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Guthrie Hall, Esmont

Guthrie Hall, Esmont,  ca. 1981

Name:  Guthrie Hall

Date:  ca. 1901

Image Number:  002-0355 Guthrie Hall, Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Comments:   Guthrie Hall was built ca. 1901 for John Guthrie Hopkins (1854-1955), a Scottish-born, self-made copper magnate who came to Virginia to pursue his hobby of restoring old houses.  The house was designed by Frederick Hill, an architect with the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and Fred Kennedy was the engineer on this project.  Guthrie Hall contains 19,000 square feet of living space and thirty-six rooms.  In addition to the fine interiors of the main house, the Guthrie estate included a private railroad station and a bowling alley. 

Hopkins sold Guthrie Hall in 1906 and settled in Loudoun County, where he continued his interest in restoring houses.  The estate passed through a succession of owners, and among the owners were the Baron and Baroness von Leidersdorff, a family whose occasionally unflattering financial situation spoiled their aristocratic pretenses.  In 1937, while living in New York, the Baron and his wife each faced legal action from several clothiers for debts left unpaid.  In one instance, the baroness claimed an inability to pay - despite, according to The New York Times, a "$750,000 trust fund established by her father" for her.

The Von Leidersdorffs' financial discipline did not improve after they purchased and settled at Guthrie Hall in 1939.  Ella Scott, one of the couple's employees, recounted for a Winter, 1979/80 Albemarle Monthly article:  "[The Baron] always was playing cards or horses.  Sometimes he won but often he lost."  Ms. Scott's paycheck did not always come consistently.

Guthrie Hall, 1901
Guthrie Hall, Southern Facade, ca 1901
Gutherie Hall, Northern Facade, ca. 2000
Guthrie Hall, Northern Facade, ca. 2000

Maryann Jessup MacConochie and her late husband, Phillip Jessup, succeeded the Van Leidersdorffs at Guthrie Hall in 1968.  K. Edward Lay writes in The Architecture of Jefferson County, that she was "a pioneer woman pilot and an interpreter of Russian and French during the Nuremberg war trials."

Between 1997 - 2017 Adam Lerrick was the owner of the Guthrie Hall property.  Lerrick sold Guthrie Hall to Guthrie Hall LLC in 2017, and this LLC remains the owner of the Guthrie Hall property in 2018.  Guthrie Hall is located at 6764 Guthrie Hall Lane in Esmont, VA

Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Maxwell Johnson for his research and photographs on this Esmont community home!

1)  Photo: 002-0355 Guthrie Hall.  Virginia Department of Historic Landmarks, Virginia Landmarks Register, 3/17/1981.  See: .
2)  Hallock, Jennifer; Gardiner Hallock & Kristie Baynard (February 2007), "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District."(PDF)
3)  Lay, K.E., Architecture of Jefferson County: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, pp. 255-257.  United Press of Virginia: Charlottesville and London, 2000.
4)  Lawrence, Sarah R., and James Jordan. "Interview of James Jordan on October 10 and October 30, 2001, by Sarah R. Lawrence of the Race and Place Project. (Oral History)." Race and Place, Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2001.
5)  MacConochie, Maryann, "Life in Esmont."  The Albemarle Monthly, December-January 1979.
6)  The New York Times, "ONE OF BEST DRESSERS SUED FOR TAILOR BILL; Baron Johann Von Leidersdorff Faces Contempt Action Over $82.71 Clothing Debt."  The New York Times, 18 Feb. 1937. 7)  Lay, K.E., Photo of Guthrie Hall (undated).  See: . 8), Guthrie Hall; Parcel ID: 12000-00-00-02000.

Copyright © 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Top Image Located On:   Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 002-0355, Guthrie Hall; see:

Middle Image Located On: UVA-Lib:80925; see: .

Bottom Image Located On: ; Parcel ID: 12000-00-00-02000.



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