Whittle Street
Chatham, Virginia

Edited by Henry Mitchell.

Northwest Side of the 200 Block

202 Whittle

202 Whittle (6/2005). This Princess Anne style cottage was built around 1900 by Caldwell and Janie Gammon Giles. (See a 1906 photograph of the house.) Later owners have included Hayes, Haymes, Yardley, and Weitzel families.

214 Whittle

214 Whittle (6/2005). This rare concrete block structure with Eastlake trim was built by local merchant G. W. Gammon in 1906, and it has remained in his family ever since. (See further information.)

220 Whittle

220 Whittle (6/2005). This 1800's cottage was for much of the 20th century the home of famed saddlemaker Paul Shelton and his wife Judy and family. They operated his saddlery out of the rear wing of the house.

It is currently the home of the Hicks family.

226 Whittle

226 Whittle (6/2005). This structure was built across the street in the 1850's by James Whittle, for use as the Episcopal rectory. A few years later it was moved to its current location to make way for a new rectory. It was the home of attorney / famed Episcopalian clergyman / former Confederate cavalry officer (and aide to and cousin of General J.E.B. Stuart) Chiswell Dabney (and his family, plus his brother, attorney Charles Dabney). Later it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. W. C. N. Merchant. Mr. Merchant was the local railroad stationmaster, and his wife was an early leader of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and served as that organization's President General during 1927-1929. She also lead a successful effort to fund the American Hospital at Neuilly (France). Later owners have included the Brumfield and Hedrick families.

232 Whittle

232 Whittle (6/2005), built by Fletcher Bangs Watson and his wife Pattie Tredway in 1894. Watson had served (Company G, 6th Virginia Cavalry) under Gen. J.E.B. Stuart for four years during the Civil War. He was an attorney, newspaperman, and superintendent of the local schools. (See further information about the house.)

Among the Watsons' well-known children were F. B. Watson, Jr., also long-time superintendent of the local schools; geologist Dr. Thomas L. Watson of the University of Virginia, and chemist Dr. J. Wilbur Watson of VPI (Virginia Tech).

The house is in its fourth generation of Watson ownership.

236 Whittle

236 Whittle (6/2005), an American Foursquare built for Elizabeth Watson Guyer (daughter of Fletcher Bangs Watson and Pattie Tredway, next door at 232) as her home, around 1915. It is currently the Swyers family home.

238 Whittle

238 Whittle (6/2005), a local Shanaberger prefabricated ranch-style house, purchased in 1955 by Dr. Ernest Overbey and situated here as a rental starter house for newlyweds Ervis (Jr.) and Flo Hall. Mr. Hall's parents were living next door in the Sims House at that time.

The Halls were blessed with two daughters, Chatham's famous expatriate writers/producers Karen Hall and Barbara Hall. Karen was born as her parents raced to the Danville Memorial Hospital, so this cottage became her first home. The Halls moved to a larger house shortly before Barbara was born.

The cottage is part of the adjacent Sims-Mitchell House property.

242 Whittle

242 Whittle (6/2005), an Italian villa style home built in 1875 by James Whittle for his daughter Matoaka and her husband Col. William E. Sims. The house later served successively as the main building for Chatham Episcopal Institute (Chatham Hall) and Warren Training School (which became Hargrave Military Academy). It is currently the home of Henry and Patricia Mitchell and their family, hosts of this cyberguide to Chatham.

The house is probably unique in Virginia because of its flat tongue-and-groove shortleaf pine siding. Its place in history involves its controversial occupant William Sims, whose political enthusiasms may have (inadvertently on his part, and because of a race riot in Danville during one of his campaigns) precipitated the century-long demise of the Republican Party in the South and the widespread introduction of Jim Crow laws and practices.

Southeast Side of the 200 Block

201 Whittle

201 Whittle (6/2005). This cottage is associated with the house next door at 205 Whittle. It was built by the Geyer family, who intended to use it as a florist shop, but the necessary zoning changes were not forthcoming, so it has served as a small residence for several decades.

205 Whittle

205 Whittle (6/2005). This house was the home of the Geyer and Fulcher families for many years, and more recently the Strader family.

209 Whittle

209 Whittle (6/2005). This was the home of Confederate Capt. Ross Carter (Co. G, 53rd Virginia) and his wife Sally Lucke. Capt. Carter's brother Scott Carter lived within sight, at nearby 9 Aston Place.

For decades it was the home of Carter granddaughter Florence Stutz.

215 Whittle

215 Whittle (6/2005). After Chatham Episcopal Institute (now Chatham Hall) was destroyed by fire in 1906, two rows of four cottages were built here, one row behind the other, to house students. Other students boarded in neighboring homes, and the Sims House at the end of Whittle Street served as the classroom/administration facility for the school until new quarters could be built on the school's campus across town. Later the rear four cottages which faced Kemper Lane were destroyed, leaving the present row of four facing Whittle Street. For many years the little houses were referred to as the Patterson cottages. (See a 1906 photograph of the front four cottages.)

In later years this first cottage has been owned by Stutz, Reynolds, Buzzetta, and Reilly families.

217 Whittle

217 Whittle (6/2005), the second in the Whittle Street cottage row. For many years it has been the home of the Yates family.

219 Whittle

219 Whittle (6/2005), the third in the Whittle Street cottage row. For many years it has been the home of the Campbell family.

221 Whittle

221 Whittle (6/2005), the fourth in the Whittle Street cottage row. For many years it has been the Ingram residence.

235 Whittle

235 Whittle (6/2005), an American Foursquare built as a rental property for Elizabeth Watson Guyer around 1915. (See also her home, a larger near-twin of this structure, across the street at 236 Whittle Street.) Later owners have included the Ward, Schmidt, and Sherlock families.

End of Whittle Street

Looking back from the end of Whittle (6/2005). Whittle Street here was once a cobblestone drive which continued to the Sims House (242 Whittle), built by James Whittle at the end of the street.

This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.