilead Road and General Johnston Place is a formidable house dating to the latter half of the 18th century that served as a private residence and ordinary prior to the Civil War. Originally known as the Black Horse Tavern, proprietor Joel Beach prohibited card playing in order to keep the peace. The next owner was Malcolm Jameson, who owned the house between 1837 and 1904.
In October of 1861, 40,000 Confederate troops led by General Joseph E. Johnston, arrived at Mount Gilead. Fortifications, including earthen mounds used to set up strategic battery defenses, were constructed. One such earthwork still exists on the northeast corner of the property. Both Confederate and Union troops were at Mount Gilead during the Civil War.
A restoration of Mount Gilead in the 1930s saw the original backside of the house reoriented to the front, and the two separate doors that were present during its early incarnation as a tavern converted into a single door.
In 1996, a contract with George Mason University transferred stewardship of Mount Gilead to a professor of American History who lives onsite and tends to the property. Ted McCord has been serving in this role for almost the last quarter-century.