Commodore William C. Whittle of the Confederate Navy, who resided here before and after the Civil War, named this stately brick Greek revival home “The Anchorage” and the building has a proud heritage on Main Street in Buchanan dating back to 1840. During Hunter’s Raid in June, 1864, as a known residence of a Confederate officer, the home became a target and the building was barraged with enemy fire under the command of General Averill as many of the community’s women, children and slaves sought refuge in the hand dug cellar beneath the home. After some hours, General Averill was advised that he was firing upon helpless women and children, and he immediately ceased fire. According to the memoirs of Miss Gilberta Whittle who was a little girl at the time, Federal troops then invaded the home and uprooted the family vegetable garden behind the house. Servants in the employ of the Whittle family were persuaded to guide enemy troops to the location of the family valuables that had been hidden on the grounds of the home and so their valuables fell into enemy hands. During his three day encampment, General Averill set up headquarters diagonally across the street from “The Anchorage” at the Presbyterian Manse (which no longer stands), while the Whittle’s slaves prepared food that was brought by his troops to the front door each morning. Due to the kind support of the Whittle family during his encampment, General Averill ordered guards to be placed at the home at all times to protect the family from any further injustice.
After the war, Commodore Whittle returned home and lived out his years here and traveling to visit his children in their homes across the mid-Atlantic region. He died in 1879. The home then became the private residence of a local circuit doctor who rode on horseback tending to the needs of the greater Botetourt Country region. Later, history reveals that sometime in the 1940’s the home became a boarding house and a diary from that time notes the exterior of the home without paint and a detailed description of the interior noting the beautiful crown mouldings and original door bell still in tact at that time. Even later, the home became a roadside motor inn bearing the name “The Anchorage” sometime in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The current owners recently found an old skeleton key with the classic “hotel style” plastic key tag dating from those days that literally fell out of one of the ceilings they were replacing during the massive renovations to the home.
*A registered National Historic Landmark and on The Virginia Civil War Trails,"The Anchorage House" (ca. 1840) is now the residence of 'The George' Family and home to 'The Rhein River Inn'-German Restaurant & Tavern
Commodore William C. Whittle of The Confederate Navy (1805--1879) named this residence 'The Anchorage House' in 1855 where he lived for many years with his family until his death in 1879.
The Anchorage House (ca 1840)