You are here

Mitchell's Presbyterian Church

-A A +A
1879. 1892–1899, interior, Joseph Dominick Phillip Oddenino, decorative painter. VA 665 (Mitchell Rd.) (.2 mile east from Virginia 615), Mitchell's Station
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • Mitchell's Presbyterian Church (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

Although from the exterior this recently restored, small wooden Gothic Revival structure seems tame, the interior is extraordinary. A complex series of trompe l'oeil frescoes transform it into a masonry Gothic/Renaissance structure with clustered and twisted columns, arches, cornices, coffered ceiling, quatrefoils, and other architectural details, seemingly straight from Italy. It remains the best surviving work of an Italian immigrant—sometimes termed the “hobo painter”—who was born in Chieri, Torino, Italy, in 1831 and died in Madison County in 1913.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Mitchell's Presbyterian Church", [, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 125-125.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.