A Night's Delight & A Breakfast to RememberReservations

History of Stonewall Jackson Inn

The Stonewall Jackson Inn is a restored mansion (circa 1885) that is unique to the Shenandoah Valley. While lodging at the Inn provides the feeling of an historic Civil War-era home, the design and materials are unlike any other Harrisonburg, Virginia bed and breakfast. Two architects from Boston (Richardson and Emerson) creatively adapted the traditional Queen Anne architecture to a stone-and-shingled New England cottage style. Thus, our Inn looks and feels like an old summer coastal home at Newport or Bar Harbor. The Mansion stands on two acres, landscaped with rose bushes, flowerbeds, and the old horse and carriage barn to complete the picturesque sight.

Just who the Inn’s builder was is obscure, but it is believed to have been a New England sea captain who moved to the area after marrying a valley debutante. Built into the mansion were techniques of construction familiar to the shipyards of the time: voice tubes for communication, distinctive beam structure, and separate family and servant living quarters and staircases. Also of note, the stairways and doors were made wide to accommodate the hoop skirts of guests entering from their carriage. Indeed, the building was constructed to entertain on a grand scale.

There are three finished floors. The first floor (now the basement and innkeeper’s quarters) was used for food and fuel storage, while the main or second floor was devoted to dining, dancing, and entertainment, with hotel-type kitchen facilities for the butler, maid, cook, and stable/handyman, all of whom lived in the back of the mansion. Leading off the Queen Anne “living hallway” entrance is the grand parlor with impressive beamed ceilings – an ideal spot to meet with friends, read a book, or savor the afternoon light. The third floor, where seven of our rooms are now, provided bed quarters for the family, complete with a nursery and family parlor. Dining areas include the large, outdoor raised deck and, indoors, the skylight breakfast room (our “Paradise Cafe”).

Virginia folklore has it that the attic is still “occupied” by an artist chatelaine (Audrey Long) who used it as a studio in the early 1900s – but that is part of the lure of this charming place. We will be happy to show you Audrey’s artwork and her room in the attic. Speaking of artists, we have an extraordinary collection of the limited-edition prints of P. Buckley Moss as well as stunning watercolors by Rachel Goodman.