Fort Chiswell Mansion

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Fort Chiswell Mansion was built for two brothers, Stephen McGavock and Joseph Cloyd McGavock, overlooking the McGavocks’ original Wythe County homestead, since destroyed. The McGavocks were early settlers of the area and acquired large tracts of land. Their first home was at Fort Chiswell, a defense post on the Great Wilderness Road. Here they maintained a commercial establishment serving the many pioneers moving west. In 1839 the two McGavock brothers contracted with Lorain Thorn and James Johnson to build this brick house on a bluff above the Fort Chiswell settlement. The provincially interpreted Classical Revival structure has a two-column portico and paired semi-exterior end chimneys, between which on either end is a large Palladian attic window. A series of brick service buildings remains; the McGavock Family Cemetery sits atop a nearby hill. The imposing dwelling long served to signal the importance of the McGavocks to area newcomers, and this prominently sited landmark today overlooks Interstate 81.

Last Updated: April 29, 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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