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DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

The persistence of traditional plantation architecture and layout that lingered in rural areas of Virginia following the Civil War is embodied in Williston. The house and its ancillary structures were built circa 1867 by Joseph Hiden, an Orange County businessman and public official. The stateliness of the Southern antebellum idiom is evoked by the structure’s tall proportions and portico. The design reflects the influence of contemporary fashion with its use of an Italianate bracketed cornice, sawn-work railings, and vaguely Gothic columns. A unique feature of Williston is the remarkable dining room wall murals that were revealed late in the 20th century under layers of wallpaper. The murals consist of richly stenciled decoration to which freehand folk-like floral and scenic decorations were later applied. Nothing comparable to these murals has been recorded in Virginia. Subordinate to the house at Williston is the well-preserved “street” of outbuildings, creating a “plantation” complex little different from those built in the region decades earlier.

Last Updated: June 8, 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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