Historic Salubria is an 18th-century (ca. 1757) Georgian-style manor house built for the Reverend John Thompson, rector of the Little Fork Church from 1740 to 1772, who married the widow of Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood. The house received the name Salubria, Latin for healthful, from a later owner, James Hansbrough, in the early 1800s and has been known by that name since that time.
Salubria’s exterior is distinguished by unusually tall, corbel-capped chimneys enclosed at each end of a hip roof. The house has identical front and rear facades and is built of brick laid in Flemish bond. Three sides of the house are currently stuccoed in a manner simulating cut stone, a popular Greek-revival styling update in the 1830s. The interior of the house effuses character hearkening back to another time, with elaborate panelling and woodworking throughout. Salubria was placed on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register in 1969 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
In October 2000, Laura N. Grayson, widow of J. Gordon Grayson, donated Salubria to the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies in Virginia. Germanna is honored to be entrusted with the stewardship of this property and the history of which it speaks.
In 2011, Salubria was damaged in the Mineral Earthquake that struck this region of Virginia. The Germanna Foundation, with extraordinary support from members and donors and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, completed earthquake repairs by the end of 2013, and we are continuing our restoration and preservation efforts.
Besides being an excellent example of 18th century architecture, Salubria stands as a silent witness to history. It witnessed the growth of the frontier of the piedmont, with luminaries such as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette passing by its doors. It withstood the turmoil of the Civil War and the societal change that came with it. While the landscape changed around it, the interior of Salubria has remained remarkably the same. All the while, four different families and over one hundred enslaved individuals who toiled and sustained this massive plantation called it home.
Tours of Salubria are by appointment only during the months of April through October. Individuals, small groups, and organizations can schedule a private tour of Salubria by contacting Historic Germanna. They usually last approximately one hour but can be customized depending on your group’s interest.
To schedule your tour, please call Historic Germanna at 540-423-1700 or contact us.
Tour Pricing – Reservations Required
Historic Germanna Member: FREE
Children 6 and under: FREE
Please note, Salubria is preserved, not restored. Help us protect this historic gem by refraining from touching, eating, or drinking inside the house.
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