Nestled in a vale of well-tended pastures along Toms Creek, Walnut Spring belongs to an important group of Greek Revival farmhouses erected by Montgomery County’s prosperous antebellum landed families. It stands on land purchased in 1850 by James Randal Kent of Kentland for his daughter Mary Louisa, wife of Dr. James Hervey Otey of Bedford. Family history relates that Kent sketched the house plan on the ground with his walking stick. The plan disappointed his daughter, who had expected a grander residence. A memo in Maj. Kent’s papers documents the dwelling’s craftsmen, costs, and materials. The house was completed in 1855, in time for the Oteys’ wedding day, and remains in the hands of their descendants. Except for an 1875 rear addition, Walnut Spring has been little changed and remains, with its outbuildings, a synthesis of traditional house forms and pattern-book Greek Revival detailing.
Walnut Spring was listed in the registers under the Prehistoric and Historic Resources of Montgomery County MPD.
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