A forthright example of country Italianate architecture, Elmwood in Culpeper County has the added distinction of preserving interior painted decorations executed in the 1870s by Joseph Dominick Phillip Oddenino. Oddenino was born in Italy in 1831 where he designed patterns for linen in a family business. He emigrated to America in 1862 and served as a musician in the Union army. Following the war, he settled in the Virginia Piedmont because it reminded him of his native Italy. Here he earned a living painting architectural decorations using the medium of fresco. His commissions included Mitchells Presbyterian Church, Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison County, and the Culpeper County Courthouse. The decorations in Elmwood employ patterns of columns in the hall, panels in the parlor, and floral ceiling medallions. The house at Elmwood Farm was built in 1870 for William H. Browning. Little changed since the 19th century, it remains the property of Browning’s descendants.
Since the time of the original nomination in 1985 of Elmwood Farm, additional research on the history of the property led to the 2013 increase to the register boundaries to incorporate a 5-acre area known as the Lawn. Within the Elmwood Farm and Browning Store boundary increase area, the additional contributing resources include a mid- to late-18th-century Browning Store (pictured above), said to be the oldest standing post office and general store in Culpeper County, a stone barn used as a blacksmith shop, a log corncrib thought to be the oldest building on the farm, and stone walls built with local stone to line the barnyard area.
[VLR Listed: 9/19/2013; NRHP Listed: 12/24/2013]
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