Mighty-Neighborly House

117 Reid Street, Chatham, Virginia
By Henry Mitchell

Reid-Bruning House

Chatham's largest residence dominates Reid Street, once the southern entryway to downtown Chatham. The rear wing of the house was probably built for Maj. Langhorne Scruggs and his wife Mildred Bennett in 1856. The property then passed to their daughter Sallie and her husband Col. Edwin Sidney Reid, president of Chatham Savings Bank. The elaborate Victorian front was added by the Reid family in 1901.

Thirty years later, during the Great Depression, the Reids used the house as security for a $7,500 loan. Unable to meet the terms of the arrangement, the family faced loss of the property.

During Christmas week of 1933 the house was auctioned as a result of foreclosure. A witness to the auction has said that sympathetic neighbors and townspeople resolved not to compete with the family, and, as a result, a Reid daughter, Lizzie Herndon, bought the house back with an opening bid. Court records show that her payment was $5,650.

The Reid House is now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore E. Bruning, Jr., who have restored the house and constructed an additional wing on its south end.

For further information, see:

Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House host this webpage, along with extensive other references concerning Chatham, Pittsylvania County, and Danville, VA.