Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

118-0017 Sandusky

Photo credit: Greg Starbuck/Historic Sandusky, 2017

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/16/1982

NRHP Listing Date 07/26/1982

NRHP Reference Number 82004571

This elegant brick house known as Sandusky, formerly on the outskirts of the City of Lynchburg, but now within an annexed suburban neighborhood, was built circa 1808 for businessman Charles Johnston, who named it after the Ohio Indian camp where he was once held prisoner. The two-story building, with its balanced five-bay façade, Doric cornice, elliptical fanlight transom, and interior arched recesses, was one of the area’s first houses to display the details and refinement of high-style Federal architecture; and was the centerpiece among multiple brick buildings that comprised the estate including a detached office, kitchen, smokehouse, and privy, as well as numerous wooden cabins for enslaved persons. Thomas Jefferson was a dinner guest at Sandusky, at least once, in 1817. In 1864, during the Civil War Battle of Lynchburg, Sandusky served as headquarters for Union general David Hunter. Two of Hunter’s staff at Sandusky were future presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley.  George C. Hutter, a Major retired from the US Army, owned Sandusky at the time of the Union occupation. Hutter and Hunter likely knew each other as officers in the US Army during the 1830s and 1840s. In the 20th century a commercial dairy operated on the premises until a fire destroyed the milking barn. After being privately owned from 1808 to 2001, the house was purchased by the nonprofit Historic Sandusky Foundation. In 2016 it was acquired by the University of Lynchburg for use as an experiential learning center.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: August 18, 2021