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Esmont Area Homes

The Esmont community possesses a variety of residential homes built in the 1700's to early 1900 time frame that contain numerous high-style resources that represent commonly found styles as well as a few examples of more unique designs.   In the early 1700's, buildings such as seen at Plain Dealing were preliminary dwellings built ca. 1761.  Other more stylistic examples arose in the 1760-1780's such as the multiple-story Georgian-style house built for Walter Coles at Woodville in 1796.  Another example of a unique house design evolved in 1761 when Samuel Dyer built a second house parallel to the original home at Plain Dealing and connected the two buildings with an open hyphen in a plan that formed an H-shaped house. 

From about 1780-1820, houses such as Tallwood (1803), a Coles family home located on Green Mountain, were built in the Federal style which became the more dominant style throughout America during that time period.  The Federal style exhibits numerous classical features but is modest in its interpretation of these features.

The Early Classical Revival style in America started in the late 18th century and sought to revert to the original forms used in the Roman and Greek republics.  In the Esmont area, many of the details of this style were derived from the 16th century Italian architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).  Edgemont was built for James Powell Cocke about 1796, and its design is based on Andrea Palladio's Villa Capra which features four porticos.  Another example of Palladio's design work is Mountain Grove, built around 1803-1804 for Captain Benjamin Harris in Schuyler.  Homes influenced by the Early Classical Revival of the Jeffersonian style includes Estouteville on Green Mountain which was begun in 1827 by John Coles III and Esmont, built circa 1816 for Dr. Charles Cocke.  The Greek Revival style, which became popular during the Classical Revival period, includes the circa 1850 brick mansion, Enniscorthy which replaced an earlier dwelling destroyed by fire, with its two-story main block that is three bays wide and a flat-roof portico over its central entry.

During the Victorian Era (1860-1900), asymmetrical romantic buildings in a variety of architectural styles appeared in the Piedmont area of Virginia.  An example of a Victorian Era home in the Esmont area was Nydrie, a fifty-room brick residence on Green Mountain which was perhaps the grandest home in the Piedmont.  Nydrie was a massive, 50-room manor house modeled after a Scottish baronial house on Loch Nydrie in Scotland; Nydrie was razed in 1978.

Please click on each image for a larger view and more information.

Edgemont, Keene

Edgemont, Keene, 1935 Date:  1935

Image Number:  Library of Congress, LC_DIG_csas_04140

Comments:   Edgemont was built in 1796 for James Powell Cocke, a justice of Henrico County, who moved to Albemarle County for its healthful climate as he suffered from Malaria.  The design of this home is often credited to Thomas Jefferson based upon the Villa Rotunda design of Palladio.  Cocke's nephew, Dr. Charles Cocke, would live nearby at Esmont plantation about two decades after the construction of Edgemont.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Enniscorthy, Esmont

Enniscorthy, Esmont, 1932 Date:  1932

Image Number:  Library of Congress, LC_DIG_csas_04142

Comments:  The Coles family arrived in Albemarle County between 1730 and 1747.  John Coles I (1705-1747), the immigrant, purchased the land on Green Mountain Road as a hunting retreat, later establishing a permanent residence known as Enniscorthy.  Coles named this estate for his hometown of Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Ireland.  When Coles passed away in 1747, Enniscorthy passed to his son, John Coles II.  In 1781, during the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson fled to Enniscorthy to evade capture by British soldiers.  In 1789, a plantation house was built at Enniscorthy, which was destroyed by fire in 1839.  The Enniscorthy home shown in this photo was built circa 1850. 

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Esmont, Esmont

Esmont, Esmont, ca 1960 Date:  ca. 1960

Image Number:  WPFJ_UVA1Esmont

Comments:   The Esmont house was built ca. 1816 for Doctor Charles Cocke, nephew of James Powell Cocke of nearby Edgemont in Esmont, VA.  Esmont was a major plantation, and over thirty slaves were held on the property in 1849.  The Esmont property once spread over 2,000 acres, but in 2018 it consists of 105 acres.  The Lane Brothers, who owned the property at the turn of the 20th century, parcelled off a significant portion of land from the Esmont estate to build an industrial village of the same name.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Estouteville, Esmont

Estouteville, Esmont, 1932 Date:  1932

Image Number:  Library of Congress, Estouteville_LC_DIG_csas_04157

Comments:  Estouteville was built ca. 1827 for John Coles, III, and family.  A house named "Calycanthus Hill", built in 1800, previously stood on this property.  Master joiner James Dinsmore, assisted by brick mason William B. Phillips, built Estouteville immediately to the south of the old house.  After Estouteville was built, the older house was converted to an orangery and burned in 1856.  James Dinsmore had previously served as Thomas Jefferson's master carpenter for ten years, and Estouteville was one of Dinsmore's crowning achievements.  Estouteville is noted for its grand Tuscan exterior porticoes and great interior hall with an elaborate Doric frieze. 

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Guthrie Hall, Esmont

Guthrie Hall, Esmont, 1981 Date:  ca. 1981

Image Number:  Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 002-055 Guthrie Hall,

Comments:  Guthrie Hall was built ca. 1901 for John Guthrie Hopkins, 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.  In addition to the fine interiors of the main house, the Guthrie estate included a private railroad station and a bowling alley. 

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Mountain Grove, Schuyler

Mountain Grove (front), Schuyler Date:  undated

Image Number:  UVA Library, Mountain Grove, Accession #83437

Comments:  Mountain Grove in Schuyler was built in 1803-1804 for Captain Benjamin Harris, a soldier in the Virginia State Militia during the Revolution and a magistrate in 1791.  Mountain Grove was built in the classic Virginia Palladian style.  Its tripartite form is composed of a two-story, three bay center block flanked by single-bay, 1 1/2-story wings.  Strongly Jeffersonian in design, Mountain Grove is not unlike the earliest designs for Monticello.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Nydrie, Esmont

Nydrie, Esmont, ca.. 1920 Date:  ca. 1920

Image Number:  UVA Library, Nydrie, Accession #10758-a

Comments:   In the 1890's, Harry Douglas Forsyth purchased the Tom Coles Farm at Green Mountain in southern Albemarle County, Virginia, and it contained some seven hundred acres of land.  Forsyth was a British-born financier and sugar baron who had moved from New Orleans to southern Albemarle with his wife, Sarah Rice Johnson Forsyth.  By 1898, the Forsyth commissioned the building of Nydrie, a massive manor house modeled after a Scottish baronial castle  Nydrie contained fifty rooms, not including hallways and the basement.  An equally immense set of stables and several good houses for estate workers had been built on the Forsyths' property prior to erecting the Nydrie house shown above.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Old Woodville, Esmont

Old Woodville, Esmont Date:  2018

Image Number:  Old Woodville,

Comments:  Woodville was built in 1796 by prominent Virginia planter John Coles, II, of nearby Enniscorthy.  Coles built this two-story, double-pile frame house for his son, Walter Coles (1772-1854).  An addition was made to the west side of this house in 1832.  According to photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1852), who worked for the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, four generations of Coles occupied the house from its completion until the Coles sold the Woodville property to Charles Shaw in the late 1800s.  Shaw renamed the property.  The Coles, meanwhile, built a new home, giving it the same name as their former property, Woodville.  Later, the Coles family rebought the first Woodville property, and, to distinguish the two Woodvilles from each other, they referred to the 1796 house as 'Old Woodville.'  Old Woodville is located at 6774 Green Mountain Road in Esmont, Virginia.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Plain Dealing, Keene

Plain Dealing, Keene, 1977 Date:  1977

Image Number:   Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 002-0065 Plain Dealing

Comments:   The main residence was built on land patented by Thomas Staples in 1783-84 and is believed to have consisted of a smaller story-and-a-half section of the house.  In 1787, Staples sold 500 acres of this property to Samuel Dyer, who expanded the original house by building the two-story main section of this H-shaped house soon thereafter.  Dyer also operated a very successful store on his farm then located on the busy road from Scottsville to Staunton.  His store bore a sign bearing the motto 'Plain Dealing', and Dyer then named his house 'Plain Dealing.'

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Tallwood, Keene

Tallwood, Esmont, 1932 Date:  1932

Image Number:   Library of Congress, LC-DIG-csas-04313

Comments:  Tallwood, located on Green Mountain near Keene, was built in 1803 for Tucker Coles (1782-1861) and his wife, Helen Skipwith Coles.  The Tallwood estate is one of three family estates carved from the original tract of land belonging to John Coles II (1745-1808) of Enniscorthy.  The account book of John Coles II mentions that he insured Tallwood against fire in 1805.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Tros-Dale Home for Boys, Keene

Tros-Dale Home for Boys, Keene Date:  Built ca. 1965

Image Number:  UVA Library, Tros-Dale Home for Boys (Keene, VA) ca. 1965

Comments:  The Tros-Dale Home for Boys is located near Keene, Virginia, and its building was completed in 1966.  Peter T. Way was the founder and Director of the Tros-Dale Home.  Director Way's goal was to provide a small, family-oriented home for boys rather than one of the large children's institutions that were in existence in Virginia in 1965.  He succeeded and had a strong and lasting influence on the lives of many boys during his Tenure as Director of the Tros-dale Home.  The Tros-dale Home for Boys relied greatly on philanthropy for its funding and remained in existence until the early 1980's.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Coleswood, Esmont

Coleswood, ca. 2000 Date:  ca. 2000

Image Number:   Coleswood_GISAlbemarle

Comments:  When Peyton Skipwith Coles sold Tallwood to William D. Waters in 1897, he reserved about 184 acres on the north side of Tallwood next to the Enniscorthy estate running from Green Mountain Road almost to Sand Ridge Road.  In 1903-1904, Coles erected a new dwelling house on this acreage with necessary out-buildings and farm buildings, and he called his new home 'Coleswood.'  The Coleswood lawn runs up to the woods which screen the house from the Green Mountain Road, and it is because of these woods that the house takes its name.  The front gate at Coleswood, which is a double gate made of iron with granite gate-posts, was formerly the front gate at Estouteville.  The Coleswood dwelling house was remodeled in 2004.  In 2018, the Coleswood property, located at 6198 Green Mountain Road in Esmont, is the property of the John C. Pierce Farm, Inc., and the company's registered agent is J. Paula Pierce.

Copyright � 2018 by Scottsville Museum

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