Sunnyside represents the successful mid-19th-century farmstead complex typical of Virginia’s Northern Neck. The I-house form and Federal-style woodwork of the dwelling house are common characteristics of gentry domiciles of the region. Sunnyside, however, is set apart because of its substantially unaltered state. The facade, with its columned porch and iron railings, remains unchanged from an 1883 published photograph. Adding to the scene is the collection of early outbuildings, including a kitchen which predates the house. While documentary evidence is complicated and contradictory, it is ultimately clear that the house was built, and enlarged with a two-story wing, for Royston Betts between 1834 and 1841. Although no longer attached to a farm, the house, outbuildings, and immediate grounds have been carefully preserved by its present owners since their purchase in 1979, and contributed to the Heathsville Historic District.
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