Sims-Mitchell House

Chatham, Virginia
Sims-Mitchell House

Sims-Mitchell House, built 1875.

History

The main house, built in 1875 in the Italian villa style, was the home of Col. William E. Sims (one of Virginia's most controversial postwar politicians) and his wife Matoaka and their sons James and John. Matoaka was the daughter of local State Senator James Whittle, who retained title to the house after he paid for its construction. After the turn of the century, the building housed first Chatham Episcopal Institute (later renamed Chatham Hall), and then Warren Training School (which evolved into Hargrave Military Academy). Henry and Patricia Mitchell bought the house in 1975 and began renovations, and opened it as the first bed-and-breakfast establishment in the Pittsylvania County - Danville area in 1985.

See further illustrated Historical Details.

Architecture

Constructed of brick kilned on the premises and original-growth shortleaf pine, the house boasts rare tongue-and-groove siding, a raised English basement, a story-and-a-half window bay, 11 fireplaces, 15 rooms including an upstairs ballroom, original horsehair-based plaster, ornate plaster medallions and cornices in three rooms, and — hidden from the observer — extensive insulation installed when the house was built, long before such came into popular use.

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