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Commonwealth Machine Co.

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C. R.Thomas Building, Federal Prison No. 6
1855; 1915 renovated. 300 Lynn St.

This three-story, Gothic Revival, former tobacco factory was built for William T. Sutherlin (see PI52), who hosted President Jefferson Davis in the last days of the Confederacy. It is the only remaining Danville building of six in which the Confederates held Union prisoners. All of them were originally tobacco factories or warehouses and all became utter hellholes. Of the more than 7,000 prisoners held in them, 1,400 died. When this building's interior was gutted and rebuilt in 1915, the floor heights were changed and the windows, now mostly bricked up, were modified accordingly.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee



  • 1855

  • 1915


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Commonwealth Machine Co.", [Danville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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, 369-369.

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