Thorn Hill, HABS Photo
|Location||SW of Lexington off VA 251, near Lexington, Virginia|
|Area||500 acres (200 ha)|
|Architectural style||I House|
|NRHP reference #||75002035|
|Added to NRHP||June 18, 1975|
|Designated VLR||February 18, 1975|
Thorn Hill is a historic home located near Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. It was built in 1792, and is a two-story, five bay, brick I-house dwelling. It has a side gable roof, interior end chimneys with corbelled caps, and a two-story, one-bay wing. The front facade features a colossal tetrastyle portico with Doric order columns. The property includes the contributing log smokehouse, frame kitchen, frame servants house and loom house, and barns and farm outbuildings. Thorn Hill was the home of Col. John Bowyer, a central figure in Rockbridge County's formative years.
Lexington is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 7,042. It is the county seat of Rockbridge County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Lexington with Rockbridge County for statistical purposes. Lexington is about 57 miles (92 km) east of the West Virginia border and is about 50 miles (80 km) north of Roanoke, Virginia. It was first settled in 1777.
Rockbridge County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,307. Its county seat is Lexington. The independent cities of Buena Vista (6,680) and Lexington (7,170) are both enclaved within the county's geographical borders.
The I-house is a vernacular house type, popular in the United States from the colonial period onward. The I-house was so named in the 1930s by Fred Kniffen, a cultural geographer at Louisiana State University who was a specialist in folk architecture. He identified and analyzed the type in his 1936 study of Louisiana house types. He chose the name "I-house" because of its common occurrence in the rural farm areas of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, all states beginning with the letter "I". He did not use the term to imply that this house type originated in, or was restricted to, those three states. It is also referred to as Plantation Plain style.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.
The property has historically been closely associated with nearby Washington and Lee University (W&L). In 1782, Bowyer was appointed one of the first trustees of Liberty Hall Academy, which eventually became W&L.. John Robinson, a principal benefactor of Washington College, and Judge John Brockenbrough, founder of the W&L Law School, lived at Thorn Hill. More recently, Thorn Hill was a dairy farm, and the house itself largely fell into disrepair.
Washington and Lee University is a private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia. Established in 1749, the university is a colonial-era college and the ninth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
In 2004, Bill Johnston and Paul Elliott bought Thorn Hill, spending more than $1 million restoring the property and adding various amenities, including a large pottery studio where the original kitchen (which was built away from the main house to prevent the main house from burning down in the event of a fire) once stood. They also added a scenic driveway and lush gardens. In 2008, the pair attempted to sell the property. Unfortunately the house went on the market the week before the collapse of Bear Stearns. Over the next several years, they kept cutting the price without attracting a buyer. In 2013, the owners decided to auction the house.
Current Washington and Lee Trustee Bennett L. Ross and his wife Alyson Moore Ross were the high bidders during the auction,stating that they "...were interested in buying Thorn Hill because of its ties to Washington and Lee."
Sherwood Forest Plantation Foundation, is located on the north bank of the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. The main plantation house, built in 1730, was the home of 10th President John Tyler (1790-1862) for the last twenty years of his life. It is located on State Route 5, a scenic byway which runs between the independent cities of Richmond and Williamsburg. The house is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the river. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a national monument in Westmoreland County, Virginia, United States. This site was developed in the mid-17th century as a colonial tobacco plantation by Englishman John Washington. A member of the assembly, he was a great-grandfather of George Washington, general and the first United States president. George Washington was born in this house on February 22, 1732. He lived here until age three, returning later to live here as a teenager.
Shirley Plantation is an estate located on the north bank of the James River in Charles City County, Virginia, USA. It is located on State Route 5, a scenic byway which runs between the independent cities of Richmond and Williamsburg. Shirley Plantation is the oldest active plantation in Virginia and is the oldest family-owned business in North America, dating back to 1614 with operations starting in 1638. The plantation was added to the National Register in 1969 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and elsewhere in Spotsylvania County, commemorating four major battles in the American Civil War: Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania.
Woodlawn Mansion is a historic house located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Originally a part of Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic plantation estate, it was subdivided in the 19th century by abolitionists to demonstrate the viability of a free labor system. The address is now 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia, but due to expansion of Fort Belvoir and reconstruction of historic Route 1, access is via Woodlawn Road slightly south of Jeff Todd Way/State Route 235. The house is a designated National Historic Landmark, primarily for its association with the Washington family, but also for the role it played in the historic preservation movement. It is now a museum property owned and managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Mount Airy, near Warsaw in Richmond County, Virginia, built in 1764, is a mid-Georgian plantation house, the first built in the manner of a neo-Palladian villa. Colonel John Tayloe II, perhaps the richest Virginia planter of his generation, constructed it. His daughter Rebecca and her husband, Francis Lightfoot Lee, one of the only pair of brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence are buried on the estate, as are many other Tayloes. Before the American Civil War, Mount Airy was a prominent racing horse farm, as well as headquarters of about 10-12 separate slave plantations along the Rappahannock River. Mount Airy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark as well as on the Virginia Landmarks Register, and is still privately owned by Tayloe's descendants.
Prestwould is a historic house near Clarksville, Virginia. It is the most intact and best documented plantation surviving in Southside Virginia. The house was built by Sir Peyton Skipwith, Baronet, who moved his family from his Elm Hill Plantation to Prestwould in 1797. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2003. It is located on the north side of the Roanoke River, 1-mile (1.6 km) inland, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) southwest of the intersection of Route 15 and Route 701, and approximately one mile north of Clarksville's town limits. Now a museum property, it is open for tours from April to October, or by appointment.
The Washington and Lee University Historic District is a National Historic Landmark District encompassing the historic core elements of the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The campus's Colonnade constitutes one of the nation's finest assemblages of Classical Revival educational buildings, and includes Washington Hall, the school's oldest surviving building. The district also includes Lee Chapel, itself a National Historic Landmark. The district was listed in 1971.
His Lordship's Kindness, also known as Poplar Hill, is a historic plantation estate on Woodyard Road east of Clinton, Maryland. It was built in the 1780s for Prince George's County planter Robert Darnall. The five-part Georgian mansion retains a number of subsidiary buildings including a slave's hospital and a dovecote. The property is now operated as a museum by a local nonprofit preservation group. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
The Lexington Historic District is a national historic district located at Lexington, Virginia. It includes 11 contributing buildings on 600 acres (240 ha) and dates from 1823. It includes Greek Revival, Queen Anne, "Picturesque Cottage", and other architecture. Notable buildings include Washington Hall located on the campus of Washington and Lee University, the Virginia Military Institute, Court House, Presbyterian Manse, Halestones, and The Castle. Located in the district are the separately listed Alexander-Withrow House, Barracks, Virginia Military Institute, the Stonewall Jackson House, Lee Chapel, Lexington Presbyterian Church, Reid-White-Philbin House, and Stono.
Keswick is a historic plantation house located near Powhatan, in Chesterfield County and Powhatan County, Virginia, USA. It was built in the early-19th century, and is an "H"-shaped, two-story, gable-roofed, frame-with-weatherboard building. The house is supported on brick foundations and has a brick exterior end chimney on each gable. Also on the property are a contributing well house, a smokehouse, the circular "slave quarters," a kitchen, a two-story brick house, a shed, and a laundry.
Kendall Grove is a historic plantation house located near Eastville, Northampton County, Virginia. It was built about 1813, and is a two-story, Federal style wood-frame house with two-story projecting pavilions on the front and the rear and smaller two-story wings on each end added about 1840. It is cross-shaped in plan. The main house is joined by a long passage to a wood-frame kitchen-laundry. The house was improved about 1840, with the addition of Greek Revival style interior details. It was the home of Congressman and General Severn E. Parker. The home has the name of Colonel William Kendall, the original owner of the site.
Cessford is a historic plantation house located at Eastville, Northampton County, Virginia. It was built about 1801, and is a 2 1/2-story, Federal style brick dwelling with a later two-story brick addition. It has a slate covered gable roof and features central pedimented porches on the north and south facades. Also on the property are a contributing smokehouse, quarter kitchen, a utility building, and the original pattern of a garden. During the American Civil War, Brigadier General Henry Hayes Lockwood on July 23, 1862, commandeered the property for his headquarters and remained in residence of the property throughout the war.
Ditchley is a historic plantation house located near Kilmarnock, Northumberland County, Virginia. It was built in 1762, and is a two-story, Georgian style brick mansion with a hipped roof. It consists of a five bay main block flanked by one-story wings. The house was renovated and modernized in the 1930s by noted philanthropist Jessie Ball duPont (1884-1970). Also on the property are two contributing smokehouses and the Lee family cemetery and site of a kitchen building.
Dan's Hill is a historic home located near Danville in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It was built in 1833, and is a 2 1/2-story, five bay Federal style brick dwelling. It has a double pile, central-hall plan and a gable roof. Also on the property are the contributing kitchen building, a dairy, a gazebo, an orangery, a privy, smokehouses, and a spinning house.
Mt. Atlas is a historic home and national historic district located near Haymarket, Virginia, United States. It was built about 1795 and is a 2 1/2-story, three-bay, Georgian style, frame dwelling with a single-pile, side hall plan. It has a 1 1/2-story rear ell dated to the late-19th century and a two bay front porch. The house features a single exterior stone chimney, a metal gable roof, and a molded, boxed cornice with modillions. Also included in the district are a smokehouse and the sites of the former kitchen and a carriage house.
Stone House, also known as the Zachariah Johnson House, is a historic home located near Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. It was built in 1797, and is a 2 1/2-story, five bay, stone dwelling. It has a side gable roof, interior end chimneys, and a central-hall-plan. The front facade features a rough-hewn, four columned portico with pediment.
Fort Bowman, also known as Harmony Hall, is a historic home and national historic district located near Middletown, Shenandoah County, Virginia. It was built in 1753, by Pennsylvania German settler George Bowman (1699–1768), father of Colonel John Bowman (1738-1784), Colonel Abraham Bowman (1749-1837), Major Joseph Bowman, and Captain Isaac Bowman (1757-1826). It is a two-story, rectangular limestone building with a gable roof. The interior retains its original woodwork. It has a later kitchen wing and iron and wood portico. Also on the property are a contributing dairy / smokehouse and the Bowman graveyard, which includes the grave of Isaac Bowman.
Stono, also known as Jordan's Point, is a historic home located at Lexington, Virginia. It was built about 1818, and is a cruciform shaped brick dwelling consisting of a two-story, three-bay, central section with one-story, two-bay, flanking wings. The front facade features a two-story Roman Doric order portico with a modillioned pediment and lunette and a gallery at second-floor level. About 1870, a 1 1/2-story rear wing was added connecting the main house to a formerly separate loom house. Also on the property are a contributing summer kitchen, ice house, and office.
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