Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

033-0002 Bleak Hill

Bleak Hill
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/11/2002

NRHP Listing Date 11/21/2002

NPS property number 02001374

Bleak Hill reflects the farm life of a county political family during the 19th and 20th centuries. The property once belonged to Peter Saunders, Sr., one of the county’s founding justices. At his death it passed to his son, Judge Fleming Saunders, who built a house about 1815 that burned in 1830 (after the fire, the family lived in a slave cabin for a while). His son Peter Saunders, an attorney, inherited the property. He and his wife, Elizabeth, built the house that now stands, a strong example of the Italian Villa style, completed by 1858. One of their sons, Edward, served on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Another son, William Dabney Saunders, continued to farm at Bleak Hill while serving as Professor of Dairying at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.


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

Updated April 4, 2018