Jacob W. Holt (1811-1880), a regional architect and builder, erected Eureka in the Italian Villa style for the Baskervill family in 1854-59. Holt began his career in Warren County, N.C., and was active in Mecklenburg County in the mid-1850s. Typical of Holt’s work, Eureka is lavishly ornamented with scrollwork brackets, heavy moldings, and other fancy wooden ornaments. The model for the exterior is “Design 31” of William H. Ranlett’s The Architect (1847-49), a popular architectural pattern book. Holt embellished the design by adding a tower. The house was first owned and occupied by Dr. Robert D. Baskervill and remained the property of his descendants until 1974, when the house and surrounding acreage were purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William E. Blalock, who restored the place. At the time of its listing, Eureka’s lofty interior retained nearly all its original woodwork, including a spiral stair and doors preserving painted graining.
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