Stonewall Jackson House Under New Management

A surprising bit of news out of Lexington, Virginia this week: The Virginia Military Institute has finished the process of acquiring the Stonewall Jackson House.

The Jackson House, and the adjoining Davidson-Tucker House, which has been used as administrative offices, have been run by the private Stonewall Jackson Foundation. “[D]ifficulties brought on my uncertain museum admissions and the rising costs of expenditures” led to the move, explained Farris P. Hotchkiss, past president of the Stonewall Jackson Foundation, in a letter to museum supporters.

“This is,” he said, “an auspicious development both for the Stonewall Jackson House and Foundation and for VMI.”

We agree.

The Jackson House and VMI make natural partners in preserving Major Jackson’s pre-war life in Lexington, representing as they do Jackson’s personal and professional life. “The tangible and intangible assets are now part of the educational institution more closely allied to the life and career of Stonewall Jackson,” Hotchkiss said. Initial leadership for the move, which got underway last November, came jointly from VMI Superintendent General Binford Peay and the Foundation’s board of trustees.

“The properties are in superb physical condition and free of debt; there is a modest but significant endowment in place; and the Jackson program continues in the hands of an able and dedicated staff assisted by a large number of loyal volunteers,” Farris pointed out. We were especially delighted to hear that the excellent stewardship of Executive Director Michael Ann Lynn will continue, along with help from her able assistant Lucy Wilkins.

The Jackson House is a must-visit for Civil War die-hards, but site’s charm can captivate even the most casual visitor. The museum work there is top-notch, and we’re pleased to learn that the excellent interpretation will continue under the auspices of VMI’s museum system (where visitors can check out the VMI Museum, the George Marshall Museum, and the visitor center at the New Market Battlefield).

We wish everyone involved the best of luck!

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!