Saturday, June 7, 2008
Santillane is the grand ol’ dame of Fincastle.
The pre-civil war estate was once home to Judith Hancock Clark, wife of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
As of 2008, the home had been restored and turned into a bed and breakfast.
The home is structurally very sound. During renovations, much of the decorative trim turned out to be plaster instead of painted wood as originally thought.
The house has 14 rooms, counting foyers and bathrooms. All have been restored.
The house boasts extremely high ceilings, a staircase that looks like something out of Gone with the Wind, a pewter chandelier with a date of 1726 etched into it, hardwood floors, original wallpaper in the living room, original glass in the windows, and elegant touches around the ceilings.
Legend holds the original Santillane burned and was rebuilt. However, signatures on the plaster, which has held up remarkably well, date back to the very early 1800s.
Santillane is on the National Register of Historic Places.
A marker on US 220 calls it “one of Botetourt County’s most distinguished properties. The Greek Revival house sits on a tract of land originally owned by Colonel George Hancock, a member of the United States Congress from 1793-1797. In 1808 Hancock's daughter, Judith, married General William Clark. Clark served from 1803 to 1806 as a leader of Thomas Jefferson's famous Lewis and Clark expedition which was instrumental in opening the West for American settlement.”