Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

002-0016 Cliffside

Photo credit: Jeff O'Dell/DHR, ca 1981

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/20/1981

NRHP Listing Date 09/16/1982

NRHP Reference Number 82004536

Cliffside, sited on a steep hill overlooking the southern Albemarle County town of Scottsville, is a boldly detailed expression of Piedmont Virginia Federal-style architecture. Profiting from Scottsville’s rise to prosperity in the antebellum period as a canal and turnpike town, Gilly M. Lewis, a local doctor and mill owner, built Cliffside as his residence in 1835. The unusually well-preserved house is distinguished by its large scale, ambitious but somewhat provincial exterior detailing, and robust interior woodwork. As with many of the region’s early-19th-century houses, the crisply white classical trim is set off by red brick walls. Cliffside served as Gen. Philip Sheridan’s headquarters during a Union raid of Scottsville in March 1865, and also as the quarters of Gen. George A. Custer.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: September 7, 2022