Founding-Father Flattery

1002 South Main Street, Chatham, Virginia
By Henry H. Mitchell


Chatham's most-noticed and talked-about house is “Whitecello,” located on the west side of U. S. 29 at the south entrance to Chatham.

Whitecello was built in 1959 by Joseph Whitehead, Jr., as a tribute to Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, and the University of Virginia (Whitehead's alma mater).

Lemuel Carter was contractor for the construction of the house, and both Whitehead and Carter went to great effort in visiting Charlottesville to execute architectural drawings for their derivative creation in Chatham.

The house sits on land which was once part of Belle Grove plantation, and the ridge to the south is topped by Whitehead's boyhood home Briarwood. In front of the house, near the U. S. 29 bridge, is the site of the old covered bridge across Cherrystone Creek.

Whitecello is now the private home of the Atkinson family.


These online stories of old Chatham are hosted by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House as an element of their local guides including to Pittsylvania County, Gretna, and Danville.