The origins of Hartland Hall Plantation date back to the Grimes Grant from the King of England in the seventeenth century. The two properties which originally made up the Hartland Hall Plantation were two separate tracts, Lovell and Oakland. The properties were merged about 1803. The property passed in 1803, by will, from John Terrell to Robert Terrell, father to son. At Robert’s death the land was passed to his daughter, Ellen Terrell, who had married Robert Lovell. The land stayed in the Lovell family for two more generations until 1906 when it was purchased by Robert K. Smith, of New York, who between 1918 and 1923, built the present-day Hartland Hall mansion.
The mansion, a magnificent structure, was built of the finest materials available, and is situated on a knoll facing north, presiding over a stunning view of the estate (view has since been obscured by trees but will be reopened under new master plan). Two lakes and the Robinson River lie northward in view of the mansion, while several miles away is Cedar Mountain, the scene of one of the memorable conflicts of the Civil War. Beyond the Cedar Mountain battlefield preserve lies the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park.
This beautiful property was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. John M. Hart in 1955. The Harts, devoted Christians, whose lives have demonstrated a strong commitment to Christian education, deeded the property to Milligan College, a Christian college in Tennessee in 1976.
With the establishment of a board of trustees in July of 1982, Health Ministries East began an extensive property search which culminated in December of 1982 when the board voted to pursue the purchase of Hartland Hall Plantation in Rapidan, Virginia.
Extensive negotiations and financial arrangements for the purchase of the property finally culminated in July of 1983. A Special Use Permit to operate a college and health center was granted by Madison County on May 3, 1983. Hartland College officially opened in September of 1983 with 13 students and an enthusiastic group of pioneering (missionary-minded?) faculty.
Today, Hartland College continues as a supportive ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist church, dedicated to providing a nurturing environment where students are holistically trained to be 21st century missionary professionals. The campus is situated on a nature preserve with miles of hiking trails, forests lakes and streams maintained for the enjoyment and education of faculty and students.
Hartland College offers associate and baccalaureate degrees in Health science, Religion, Education, Media Technology and Midwifery. The college features a unique core curriculum that teaches students to grow their own food in diverse environments, participate in work education, engage in structured community outreach projects, receive in-depth Bible worker training at our on-campus Bible school, and learn outdoor/adventure education skills that encourage active, healthy lifestyles for life.
We have an army of youth today who can do much if they are properly directed and encouraged. We want our children to believe the truth…. Let all be so trained that they may rightly represent the truth, giving the reason of the hope that is within them, and honoring God in any branch of the work where they are qualified to labor.
Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, p. 205.