The Rosedale Lodge was built in 1896, designed by D. Wiley Anderson and financed by Lewis Ginter. (Photo by Brooke Marsh)
What: Rosedale Lodge
When it was built: 1896
Why it matters: Lewis Ginter’s creation of a home for the Deep Run Hunt Club meant Richmond’s upper crust would discover his Northside endeavors.
Lewis Ginter was a New York Dutchman (born Guenther), who adopted Richmond, fought for the Confederacy, and made and lost two fortunes — one from toys and fancy goods, the other in the stock market. He started over in midlife and amassed incredible wealth through tobacco-product manufacturing and real-estate development.
Ginter collected hundreds of acres north of Richmond, especially along Brook Road where he developed neighborhoods including Ginter Park and Sherwood Park. He also provided capital and land for Union Theological Seminary, the University College of Medicine (a public hospital that merged in 1913 with the Medical College of Virginia), Bloemendaal and the Jefferson Hotel, which he dedicated to his personal hero, Thomas Jefferson. A substantial portion of his wealth went to his humble niece, Grace Arents, who furthered her uncle’s charity. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at Bloemendaal is their shared legacy.
Off to the Races
On Nov. 30, 1895, the Deep Run Hunt Club held its first Deep Run Races at Chantilly, about three miles west of the city on Deep Run Road (today’s Broad Street). The organization rented cramped quarters on Staples Mills Road.
Ginter recognized an opportunity.
He offered Deep Run a clubhouse that he’d bankroll for the organization to rent. Ginter owned 270 acres along Hermitage Road radiating around the A.P. Hill Monument (that Ginter helped place there). He combined 127 of these acres with the former Acca Stock Farm, which likely came with an early-19th-century hunting lodge.
Brian Burns, Ginter’s recent biographer notes, “The new location would be attractive not only for the club’s members, but also for spectators who liked to join the social scene and follow the hunt along the smooth roads.” And Ginter built those roads.
Ginter prepared the site with stalls for 40 horses, a bicycle shed, foxhound kennels and a golf course. He commissioned the imaginative D. Wiley Anderson to design the clubhouse, Rosedale.
With Ginter footing the bill, Anderson didn’t need to hold anything back. He used the original lodge as a centerpiece and expanded it into 3,918 square feet, with a coffered cherrywood ceiling in the billiard room and oak flooring with parquet inlays.
He mashed up Colonial Revival symmetry against a Queen Anne style. A wrap-around veranda allowed members and guests to lounge and view the fox hunt. For easy access to the veranda, Anderson installed floor-to-ceiling casement doors and transoms. The original house boasted seven fireplaces.
Rosedale opened Oct. 17, 1896, attended by a glittering assortment of Richmond elites. Urban expansion combined with Deep Run not owning Rosedale caused the club to seek another venue. In 1910, the club united with the Country Club of Virginia, but after five years, the two went their separate ways.
By 1923, Deep Run relocated its home to a farmstead on Broad Street (the present-day location of Richmond Ford) until 1932, when the club moved to its current home in Goochland County.
Rosedale’s lands were reduced to 2 acres, braced by Interstate 95, the entrance ramp to Interstate 64, Imperial Plaza and the 20th-century Rosedale neighborhood.
Later residents cut the veranda into three small porches. The Phipps family, its owners since 2011, are currently restoring Anderson’s wraparound porch and attending to termite-ridden parquetry and kitchen muddlement.
“A lot of people can’t believe it’s there,” says Joan Phipps. “When you [drive] up 64 and look down and see this house that looked abandoned there — and for a while, it was. A neighborhood friend of mine says they called it the haunted house.”
Rosedale’s acreage can never be restored, but with the Phippses’ restoration, is regaining a semblance of what it might’ve been like to find this great house tucked away amid fields and forest.