The Columns:
James Whittle's First Home
c. 1830

By Henry H. Mitchell
The Columns

The Columns, Chatham, Virginia.

After James Whittle was graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, he came to bustling Pittsylvania Courthouse (Chatham) to establish a law practice around 1830. He married Mary Coles, daughter of Isaac Coles of Greenfield and cousin of first lady Dolley Madison. Their home, the first Whittle house in Chatham, was on the site of, and thought to be a rear portion of, the present landmark structure “The Columns” at 214 South Main Street.

After the birth of their daughter (also named Mary), James Whittle's wife Mary died. Whittle later married Cornelia Skipwith, and built Eldon for her about a mile east of town. Many years later his Main Street residence passed into the ownership of the Tredway family, who expanded it around 1900 to its present appearance.

The Columns

Anne and Mark Waldo (great-great-grandson of James Whittle) visit The Columns.

Since the 1930's The Columns has served as an overnight accommodation, through the ownership of three families. Today Fred and Sandra Turner continue the tradition with a finely-appointed bed and breakast establishment.


Note: For further information about the Columns Bed and Breakfast, call the Turners at 434-432-6122 or visit the Columns webpage.


This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House, Chatham, Virginia.