After the Virginia Southern Railroad reached Troutdale in 1904, this farming community developed as a recreational destination, welcoming summer boarders to the high altitudes and cool nights in the shadow of Mount Rogers. Little remains of the lodging places, but east of Troutdale stands the stone and log house of Sherwood Anderson, author, newspaper publisher, and editor of two local papers. After he spent a vacation at Troutdale in 1925, Anderson returned to Grayson County and built the residence he lived in until his death in 1941. With the help of artist and architect Spratling, whom Anderson knew when they both lived in New Orleans, he constructed a rustic dwelling that included the round-log construction that was moderately popular in the 1920s and 1930s. A vernacular version of Colonial Revival, such rustic dwellings reflected a nostalgia for the pioneer past.
Situated on almost eighty acres of mountain land along Ripshin and Laurel creeks, the house consists of a one-and-a-half-story stone section to which one-story rear log wings are appended. A glassed-in rear porch, used as a summer dining room, connects the two log wings. Single and grouped windows and a steep gable roof with wide overhangs and cornice returns enliven the exterior. Also on the property are Anderson's one-story rustic writing studio, constructed of saddle-notched hewn logs with paired windows flanking a cross-panel door, and a couple of small guest cottages. Anderson, termed by William Faulkner the father of his generation of American writers, evolved a free form of writing where plot was subordinated to theme, and form derived from situation. His most famous works include Winesburg, Ohio (1919), Dark Laughter (1925), and Beyond Desire (1932).