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Hite Store (Riverview)

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Riverview
c. 1869. VA 778, just south of VA 666, Amherst County

For many years the Hite Store served as a commercial and social center in Lowesville, a small but once-bustling community with an agricultural and timber-based economy. Lowesville straddles the Nelson and Amherst county line and this store is just over the line in Amherst County. It is a substantial Greek Revival brick building constructed by farmer Henry Loving and Lynchburg speculator Nathan Taliaferro, who from 1863 to 1875 owned Woodson's Mill (NE10). Over the years the building has served many functions, including the community's post office from c. 1876, and, in the 1890s, the Lowesville Academy on the second floor, a space later divided up to accommodate boarders. In 1902, Camilla J. Hite and Mary C. Thornton purchased the store and it remained in the Hite family until 1991. Now restored, it continues as one of the earliest and best-preserved commercial establishments in rural Virginia.

The L-shaped building was designed with the store at the front and a single-pile, center-passage residence for the storekeeper at the rear. The commercial section is gable-ended, as is characteristic for country stores, with a one-story porch across the facade and a central entrance flanked by large windows with interior framing for display areas. The building has a hipped roof, a wide wooden entablature, and molded wooden lintels above the openings. Inside is the typical late-nineteenth-century arrangement of a dry goods counter on the right, grocery and hardware counters on the left, and walls lined with shelves. The post office, as here, was usually in the right front corner. A secondary porch in the elbow of the building leads to an unusually generous-sized residential section. Several of the establishment's outbuildings are still standing, including a kitchen and servant quarters in the rear yard and a two-pen log barn in the side yard.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee
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Citation

Anne Carter Lee, "Hite Store (Riverview)", [Roseland, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-02-NE11.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 180-180.

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