The earliest portion of Solitude was constructed about 1801 on land owned by Philip Barger, who sold the property in 1803 to James Patton Preston, governor of Virginia (1816-1819). Governor John Floyd (1830-1834), Preston's brother-in-law, lived at Solitude about 1814-1815. Preston's son, Col. Robert Preston, enlarged the house from a simple log dwelling to a central-passage-plan, Greek Revival-style house about 1851. Col. Preston sold Solitude in 1872 to secure the location of Virginia's first land-grant university, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
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