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Church Hill and Sam Houston

Many people come each year and view Church Hill from the Sam Houston Wayside or from Sam Houston Way that runs in front of the house. If you happen to be there now or have visited recently...we would be happy to hear from you, click here to post your picture to our facebook page.

Church Hill at Timber Ridge Plantation was built by Reverend Horatio Thompson in 1848. The Reverend founded the nearby Timber ARP church and was on the board of trustees at Washington & Lee University from 1841-1882.

Timber Ridge Plantation is also the birthplace of Sam Houston, the famous liberator of the Republic of Texas and Governor of the states of Tennessee and Texas. Sam Houston was born on the Timber Ridge, Virginia plantation on March 2, 1793 and lived there until his teens when his family moved to Tennessee. Since 1848 the home known as Church Hill has been the private residence for 6 generations of the Thompson family, and visitation is by invitation only. The property is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Registry. Scouted as a movie location during the filming of Somersby in nearby Lexington, VA, in 2001 Church Hill was the setting for several scenes of the Ted Turner film "Gods & Generals". Now in the hands of the 6th generation of Thompson's to call Church Hill their home it is not uncommon to see the flags of the United States, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas flown from the widows watch, in respect to a great Virginian and Timber Ridge, Virginias most favored son.

There is a lot of history in this piece of land located 6 miles north of Lexington, Virginia in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Aside from being the birthplace of Sam Houston; during the Civil War, Sherman's Army was said to have marched up the front walkway to the home, but left Church Hill untouched. Robert E Lee was a friend of the Thompson Family and an overnight guest in the house.

Through the years many distinguished citizens and diplomats have been visitors as guests of the Thompson family. Guest registry Friends of the family, cousins and nephews would come and spend the entire summer at the home. Dwight Eisenhower was a guest of the family for an evening while he was in town visiting Virginia Military Institute. In 2001 Church Hill was the setting for scenes of the Ted Turner film "Gods and Generals".

The home still looks much the same today as when it was built in 1848


Chuch Hill picture taken in the 1800's

Church Hill during the filming of Gods and Generals

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