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Bloomsbury in Orange County was established sometime after 1720 by Col. James Taylor, Sr., one of the area’s earliest landowners, and ancestor of both presidents James Madison and Zachary Taylor. The date of the original section is undocumented but it may have been built as early as 1722 for James Taylor II. Though its exterior is unassuming, the finely appointed interior of Bloomsbury has a unique floor plan and an unusual staircase. According to family tradition, the wide stair landing, with its decorative turned baluster railing, formed a musicians’ gallery. The house was doubled in size by a plain two-story addition around 1800. Bloomsbury is unusually well-preserved and retains a scenic rural setting of broad fields and wooded hills at the base of the Jerdone Mountain east of the Town of Orange. On the grounds is a 19th-century smokehouse, an 18th-century cemetery, and vestiges of a rare early garden with terraces and a sunken area.

Last Updated: March 28, 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

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