The original section of this patrician homestead in Orange County was built ca. 1799 for Baldwin Taliaferro. The weatherboarded structure is hugged by brick end chimneys and topped by hipped roof with a distinctive pedimented cross gable. The property was purchased in 1849 by Col. George Willis. Col. Willis and his wife Sallie Innes Smith Willis were wealthy and well-connected in Virginia society. Their prosperity was displayed in the ballroom wing they added in the 1850s. The wing exhibits exotic overtones in the Gothic and Moorish wooden filigree details of its veranda. The walls of the ballroom were once decorated with trompe l’oeil paintings but these have been removed. Wood Park has remained in the Willis family but stood unoccupied for several decades until 1979 when repairs were undertaken.
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