Metro   City

Sandusky Historic Site

Thank You! Your rating has been saved.

"Gens. Hunter, Crook, Averill and Sullivan put up with Major Hutter, about four miles from town, whose beautiful home was used as headquarters....Some of the Yankee soldiers repaid the hospitality of Maj. Hutter by plundering Miss H's chamber, searching trunks and drawers, and carrying away various ornaments and valuables."

Lynchburg Virginian, June 21, 1864

Sandusky, Major George Christian Hutter's "beautiful home," may well be Lynchburg's most historic house. One of the earliest and loveliest examples of formal Federal style architecture in the Piedmont, it is also the preeminent site associated with the Civil War Battle of Lynchburg. Having been a private home for most of its 200 years, it is now poised to become a museum-a fitting tribute to its place in history.

Charles Johnston, whose father arrived in Richmond from Scotland, built the fine brick house in the first decade of the nineteenth century, ca. 1808. He named it Sandusky to commemorate a narrow escape. In 1790, while navigating the Ohio River on his way to Kentucky, Johnston and his companions were captured by a party of Shawnees and taken to an encampment near lake Erie, near a frontier settlement called Sandusky. A French-Canadian fur trader ransomed Johnston, who eventually made his way back to Virginia, stopping in New York to give George Washington an account of his adventure. By strange irony, a later occupant of Sandusky, Virginia, would also come to be held captive near Sandusky, Ohio.

Johnston established Sandusky as the centerpiece of a 1,200 acre plantation, on property he had purchased from John Lynch, Thomas Burgess, and James Steptoe. Johnston's business enterprises were many and varied. In 1810, he purchased Thomas Jefferson's entire Poplar Forest tobacco crop. Jefferson duly recorded Johnston's payment of $2,003.11 in his Memorandum Book. Two years later, as work on the house at Poplar Forest was progressing, Jefferson wrote Johnston asking for five bushels of plaster of Paris. Johnson had intended using it as fertilizer; Jefferson needed it for plastering the walls of his house. Again, Jefferson's Memorandum Book records the transaction: on November 19, 1812, he paid Johnston $6.75 for five bushels. In 1815, when Lynchburg feted Andrew Jackson, then on his way from Tennessee to Washington, the two neighbors saluted each other once again. At the banquet, which Jefferson pronounced "the most extravagant dinner" he had ever seen, Charles Johnston offered a toast to his friend and some-time neighbor, whom he called "our illustrious guest." Interestingly, their two houses--Sandusky and Poplar Forest--would become even more closely associated later in the 19th century.

Explore Related Categories

Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed


Be the first to add a review for this item.

Please write a review for this item

Send a Message