Historic Sandusky

Historic Sandusky, Lynchburg: Hours, Address, Historic Sandusky Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Sandusky
4.5
Historic Sites • History Museums
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Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Sandusky is a federal style home built in 1808 by Charles Johnston. Today, the home is open as a historic house museum and is currently under ongoing restoration to the 1864 period when the home was used as Union Headquarters by General David Hunter. Historic Sandusky is operated by the Historic Sandusky foundation in partnership with the University of Lynchburg.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
26 reviews
Excellent
16
Very good
8
Average
2
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0
Terrible
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Dean_Amy-2004
Gettysburg, PA5,599 contributions
Friends
Lots of Civil War history here as it was Hunter’s headquarters during the 1864 Battle of Lynchburg, as well as a hospital to care for the wounded in the barn.
We reserved the tour in advance; the staffing shortages prevent regular walk-in tours. The guide, Greg, was very knowledgeable. Contact in advance if you’re going to be in the area and book a tour.
Written May 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,741 contributions
Couples
En route from Appomattox to Lexington, Virginia, my wife and I were persuaded to visit the Sandusky House in Lynchburg. Because we are always fascinated by old houses of Revolutionary War or Civil War vintage, we had to make an unanticipated stop. We're glad we did. Although some parts of the house are being restored, there is enough to see in the house and museum to warrant a visit. A formal two-story, brick I-shaped house, it was built in 1808 by Charles Johnston. It is one of the earliest homes in Virginia's Piedmont region to display the architectural details and refinements characteristic of Federal design. In 1817, Johnston hosted neighbor Thomas Jefferson of Poplar Forest for dinner. Johnston named his home Sandusky after the place in Ohio where he was captured by Shawnee Indians and barely escaped with his life. In 1864, during the battle of Lynchburg in the Civil War, Sandusky served as Union headquarters and a barn was utilized as a field hospital. More than 100 wounded and dying Union soldiers were left there following the battle. To this day, the parlor room is stained with blood. Among those quartered in the house were General David Hunter and future Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, who served on Hunter's staff. Other buildings on the property include two 20th century tenant houses, one frame and one brick. An excellent guided tour and an 18-minute documentary help to tell the story. Sandusky was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jack L
East Syracuse, NY795 contributions
Solo
Sandusky is compose of two structures: a mansion & visitor center/museum.

The mansion was built in 1808 by Charles Johnson. The mansion went through three owners before the civil war. During the Battle of Lynchburg, June 17-18, 1864, Sandusky was occupied by Union Gen. David Hunter with two staff officers that became US presidents-Rutherford Hayes & William McKinley. Also the mansion was used as an union hospital.

In 2000 the last Hunter owner sold Sandusky to the Historic Sandusky Foundation to preserve & interpret Sandusky's history.

My tour guide was Kelly. Since I was the only visitor, she was able to take her time, detailing the mansion's history, all family members & owners. Only half of the first floor is available for viewing, with all rooms getting the detail treatment. The tour lasted about 40 minutes, what a group tour would last I have no idea. The mansion is red brick, with the surrounding grounds with surrounding grounds well taken care of. On the grounds are two info stands-Sandusky's Headquarters & Lynchburg ' Early & Hunter'.

The museum is small only one large room. Here are a few weapons, about a field hospital during the Battle of Lynchburg, civil war medicine, 'Lynchburg Citizen Soldier's. A complete museum visit probably will last 30 minutes at most if a visitor takes the time to view & read all.

I was more interested in the museum before arriving than the mansion, however Kelly's detailed tour changed my thinking. She was able to answer all questions. There might be only two or three original mansion items, all the rest are time period, close the mansion's early period. Photography is allowed, however NO flash. The upstairs is currently under restoration.

Any person with an interest in early & mid-1800's life style, furniture & architecture would enjoy a visit. Even with only a 40 minute mansion tour & a 25 museum visit-my museum stop lasted about 45 minutes-a tour of both is recommended.
Written January 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MaymeSez
Hilton Head35 contributions
Family
The short review: The museum has interesting displays, a short film worth watching. The home is a work in progress which, I think, makes it even more interesting. This is a quick, easy place to stop.

The long review: There are bigger, more well-known historic sites in the area, but Sandusky Historic Site is worthwhile and easy to fit into your day. The location is peaceful and attractive. The museum is interesting and can be "done" in 1/2 hour.

the home is in the process of being restored and it's very interesting to hear and see how the work has progressed, to compare the restored with non-restored. It was a private home for around 200 years and an important home in Civil War history.

The guides/docents were (I think) students or graduate students and they were friendly and knowledgeable. They seemed to have a genuine attachment to the home.

This is an historic site worth supporting with a visit.
Written November 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Piglet-CW
Fairfax, SC74 contributions
Couples
Sandusky is currently undergoing restoration but one can still tour the home and see what is being done to preserve it's history. There is a short (about 10 minutes) film that you can view beforehand and I would highly recommend it. It is very well done and helps you to understand the significance of this house in the Civil War.
We were fortunate enough to be able to see the archaeology lab that is on site. Very interesting!
Written April 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karen F
Sheffield, UK4 contributions
Couples
We were on a tour of the Civil War sites in Virginia and called in at Sandusky. The house was closed (out of season hours but we did not know this) but there was someone in the building who volunteered to take us on a tour around the house and grounds. She was a knowlegeable guide and it gave us an insight in the role Sandusky played in the Civil War and the restoration work that is going on to preserve it for future generations. Well worth a visit and thank you for taking the time to show us round.

Karen Franklin
Written May 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Winnebago2010
Boca Raton, FL330 contributions
Couples
Yes this place has a lot of history......I didn't know Lynchburg was almost lost to the Union army, the battle that took place here must have been tremendous. Lots of lives were lost, I learned from the short film, that the town of lynchburg took care of the wounded Union soldiers when the union army left in the dead of night.
The house is in restoration, but you get to see a small part of what they have restored.......nice place, the welcome center has a lot of interesting pieces of artifacts.....We enjoyed the visit.
Written June 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca P
Roanoke, VA514 contributions
Couples
Out for one of our adventure days and though raised in Lynchburg had never seen or visited Sandusky as it was a private residence . now it is open to the public even while it is being restored. We were delighted with our tour guide, Kelley, she knew all the history of the house and the battle and the furnishings and our tour felt as if we were visiting her home. What a joy to feel history come alive in words, fixtures and the grounds. Definitely a treasure to discover.
Written April 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bryan B
Draper, VA1 contribution
Solo
A very nice visitors center with nicely presented artifacts. One room serves as a theater that shows the movie "Hunter's Raid". A first class documentary of the 1864 raid that culminated in the Battle of Lynchburg where the Federal raid was stopped and they were compelled to retreat.

Sandusky was heavily involved during the battle, serving as the headquarters for the Federal staff. It is shown prominently in the movie which helps to put the site into the historic context for visitors.

The house itself is undergoing restoration to its antebellum and civil war period. The work does not interfere with touring the site. Seeing the artifacts and listening to how they determined the accuracy of the restoration was very educational. There is also an ongoing archaeological dig at the site.

An excellent historic site that was beautiful as well as educational.
Written September 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lightwriter
north carolina19 contributions
Friends
While the one-time headquarters of General David "Black Dave" Hunter is undergoing restoration, this historic site is worth a visit. As with all good restorations, this one is being done with great care and thought. One impressive fact is that the furnishings are largely specific to the house. One can see an original painting that was slashed by a Union soldier. The visitor center has much useful information about the history of site and the area. The 55-minute DVD documentary "Hunter's Raid: The Battle for Lynchburg" is available through the gift shop and gives good insight into the events that occurred in the Lynchburg area in June 1864.
Written October 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Historic Sandusky

Historic Sandusky is open:
  • Sat - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM