Although its current 26.5 acres represent only a fraction of the holdings of its builder, Ryland Rodes, Mill Hill, established around 1840, contains a complex of domestic and agricultural buildings that reflect the changes in agricultural practices in Nelson County from the antebellum era of enslaved labor to a post-Civil War economy that shifted away from labor-intensive crops to apple orchards and ultimately, in the case of Mill Hill, to a gentleman’s farm. The property includes an altered but rare extant slave dwelling as well as an icehouse, poultry house, school, caretaker’s house, and a circa 1840 bank barn. The evolved main house retains hallmark Greek Revival woodwork and faux finishes. The timber frame construction, brick nogging, and formerly pedimented, two-level porch are similar to a neighboring farmhouse. Mill Hill also shares with yet another house in the county two distinctive features—an over-sized, in-wall lazy Susan serving a basement dining room and a “lobby stair.” Southwest of the main house is a circa-1845 stone building foundation, the likely ruins of a mill.
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