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Two Houses One Inn

The 200 South Street Inn offers old-world elegance in the middle of the lively historic downtown of Charlottesville, Virginia. The Inn combines two restored houses, the larger house, and the smaller house, together becoming an unforgettable Charlottesville Inn. 
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THE LARGE HOUSE

The larger house was built in 1856 for Thomas Jefferson Werenbaker, the son of a close friend of Thomas Jefferson. The building was a private residence for many years, and then for several decades led a checkered career - it went from girls' finishing school, to brothel, to boarding house. The transformation to an inn was completed in 1986. Meticulous attention to detail was paid in every aspect of the restoration, from the wide, welcoming neoclassical veranda, to the solid walnut, two-story, serpentine banister in the main hallway.
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THE COTTAGE

The smaller house, known as the 'cottage,' was built in 1890. It was a private home and boarding house until it became part of the Inn in the 1980's. English and Belgian antiques fill every room, and many of the rooms have whirlpool baths, fireplaces and canopy beds. Suites with living rooms are also available, and every room has a private bath.



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200 South Street Inn History

200 South Street's part in Charlottesville history began In 1856, when James Woods, a local builder, completed the larger of our two houses. He then sold the property to Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, the son of Thomas Jefferson's close friend, and the University of Virginia's first librarian, William Wertenbaker.
The house changed hands in 1882. Another distinguished family, the Valentines, moved in. Mr. Valentine was a prominent businessman with interests in a bank, the cable car company, and the woolen mills here in Charlottesville. At this time the main building was the only building located on the block. The photograph in your room is the house as it was in 1903 when the Valentine family occupied it. Most of the original furnishings are in the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. Irene Valentine, whose husband Vinton was born in room 9 (the portrait of the young boy in room 9 is Vinton, age 3, painted by his older sister in 1888), resided on Park Street here in Charlottesville, Virginia, until recently. The Wertenbaker house took an interesting turn later when it became a girls finishing school, then a boarding house, and at one stage, a brothel (known legally in Virginia as a 'Bawdy House').

The two homes, both dignified charlottesville properties, fell into relative despair over the years. Our main building was used as a boarding house, initially for University students and other young men, and later for even more unsavory types.

The two homes, both dignified charlottesville properties, fell into relative despair over the years. Our main building was used as a boarding house, initially for University students and other young men, and later for even more unsavory types.
The two homes, both dignified charlottesville properties, fell into relative despair over the years. Our main building was used as a boarding house, initially for University students and other young men, and later for even more unsavory types.

The historic district homes were bought in 1984 from 'Blind Jennie' Donaldson, who ran the boarding house and lived in what is now our second, smaller building.

Brendan and Jenny Clancy currently own the Inn. They became involved with the Inn in 1991 and bought the Inn in January 1995. The original partners were Dale and Lila Critz, the initial backers of the project and the people responsible for the collection of antiques; William Massie Smith, a prominent local resident; Ed Ludwig, our consultant from Tenant's Harbor, Maine; V.G. Sullivan, our construction engineer; Tom Hickman, our developer; Tom Brannock, our real estate agent; and Steve and Cynthia Deupree, our architects.

The 200 South Street Inn was completed and opened for business in April 1986. When you come to the Inn, be sure to look at the scrapbook in the library for a pictorial history of the construction and renovation of this historic bed and breakfast. We also have two scrapbooks showing the Inn's antiques and a brief history of each piece.
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