Boxwood Hill, Chatham, Virginia

By Henry Mitchell.

Boxwood Hill, Chatham, Virginia

Boxwood Hill, built in 1966, was the home of John and Reba Beaver. It faces the front of the Chatham Hall campus. Its original design included four bedrooms and two baths, plus a maid's bed-and-bath.

The home was designed by the owner John L. Beaver, and was built by local contractor Arnie Taylor. The bricklaying was done by James Scott of Gretna's Scott Brothers Masonry.

Its interior was based on Reba (Jones) Beaver's family home Sunny Hill, an English Revival cottage on U. S. 29 at the Dry Fork intersection. John Beaver studied landscape design at Shrivenham American University in England after World War II, and had magnificently landscaped Sunny Hill after his return to the States and civilian life. He experienced a decline in health in 1959, and then U. S. 29 was widened, causing Sunny Hill to be moved and its gardens obliterated. In response the Beavers moved to Chatham, and John created a new design fitting the beloved Sunny Hill interior spaces into a Southern plantation revival exterior. His health concerns also led him to choose a shady naturalized woodland environment, rather than the former high-maintenance gardens. (John Beaver also designed the pleasantly utilitarian educational wing of Watson Memorial United Methodist Church.)

The house is approximately 2520 square feet in size, and is representative of John Beaver's insistence on sturdy, lasting, and aesthetic construction. Its floors were oak and its walls smooth, bright-white plaster. Reba Beaver furnished Boxwood Hill in Colonial Revival style, as she had earlier done for Sunny Hill. At Boxwood Hill a 1620 square foot basement contains a paneled den and the maid's quarters, plus a large utility and storage area. The former single-stall horse stable from Sunny Hill serves as a detached storage building. Boxwood Hill's lot includes approximately .96 acre, extending from Peach Street westward across Tanyard Branch.

Boxwood Hill is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Leftwich and family.

Photos of Boxwood Hill, 2002

View from southeast

View from southeast.

View from west

View from west.

View from northeast

View from northeast.

Classics of the same era

Classics of the same era.

View of portico from north-northeast

View of portico from north-northeast.

Living room, looking south from front entrance

Living room, looking south from front entrance.

Living room, looking north

Living room, looking north.

Dining room, looking northwest from front entrance

Dining room, looking northwest from front entrance.

View to northeast from living room window

View to northeast from living room window.

This guide to Chatham, Virginia is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.