Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

015-0019 Mount Athos

Mount Athos
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/18/1975

NRHP Listing Date 07/24/1975

NPS property number 75002016

This stone ruin atop a wooded ridge overlooking the James River is of a plantation house built ca. 1800 for William J. Lewis. Its elevated site, one-story plan, classical portico, and polygonal projections have led to the speculation that its design was influenced by Thomas Jefferson, who showed partiality to all these elements in his own works. Lewis family tradition holds that Lewis and Jefferson were friends and that Jefferson advised on the house. Mount Athos was gutted by fire in 1876. The Lynchburg Daily Virginian noted the many valuable paintings and fine library it had contained and commented: “It is sad to see an ancient abode of so much refinement, elegance, and hospitality swept away.” Archaeological investigation of the ruins and their immediate surroundings could provide additional information on this enigmatic structure.


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

Updated September 19, 2018