Photo Mar 30-22Amongst the beautiful valleys in Virginia lie some of the most historically prevalent structures- discovered and undiscovered. I am going to tell you about a place you haven’t seen before- The Swannanoa Mansion.

A relaxing Thursday afternoon, I sat sharing a celebratory coffee with my roommate and best friend Jessica, who recently earned the title of graduate assistant for a post-grad degree in occupational therapy. As I expressed my pride in her, she stopped and stared; and I knew in that moment that her mind stirred just another crazy spontaneous idea – “Let me take you to a place where no one goes, you will love it!”

I am not one to say no to adventures, and so we set forth on a 45 minute drive from harrisonburg to Augusta County, with some nice indie music, refreshing conversations and mesmerizing views.

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We might have crossed the ‘No trespassing’ sign to get to where we did, but hell the destination was worth it – An abandoned mansion just like the Villa Medici in Rome, built by the millionaire James Dooley back in 1912 for his wife Sarah. It is said to have taken a workforce of 300 men and eight years of hard work to assemble this symbol of love with absolutely gorgeous Georgian white marbles and Italian gardens.

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What added to it’s beauty was the aura. I was impressed by the ability of this structure to take me to a different era. It really felt like I was in 1900’s when this place could’ve been a perfect mountain retreat in the midst of industrialization and transportation that flooded towns during the Gilded Age.

Seeing the cracks in the marble and creepers that grew over the years evoked so much within me. It inspired me in a lot ways- How could something so beautiful exist?

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And as we walked around, we saw the unreal view one the Blue Ridge Valley as the sun was setting.

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*All the pictures in this post are original and subject to claimed but not legal copyrights. The camera I used to capture these pictures is Canon EOS 50D. For more information, contact me via email or leave your comments in the section below. Please feel free to provide feedback or just share your thoughts! 🙂


Arushi Sachan







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