Monday, September 29, 2014

HOB Dedicates Salubria

"The Germanna Foundation's ongoing efforts to preserve the historic mansion Salubria in Culpeper County was recognized Saturday morning with the dedication of a bronze plaque atop a brick historic marker by the House of Burgesses Chapter of the Colonial Dames XVII Century," wrote Vincent Vala in the Culpeper Star Exponent Saturday, 27 September 2014.

The house was built by the Reverend John Thompson for his first wife Butler Brayne Spotswood, widow of Governor Alexander Spotswood. She died in 1751; in 1760, Rev Thompson married Elizabeth Rootes and had two children. When he died in 1772, he left the house and 390 acres to his wife and after her death to his son. In 1792, it was bought by Mordecai Barbour, politically distinguished and associated with Thomas Jefferson; by James Hansbrough in 1802, whose family shaped the economic and social fabric of Culpeper County and who named the house Salubria (Latin for healthful); and by Robert O. Grayson in 1853 - various members of the Grayson family owned and occupied the dwelling until it was donated by the Grayson family to the Germanna Foundation in October 2000, for historic preservation. Salubria was the birthplace of Admiral Cary Travers Grayson, Presidential Physician to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.

In 2010, Dr. Dan Miles, a British archaeologist, proved that the wood used in Salubria is older than the wood used in Montpelier, home of President James Madison and his wife, Dolley. It was thought that Montpelier influenced the design of Salubria; perhaps it was the other way round. It is also thought that Thomas Jefferson popularized the stairwell at Salubria.


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