Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

002-0051 Monticola

Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, ca. 1989

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/18/1989

NRHP Listing Date 06/22/1990

NRHP Reference Number 90000872

With its hillside site in the Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District above the village of Howardsville, overlooking the James River valley, Monticola preserves a romantic image of antebellum gentility. The grand Greek Revival mansion, its glowing white portico, cornices, and corner pilasters set off by red brick walls, was built in 1853 for Daniel James Hartsook, an entrepreneurial merchant, banker, and planter, who made a fortune in Howardsville when the community prospered from its situation along the James River and Kanawha Canal. Union troops raided Howardsville in 1865 and destroyed many of Hartsook’s businesses. Monticola was also raided but not damaged. Hartsook subsequently moved to Richmond where he rebuilt his fortune. In 1887 the estate was purchased by Richmond tobacconist and diplomat, Emil Otto Nolting, who modified the portico and added the north semi-circular porch. The interior, which has generally plain Greek Revival woodwork in its high-ceiling rooms, has been little changed.

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: August 26, 2021