Lunenburg County Historical Society tours Swannanoa

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Members of the Lunenburg County Historical Society (LCHS) visited Swannanoa on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains Saturday, Oct. 20. Swannanoa was the summer retreat of Sallie May Dooley, who was born in Lunenburg County, and her millionaire husband James Dooley.

Swannanoa, constructed in the architectural style of an Italian villa, was the second opulent home built by the Dooleys. Previously, they had constructed Maymont, which bears Mrs. Dooley’s maiden name. In the fall of 2017, LCHS visited Maymont on the banks of the James River in Richmond.

Maymont’s Curator, Dale Wheary accompanied LCHS on the tour. She shared her vast knowledge of the Dooleys and their two principle homes. In addition, Wheary gave each member of the tour group a copy of a research brochure that she had compiled on Swannanoa.

The childhood home of Sallie May Dooley stands proudly at Lunenburg Court House, where it is operated as an event venue under the name of Waverly Estate.