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Erected ca. 1790, Montezuma is a singular example of Piedmont Federal architecture, located in Nelson County’s Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District. Its impressive scale, unusual floor plan, fine woodwork, and Roman Revival dwarf portico set it apart from the more standard gentry houses of the period and region. The large scale results in exceptionally tall windows. Montezuma was built for William Cabell, Jr., a son of the immigrant William Cabell who settled in the area in the second quarter of the 18th century. The Cabells built nearly a dozen architecturally distinguished houses in what became Nelson County; Montezuma, Bon Aire, and Soldier’s Joy are among those that remain. Thomas Jefferson was a friend of the family and may have had an influence on the design of Montezuma. The combination of a Chinese lattice railing with a classical portico is a distinctly Jeffersonian touch.

Last Updated: February 16, 2024

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


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