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Tarover is one of the several architecturally distinguished houses commissioned by the Bruce family. The Halifax County house was built in 1855-56 for Thomas Bruce, son of James Coles Bruce for whom the nearby Greek Revival mansion Berry Hill was built. Both Berry Hill and the Gothic-style Staunton Hill, home of James Coles Bruce’s half-brother Charles, were designed by their architect and friend John E. Johnson. It thus is presumed that Tarover is also a Johnson design. With its projecting porch with chamber above lighted by a delicate oriel, the house is based on a Gothic villa scheme published in A. J. Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), a work formerly in the Berry Hill library. The house lost some of its original picturesque character around the turn of the 20th century when its icicle-like bargeboards were removed. Tarover remained in the Bruce family until 1891.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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