The Wertenbaker House

1301 Wertland Street, Charlottesville, VA


The Wertenbaker House is the oldest house in the Wertland district. It was built in 1830 by William Wertenbaker, the second librarian at the University of Virginia and so appointed by the University's founder, Thomas Jefferson.

The property originally bordered West Main Street, then known as the old "Three Notched Road." What is currently 13th street was originally the driveway to the Wertenbaker House.

William Wertenbaker would eventually build houses for his daughters on either side of the original building, but these edifices are no londer standing. As the property was divided up in the 1880-90s, a new street, Wertland, was named after the family.

The house is currently owned by HasBrouck Realty, Inc. and houses six University students on the first two floors and a hair salon (Hair Graphics) in its basement.


The house is an example of local Federal vernacular style. It is two stories with a high basement, a standing-seam metal gable roof, a three-bay one story front porch, a one-bay second story porch, and six-over-six double-hung sash windows.


Rumor has it that Bob Dylan used to hang out with Appalachian folklorist Paul Clayton at this house. He may have even lived here for several months in the early 60s. Dylan was definately in Charlottesville during this time, performing at the Gaslight grill with the likes of Joan Baez.

I've also heard a couple rumors that the house served as a civil war hospital. Nothing more than that, but it could be true, which would lend credence to the rumor that...

It's haunted!


  1. National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (PDF)
  2. The HooK: Discover Charlottesville
  3. Charlottesville's Gaslight Resteraunt - Legends Remembered

Compiled for the hell of it by John Whittet.