Randolph’s Roanoke

The brilliant and fiery Congressman and statesman John Randolph (1773-1833) is usually referred to as “Randolph of Roanoke,” in part to distinguish him from others in his illustrious family. “Roanoke” refers not to the city of Roanoke, but rather to Randolph’s Charlotte County plantation.

Sadly, the homes that Randolph occupied at Roanoke are privately owned and not open to the public.


Beyond this locked gate…

It is fitting that despite his wealth Randolph kept modest houses–one a two-room home that he occupied in the winter (because it was easier to heat) and the other a slightly larger three-room frame house where he spent his summers.



I took the above photographs in the Charlotte County museum, which is in the old jail behind the courthouse designed by Thomas Jefferson.


The museum is always open. Visitors are simply asked to bolt the door when they leave.



2 thoughts on “Randolph’s Roanoke

  1. Do I have it right that the two houses were right next to each other, on the same piece of land? I like that idea, actually. What a way to mark the seasons — wake up one morning and say, “Well, time to move. Summer’s here,” and then just trot next door.

  2. Dear Bill, I have the same question as that asked by “shore acres.” But I think the handwriting at the bottom of the architectural drawing gives the answer.

    So is a log cabin easier to heat than a board-sided home???? Peace.

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