The Mansion House

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number

DHR Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

The Mansion House is a classic example of Greek Revival-style architecture.  According to local oral tradition, the Mansion House received its name because it was the first large brick house to be constructed in McDowell.  It represents the type of housing constructed by members of the small but influential slaveholder class, who comprised the political and social elite of antebellum Highland County. Its original owner, George Washington Hull, represented the county at the Virginia State Convention of 1861 and voted on the issue of secession from the Union. This stately structure was commandeered by Federal soldiers for use as a hospital before and during the Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1862. In subsequent years, the building served as a first-class hotel and rest stop along the historic Staunton to Parkersburg Turnpike. It is the only pre-1900 extant structure identified as a hotel in Highland County. In the late 1880s or early 1890s, local artist Robert F. Gillett painted a series of comb-grained and shaded panels on the walls of the entrance hall and parlor.  These unusual wall treatments provide a glimpse into the Victorian décor of the hotel era.

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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