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.
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
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia